Christians receive the Holy Spirit and his gifts in Confirmation
You are a member of the Church. Great tasks await you as well. You have a duty to contribute to this with your life, that all people may become one family of God, in which peace will reign, justice and mutual love. Are these tasks easy ? Certainly not ! That's why you ask : Who will help me with this ?
The laying on of hands and the anointing - a sign of the giving of the Holy Spirit
Before Pentecost, the Apostles were not yet fully prepared for their assignments, entrusted to them by Christ. They did not dare to publicly teach about the resurrected Jesus. They lacked the light to understand the mysteries of Christ and the strength to proclaim them. It was only thanks to the Holy Spirit that they became mature Christians and apostles. The Holy Spirit gave them supernatural power and enriched them with His gifts. He became for them a source of strength for the full development of their Christian life.
The Apostles received the fullness of the Holy Spirit not only for themselves, but also for that, to pass it on to others. They did this - as the Acts of the Apostles clearly testifies - by prayer and the laying on of hands. For example. on the baptized Samaritans "they laid their hands on, and they received the Holy Spirit " (Dz 8, 17 ; by. also Journal 19, 5-7). At present, the same work is being done by the successors of the Apostles - the bishops, by conferring on the faithful the sacrament of confirmation. In some circumstances, priests also do so.
The laying on of hands is a visible sign of the communion of the Holy Spirit in this sacrament, anointing with holy chrism and prayer. The laying on of hands expresses both the transmission of the Holy Spirit's power, as well as the granting of a mission, that is, entrusting a specific task to be performed. Likewise, anointing with chrism signifies the effects of this sacrament, namely : being filled with the Holy Spirit, strengthening in faith and in the life of grace and immunization against the danger of moral corruption.
Jesus was "anointed" with the Holy Spirit at his baptism in Jordan, that he can save us. Through his death and resurrection, he received the power to communicate the Holy Spirit to us. We are taught about this in the Holy Scriptures. :
"« If someone is thirsty, and he believes in me - let him come to me and drink ! As the scripture said : Streams of living water will flow from within ». And he said it about the Spirit, which believers in Him were to receive ; For the spirit was not yet there (dany), because Jesus has not yet been glorified " (J 7, 37b-39).
“My departure is useful for you. Because if I don't leave, The Comforter will not come to you. And if I go away, poślę Go do was” (J 16, 7).
The bishop asks for the fullness of the Holy Spirit and his gifts in prayer over the confirmed. Confirmation is usually given during Holy Mass, which makes present the paschal mystery of Christ. In this way, the connection between the transmission of the Holy Spirit and the death and resurrection of Christ is shown.
The Holy Spirit makes a Christian mature
Already through baptism, Christ includes man in his paschal mystery. In the baptized person then there is a fundamental change - a "new creation" takes place.. The "old man" ceases to exist, subject to sin, and is born ,,new man ", united to Christ and conformed to his model. The source of this transformation is the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of life and the Spirit of unity. Man has this divine life as if it were in a seed. However, it is supposed to increase, that the Christian may be better conformed to Christ.
In Confirmation, the Holy Spirit gives strength to the baptized, that the life of God may grow in them. Under His influence, supernatural life develops and strengthens.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth ; He enlightens the mind of man, gives a deeper understanding of the mysteries of Christ, it helps to know better the duties of Christ's disciple and thus does, that the Christian's faith becomes more mature. The Holy Spirit comes in Confirmation as the Spirit of Unity. Stronger than in the baptism of St.. unites us to the glorified Christ. Similarly, it binds the person who receives the sacrament of Confirmation more closely with the entire community of believers, that is, with the People of God. He helps to fulfill the supreme task of a disciple of Christ, which is the conduct that comes from love. Because of him ,,God's love is poured into our hearts " (Rz 5, 5).
The Holy Spirit for the people confirmed is the Spirit of Power (Dz 1, 8). He fills the followers of Christ with courage and helps them overcome all difficulties in bearing witness to the Risen One.. Therefore, it awakens the apostolic enthusiasm in the hearts of the faithful.
The sacrament of Confirmation also impresses upon the soul an indestructible sign, called character. Through him, Christ entitles and obliges the Christian to actively participate in the saving mission of the Church, that is, to the apostolate.
Theologians wondering about it, what the Revelation says about the influence of the Holy Spirit on the soul of the confirmed person, enumerate His gifts. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to man for this, that he may more easily lead a life worthy of a Christian and be more effective in his apostleship. There are seven of them : the gift of wisdom, the gift of reason, the gift of skill, gift of advice, the gift of bravery, the gift of godliness and the gift of the fear of God.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit support human reason, that he may properly understand the word of God and be able to follow it in his life. They also strengthen his will, that he may persistently do good and avoid evil.
Enriching a Christian with the power of the Holy Spirit does, that the sacrament of Confirmation is the complement, supplement or culmination of holy baptism. It is, what was started in baptism, The Holy Spirit is perfected in the sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation is therefore rightly called the sacrament of Christian maturity.
How will I answer God ?
In Confirmation, Christ will enrich you with the power of the Holy Spirit. He will make you a mature Christian and help you to do so, that you fulfill your apostolic duties in the best possible way. How are you preparing for the coming of the Holy Spirit ? Or like the Apostles, who remained in prayer in the Upper Room ?
You can express your request in words : "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle the fire of your love in them " (From the Solemnity of Pentecost).
■ Think :
1. When the Apostles were fully prepared to carry out their tasks ?
2. How the Successors of the Apostles impart the Holy Spirit to the baptized ?
3. Which means the laying on of hands and anointing with holy chrism in the sacrament of Confirmation ?
4. Why is Confirmation usually celebrated during Holy Mass?. ?
5. What entitles a Christian and obliges a Christian to be the sacrament of Confirmation ?
24. Which is a sign of the Holy Spirit being given in the sacrament of Confirmation ? The sign of the communion of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation is the laying on of hands on a Christian, anointing him with a holy cross and the prayer of the bishop.
25. What does the Holy Spirit do through the sacrament of Confirmation ?
The Holy Spirit through the sacrament of Confirmation :
a) it multiplies and strengthens the Christian's divine life ;
b) unites him more closely to Christ and to the People of God ;
c) gives him supernatural power to boldly profess his faith and spread it by word and deed, that is, to the apostolate ;
d) gives him his gifts.
26. What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit ? There are seven gifts of the Holy Spirit :
- fear of God.