From The Pastor’s Desk

Two years ago the Diocese sent out the new guidelines for the Sacrament of Confirmation. These guidelines have

been a decade in process. We as pastors and religious educators began the discussion on Confirmation years before I

came to St. Agnes. Here at St. Agnes we slowly began to implement the changes two years ago. The Sacrament of

Confirmation is truly the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit. It is the third and final Sacrament of Initiation, Baptism, Eucharist

and Confirmation.

St. Ignatius of Antioch who died at the beginning of the second century spoke of the Holy Spirit as a fountain of

living water springing up within his heart whispering, “Come, come to the Father.” Yet this power, the grace of the Holy

Spirit is not something we can merit or achieve, but only receive as pure gift. God’s love can only fill us, strengthen us

when it is allowed to change us from within.

That is why prayer is so important: daily prayer, private prayer, liturgical prayer. In the power of the Holy Spirit,

Jesus is always present in our hearts, quietly waiting for us to be still with him, to hear his voice, to receive his power

through his special gifts. Gifts given at Baptism, but not fully complete until we ask for those gifts in the Sacrament of

Confirmation.

I ask all of us, “What will you leave to the next generation?” Are you building your lives on firm foundations,

building on something that will endure? In the two countries of Georgia and Armenia which I visited some years ago with

my nephew, I watched cities whose streets I walked being destroyed by war the next year. The world and all that this

culture and society holds dear, is very shaky. Are we living our lives in a way that opens up space for the Holy Spirit? In

the midst of a world that wants to forget God or even rejects God in the name of a falsely conceived freedom. What

legacy will we leave to the young people that are in K or 1st grade? As I drive through Missouri State University, I

wonder what our world will be like for those students in 10-15 years. Through the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit

we can make a difference in our troubled world. The outpouring of Christ’s Spirit upon the human race is a pledge of

hope and deliverance from that which would bring us crashing down. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can become a

generation of Christians called to build a better world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed. Those of us already

confirmed and those who will be confirmed are challenged to open our/their lives to the Holy Spirit. To build an age in

which love is not greedy or self-seeking. One open to others, respectful of their dignity and seeking their good. This is

what the Sacrament of Confirmation is all about.