Do we truly care whether our young people, receive Confirmation?

confirmation

Confirmation or “Chrismation”, which must be understood in continuity with Baptism, to which it is inseparably linked. These two Sacraments, together with the Eucharist, form a single saving event called “Christian initiation” — in which we are inserted into Jesus Christ and become new creatures and members of the Church. This is why these three Sacraments were originally celebrated on one occasion, at the end of the catechumenal journey, normally at the Easter Vigil. The path of formation and gradual insertion into the Christian community, which could last even up to a few years, was thus sealed. One travelled step by step to reach Baptism, then Confirmation and the Eucharist.

We commonly speak of the sacrament of “Chrismation”, a word that signifies “anointing”. And, in effect, through the oil called “sacred Chrism” we are conformed, in the power of the Spirit, to Jesus Christ, who is the only true “anointed One”, the “Messiah”, the Holy One of God. The word “Confirmation” then reminds us that this Sacrament brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace: it unites us more firmly to Christ, it renders our bond with the Church more perfect, and it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith, … to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of his Cross (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1303).

For this reason, it is important to take care that our children, our young people, receive this sacrament. We all take care that they are baptized and this is good, but perhaps we do not take so much care to ensure that they are confirmed. Thus they remain at a midpoint in their journey and do not receive the Holy Spirit, who is so important in the Christian life since he gives us the strength to go on. Let us think a little, each one of us: do we truly care whether our children, our young people, receive Confirmation? This is important, it is important! And if you have children or adolescents at home who have not yet received it and are at the age to do so, do everything possible to ensure that they complete their Christian initiation and receive the power of the Holy Spirit. It is important!

Naturally it is important to prepare those being confirmed well, leading them towards a personal commitment to faith in Christ and reawakening in them a sense of belonging to the Church.

Confirmation, like every Sacrament, is not the work of men but of God, who cares for our lives in such a manner as to mould us in the image of his Son, to make us capable of loving like him. He does it by infusing his in us his Holy Spirit, whose action pervades the whole person and his entire life, as reflected in the seven gifts that Tradition, in light of the Sacred Scripture, has always highlighted. These seven gifts: I do not want to ask you if you remember the seven gifts. Perhaps you will all know them…. But I will say them on your behalf. What are these gifts? Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. And these gifts have been given to us precisely with the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. I therefore intend to dedicate the catecheses that follow those on the Sacrament to these seven gifts.

When we welcome the Holy Spirit into our hearts and allow him to act, Christ makes himself present in us and takes shape in our lives; through us, it will be he — Christ himself — who prays, forgives, gives hope and consolation, serves the brethren, draws close to the needy and to the least, creates community and sows peace. Think how important this is: by means of the Holy Spirit, Christ himself comes to do all this among us and for us. That is why it is important that children and young people receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. — Papa Francis

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FRIENDS: DO THEY LEAD YOU TO CHRIST?

friends

It is He, Jesus Christ, the true life, who gives hope and purpose to our
earthly existence, opens our minds and hearts to the goodness and beauty
around us, to solidarity and friendship with our fellow human beings, to
intimate communion with God Himself, in a love that goes beyond all limits
of time and space, to unassailable happiness.

Remember when we talked about how good friendships can lead you to Christ?
Today I want to talk about the flip side of that. What about friendships
that lead you away from Christ? Can that happen?

As Christians, it’s easy to want to be a good influence. We feel like we
have something really great (eternal life, for starters) and we want to
share it with other people, especially the people we care about. And that’s
a good thing. We weren’t put here to “hide our light under a bushel
basket,” as Scripture says. We were meant to shine our light up on a hill,
where people can see it. We’re supposed to be examples of good Christians
and to lead people to Christ.

And sometimes it really works. I’m sure that, as a result of knowing you,
some people around you have re-evaluated their lives. I’m sure some have
turned away from sin. Some know Christ better or pray more, because of you.

But sometimes it can work the other way. Sometimes friends, especially
boyfriends or girlfriends, can lead us away from Christ while we’re trying
to lead them toward Christ. It’s usually not a really blatant thing. You
know you’re a strong Christian and you know you’re not going to stop
believing in Christ. They couldn’t convince you He doesn’t exist or that He
doesn’t love you.

But ask yourself this — how does this relationship affect the practice of
your faith? Have you made this person the center of your life, instead of
God? Do you pray less regularly because of this relationship? Do you “deny
Christ” around this person or this person’s friends, in order to gain
acceptance?

Most importantly, does this relationship cause you to sin? There are a lot
of ways a friendship can lead you to sin. Does this person gossip? Does
this group abuse drugs or alcohol? Do they destroy people’s property?
One of the most common, and most serious, ways that a relationship can lead
us away from Christ is when a dating relationship leads to sexual sin. When
you’re attracted to someone, it’s natural to want to bring them closer to
Christ. But when you’re sexually attracted to them and they don’t share
your standards for sexual purity, you’ve entered a very dangerous
situation. When the hormones get flowing, logic tends to go out the window.
If you’re with someone who doesn’t believe in saving sex for marriage or
who doesn’t at least fully respect your commitment to it, they have no
reason not to want to go further. And, when resistance is down, you’re
pretty likely to follow.

A lot of Christians get into this situation. Sexual sin happens in a
relationship over and over, and they find it difficult or impossible to
stop it. Either the other person just isn’t as committed to chastity as
they are, or habits are formed, or whatever. But they rationalize staying
in the relationship, saying, “But because of me, he’s closer to Christ. He
goes to Mass sometimes.”

But at what price? Repeated mortal sin is putting your soul in serious
danger, as well as the soul of the person you’re with. That’s not the way
to lead anyone to Christ. It’s pretty much a guarantee that your
relationship won’t be infused with grace. You’re going to struggle,
emotionally and spiritually. It will probably keep your friend from finding
Christ. Remember, faith is a grace job, not a logic job. And sin denies us,
and them, that grace. And it will drive you away from Him, and take away
your peace of soul, in process.

If you’re in a relationship that’s leading you to serious sin, it’s
important that you realize that the sin has to stop. You’re risking your
immortal soul, as well as your friend’s. Eternity is resting on this. The
stakes could not possibly be higher. You have to look at what’s going on
and take serious action to stop it. That means, if it’s sexual sin, never
being alone together, or staying out of the house or car or wherever
there’s a problem. You need strict rules and you need to follow them. Get
help if you need it.

A lot of people in this situation think, “I’ll just keep going to
confession every time it happens and I’ll be fine.” Wrong. Think about it.
Repenting says to God, “I’m sorry this happened and I’m going to try really
hard to make sure it never happens again.” That’s what it means to be
sorry. That’s the condition of your forgiveness. You need to be committed
to serious change.

Just going back to the same old habits isn’t going to cut it. If you do
that, you know it’s going to happen again. You can’t just say, “I’ll go
back into that tempting situation/being in a dark room alone/making out in
the car/whatever. Only this time I’ll be stronger.” No, you won’t. Your
hormones aren’t made that way. And going into a situation where you’re
pretty sure you’re going to sin is a sin in itself. That’s right. You can
sin before you’ve even started sinning, just by going back into a situation
where you’ve repeatedly lost control and having no guarantee this time,
besides “I’ll try really hard.” Confessing means committing to avoiding the
situation.

Sure you may fall again. But that means going back to confession and
backing up further. It means making even stricter rules next time.
And, if that doesn’t work — soon — you need to end the relationship.
Period. I know that may sound harsh, but think about it. Who is the god of
your life? God? If so, what’s worth jeopardizing your relationship with
Him? Who could be so important that you’d risk losing Him? Where will you
be without Him?

Pope John Paul II says that it’s God who “opens our hearts to friendship.”
If a friendship is marred by persistent, serious sin, real love is not in
action. You can say “I love you,” but you’re not loving and God is not
there.

Don’t you want Him around? Don’t you want Him in your relationships? I
guarantee, they won’t work right any other way.

Ref# Mary Beth Bonacci
Ref# Arlington Catholic Herald

Kindly do not divide the church or segregate her members.

divideJesus rebuked the Pharisees for knowing the commandments, but not implementing them in their lives. If they are not practicing what they say, not only do they not serve us, but they hurt : they deceive us , they make us believe that we have a beautiful home, but without a foundation.

A Christian word without Christ at its centre leads to vanity, to pride, power for the sake of power. Anyone who utters Christian words without putting them into practice hurts oneself and others, because they are based on pride and cause division in the Church.

Do well to examine our own consciences to see whether our Christian words are indeed Christ centred because when they are not, they divide us from ourselves and divide the Church.

Lord is our foundation.Our rock is Jesus Christ. The Lord, breaks down these people who believe themselves to be the Rock.  – Papa Francis

The Last Cry – Jesus, I never missed you

lastcryFar I saw the woman,
Fainted with hunger
Fuzzy her gazes,
Fades the aid.
Jesus, she is not you
Jolt me not.

The thirsty boy with drought lips.
Teenager, he asked nothing!
To give water, without a request?
Tease me not Jesus Christ.

Naked man had a Jeans,
Neat and clean
Not Needy.
Not to blame me.

Winter was freezing,
But my house was small
To take her in.
No, You’re not that homeless girl

Sick and dead?
I never saw them in my life,
But prayed for all of them.
Prison Meeting?
No, he stole my wallet.

Jesus, I never missed you.
You were in the church,
I saw you there.
You were in the bible,
I read you there.

You are telling me now
That you never knew me
That is injustice !
That is injustice!

—-
Inspired by Matthew 25:31-46,  7 corporal works of mercy and by the life of Dennis Cardiff [http://gottafindahome.wordpress.com/]

Tu sei Chiara! (No, you are Clare!)

motherdolorasShe’s the one who gave Elvis Presley his first screen kiss. She was born into film industry, where she had lots of opportunities to start her celebrity career, and she did. She became a celebrity actress. She was the most envied teenager in Hollywood. She made 10 highly successful films in five years, playing with most famous Hollywood actors.

However, she got a call. A call which changed her life for ever. She abandoned a successful acting career. She break up from her engagement and renounced the possible marriage. She give up worldly acclaim and wealth. The 24-year-old actress became a Roman Catholic nun at the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, a contemplative monastery.

She told Pope John XXIII: “I am Dolores Hart, the actress playing Clare.” Pope John XXIII said : “Tu sei Chiara!” (No, you are Clare!)

Rev. Mother Dolores Hart, your life is so inspiring to me. Hats off to you!
Vocational calling is a miraculous calling. As Papa Francisco said the grace of God can touch you. Anywhere… Anytime. Open the ear of the heart for Jesus Christ!

motherdoloras01

“To enter the contemplative life truly, you have to go through a narrow, lonely place in your being, where you face all your fears and selfish patterns, even when you don’t know what these are.” – Mother Dolores Hart