Monday, December 9, 2013

Yes, your child is not ready for Confirmation but here's why I recommend going forward with it anyway.

Dear single Mom,

You wrote to me, sadly, informing me that you had decided to withdraw your daughter from Confirmation faith formation classes as you had reached a conclusion that she is not "prepared " to receive Confirmation this year. You are right. But here 's why I am recommending we go forward with it anyway.

No one can ever adequately prepare for the infinite and divine gift of grace because we are all human. Human beings merit nothing except in Christ who has alone "merited" it for us by reason of His sacred humanity and Divinity through the Passion, death and Resurrection.

Grace is never given because deserved but because of the love and mercy of the Giver, our all-compassionate God. That is the reason why no one is ever truly "prepared" to receive grace as it remains always pure gift.

What we do, however, is make our best effort to prepare which requires an intellectual and volitional component as well as baptismal Faith. Instruction, spiritual exercises such as worship at Mass and personal prayer are necessary therefore. Every child, due to the young age at which he or she is confirmed, needs a Catholic parent or parents who provide consistent and active example and guidance. Very few of our young people who are confirmed today are realistically expected or capable of being mature adult witnesses of the Faith.

Perhaps your family has grown over the years into a habit of sleeping in on Sundays. Perhaps family prayer is tragically a rare and awkward occurrence. These are opportunities, however, and not dead ends. Now is always the right time to do the right thing. God always has the living Word in Christ to offer to us so that human hopelessness will never have the last word in our lives.

Let 's discuss creative ways to approach worship and instruction so that your family can better follow the path of conversion and hope in Christ, which rightly belongs in every human life and in every home, while taking into account you particular challenges and circumstances.

Faithfully and prayerfully yours in Christ,
Your pastor

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