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account of how confirmation was given and thus cannot be dismissed by those who reject the sacrament as something unique to the apostolic age. In fact, the passage refers to confirmation as one of the basic teachings of Christianity, which is to be expected since confirmation, like baptism, is a sacrament of initiation into the Christian life. We read: "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment" (Heb. 6:1 Notice how in this passage we are walked through the successive stages of the Christian journey-repentance, faith, baptism, confirmation, resurrection, and judgment. This passage encapsulates the Christian's journey toward heaven and thus gives what theologians call the order of salvation or the ordo salutis. It thus well qualifies as "the elementary teachings" of the Christian faith. The laying on of hands mentioned in the passage clearly must be confirmation: The other kinds of the imposition of hands (for ordination and for healing) are not done to each and every Christian and thus could scarcely qualify as basic teachings which form part of the order of salvation. As the following passages show, the Church Fathers and early Christian writers also recognized confirmation as a sacrament distinct from baptism, even though it was usually given simultaneously with baptism. Their words speak powerfully about this anointing and imposition of hands for reception of the Holy Ghost and the role it has in Christian initiation.
Theophilus of Antioch "Are you unwilling to be anointed with the oil of God? It is on this account that we are called Christians: because we are anointed with the oil of God" (To Autolycus 1:12 [A.D. 181]).
Tertullian "After coming from the place of washing we are thoroughly anointed with a blessed unction, from the ancient discipline by which [those] in the priesthood . . . were accustomed to be anointed with a horn of oil, ever since Aaron was anointed by Moses. . . . So also with us, the unction runs on the body and profits us spiritually, in the same way that baptism itself is a corporal act by which we are plunged in water, while its effect is spiritual, in that we are freed from sins. After this, the hand is imposed for a blessing, invoking and inviting the Holy Spirit" (Baptism 7:1
Tertullian "No soul whatever is able to obtain salvation unless it has believed while it was in the flesh. Indeed, the flesh is the hinge of salvation . . . The flesh, then, is washed [baptism] so that the soul may be
made clean. The flesh is anointed so that the soul may be dedicated to holiness. The flesh is signed so that the soul may be fortified. The flesh is shaded by the imposition of hands [confirmation] so that the soul may be illuminated by the Spirit. The flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ [the Eucharist] so that the soul too may feed on God. They cannot, then, be separated in their reward, when they are united in their works" (The Resurrection of the Dead 8:2
Hippolytus "The bishop, imposing his hand on them, shall make an invocation, saying, 'O Lord God, who made them worthy of the remission of sins through the Holy Spirit's washing unto rebirth, send into them your grace so that they may serve you according to your will, for there is glory to you, to the Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit, in the holy Church, both now and through the ages of ages. Amen.' Then, pouring the consecrated oil into his hand and imposing it on the head of the baptized, he shall say, 'I anoint you with holy oil in the Lord, the Father Almighty, and Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.' Signing them on the forehead, he shall kiss them and say, 'The Lord be with you.' He that has been signed shall say, 'And with your spirit.' Thus shall he do to each" (The Apostolic Tradition 21
Cyprian of Carthage "It is necessary for him that has been baptized also to be anointed, so that by his having received chrism, that is, the anointing, he can be the anointed of God and have in him the grace of Christ" (Letters 7:2 [A.D. 253]).
Cyprian of Carthage "Some say in regard to those who were baptized in Samaria that when the apostles Peter and John came there only hands were imposed on them so that they might receive the Holy Spirit, and that they were not re-baptized. But we see, dearest brother, that this situation in no way pertains to the present case. Those in Samaria who had believed had believed in the true faith, and it was by the deacon Philip, whom those same apostles had sent there, that they had been baptized inside--in the Church. . . . Since, then, they had already received a legitimate and ecclesiastical baptism, it was not necessary to baptize them again. Rather, that only which was lacking was done by Peter and John. The prayer having been made over them and hands having been imposed upon them, the Holy Spirit was invoked and was poured out upon them. This is even now the practice among us, so that those who are baptized in the Church then are brought to the prelates of the Church; through our prayer and the imposition of hands, they receive the Holy Spirit and are perfected with the seal of the Lord" (ibid. 73:9).
Cyprian of Carthage "[A]re not hands, in the name of the same Christ, laid upon the baptized persons among them, for the reception of the Holy Spirit?" (ibid., 74:5).
Cyprian of Carthage "[O]ne is not born by the imposition of hands when he receives the Holy Ghost, but in baptism, that so, being already born, he may receive the Holy Spirit, even as it happened in the first man Adam. For first God formed him, and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. For the Spirit cannot be received, unless he who receives first have an existence. But . . . the birth of Christians is in baptism" (ibid., 74:7).
Council of Carthage VII "[I]n the Gospel our Lord Jesus Christ spoke with His divine voice, saying, 'Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God' [John 3:5]. This is the Spirit which from the beginning was borne over the waters; for neither can the Spirit operate without the water, nor the water without the Spirit. Certain people therefore interpret [this passage] for themselves wrongly, when they say that by imposition of the hand they receive the Holy Ghost, and are thus received, when it is manifest that they ought to be born again [initiated] in the Catholic Church by both sacraments" (VII Carthage [A.D. 256]).
Treatise on Re-Baptism "[I]t has been asked among the brethren what course ought specially to be adopted towards the persons of those who . . . baptized in heresy . . . and subsequently departing from their heresy, and fleeing as supplicants to the Church of God, should repent with their whole hearts, and only now perceiving the condemnation of their error, implore from the Church the help of salvation. . . . [A]ccording to the most ancient custom and ecclesiastical tradition, it would suffice, after that baptism which they have received outside the Church . . . that only hands should be laid upon them by the bishop for their reception of the Holy Spirit, and this imposition of hands would afford them the renewed and perfected seal of faith" (Treatise on Re-Baptism 1 [A.D. 256]).
Treatise on Re-Baptism "[B]y imposition of the bishop's hands the Holy Spirit is given to every one that believes, as in the case of the Samaritans, after Philip's baptism, the apostles did to them by laying on of hands [Acts 814
Cyril of Jerusalem "After you had come up from the pool of the sacred streams, there was given chrism, the antitype of that with which Christ was anointed, and this is the Holy Spirit. But beware of supposing that this is ordinary ointment. For just as the bread of the Eucharist after the invocation of the Holy Spirit is simple bread no longer, but the body of Christ, so also this ointment is no longer plain ointment, nor, so to speak, common, after the invocation. Further, it is the gracious gift of Christ, and it is made fit for the imparting of his Godhead by the coming of the Holy Spirit. This ointment is symbolically applied to your forehead and to your other senses; while your body is anointed with the visible ointment, your soul is sanctified by the holy and life-giving Spirit. Just as Christ, after his baptism, and
the coming upon him of the Holy Spirit, went forth and defeated the adversary, so also with you after holy baptism and the mystical chrism, having put on the panoply of the Holy Spirit, you are to withstand the power of the adversary and defeat him, saying, 'I am able to do all things in Christ, who strengthens me'" (Catechetical Lectures, 21:1, 3
Cyril of Jerusalem "[David says,] 'You have anointed my head with oil.' With oil he anointed your head, your forehead, in the God-given sign of the cross, so that you may become that which is engraved on the seal, 'a holy thing of the Lord'" (ibid., 22:7).
Serapion "[Prayer for blessing the holy chrism:] 'God of powers, aid of every soul that turns to you and comes under your powerful hand in your only-begotten. We beseech you, that through your divine and invisible power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you may effect in this chrism a divine and heavenly operation, so that those baptized and anointed in the tracing with it of the sign of the saving cross of the only-begotten . . . as if reborn and renewed through the bath of regeneration, may be made participants in the gift of the Holy Spirit and, confirmed by this seal, may remain firm and immovable, unharmed and inviolate. . . .'" (The Sacramentary of Serapion 25:1 [A.D. 350]).
Council of Laodicea "[T]hose who have been illuminated are, after baptism, to be anointed with celestial chrism and thus become partakers in the kingdom of Christ" (canon 48 [A.D. 360]).
Pacian of Barcelona "If, then, the power of both baptism and confirmation, greater by far than charisms, is passed on to the bishops, so too is the right of binding and loosing" (Three Letters to the Novatianist Sympronian 1:6 [A.D. 383]).
The Apostolic Constitutions "[H]ow dare any man speak against his bishop, by whom the Lord gave the Holy Spirit among you upon the laying on of his hands, by whom you have learned the sacred doctrines, and have known God, and have believed in Christ, by whom you were known of God, by whom you were sealed with the oil of gladness and the ointment of understanding, by whom you were declared to be the children of light, by whom the Lord in your illumination testified by the imposition of the bishop's hands" (Apostolic Constitutions 2:4:32 [A.D. 400]).
The African Code "[T]he former council . . . decreed, as your unanimity remembers as well as I do, that those who as children were baptized by the Donatists, and not yet being able to know the pernicious character of their error, and afterward when they had come to the use of reason, had received the knowledge of the truth, abhorred their former error, and were received in accordance with the ancient order by the imposition of the hand, into the Catholic Church of God spread throughout the world" (canon 57 [A.D. 419]). ------------------------------------------------------------------------
Volume 2, Chapter XXXII
11 January 1979
QUESTION: You have administered the sacrament of Confirmation in various dioceses against the will of the bishop of the place, sometimes even to children who had already received it. You justify these acts saying that the sacramental formula of the new Ordo Confirmationis is often badly translated or shortened, or even omitted, and that in certain dioceses Confirmation is no longer given. a) In administering Confirmation which sacramental formula have you used yourself? (If Mgr. Lefebvre says he used the old one, ask him if he recognizes the new one as valid, and, if he says Yes, ask him why he did not use it.) b) If the facts you have alleged to justify the exercise of this ministry were found to be true, would that give you the right to act without taking account of the Church's discipline fixed by Canon Law? ANSWER:
To a) I used the old sacramental formula. But I recognize the validity of the new Latin formula. I use the old formula to meet the wishes of the faithful. To b) "Salus animarum suprema lex" – the salvation of souls is the supreme law. I cannot refuse the sacrament to the faithful who ask me for it. It is at the request of the faithful, attached to Tradition, that I use the old sacramental formula, and also for safety's sake, keeping to formulas which have communicated grace for centuries with certainty. V QUESTION: According to Catholic doctrine, it is forbidden to repeat the conferring of a sacrament which imprints a character if the minister is not certain of the invalidity of the sacramental rite conferred before or at least unless he has a prudens dubium of validity. How did you ascertain that each of the children already confirmed had been confirmed invalidly? ANSWER: I asked each of the parents and the children to find out if they had been confirmed and how it had been done. Most of the children had not been confirmed before. For those who had been I could have a prudent doubt of the validity of the sacrament they had received. I add that I give Confirmation only with reluctance, delaying as long as possible in the hope that the bishops will do it. VI QUESTION: The reiteration of a sacrament without there being at least a prudens dubium of validity is objectively speaking a serious lack of respect for sacramental worship. Did it ever occur to you that you were running such a risk? ANSWER: No, for, as I have just said, I asked parents and children beforehand, and I could thus have a prudens dubium of the validity of the sacrament administered before.
On the Occasion of the Reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation 20 April 1986 Farmingville, Long Island, New York In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. My dear children, my dear brethren, we must thank God today because the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is a very great grace for these children and also a grace for all who assist at the ceremony of Confirmation. My dear children, you must know that this sacrament has the name of Confirmation - why Confirmation? Because this sacrament confirms the grace you received in the Sacrament of Baptism; the same Spirit you received by the Sacrament of Baptism, the Holy Ghost ? but now you receive all the gifts of the Holy Ghost. And why did Jesus Christ institute this Sacrament
of Confirmation? Because we need many assists, many graces, from the Holy Ghost to remain a true Catholic, to remain a true Christian. When you were a baby and your sponsor brought you to the priest to receive the Sacrament of Baptism you were not conscious that you received the grace of baptism because you were a baby. Now you know that you shall receive the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation, and you must repeat the same words that your sponsor said when you received Baptism. And what did they say, the sponsor in your name, when the priest asked, "Do you believe in God, the Creator?" The sponsor said, "I believe." "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior?" and they answered, "We believe." "Do you believe in the Holy Ghost and in the Catholic Church?" and they said, "Yes, we believe." And he also asked, "Do you renounce Satan?" "Yes, we renounce Satan." "Do you renounce all scandal of Satan in the world?" and they said, "Yes we do renounce." But now you must say, "I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the Holy Ghost, I renounce Satan." That is very important and so when you receive the Sacrament of Confirmation from the Bishop, you receive especially the Gift of Fortitude ? to fight, to fight against Satan, to fight against the devil. Devils are now everywhere in the world and they do everything possible to lead us into mortal sin, because they know that if we are under the influence of Satan, they can lead us to hell. That is their work ? the work of Satan ? and he has much power, especially now, because you know that many priests now don't say the Mass; priests are fewer and fewer; they don't say the Mass and they don't pray. Many faithful abandon the Church; no more devotion to God, no more prayers and so the devil can now do many things that before he was not capable of doing because, in the past, there were many priests, many prayers, many sisters, many monasteries, many churches. When the Bishop gives you the Sacrament he puts his hand on your head and signs your forehead with the Sign of the Cross, because that is our flag, the flag of the Christian. The flag of the Catholic is the Cross. So you receive the Sign of the Cross on your forehead with holy oil, and the Bishop says the words of Confirmation. It is at this time that you receive the grace of the Sacrament. When you return to your place you can say, "I have received the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Now I am strong, strong to fight; now I am a soldier, a soldier of Jesus Christ." To remain a Christian, to remain Catholic, is very, very important. You can ask your parents, ask men who are here, if it is easy to remain Christian, to live as a Christian. It's not so easy to keep all the Commandments of God, to remain obedient to God. It's not easy; it is very difficult, and we need the grace of God to fight against the devil. I hope that with the prayers of your parents, of your friends, of the priests and seminarians who are here today, that you shall receive many graces, by the intercession of the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, your Mother. I hope that you have a Rosary in your pocket, and that you say, many times, "Hail Mary," to ask her for fortitude. My dear brethren, I take this occasion to speak to you to encourage you to be more Christian, more Catholic, strong Catholics, strong Christians. You know that the Church now has a very tragic crisis. The situation in the Church is very sad! sad due to the priests who have abandoned their priesthood; sad due to the bishops who have given a bad catechism to the children so that they no longer have the true Catholic Faith; sad due to the bishops who promote false ecumenism, who invite Protestants into their churches and cathedrals. That is a great scandal! It is impossible to unite error and truth, light with darkness, Satan with God! but they do that when they invite all other religions. The bishops invite false religions into the Catholic Church with Jesus Christ Who is true God; it is a scandal! Now, we have heard that in Rome, they have done the same thing … even the Pope was, last Sunday, in a synagogue! This is a scandal. What is the synagogue? Who are these Jews in the synagogue? They are the enemies of Jesus Christ, because they are the successors of the Jews who refused Jesus Christ, who crucified Jesus Christ. They refused Him and said, "He is not our Savior; He is not our God," and they crucified Him. It is the same Jews, and they say the same thing; they refuse Jesus Christ. They are against Jesus Christ and don't recognize Him as the Messiah. Never! How is it possible to pray with these men who refuse Jesus Christ. They say that Jesus Christ is not God. We always pray
in the name of Jesus Christ, always; our prayers end with "through Jesus Christ our Lord . . ." Always, Catholic prayer is through Jesus Christ because we know that He is God, our Savior, and without Jesus Christ we cannot go to heaven. Prayers without Jesus Christ have no fruit, and so it is incredible that the man who is in the seat of Saint Peter goes to the synagogue to pray with the Jews who refuse Jesus Christ. It is incredible! We must pray during this crisis in the Church and we must remain Catholic. We must remain faithful to Jesus Christ, we must remain disciples of Christ. It is impossible to refuse Him for Jesus Christ is our God. He shall be our Judge when He comes in the clouds to judge all humanity. Nobody can say, "Oh, You are not my Judge, You are not my God," for that is impossible. There is only one God, Jesus Christ, with His Father, and the Holy Ghost, the Blessed Trinity. It is impossible to change that. He shall be our Judge. And so we must remain faithful to tradition, to the true faith, to the true creed. When the children receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, they express their faith; when they say the Creed, the Our Father, and the Hail Mary, they express their faith. We will all say these same prayers with great devotion: "I believe in God, my Creator, my Redeemer, my Savior. I believe in Jesus Christ, my God. I believe in the Holy Ghost, my God." That is the belief of Catholics and we cannot pray to another God, we cannot pray to another divinity; it is impossible. The times are very sad, very tragic but in this time we have received this grace from God, we are elected by God, you are elected by God, to remain Catholic, to continue the Catholic Church, to be the witness of the Catholic Faith. Where many people have abandoned the Catholic Faith, you have received His grace to remain Catholic and to give the Faith to your children. As St. Paul says, "I give the faith I received myself," and we must say the same thing. I give the same Faith that I received, and you must say the same thing to your children; it is very important to save your soul. And so we must pray and we must be united! no divisions! we must be united in the same Faith, the same Creed, the same belief, in the same law, the same charity to our God and to our neighbor. Unity gives fortitude. We are more strong if we are united. It is the time for holy Christians! We must thank God because these are occasions for us to remain Catholic, even when we see the destruction of the Church! the "auto?destruction" of the Church, as Pope Paul VI said. And this auto-destruction continues, worsens, worsens. Faced with this situation we must ask God to give us many graces. We need many graces to remain Catholic. Do not follow the Christians who have abandoned their faith and become Protestant, or have become Muslim. I hope that by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, that we remain Catholic. That is the First Commandment of God .. to believe that Jesus Christ is God, is the Son of God. In the whole of Scripture we can see at each page that faith is necessary, and that Jesus Christ Himself said that we must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. "If you believe you shall be saved; if you do not believe you shall be condemned." That is what Jesus Christ Himself said. And so we can accept nothing which is contrary to the divinity of Jesus Christ. it is impossible. We must pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary today and ask her to give to these children the many graces necessary to remain true Catholics, true Christians. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
http://www.gloria.tv/?media=296765 http://www.cathinfo.com/catholic.php?a=topic&t=19092&min=10&num=10 Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet June 2, 2012 All power has been given to me in heaven and earth, go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. That is the mission of the Church
and the mission of the Society of St. Pius X and the Faith which we have by the power of Jesus Christ, by the power of Christ the King, Christ the priest, who supports us in our task. We have fought for Christ the Priest, for the priesthood and for his priests, for the Church and for Christ the King, that is for a Catholic State. And we shall continue the fight, dear faithful, as did the saints of the first centuries of the Church, confronted with heresy which threatened the Catholic Faith, just like today. There is a comparison to be made between the Aryan errors against the Blessed Trinity and the heresies of today against the priesthood and the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyway, I'll start this comparison simply by describing three heresies of the past which were defeated by the saints and by the priests. And first Arianism. Arius was a priest of Alexandra in Egypt who denied a dogma of the Catholic Faith, saying no, the Word of God, the Son, is not equal to God, He is not God. The Word of God is a creature and he quotes St. Paul, more or less, saying he is the first born of all creatures. St. Paul did write that, Jesus Christ is the first born of all creation, that is in God's plan, God saw him in the first place in His creation, in God's plan He saw His Son incarnate. Arius said no, it's unworthy for God to take flesh, I have found a new doctrine, the Word is not God. Anyway, a council was called, a real council, the council of Nicea to condemn Arius and to declare that the Word of God is equal to God, that the Word of God is consubstantial with the Father and we profess this every Sunday in the Creed, consubstantialem Patri. The Word, God the Son is consubstantial with the Father, they are one substance, one God. And it was a philosophical term which wasn't in the Bible and the Fathers of the Council hesitated to use this term which was philosophical and which came from the pagans and which could mean all sorts of strange things; like for example that God the Father and God the Son are two masks of one person. So, in God there is one person who in turns takes up the mask of God the Father and God the Son. Even St. Athanasius had difficulty adopting this term consubstantial but in the end he used it and St Athanasius used the council of Nicea to fight against Arianism and he suffered for it. He was exiled; he took refuge in the desert etc, because of his Faith in the Blessed Trinity, for defending the absolute equality of the Father and the Son, for defending the divinity of the Word of God. And that's how we must fight, dear faithful, as St Athanasius fought mercilessly against the Aryans. And to a large extent St. Athanasius was successful in his fight against Arianism. So, let us not stop fighting in this struggle which in my opinion will last another twenty years. The crisis which we're going through at the moment is very serious, thus a crisis which will last a long time. The history of the Church shows us that all the long crises of the Church lasted 70 years, Arianism, the Great Schism etc. So the conciliar crisis will probably last around 70 years, that means another 30 years to wait. Let's not expect a quick victory. We will have it, because Our Lord has given all power to his Church, of which we are a part. The second heresy which arose afterwards was the Nestorian heresy. Nestorius, bishop, Patriarch of Constantinople, declared that the Word didn't become Flesh, as I mentioned just now, it's a scandal that God should have assumed human flesh, that is, the body of Jesus, it's a scandal. God is pure spirit, he can't assume a body, that goes against the philosophy of the time and I, Nestorius, have thought of something else, I think that Jesus the man Jesus by his merits deserved the divinity. So, Jesus became God, Jesus is God. So if Jesus is God, he professed the Catholic Faith, didn't he? Jesus is God. But how did he profess it? Jesus is God but it wasn't God who became man, man became God, the man Jesus became God. Is that Catholic? That Jesus became God? No, it's heretical. And that is precisely what a professor in Regensburg was teaching in his classes thirty years ago saying that Jesus so left himself, so went out of himself, that by his charity he united himself to the ONE, that is to God. That is a heresy; a heresy which is very similar to the Nestorian heresy. So let us be very careful, dear faithful to profess the Catholic Faith as we should. It's not enough to say that Jesus is God we must say that he was incarnate. God was made man by the mystery of the Incarnation. And there have been saints, for example, St. Cyril of Alexandria who fought for that. Because he said, if Jesus is not God if he was a man then the Blessed Virgin gave birth to a man. So she isn't the Mother of God. Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us! No, Mary is the mother of the man Jesus Christ. Ah! Heresy! An insult to our Lady. How can we deny her divine motherhood? And St. Cyril and the
council of Ephesus protested saying that the Blessed Virgin is the Mother of God, She gave birth to God, the man God, Jesus Christ. If she gave birth to the man God she is the mother of God. Her child is God, God the Son. There you are, a saint who did not hesitate to refute heresies and for this he was persecuted and nonetheless refuted heresy and explained the Catholic Faith. As we must do today, dear faithful, refuting religious liberty and explaining the Catholic Faith. Religious liberty wants us to respect all those who profess religious error, that the State should give freedom to all false religions to profess error in the name of the dignity of man. And we say no, Jesus Christ must reign. He must reign in hearts and he must reign publicly in the State. The State must be Catholic. So we must refute these errors of the false dignity of man and religious liberty, that the State must tolerate the freedom of all, which is impossible and false and still false today. And instead affirm the opposite - that Jesus has the right to reign publicly in the State. That's what we're going to carry on doing following the example of St. Cyril of Alexandria. And we mustn't fail because Rome is proposing an agreement, a canonical solution to us, an official position in the Church which would mean we have to renounce the proclamation of these strong truths which contradict the council. We are not going to stop fighting against the council and its errors. The third example which I'd like to give you is of the pneumatomachians (also called Macedonians). So, after the council of Ephesus, people came saying the Holy Ghost is not God – the third heresy. God the Father, ok; God the Son, ok but not God the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a creature and the proof is that Jesus sent Him. The paraclete, the spirit of truth which I shall send you from my Father. There you are, if Jesus sends anyone, it's a creature. That's the pneumatomachians. Dear faithful, is it true that the Holy Ghost isn't God? I hope you are ready, ready to profess your faith that the Holy Ghost is God, like the Father and the Son. When you make the sign of the cross it is in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and all three are God. In the name – there is only one name ... of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. One God in three persons. The Holy Ghost is God. Anyway, St. Basil of Caesarea in Pontus arose and protested against this error saying no, the Holy Ghost is truly God. We must adore the Holy Ghost in the same way we adore the Father and the Son. And he fought against those who professed error. And in our situation when we're thinking of resolving the crisis after twenty or thirty years when the heretics are beginning to convert, St. Basil would say, the conciliarists are beginning to convert - but that's simply not true, anywhere, neither in Rome nor in the dioceses, none of them are converting. Anyway, St. Basil seeing that the pneumatomachians, as they were called, were beginning to convert and were returning to the Catholic faith decided not to shock them; he couldn't say the Holy Ghost is God because they wouldn't have liked to have said that. So, he used a softer way of saying it, viz. The Holy Ghost is to be adored with the Father and the Son. He receives the same glory as the Father and the Son. We have to adore the Holy Ghost like the Father and the Son and we give the same glory to the Holy Ghost as to the Father and the Son. A nicer way of saying it but which expresses the Catholic Faith. Unambiguous. If we have to adore the Holy Ghost it's because he's God; if we have to give the same glory to the Holy Ghost as to the Father and the Son it's because he is God. So, St. Basil didn't use ambiguous expressions with those who wanted to return to the Church. He demanded that they profess the entire Catholic Faith but using a nice way of saying it. He was prudent, very good, but in professing the true faith. He was not willing to sign ambiguous texts, dear faithful. That's what we must do today. Refuse ambiguous texts, not stop condemning error and correctly professing the Catholic Faith. And when the conciliarists come back, one day, in twenty five years, repenting of the council, when they see the continual catastrophes, the empty seminaries, the churches in ruins, apostasy everywhere, immorality everywhere, they will repent deeply, and when they do, when they begin to come back, full of repentance we can use formulae to help them. But not now; the crisis is in full swing, now we have to be firm and condemn the errors of the council, especially the denial of Christ the King, the refusal of Christ the King. That, dear faithful, is our plan of action. There's no point in deceiving ourselves, there's no way the crisis is almost over, the crisis is far from being over, the fight is going to last a long time and so we need to get organised, to last out and to continue to profess the whole Catholic Faith in full confidence in the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ. All power
in heaven and on earth has been given to me, go ye therefore into the whole world, preach the truth, preach the Blessed Trinity, preach Christ the King, preach Christ the Priest, have likewise confidence in my divine Mother who has all graces, who distributes all graces, it's through her that I will triumph over my enemies, it's through her that I will bring the Catholic Faith back to my Church. Have confidence in my Mother, Immaculate Virgin in her Faith, may the Blessed Mother keep our Faith immaculate. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
THE PROBLEM WITH THE OTHER SACRAMENTS By Rama P. Coomaraswamy, M.D. [The author has previously published two books of significance to the scholarship of Traditional Catholicism, published by Tan Books & Publishers: THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION (1981) and THE PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW MASS: A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE MAJOR THEOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES INHERENT IN THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE (1990). CONTENTS Introduction Preface The Magisterium of the Church and Related Issues THE PROBLEM WITH THE OTHER SACRAMENTS: Chapter I General Introduction Chapter II The Sacrament of Order Chapter III Extreme Unction Chapter IV Confirmation ..... INTRODUCTION This book is primarily written for Catholics who are unhappy with the changes introduced by Vatican II and the post-Conciliar Church. Hopefully, it will enable them to sort out the issues and to act appropriately as Catholics. It is always necessary to establish common ground with the reader. With this in view I would propose that all Catholics by definition believe in God; believe that Jesus Christ is God (and man); that Jesus Christ established a visible Church; and that this Church is what is commonly called the Roman Catholic Church. There can be little discussion about the first two principles for no Catholic as a Catholic can deny the existence of God or the divinity of Jesus Christ. What creates confusion in these days is the nature of the visible Church that Christ established. Its character was quite obvious for some 1900 years - up to the time of Vatican II. It taught the same doctrines and used essentially the same "Apostolic" rites and sacraments since its foundation. These have generally been referred to as the "deposit of the faith " which it is the Church's duty to guard and reserve unadulterated till the end of time. This principle is incorporated in the creed where we say
"One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic" Church. However, subsequent to this Council changes were introduced in doctrine and rites which have raised a serious question: "is it the same Church?" As there is only one God, only one Jesus Christ, and hence only one Revelation, it is clear that there can only be one Church. Now the post-Conciliar Church claims to be that Church despite the fact that this new organization has changed the rites and doctrines which were inherited from the Apostles and which were held and/or taught up to the time of Vatican II. It is precisely this which has confused the average thinking Catholic. ... There is much talk today about "the Faith." Faith of course has two aspects. First of all, it is objective and as such pertains to the doctrines taught by the Church as part of Revelation. As such Faith is a "gift." But faith also has a subjective aspect which relates to our acceptance of what the Church teaches. The Faith (and not some vague feeling which passes for faith) is important for as St. Paul said, "it is impossible to please God without faith." The objective aspect of faith or the teaching of the Church is incorporated in what is called her Magisterium which is defined in the first section of this book. No Catholic can knowingly deny or reject what the Magisterium or teaching authority of the Church holds to be true without placing themselves outside the Church. We (subjectively) must give our assent to this teaching authority. To refuse to do so is to deny Christ who defines Himself as the Truth. Many Catholics are confused by what has happened to the Church. Much of the confusion lies in the Catholic desire to be "in obedience" to the pope who is or should be Christ's vicar or representative on earth. What is forgotten is that obedience is a "moral" virtue, and as such ranks lower than the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. In other words, obedience is fine, but one must be aware of just what one is in obedience to. If one is in obedience to a false faith, one in essence apostatizes from the Catholic Faith. If one obeys a pope who himself is not in obedience to Christ, one places oneself in disobedience to our Divine Master. ... Many Catholics have rejected the changes introduced. They hold that to refuse to obey (the wishes of) a pope who is himself no longer in obedience to Christ, in no way denies the authority of the papacy. It is because of their respect for this institution and their knowing that no Catholic can be saved if he or she is in disobedience to the true Vicar of Christ, that they refuse to obey an individual... (in contradiction with defined papal statements of the past). "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic." These are the criteria. Is the post-Conciliar Church one with the Church that Christ established and which has been maintained through 19 centuries? This is for the reader to decide. Is it Catholic, which is to say "universal" in time and place or is it a local phenomena established after the close of Vatican II? Is it Apostolic in the sense that it uses the same rites and teaches the same doctrines that the Apostles did? Again, this is a decision that every Catholic must make. Finally, is it Holy? This is hard for individuals to judge. However its fruits are certainly of a dubious nature. Millions of Catholics have abandoned the faith; thousands of priests and religious have abandoned their vocations. Confessions and baptisms are down. Conversions of former Catholics to other religions abound far in excess of those entering the Church. Certainly, it has canonized a enormous number of saints under new and relaxed regulations. But at the same time it has refused to canonize such individuals as Pius IX and Merry del Val, individuals whose canonization process has been completed under the old rules. Little is it realized that the criteria for sanctity have been changed. Instead of the time honored procedures which involved an examination of the life and writings of the individual involved, it is political expediency which is now the fundamental criteria. The "devil's advocate" no longer functions and miracles are no longer required. But all in all, it is not for us to judge of holiness.
And so it is that Catholics must make a choice. It is hoped that these essays along with my book on The Problems with the New Mass will assist them in doing so. Rama P. Coomaraswamy
CHAPTER IV - CONFIRMATION Confirmation has been called the "compliment and perfection of Baptism," and Scripture tells us that it was conferred by the Apostles: "They laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost" (Acts VIII:17). The effects of Confirmation are twofold. First of all, it impresses upon the soul a special character which cannot be effaced. This sacramental character makes us soldiers of Christ, and we are thus bound to defend the faith under all circumstances, even at the cost of our lives. Secondly, through Confirmation we receive the Holy Ghost with the abundance of His gifts and graces. He gives us the grace of strength, which confirms evermore within us Faith, Hope and Charity, and thus we are able to confess Jesus Christ by word and deed, and to advance in piety, despite the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. "In this sacrament, " says St. Thomas, "is given the plenitude of the Holy Ghost for the strengthening of grace." To fully understand the difference between the graces bestowed in Baptism and Confirmation, one has but to consider their varied effects on the lives of the Apostles. After Baptism and prior to Pentecost, they had lain hidden, timid, fearful and had even denied and deserted Our Lord when threatened. After the descent of the Holy Ghost, they were like lions breathing fire, and not even the threat of death could hinder them from preaching the Gospel. Those of us who have received this Sacrament may see few such dramatic effects in our lives: however, an example will give us encouragement. A man endowed with marvellous strength is not always conscious of that strength until the time comes to use it. So it is with the Sacrament of Confirmation. On special occasions the strength of the Sacrament is experienced, just as it was experienced by the early Christians in times of persecution. Moreover, this is infallibly experienced, providing that sin places no obstacle in the way, for just as sin hinders the grace of a Sacrament in its actual reception, so also does it hinder the effects of the same grace at the moment in which it should be exercised. And so it is that Confirmation bestows upon Christians in substance what the Holy Ghost bestowed upon the Apostles at Pentecost, and enables them to defend the faith against whatever assails it in every age. Let us for a moment consider the words off St. Therese of Liseaux with regard to this Sacrament: "A short time after my First Communion, I went again into retreat for my Confirmation. I had very carefully prepared myself for the coming of the Holy Spirit. I could not understand why so little attention was often paid to this Sacrament of love... How happy my soul was! Like the Apostles I happily awaited the promised Comforter. I rejoiced that soon I should be a perfect Christian, and have eternally marked upon my forehead the mysterious cross of his ineffable Sacrament. On that day I received the strength to suffer, a strength which I much needed, for the martyrdom of my soul was soon to begin"
A SHORT HISTORY OF CONFIRMATION Scriptural reference has already been provided. In the second century Tertullian states "after having come out of the laver (baptism), we are anointed thoroughly with a blessed unction according to the ancient rule... Next to this, the hand is laid upon us, through the blessing calling upon and inviting the Holy Spirit." St. Cyprian teaches "anointed also must he of necessity be, who is baptized... a person is not born by the imposition of hands when he receives the Holy Ghost, but in baptism; that being already born he may receive the Spirit..." St. Ambrose told the catechumens who had just been baptized and anointed "thou hast received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of piety, the spirit of holy fear; and keep what thou hast received. God the Father has sealed thee... God the Father has confirmed thee: and the Spirit has given the pledge in thy heart..." Pope Innocent III wrote "The anointing of the forehead with chrism signifies the laying on of the hand, the other name for which is Confirmation, since through it the Holy Spirit is given for growth and strength." He further said "We regard Confirmation by the bishop, that is, the laying on of hands, to be holy and to be received with reverence." Innocent IV mentions that the apostles conferred the Holy Spirit through the laying on of the hand, which Confirmation or the anointing of the forehead with chrism represents." HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS SACRAMENT? The Church has always taught that the Sacrament of Confirmation was not necessary for salvation. However, Confirmation was instituted for the battles in this life, and is required by precept because Our Lord instituted it as a means of grace. All are obliged, therefore, to receive it, if they are able to do so. The Council of Laodicea in 370 stated that "it behooves those who are illuminated to be anointed after Baptism with the supercelestial chrism, and to be made partakers of Christ." St. Peter Damian, a Doctor of the Church, insists that the obligation to receive it is a serious one. Benedict XIV taught that the obligation bound under pain of sin, if no grave inconvenience was involved in its reception. Clement XIV approved a decree in 1774 which stated that "this Sacrament cannot be refused or neglected without incurring the guilt of mortal sin, if there be an opportune occasion of receiving it." THE MINISTER OF THE SACRAMENT Some historians have claimed that Confirmation grew out of Baptism - citing the fact that in the Eastern church both are given at the same time as evidence. Let us listen then to one of the most important authorities of the Eastern Church, St. John Chrysostom. He tells us that"Philip was one of the seven, the second [in rank] after Stephen. Hence, when he baptized, he did not communicate to the neophytes the Holy Ghost, because he had not the power to do so. This gift was peculiar to the twelve, a prerogative of the Apostles; whence we see [even now] that the bishops and none other do this." In the Western Church, the ordinary (normal) minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation is the bishop. Since Pius XII's decree Spiritum Sancti Munera of September 14, 1946, it has been
common law in the Latin Church that all pastors or their equivalents may confer this sacrament on their subjects in danger of death. In the Eastern Churches today, the ordinary minister of the Sacrament is the parish priest, and the Sacrament is frequently administered immediately after Baptism. It goes without saying that the Priest or Bishop must have been validly ordained. THE MATTER OF THE SACRAMENT Chrism blessed by the bishop on Holy Thursday is considered to be the "remote matter" of the Sacrament. The Church has always insisted that only olive oil and balm may be used for this purpose. The post-Conciliar Church now allows for the use of any "vegetable oil."161 The reader is referred to the Chapter on Extreme Unction for a fuller discussion of the nature of this oil, and the blessing required to "sanctify" it. (The need for balsam or balm - a fragrant oleoresin exuded from certain plants and trees - to be added to the olive oil was debated by theologians over the centuries, and was considered until 1971 as "of precept" but not essential for validity.) There is some difference of opinion about what is called the "proximate matter." Some theologians hold that it lies in the imposition of hands, while others maintain that it lies in the anointing with chrism. Still others hold that both are required, and some that either is sufficient. Because of the differences of opinion most theologians now hold that both the imposition of hands and the anointing with chrism are necessary. Indeed, in the traditional rite, the bishop performs both actions simultaneously with an individual imposition of hands for each confirmand as the anointing is being done. A prior imposition of hands takes place at the beginning of the ceremony when the bishop extends his hands over the confirmands as a group. In the Eastern Rites, only the second imposition of hands is used, and it is this one which pertains to the "proximate matter." In the new post-Conciliar rite established by Paul VI's Apostolic Constitution Divinae consortium naturae (15 August, 1971), and based on his personal reply to a query (DOL 306), only the initial blessing over all the confirmands has been retained. The individual laying-on of hands at the time of the actual anointing has been suppressed. He stated that anointing with chrism "sufficiently expresses the laying on of hands." This decision is interesting in view of the statement by Father Pourrat that "In the Apostolic Age, the matter of Confirmation was the imposition of hands; after the second century, it was, besides, the anointing with holy chrism."162 This constitutes a clear-cut departure from both Scriptural and Patristic custom. THE FORM OF THE SACRAMENT During the course of history different forms for the Sacrament of Confirmation have been used - they have presumably all been substantially (i.e. their meaning) similar. The Current form has been in use since at least the 12th Century and was specified as such by both St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventura, though St. Albert the Great and Alexander of Hales specified slightly different but substantially similar ones. The Council of Florence and the Council of Trent both specified that the formula was "I sign thee with the Sign of the Cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghos t. (Signo te signo Crucis, et confirmo te Chrismate salutis. In nomine Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.")
The form used in the Eastern Churches differs slightly - "The sign [or seal] of the gift of the Holy Ghost." (The Latin for this would be signaculum doni spiritus Sancti.) This probably dates back to the First Council of Constantinople (381), and certainly dates back to the Trullan Council of 692. (This is not to say that it was not in use prior to that time, but only that we can historically trace its use back to these dates.) Now the essential words must clearly be found in what the Western and Eastern formulas have in common. Father Joseph Pohle discusses this in his pre-Vatican II text The Sacraments: A Dogmatic Treatise.163 "Which particular words constitute the substance of the formula is a purely theoretical question that can easily be decided if we admit the Greek formula164 to be essentially equivalent to the longer Latin one... Manifestly, the formula of Confirmation must express two concepts, viz; (1) the act of signing or sealing (signo te) and (2), the grace of the Holy Ghost (confirmo te). Neither the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity nor the words signo crucis and chrismate salutis are essential. So far as we know, all the forms ever used embodied these two leading ideas, at least implicitly." (The blow on the cheek (alapa) did not become customary until the twelfth century. It was apparently devised in imitation of the blow by which knighthood was conferred in the Middle Ages and obviously complemented the concept that the recipient of the Sacrament was now a soldier of Christ.) THE POST-CONCILIAR CHANGES IN THE FORM When we come to the new rite of Confirmation as established by Paul VI's Apostolic constitution Divinae consortium naturae (15 August, 1971), we find the following statement: "The Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred through the anointing with chrism on the forehead, which is done by laying on of the hand and through the words 'accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti.'"Officially translated as "Be Sealed with the Gift of the Holy Ghost." Paul VI tells us that he has adopted this formula from the Byzantine Rite, stating, "We therefore adopt this formula, rendering it almost word for word... by which the Gift of the Holy Spirit Himself is expressed and the outpouring of the Spirit which took place on the day of Pentecost is recalled. He is of course correct, for the Greek form, as noted above, is signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti. Why however did he add Accipe which changes the meaning of the words from the active sense of something the Bishop imposes on the recipient, to the passive request for him to accept what is offered? The answer is that by the use of this one word, the recipient is merely asked to receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and this is a purely subjective act on the recipient's part. By doing this Paul VI introduced a formula which is much more acceptable to the Protestants who would be horrified at the idea that an indelible character is imprinted ex opere operato on the recipient. There is yet a further problem with Paul VI's Divinae consortium naturae. In it he states that the rite of Confirmation "recalls" what took place on Pentecost. This is a faulty notion of a Sacrament. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are bestowed once again through the rites of the Church, and not simply "recalled." WHY THE CHANGES?
Paul VI tells us that the reason for the revision "which concurs with the very essence of the rite of confirmation" was in order that "the intimate connection of this sacrament with the whole Christian initiation may stand out more clearly." And the result, he assures us is that "the rite and words of this sacrament 'express more clearly the holy things they signify and the Christian people, as far as possible, are able to understand them with ease and take part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community.'" It is for the reader to judge whether this end has been achieved. CONCLUSION Once again we have a Sacrament whose form and matter have been significantly tampered with. While one cannot officially state that it has been invalidated - indeed, only the teaching magisterium of the Church could ever come to such a conclusion and obligate us to accept it as being "of faith." However, one can certainly state that with the change in the remote matter of olive oil to any vegetable oil, with the suppression of the laying on of hands and the statement that the signing of the forehead with the cross suffices for this, and with the subjective change in the form of the sacrament, an element of doubt has been raised. We are no longer supplied with the necessary medium certum. DRESS CODE FOR CONFIRMATIONS Young Girls Young girls are to wear a white dress. The dress should come below the knees and the sleeves should come at least to the elbows. Shoes should be either white or black, with white socks. All of the girls should wear a veil or white mantilla. Young Boys The boys should wear a white long-sleeved shirt with a tie and either navy or grey trousers (not jeans) and black dress shoes. For older children or adults Sunday best is required. No casual wear, such as T- shirts, jeans, short, thongs or bare feet. Women A mantilla must be worn. Hats are not recommended nor should mantillas cover the forehead. As the Bishop will be imposing his hand on the head and confirming on the forehead, it is requested that as much hair as possible be kept away from the forehead; either combed back or pinned up. Dresses must come below the knee with proper sleeves, at least to the elbow. Also, as it is necessary, do go up steps to kneel in front of the Bishop, it is preferable not to wear high heels. No low necklines, jeans, slacks, see through or tight fitting skirts or long-split dresses. Men The men must wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts if they are not wearing a jacket. A tie is required. NO EARRINGS As the Bishop will be imposing his hand on the head and confirming on the forehead, it is requested that as much hair as possible be kept away from the forehead. Women or Men who come improperly dressed will not be Confirmed. THE SPONSOR
a) A man for males; a woman for females. b) Already confirmed, of good character and at least 14 years of age. c) Must not also be the Baptismal godparents, unless there is a reasonable cause. d) Must know the Faith in order to ensure the Catholic training and education of the child, if the parents fail to do their duty. e) Cannot be the parents, as the sponsor contracts a spiritual relationship with the one confirmed. f) One person may be sponsor for several persons to be confirmed. g) If the sponsor cannot attend the ceremony a proxy is required to stand in for him, which can be anyone of the same gender as the actual sponsor. THE MINIUM KNOWLEDGE FOR THE RECEPTION OF CONFIRMATION SOCIETY OF ST. PIUS X TO RECIVE THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION YOU WILL NEED TO STUDY AND KNOW THE FOLLOWING: THE LAWS OF GOD AND THE CHURCH PART I Know by Memory 1. THE 10 COMMANDMENTS 2. THE SIX PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH 3. THE SIX HOLY DAYS IN THE UNITED STATES PART II (Memorize) THE APOSTLES CREED PART III (Memorize) NAME: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS 1. WHAT IS BAPTISM? 2. WHAT IS PENANCE? 3. WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST? 4. WHAT IS CONFIRMATION? 5. WHAT IS EXTREME UNCTION? 6. WHAT IS HOLY ORDERS? 7. WHAT IS MATRIMONY? PART IV – CONFIRMATION (Memorize) ( Memorize)
1. Q. WHAT ARE THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST? (7) 1. Wisdom 2. Understanding 3. Counsel 4. Fortitude 5. Knowledge
6. Piety 7. Fear of the Lord 2. Q. EXPLAIN THE PURPOSE OF THE VARIOUS GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST. A. (Memorize) 1. Wisdom: gives us a relish for the things of God and directs our whole life and all our actions to His honor and glory. 2. Understanding: enables us to know more clearly the mysteries of faith. 3. Counsel: warns is of the deceits of the devil and of the dangers to salvation. 4. Fortitude: strengthens us to do the will of God in all things. 5. Knowledge: enables us to discover the will of God in all things. 6. Piety: makes us love God as a Father and obey Him because we love Him. 7. Fear of the Lord: fills us with a dread of sin, because we love God and would rather die than commit even a venial sin.
3. Q. Name the 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost ---------- Virtues and how they help us. (Memorize 1. Chastity – Keeping oneself pure and holy. 2. Faith – Believing without seeing the divine truths of God. 3. Joy – Great pleasure or happiness 4. Patience – Capable of bearing afflictions calmly. 5. Long-Suffering – Patiently bearing difficulties and wrongs. 6. Modesty – Purity or chastity especially in matters of dress, behavior and speech. 7. Peace – Inner contentment, freedom from quarrels and arguments. 8. Mildness – Control of irascible (anger) nature of man to right reason. Gentleness. 9. Continency – Self-restraint; moderation. 10. Goodness – The quality of being good. 11. Benignity - Kindness 12. Charity – This virtue helps us to love God, ourselves and our neighbor. 4. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION? The principle effects of CONFIRMATION are: 1. An increase of sanctifying grace received in Baptism. 2. The strengthening of our faith. 3. The gifts of the Holy Ghost. 4. An indelible mark imprinted on our souls.
PART V THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY 1. Is there only ONE GOD? 2. How many persons are there in GOD? 3. Is the Father GOD? 4. Is the Son GOD? 5. Is the Holy Ghost GOD? 6. What do we mean by the Blessed Trinity? 7. Are the Three Divine Persons really distinct from one another? 8. Are the Three Divine Persons Perfectly equal to one another?
9. How are the Three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, one and the Same GOD? PART VI THE INCARNATION AND REDEMPTION: 1. Did GOD abandon man after Adam fell into sin? 2. Who is the Savior of all men? 3. What is the Chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ? 4. Why is Jesus Christ GOD? 5. Why is Jesus Christ Man? 6. Is Jesus Christ more than one Person? 7. How many natures has Jesus Christ? 8. Was the Son of GOD always MAN? 9. What is meant by Incarnation? 10. How was the Son of GOD made MAN? 11. When was the Son of GOD conceived and made MAN? 12. Is Saint Joseph the Father of Jesus Christ? 13. When was Christ born? 14. What is a Supernatural Mystery? 15. What is meant by Redemption? † Name:________________________________ Date: PART VII PRAYERS Put the name of the prayer
1. THE SIGN OF THE _______________. 2. THE LORD’S PRAYER is ________ _________ __________________. 3. THE ANGELIC SALUTATION is the ______________ ________________. Part VIII The Eight Beatitudes
1. Blessed are the ______________in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 2. Blessed are the____________, for they shall possess the earth. 3. Blessed are they who_____________, for they shall be comforted. 4. Blessed are they who ___________and _____________for justice, for they shall be satisfied. 5. Blessed are the _________________for they shall obtain mercy. 6. Blessed are the ______________of heart, for they shall see God. 7. Blessed are the__________________, for they shall be called children of God. 8. Blessed are they who ______________ _____________________ for justice’s sake for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
CONFIRMATION PART II The Sacrament of Confirmation (It is not necessary to memorize Part Two, but it must be thoroughly understood) I. DIVINE INSTITUTION OF CONFIRMATION. 1. When was Confirmation instituted? 2. What promise did Christ make before He left this earth? 3. Did Our Lord keep his promise? 4.What effects did the descent of the Holy Ghost have upon the early Christians? 5.What commission did Our Lord give the Apostles? 6.Does the Church still practice the ancient custom of imposing hands to call down the Holy Ghost upon those who have been baptized?
II. NATURE OF CONFIRMATION 1.What is Confirmation? 2.Why is it called Confirmation? 3. What are some of the names given by the Fathers of the Church to the sacrament of Confirmation? 4. Why is Confirmation a true Sacrament? 5. What is the outward sign of Confirmation? 6. What are the matter and form of Confirmation? 7. What is Holy Chrism? What does the oil signify? 8. What does the balsam mixed with oil signify? 9. What does the Bishop say when he consecrates the chrism? 10. Is Confirmation necessary for salvation? 11. Is it a sin to neglect Confirmation? III THE MINISTER OF CONFIRMATION 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Who has the power to confirm? Who is the extraordinary minister of Confirmation? Can the extraordinary minister consecrate the chrism used in Confirmation? What must an extraordinary minister do before conferring Confermation? When may Confirmation be administered? Where does the bishop confirm?
IV. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
DISPOSITIONS FOR CONFIRMATION Who can be confirmed? Has the Church ever confirmed infants? At what age is Confirmation usually administered? What are the conditions required for receiving Confirmation? What knowledge should a person have who is to be confirmed? What should be the dispositions of the soul of the person to be confirmed? 7. Must the sacrament of Confirmation be received fasting? 8. What would happen should a person present himself to receive Confirmation knowing himself to be in the state of mortal sin?
V. 1. 2. 3. 4.
THE CEREMONIES OF CONFIRMATION How is Confirmation administered? Why is the forehead anointed with the sign of the Cross? What does the Bishop say in anointing the person he confirms? What does the Bishop say when he gives the blow on the cheek of those confirmed? 5. What does the blow on the cheek signify? 6. How should the candidates present themselves for Confirmation? 7. What do we hand the Bishop’s assistant as we kneel to receive the sacrament? 8. What should candidates do when about to be confirmed? 9. Why is the new name taken in Confirmation? 10. What penance does the Bishop give to those he has confirmed?
SPONSORS AND PARENTS 1. Why are sponsors taken in Confirmation? 2. What is required of sponsors in Confirmation? 3. How many sponsors are necessary? 4. May one or two sponsors stand for one candidate? 5. Who chooses the sponsor? 6. What are the duties of sponsors during Confirmation? 7. What are the duties of sponsors after Confirmation? 8. Does the sponsor contract a spiritual relationship? 9. May clerics or members of religious orders act as sponsors? 10. What are the duties of parents whose children are to be confirmed? 11. What are the duties of the confirmed?
CONFIRMATION PART THREE THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION AND PREPARATORY PRAYERS 1. PRAYERS BEFORE CONFIRMATION PRAYER FOR OBTAINING A RIGHT DISPOSITION FOR RECEIVING THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST PRAYER FOR THE TWELVE FRUITS OF THE HOLY GHOST AN ACT OF FAITH AN ACT OF HOPE AN ACT OF CHARITY A PRAYER BEFORE CONFIRMATION VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS! (PARACLETE: Defender, Comforter and Intercessor all in one.) Submission to the Holy Ghost SUBMISSION TO THE HOLY GHOST *IS THE SECRET OF SANCTITY For private use. *(Quotation from Cardinal Mercier) I am going to reveal to you a secret of sanctity & happiness. Every day during five minutes, keep your imagination quiet, shut your eyes to all the things of sense, and close your ears to all the sound of earth, so as to be able to withdraw into the sanctuary of your baptized soul, which is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Then there speak to the Holy Ghost saying: “O Holy Ghost, Soul of my soul, I adore Thee. Enlighten me, strengthen me, and console me. Tell me what I ought to do and command me to do it. I promise to be submissive in everything that Thou permittest to happen to me, only show me what is Thy will.” In Jesus Name, Amen. “If you do this, your life will pass happily and serenely. Consolation will abound even in the midst of troubles. Grace will be given in proportion to the trial as well as strength to bear it, bringing you to the Gates of Paradise full of merit.”
THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION The bishop, wearing over his rochet an amice, stole and cope of white color, and having a mitre on his head, proceeds to the faldstool before the middle of the altar, or has it placed for him in some other convenient place, and sits thereon, with his back to the altar and his face toward the people, holding his crosier in his left hand. He washes his hands, still sitting; then laying aside his mitre, he arises and standing with his face toward the persons to be confirmed, and having is hands joined before his breast (the persons to be confirmed kneeling and having their hands also joined before their breasts), he says: May the Holy Ghost descend upon you, and may the power of the Most High preserve you from sin. R. Amen. Then, signing himself with the sign of the Cross, from his forehead to his breast, he says: V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord. R. Who hath made heaven and earth. V. O Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto Thee. V. The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit. Then with hands extended toward those to be confirmed, he says: Let us pray, Almighty God, Who has vouchsafed to regenerate these Thy servants by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given unto them forgiveness of all their sins: Send forth from heaven upon them Thy sevenfold Spirit, the Holy Comforter. R. Amen. V. The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding. R. Amen. V. The Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude. R. Amen. V. The Spirit of Knowledge and Piety. R. Amen. Fill them with the Spirit of Thy Fear, and sign them with the sign of the Cross + of Christ, in Thy mercy, unto life eternal. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen. The bishop, sitting on the faldstool, or, if the number of persons to be confirmed requires it, standing, with his mitre on his head, confirms them, arranged in rows and kneeling in order. He inquires separately the name of each person to be confirmed, who is presented to him by the godfather or godmother, kneeling; and having dipped the end of the thumb of his right hand in chrism, he says: I sign thee with the sign of the Cross.
Whilst saying these works he makes the sign of the Cross with his thumb on the forehead of the person to be confirmed and then says: And I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation. In the Name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy + Ghost. R. Amen. Then he strikes him gently on the cheek, saying: Peace be with thee. When all have been confirmed, the bishop wipes his hands with bread crumbs, and washes them over a basin. In the meantime the following antiphon is sung or read by the clergy: Confirm, O God, that which thou hast wrought in us, from Thy holy temple which is in Jerusalem. V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen Then the antiphon “Confirm,O God” is repeated; after which the bishop, laying aside his mitre, rises up and standing toward the altar with his hands joined before his breast, says: V. O Lord show Thy mercy upon us. R. And grant us Thy salvation. V.O lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto Thee. V. The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit. Then with his hands still joined before his breast, and all the persons confirmed devoutly kneeling, he says: O God, Who didst give to Thine Apostles the Holy Ghost, and didst ordain that by them and their successors He should be given to the rest of the faithful; look mercifully upon our unworthy service; and grant that the hearts of those whose foreheads we have anointed with holy chrism, and signed with the sign of the Holy Cross, may by the same Holy Spirit, coming down upon them, and graciously abiding within them, be made the temple of His glory. Who, with the Father and the same Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, God, world without end. R. Amen. Then he says: Behold, thus shall every man be blessed that feareth the Lord. And, turning to the persons confirmed, he makes over them the sign of the Cross, saying: May the Lord + bless you out of Sion, that you may see the good things of Jerusalem all the days of your life, and may have life everlasting. R. Amen.
Name:_______________________________ Test Fill in the Blanks:
1. I am the Lord thy__________: thou shalt not have strange _____________before Me. 2. Thou shalt not take the ______________of the Lord Thy God in ______________. 3.Remember thou__________ ______________ the Lord’s day. 4.Honor thy _______________ and _________________. 5. Thou shalt not _____________. 6. Thou shalt not commit ________________. 7. Thou shalt not ______________. 8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy _______________. 9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s _____________. 10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s ________________.
2.THE SIX PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH 3.THE SIX HOLY DAYS IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE DATES PART II THE APOSTLES CREED PART III NAME: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS – LOOK UP ANSWERS IN YOUR BOOK 3. WHAT IS BAPTISM? 4. WHAT IS PENANCE? 3. WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST? 4. WHAT IS CONFIRMATION? 5. WHAT IS EXTREME UNCTION? 6. WHAT IS HOLY ORDERS? 9. WHAT IS MATRIMONY? 3. Q. WHAT ARE THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST? (7) 1. Wisdom 2. Understanding 3. Counsel 4. Fortitude 5. Knowledge 6. Piety 7. Fear of the Lord
4. Q. EXPLAIN THE PURPOSE OF THE VARIOUS GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST. A. (Memorize) 1. Wisdom: gives us a relish for the things of God and directs our whole life and all our actions to His honor and glory. 2. Understanding: enables us to know more clearly the mysteries of faith. 3. Counsel: warns is of the deceits of the devil and of the dangers to salvation. 4. Fortitude: strengthens us to do the will of God in all things. 5. Knowledge: enables us to discover the will of God in all things. 6. Piety: makes us love God as a Father and obey Him because we love Him. 7. Fear of the Lord: fills us with a dread of sin, because we love God and would rather die than commit even a venial sin. 5. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION? The principle effects of CONFIRMATION are: 1. An increase of sanctifying grace received in Baptism. 2. The strengthening of our faith. 3. The gifts of the Holy Ghost. 4. An indelible mark imprinted on our souls.
St. Ignatius Retreat House 209 Tackora Trail Ridgefield, Ct. 06877 203-431-0201 Requirements for the Sacrament of Confirmation For the Candidate of Confirmation and his or her Sponsor. This needs to be turned in to Fr. Robinson, as soon as possible. Do not wait until the last minute. Deadline is _________ .
A new sponsor will be picked in the interim, if not turned in on time. Please Note: Fill in the blanks.----------Do not leave blanks. FOR THE CONFIRMAND – (The person to be confirmed). PRINT First, Middle (IF ANY) & Last NAME Name:____________________________________________________________ Address:__________________________________________________________ City:________________________________State:__________________ Zip Code:______________________________________ Telephone:_(_______)____________-________________ Age:_________
Area Code YOUR SPONSOR’S FULL NAME:_______________________________________________ YOUR CONFIRMATION SAINT’S NAME:__________________________________ 1. BAPTISM CERTIFICATE: Enclose Photocopy Date of Birth:_________________________ Date of Baptism:_________________________ Name of the Church where Baptized :_______________________________________ Address Of Church where Baptized :________________________________________ City:___________________________State:_______________________________ Zip Code:_________________________________ Parents: Father Name:_____________________________________________________ Mothers’s (Maiden) Name:__________________________________________________
2. Date of First Holy Communion: __________________________ Church:_________________________________________________ Street Address:___________________________________________________________ City :___________________________________State:______________________Zip Code:___________________
3. For Sponsors Full Name:__________________________________________________________ Confirmation Certificate – Enclose Photocopy Date of Confirmation:___________________________ Name of Church: _ ________________________________________________________ Church Street Address:____________________________________________________
MOST IMPORTANT: Document Required for Sponsors – Sponsors need an up-to-date Certificate of Constancy for Practicing the Catholic Faith Signed from your Pastor. Just call the Rectory and request it.
The Sacrament of Confirmation Fulton J. Sheen In the biological order, a creature must first be born, then it must grow. In the supernatural order of grace, divine life is born in the soul by Baptism; then it must grow "in age and grace and wisdom before God and men." The soul who receives the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation is born spiritually and matures spiritually. It receives citizenship in the Kingdom of God and is inducted into God's spiritual army and the lay priesthood of believers. This soul is "born of the Virgin Mary"— the Church—and begins its apostolate as Our Lord began his preaching after the descent of the Holy Spirit at His baptism in the Jordan. Confirmation, like every other sacrament, is modeled upon Christ, and reaffirms some aid or gesture in His life. It is bound up with Our Lord's Baptism in the Jordan when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove. Our Lord had a double priestly anointing corresponding to two aspects of His life: the first, the Incarnation, made Him capable of becoming a victim for our sins, because He then had a body with which He could suffer. As God He could not suffer; as Man He could. This first aspect culminated in the Passion and Resurrection, which one participates in by Baptism. But the sacrament of Confirmation is particularly a participation in the second anointing of Our Lord, that of the coming of the Spirit in the Jordan, which ordained Him to the mission of preaching the apostolate. This reached its culmination on Pentecost, when He filled His Church —His Mystical Body—with His Spirit. Pentecost is to the New Testament what the gift of the law is to the Old Testament, only it is more perfect. The descent of the Holy Spirit on Christ in the Jordan had a double effect on Our Lord. It prepared Him for combat: "Jesus returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit, and by the Spirit He was led on into the wilderness, where He remained forty days, tempted by the devil." (Luke 4:1)
It prepared Him for preaching the Kingdom of God: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; He has anointed me, and sent me out to preach the gospel to the poor, to restore the brokenhearted; to bid the prisoners go free, and the blind to have sight; to set the oppressed at liberty, to proclaim a year when men may find acceptance with the Lord." (Luke 4:18, 19) About three years later, at the Last Supper, Our Blessed Lord promised to send the Spirit to His Apostles, disciples, and followers, which He did fifty days after the Resurrection on Pentecost. It would seem better if Our Lord had remained on earth, so that all ages might have heard His voice and thrilled to the majesty of His person; but He said it was better that He leave, otherwise the Spirit would not come. If He remained on earth, He would have been only an example to be copied, but if He sent the Holy Spirit, He would be a life to be lived. Though Our Lord knew on Holy Thursday that His Apostles were distressed because He spoke of His approaching death, He consoled them with the advantages of His leaving this earth and yet remaining in it, in another way: "So full are your hearts with sorrow at My telling you this. And yet I can say truly that it is better for you I should go away; he who is to befriend you will not come to you unless I do go, but if only I make my way there, I will send him to you." (John 16:6, 7) His perpetual presence, even in His glorified state, would have limited His moral and spiritual influence. He might have become to man the type of Christ that Hollywood presents—a celebrity. Instead of being in our hearts, He would only have been in our senses. Would men ever have thought of spiritual fellowship with Christ, when physical fellowship might be had; when good and bad would have had equal perception of Him; when He would be external to the soul of man, not internal? Where would faith be, if we saw? And would not the world have tried to recrucify Him, though that would have been impossible after His Resurrection? These questions are in vain; Divine Wisdom said it was better that He depart from the globe for, once in glory, He would send His Spirit, "the Truth-giving Spirit to guide you in all Truth." Great men influence the earth only from their funeral urns; but He, Who gave the earth the only serious wound it ever received—the empty tomb—would rule it at the right hand of the Father through His Spirit. This Spirit He sent upon the Church on Pentecost, like a soul entering a fetus; chemicals which are disparate and disconnected became a living thing. So the Apostles, with their individual whims and ignorances, were, under the pentecostal fires, fused into the visible, living, Mystical Body of Christ. It is not to the point in a book on the sacraments to describe this; but it is to the point to say that Confirmation is a kind of Pentecost to a baptized soul. Christ dwelling in the flesh would normally be in one place only at one time, but His Spirit, unbound by fleshy bonds, could cover the earth, working on a million hearts at once. Nor would such hearts be without comfort at His physical absence, for the Spirit He called "another Comforter." It is the Son, Christ Our Lord, Who reveals the Heavenly Father. We would never know the mercy and love of the Father, if He had not sent His Son to walk this earth and pay our debt for sin. But who reveals the Son? It is the Holy Spirit. We know what goes on in other minds because we, too, have minds or souls; we know what goes on in the mind of Christ because we are given His Spirit. The natural or unbaptized man
cannot perceive the things of God, for they are spiritually discerned. As the scientist knows nature, so the Christian, thanks to the Spirit, knows Christ: "He will not utter a message of His own; he will utter the message that has been given to Him; and He will make plain to you what is still to come. And He will bring honor to me, because it is from me that He will derive what He makes plain to you. I say that He will derive from me what He makes plain to you, because all that belongs to the Father belongs to me." (John 16:13-15) It is through the Spirit received in Confirmation that Christ walks the earth again in each obedient Christian; it is through the Spirit that we are sanctified, comforted, and taught to pray. These and other words of Our Lord about sending the Spirit of Truth who will enlarge our knowledge of Him, prove that the whole truth is not available to us in written records. Pentecost was not the descent of a book, but of living tongues of fire. Confirmation gives the lie to those who say that "the sermon on the mount is enough for them." Our Lord's teaching, as recorded in the Gospels, was implemented, complemented, and revealed in its deeper meaning through the spirit of truth He gave to His Church. We indeed know Christ by reading the Gospels, but we see the deeper meaning of the words, and we know Christ more completely when we have His Spirit. It is only through the Spirit that we know He is the divine Son of God and Redeemer of humanity: "Those who live the life of nature cannot be acceptable to God; but you live the life of the spirit, not the life of nature; that is, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. A man cannot belong to Christ unless he has the Spirit of Christ." (Rom. 8:8, 9) Because an added measure of the Spirit is given in Confirmation, it was administered, even in the early Church, not by disciples but by Apostles or by the bishops who had the fullness of the priesthood. The deacon Philip went to a city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. He converted and baptized many. But, in order to "lay hands on them" or confirm them, it was necessary for the Church in Jerusalem to send Peter and John (Acts 8:5-17). Later on we read about Confirmation at Ephesus by the Apostle Paul: "When Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them" (Acts 19:6). Administration of the Sacrament The candidates kneel with hands joined before the bishop, who, extending his hands over the ones to be confirmed, says: "Almighty, everlasting God, Who has deigned to beget new life in these thy servants by water and the Holy Spirit, and has granted them remission of all their sins, send forth from heaven upon them Thy Holy Spirit, with His sevenfold gifts: The spirit of wisdom and understanding. Amen. The spirit of counsel and fortitude. Amen. The spirit of knowledge and piety. Amen. Fill them with the spirit of fear of the Lord, and seal them with the sign of Christ's cross, plenteous in mercy unto life everlasting. Through the selfsame Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God eternally. Amen." Dipping his thumb in holy chrism, he confirms the person saying: "[Name] I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation. In the name of the Father [making the sign of the cross] and of the Son [making the sign of the cross] and of the Holy Spirit [making
the sign of the cross]." Then he gives the one confirmed a slight blow on the cheek, saying, "Peace be to you." Other prayers and a penance follow, all of which are destined to make the Christian a witness, a teacher to an unbelieving world, and even a martyr, if need be, for the Church. Two of the effects and obligations of the Church deserve special consideration, and this follows. The Sacrament of Combat Every sacrament is related to the death of Christ, but Confirmation intensifies that resemblance. Baptism gives the Christian a treasure; Confirmation urges him to fight to preserve it against the three great enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. The military character of the sacrament is evidenced in the following four symbols or acts: (1) The forehead is anointed with chrism in the sign of the cross. The cross, by its nature, evokes opposition. The more one crucifies his passions and rejects the false teachings of the world, the more he is slandered and attacked. Calvary united not only the friends of Our Lord; it also united His enemies. Those who were opposed to one another merged their lesser conflicts for the sake of the greater hate. Judas and the Sanhedrin, Pharisees and Publicans, religious courts and Roman overlords—though they despised one another, nevertheless they rained common blows of hammer and nails on the hands and feet of Christ: "It is because you do not belong to the world, because I have singled you out from the midst of the world, that the world hates you. (John 15:18, 19) When the Little Flower, St. Therese, prepared herself for Confirmation, she saw that it implied crucifixion: "I went into retreat for Confirmation. I carefully prepared myself for the coming of the Holy Spirit. I cannot understand why so little attention is paid to the sacrament of love. Like the Apostles, I happily awaited the promised Comforter. I rejoiced that soon I should be a perfect Christian, and have eternally marked upon my forehead the mysterious Cross of this ineffable sacrament. On that day I received the strength to suffer, a strength which I much needed, for the martyrdom of my soul was about to begin." (2) The interior grace of the sacrament gives fortitude and other gifts destined for the battle of the Spirit. The Apostles on Pentecost were made witnesses to the Resurrection of Christ, and the word "witness" in Greek means "martyr." So, in Confirmation, the Christian is marked with power and boldness on the forehead, so that neither fear nor false modesty will deter him from the public confession of Christ. Cattle are often branded with the owner's name; and slaves or soldiers in the emperor's service were tattooed so that they could be easily recognized if they ever deserted the service. Plutarch states it was a custom to brand cattle that were destined for sacrifice, as a sign that they were set apart for something sacred. Herodotus tells of a temple in Egypt in which a fugitive might take the right of sanctuary: once he did so, he was stamped, marked, or tattooed as an indication that he was the property of God and, therefore, was inviolable and sacrosanct. The spiritual significance of marking is anticipated: "...all alike destroy till none is left, save only where you see the cross marked upon them" (Ezechial 9:6). On the last day, the elect will be sealed on their foreheads in the name of the Lamb and of His Father, to protect them from destruction (Apoc. 7:3). Confirmation, then, is the sealing of a person in the army of the Lord.
St. Paul says: "Do not distress God's Holy Spirit, whose seal you bear until the day of your redemption comes" (Eph. 4:30). (3) A slight blow on the cheek is given the person confirmed to remind him that, as a soldier of Christ, he must be prepared to suffer all things for His sake. To deny one's faith for a passing carnal pleasure, or to surrender it under ridicule, is far more serious in the eyes of God than a soldier deserting his duty. Peguy, bemoaning a want of spiritual bravery, writes: "Shame upon those who are ashamed. It is not a question of believing or not believing; it is a question of knowing what is the most frequent cause of loss of faith. No cause can be more shameful than shame—and fear. And of all the fears the most shameful is certainly the fear of ridicule; the fear of being taken for a fool. One may believe, or one may not believe. But shame upon him who would deny his God to avoid being made a mark for witticisms. I have in mind the poor, timorous wretch who looks fearfully on every side to be sure that there is not some high personage who has laughed at him, at his faith, at his God. Shame upon the ashamed. Shame implies a cowardice that has nothing to fall back upon. Shame upon those who are ashamed." (4) The combative character of Confirmation is further shown by the fact that its ordinary minister is the bishop, who is, as it were, a general in the military of the Church. Because Confirmation gives an increase of the Holy Spirit over Baptism, it is fittingly administered by the one who has the fullness of the priesthood. When the bishop extends his arms over those confirmed, as a successor of the Apostles, he imitates Peter and John who laid hands on new converts of Samaria, so that "they received the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8:1). He also imitates Paul at Ephesus: "When Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them" (Acts 19:6). The bishop is not a hoarder of his authority; he is a dispenser of it, as was Our Blessed Lord Who told His Apostles that they were to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 18:19-20). The bishop, as the authority in the Church, incorporates the one confirmed into adult responsibilities. From now on, the one confirmed does not lead an individual Christian life: he becomes commissioned in the army. Confirmation is, therefore, the first great manifestation of the relation established between the authority of the Church and Christian personality. Confirmation Both Personal and Social Every sacrament has been set as a kind of balance between the individual and the community. The individual is baptized, but his Baptism incorporates him into the community of believers— the Church. The grace descends into the soul of the individual, but the grace is for the perfection of the Mystical Body. This is true also of the sacrament of Confirmation for, even more than Baptism, it orients us toward the community or fellowship of believers. Love is a union by which one escapes from egotism. When one reaches spiritual adulthood, one is open for a wider love. Children live for themselves; adults cease to live exclusively for themselves, particularly those who reach the "perfect age" in the spirit. The combat of Baptism was, we said, a "personal" combat: in Confirmation, the combat is "ex officio" military, and under the orders of the chief. Baptism is principally the battle against invisible enemies: in Confirmation, it is the battle against social enemies, such as the persecutors of the Church. The mystical death one undergoes in Baptism is individual: in Confirmation, the mystical death is communal. We are prepared to die, to be a martyr, or a witness to Christ for the sake of the "body which is the Church." Confirmation then relates us to the community; that is why the Spirit was given on Pentecost when all the Apostles were assembled together with Mary in their midst.
Confirmation makes us soldiers of Christ. Soldiers do not come together of and by themselves to constitute an army. Rather, it is the political authority of government which summons the soldiers and constitutes them as an army. So it is in Confirmation. The Church does not have a spiritual military because her members volunteer for service. It is rather that the Church makes them grow spiritually to a point where they can carry spiritual arms and be authorized as her combatants bearing the "breastplate of justice fitted on...the shield of faith...the helmet of salvation...and the sword of the spirit" (Eph. 6:14, 16, 17). The Sacrament of the Lay Apostolate The laity are summoned by Confirmation to share in the apostolate of the Church, to be witnesses to Christ before those who know Him not, to be prophets or teachers in an unbelieving world and, together with the priesthood, to offer their bodies as a reasonable sacrifice to the Heavenly Father: "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people God means to have for Himself; it is yours to proclaim the exploits of the God Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (I Peter 2:9) The laity share in the general priesthood of the Church because all are members of Jesus the priest; but they do not share in the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood which comes with Holy Orders, in which there is a personal representation of Christ, such as offering the eucharistic sacrifice and absolving sins. The laity have a double consecration through Baptism and Confirmation, which gives them a certain participation in the priesthood of Christ. The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood, however, has the third and specific consecration from Holy Orders. There are thus two sorts of priesthood: the first is external and reserved for the hierarchical priesthood; the second is internal and common to all the faithful. The person who is confirmed always has a personal and, in some instances, a canonical mission. He has a personal mission inasmuch as, through his own personal contact, he must help bring other souls to Christ—just as Andrew brought Peter, Philip brought Nathaniel, the Samaritan woman brought her townspeople, and Philip converted the eunuch of the Ethiopian court. But the mission given by Confirmation requires a wider outlook than the personal work of witnessing and converting. It is not only individual souls, but also the milieu, the environment— the whole social order in all its political, scientific, journalistic, medical, legal, recreational, and economic structures which also has to be Christianized. This canonical mission of spiritualizing the world in an organized way is dependent on the hierarchy and the teaching authority of the Church. There is some communication of this teaching office in the ceremony of the imposition of hands. The laity do not participate in the hierarchy, but they participate in the apostolate of the hierarchy. The Apostles and their successors have a divine mission to teach; the laity receive from the hierarchy a canonical mission to teach. What makes Catholic Action is not the fact that Catholics are organized, but that they have received a mission to bear witness to Christ over and above their own personal witnessing to Christ in the holiness of their lives. The laity are not just the Church taught; they participate in the Church teaching. As Leo XIII said, the laity cannot arrogate to themselves this authority, but when circumstances demand it, they have the right to communicate to others, as echoes of
the magisterium of the Church, that which they themselves have learned. And Pope Pius XII addressed a new group of cardinals as follows: "The laity must have an ever clearer consciousness, not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church; that is, of being the community of the faithful on earth under the guidance of their common leader, the Pope, and the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church." "The Acts of Apostles" twice shows that when the disciples were scattered by persecution, the laity immediately began to preach God's word and increase the Church (Acts 8:4, Acts 9:19), something that is happening today in persecuted lands. Aquilla and his wife, Priscilla, completed the instructions of Apollos (Acts 18:26), and later on became the trusted helpers of St. Paul (Rom. 16:3). Apollos, who never seems to have received any ministerial consecration, was a vigorous preacher of Christ (Acts 18:27, 28). There have even been laymen who taught theology. For example, John d'Andrea was professor of canon law at Bologna from 1302 to 1348. Wilfred G. Ward was professor of dogmatic theology at St. Edmund's Seminary of London, England, from 1851 to 1858. More and more, the Church is emphasizing the teaching mission conferred by Confirmation. In mission lands, catechists number tens of thousands. Abroad and at home, the canonical mission of teaching is conferred implicitly on teachers when the bishops appoint them to parochial schools. Copyright 1962 by Hawthorn Books,
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