Monday, May 13, 2013

Confirmation 2013 {Sealed with the Holy Spirit}

Joseph~confirmed~with his new St. Benedict Crucifix
Sealed with the Holy Spirit, Joseph's confirmation on Ascension Thursday left a mark on his soul, and aromatic sacred chrism oil on his head.  Bishop Eusebio Elizondo anointed Joseph, who presented himself for confirmation:
"My name is Joseph 'Benedict' and I wish to be confirmed."
"Joseph Benedict, be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit."
"Amen."
 "Peace be with you."
"And with your spirit."
Years of preparation and formation led to this instant in Joseph's life, where his baptismal graces were completed and he was truly enriched with the special strength of the Holy Spirit.  It's amazing to contemplate the apostolic significance of confirmation:
1288 "From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ's will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism. For this reason in the Letter to the Hebrews the doctrine concerning Baptism and the laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian instruction. The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church."99
1289 Very early, the better to signify the gift of the Holy Spirit, an anointing with perfumed oil (chrism) was added to the laying on of hands. This anointing highlights the name "Christian," which means "anointed" and derives from that of Christ himself whom God "anointed with the Holy Spirit."100 This rite of anointing has continued ever since, in both East and West. For this reason the Eastern Churches call this sacrament Chrismation, anointing with chrism, or myron which means "chrism." In the West, the term Confirmation suggests that this sacrament both confirms and strengthens baptismal grace.
~From the Catechism of the Catholic Church; PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY; SECTION TWO: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH; CHAPTER ONE: THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION;ARTICLE 2: THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
Bishop Elizondo addresses the confirmandi before the rite of confirmation.
Joseph is confirmed; with Zachary as his proxy sponsor.
Joseph's Godmother and confirmation sponsor, Aileen, was unable to participate at the last minute due to a family emergency.  Joseph missed her presence, we all did.  Many family members and friends made a special effort to attend Mass Thursday night to witness Joseph's sacrament, and congratulated him wholeheartedly.  Others who were unable to attend prayed for him from afar; some sent beautiful cards and keepsakes.

Zachary went to great lengths to re-arrange his final exam schedule at Notre Dame to allow for an early departure from campus in order to attend his younger brother's confirmation.  Zachary's place as Joseph's proxy sponsor seemed a fitting honor for a solid Catholic, confirmed older brother, who is a source of inspiration and instigation for deepening faith formation in the family. 
Joseph with Father Joseph Altenhofen, holds his new St. Benedict Icon written by a talented local artist/dear friend.
Following Joseph's confirmation on Ascension Thursday, our family began the Novena to the Holy Spirit.  This 9-day prayer of adoration, consecration and supplication to the Holy Spirit assists us spiritually and deepens our preparation for the celebration of Pentecost next Sunday.   May we be lavished with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and faithfully complete the unique mission for which each one of us was created.

Come Holy Spirit!

1 comment:

dccdmom said...

Congratulations Joseph! It's so great that Zach was able to be home in time.