The Sacrament of
I hope and pray this greeting finds you well and upbeat! It’s been a very warm week to say the least! Stay safe, well and cool!
I invite you to look at and study the Sacrament of Confirmation. Another one of the our beautiful sacraments.
Confirmation is the sacrament by which we Catholics receive a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Through Confirmation, the Holy Spirit gives us the increased ability to practice our Catholic faith in every aspect of our lives and to witness Christ in every situation.
The effects of Confirmation are as follows:
- An increased portion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, right judgment, understanding, courage, piety, and fear of the Lord
- A deepening and strengthening of the grace received at Baptism, which is considered the presence of God in the soul
- A more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ
- A closer bond with the Catholic Church
- The ability to take a greater, more mature role in the Church’s mission of living the Christian faith daily and witnessing to Christ everywhere
- A special mark, or character, on the soul that can never be erased
Each person’s ability to embrace these effects depends on his or her openness to the sacrament and willingness to accept it as God’s personal gift.
Take a moment to ponder and reflect on the beauty and grace of this sacrament in the context of your own personal experience.
- What ‘confirmation name, did you choose? How has that name inspired you on your faith journey?
- Can you remember your sponsor’s name and did they fulfil their role for you?
- What are the graces and blessings between the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation?
Pope Francis Proclaims World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
Sunday 25 July 2021
Pope Francis announced at the beginning of the year, the establishment of an international day to honour grandparents and the elderly which will take place each year in July.
Our Holy Father went on to say…
“The Holy Spirit … arouses thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly today: Their voice is precious because it sings the praises of God and guards the roots of peoples. They remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between generations, to transmit to young people an experience of life and faith,”
“Grandparents are often forgotten, and we forget this wealth of preserving and passing on the roots. For this reason, I have decided to establish the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly,” the Pope said.
The World Day for the Grandparents and the Elderly will take place annually on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast of the grandparents of Jesus, Saints Joachim and Anne.
This year it will take place on Sunday July 25th and Pope Francis will offer a special Mass to mark the occasion, according to the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.
The Vocation of the Elderly
The Holy Father went on to recall the words of Jesus to the disciples when he asked them to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20)
Addressing these words to the elderly, he highlighted that this helps them better understand that they have the vocation “to preserve our roots, to pass on the faith to the young, and to care for the little ones” irrespective of their age, if they are alone or have a family, if they work or not or if they are grandparents or not. The Pope underlined that there is no retirement age from the work of proclaiming the Gospel and handing down traditions to grandchildren.
Further encouraging the elderly to “set out and undertake something new” in spite of the doubts and questions they might have, he reminded them that Jesus himself heard a similar question when Nicodemus asked him “how can a man be born when he is old” (Jn 3:4)
It can happen, “if we open our hearts to the working of the Holy Spirit, who blows where he wills. The Holy Spirit whose freedom is such that goes wherever, and does whatever he wills,” the Pope said.
Recalling the words of Prophet Joel, “Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men will have visions” (Joel 3:1), Pope Francis said that the future of the world depends on the covenant between young and old because “who, if not the young, can take the dreams of the elderly and make them come true?”
For this to happen, “it is necessary that we continue to dream,” said the Pope. “Our dreams of justice, of peace, of solidarity, can make it possible for our young people to have new visions; in this way, together, we can build the future.”
Finally, Pope Francis spoke on prayer, recalling Pope Benedict XVI’s words: “the prayer of the elderly can protect the world, helping it perhaps more effectively than the frenetic activity of many others.”
He reminded the elderly that their prayer is “a very precious resource; a deep breath that the Church and the world urgently need” that “inspires in everyone the serene trust that we will soon come to shore” especially in these times “as we continue to sail in the same boat across the stormy sea of the pandemic.”
Let us give thanks to almighty God for the gift of our own grandparents and the many elderly members of our families, who have both passed on and inspired us on our own faith journey.
May we be that beacon of faith and hope for those we come into contact with, on our journey of Faith!