At Confirmation we receive the special strengthening gift of the Holy Spirit.
Recall from Lesson 1:
The Baptismal Rite is exercised with the pouring of the baptismal waters (or by immersion) in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This is the moment when the Holy Spirit unites with the soul, as testified by His appearing as a Dove above the head of Christ as John the Baptist was baptising Him, with the voice of the Father declaring from heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." (Luke 3:22) Together present, were all three Divine Persons of the Communal Life of the Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Where one acts, all act.
When we receive the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation we are really changed because in them we receive the Holy Spirit into our souls, and we are 'born again'.
(We were 'born again' in our Baptism when we received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and this unspeakable gift is strengthened in us at our Confirmation - so, the 2 Sacraments are inextricably linked as one.)
At our baptism, when we are 'born again', we are a new creation.
The unseen reality of this change in us may be demonstrated as illustrated:
Clear water in the goblet represents our soul in our body. (Fluids vapours, spirits, take up the form of the vessel which contains them.)
The result is:
The Baptismal Rite's 'action' of the pouring of the baptismal waters is the external action which demonstrates what takes place in the inner reality of the receiver's soul. The Unseen Holy Spirit of God has poured Himself into the receiver's soul, whereby the two are now inextricably merged into one, just as the Scripture says: "Who is joined to God is one Spirit with Him." (1 Corinthians 6:17)
No longer is there the soul without the Spirit. Now, is the soul with the Spirit. The receiver has been 'born again'. He/she is now, a 'new creature', bearing within his/her own soul the Forever-Presence of the Eternal, Awesome, Uncreated, Tri-une God's own Holy Spirit.
Now, with the Eternal Holy Spirit of God living within him/her, each baptised person has thereby become 'a temple of the Holy Spirit' and a 'forever' child of God. He will now share in, as his own eternal inheritance, the wonder of God's own heavenly eternal Divine Life living in him/herself forever. His/her eternal destiny, as a child of his/her Eternal Father, has begun.
So, we can see there are real changes in us when God comes to dwell in us at our Baptism, just as throughout our life we are constantly facing and experiencing changes. These changes occur both within us and to our environment. They influence us in different ways, and present challenges for us to overcome.
We can list some of the changes which may occur in our lives.
Change is important because:
As we grow older, we realise that we need support and help to face the challenges.
Jesus knew the Apostles would face many new challenges in their lives as they continued His mission. Before ascending into heaven, He promised them that He would send them a Helper and Guide Who would help them to spread His Good News throughout the world. (John 14:16-17,26; 16:7-16)
Jesus' promise, that His Father would send His Holy Spirit was fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13) which came 10 days after His Ascension into heaven (Acts 1:6-11) which occurred 40 days after His resurrection from the dead. The Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and the whole community of the faithful was Spirit-filled, with all now inwardly strengthened and inspired by the Presence of the Holy Spirit within them, that they were now ready to take up the challenge of preaching all which Jesus had commanded them, and to fearlessly teach it to all the world. And so it was at Pentecost that the Church began its evangelising teaching in the Name of the Resurrected Jesus, "the only Name given to the world by Whom we can be saved." (Acts 4:12) As Jesus said, "No-one can come to the Father except by Me." (John 14:6)
Just like the Apostles and the faithful who received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, so do we all - who have subsequently come to believe in Him - receive His same One Holy Spirit when we are welcomed into the family of God at our Baptism and then, again, when He further strengthens us at our Confirmation.
If we respond with love's response to His 'special-strength-gift', we can gradually overcome all the temptations which shall continue to come to us in our thoughts, words, deeds and situations to challenge our faith and the steadfastness of our resolve to live as Jesus has taught us.
Come Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful
and kindle in us the fire of Your love.
Send forth Your Spirit and we shall be recreated,
and You shall renew the face of the earth.
Come Holy Spirit and enlighten my heart and my soul.
Strengthen me in holiness, and fill me with Your gifts.
O purify me, Lord, in the flames of Your Love.
May the tongues of Your fire purify my mind and my heart,
purge my whole soul and envelop my whole being.
O Abba, Father, I long to see Your face. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
make my heart like unto Thine.
My God, I believe, I hope and I love You.
I ask pardon for those who do not believe,
do not adore, do not hope, and do not love you.
(This was the prayer taught by 'The Angel of Peace'
to the children of Fatima in 1916.)