My Encounter With Jesus Through the Holy Spirit
Mother M. Angelica
CONFIRMED

How can I fathom the love God has for me? Was it not enough to make me a son at Baptism? The moment the Blessed Trinity made Its home in me, the Holy Spirit imprinted upon my soul an indelible sign — a seal was stamped upon me for time and eternity — in heaven or hell. No one can erase it or take it away. I am an adopted child of God with the right to call Him Father and now His love raises me closer to His heart — to a union beyond my wildest dreams — another seal is imprinted upon my soul — I am an ambassador from God to the world — a defender in His Army of faithful followers — a prophet, that spreads the Good News, — a member of a priestly family.

I need not envy the Apostles their Pentecost, for Confirmation is my own personal Pentecost. The Spirit has come upon me in a special way, with varied gifts and graces that enable me to imitate Jesus.

At the Incarnation, the Divine Nature and a human nature became one — Hypostatic Union — God-Man — the Word made flesh. My counter-part was Baptism in which my human nature was raised to the dignity of son of God — a participation in the Divine Nature. When Jesus stood in the Jordan to be baptized by John, the Spirit hovered over Him. He was anointed by the Spirit as Redeemer and Savior. He accepted His mission as the "Servant of God" prophesied in the Old Testament. "You are my Son, the Beloved," the Father said, "my favor rests on You." (Luke 3:22) And now, the Father has said the same to me! His Spirit has anointed my soul and I am called to share the redemptive work of Jesus by witnessing to my neighbor, praying and working for his salvation and giving him hope of greater things to come.

The seal of Confirmation has made my mission public, just as the mission of Jesus was made public at the Jordan. From that moment His dignity as Son of God, King, Priest, Redeemer and Savior was no longer hidden. It was there for all men to see. This same Spirit has been given to me, that like Jesus, I may go out and spread the Good News of His Love and through that love change the world. Oh, Spirit, overflow in my soul and touch all I meet. Let all men see Your special anointing in my soul. Fill me with those graces that will enable me to be always filled and led by Your inspirations. Grant that I may accept and fulfill my mission in life with a humble heart. And then, one day, when Your love calls me again and You bestow upon my soul the Light of Glory, grant that the Father may say to me as He did to Jesus, "This is my beloved son."

CONSECRATED

St. Peter told the Baptized and Confirmed Christians of his day that they were "A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God." (1 Peter 2:9,10)

I have been chosen by God to offer sacrifice to the Father for the sins of mankind. He has chosen me to proclaim to the world the power of His Son Jesus through the witness of a holy life. It is not a calf or bull that He asks for, but my very self — a transformation of my life — a zealous, increasing pursuit of holiness.

As the priest pronounces the sacred words of consecration over bread and wine, he says, "This is my body." I too offer that Sacred Body to the Father. The priest exercises his power by bringing down Jesus and I exercise my priestly power by receiving that Body into my body as my own. Jesus and I become one body and the Father accepts our joint sacrifice. Confirmation consecrates my whole being to the glory of the Father. The Father sees but one Body, with Jesus as its Head. He sees His Son continuing His Sacrifice in all the members of this Body. He sees the Spirit working unceasingly, inspiring, molding, changing and offering these members as a pleasing sacrifice. I share in the priesthood of Jesus and I have the right to attend each Liturgical function. The Father looks upon my prayers with love and attention. He hears my every petition for the good of my neighbor. He desires that I pray for the world and obtain for it — mercy, forgiveness, hope and love.

It is part of my priestly office to offer Jesus to the Father, praise Him for His glory, thank Him for His Goodness and make reparation for the sins of the world.

The Father looks to me to lift up my arms in constant supplication as His servant Moses did for the chosen people.

As the tribe of Levi in the Old Testament was set apart, I too have been set apart as one to whom God has given the power to offer His Son and intercede for mankind.

It is a great dignity His love has given me. My participating in Liturgical functions is more than an obligation — it is a privilege — an appointment — a time to fulfill my priestly duty in union with the ordained priest in his ministerial role.

I confess to the world at every Mass that I am a reborn son of God. I express my love for the world by offering Jesus for its salvation. I manifest my love for the world by offering myself in union with Jesus to obtain mercy and forgiveness for my erring brother.

"We are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal we make in Christ's name is: be reconciled to God." (2 Cor. 5:20)

COMMITTED

"I want to urge you in the name of the Lord, not to go on living the aimless kind of life that pagans live. You must give up your old way of life; you must put aside your old self your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution so you can put on the new self that has been created in God's way, in goodness and holiness of the truth. (Eph. 4:17,22,23,24) I have been called by God to be "holy as He is holy." I cannot treat this lightly. My life should be in a continuous process of change and I should be totally committed to the Christian way of life.

The Sacrament of Confirmation has given me the right to receive from God the grace I need from moment to moment. He will never withhold that grace from me. I have a sure hope that His strength will be with me in temptation, His Wisdom when I make choices, His joy to keep me from despair and His Providence to free me from worry.

His Spirit has given me seven Gifts — Gifts that enable me to rise to any occasion, surmount any obstacle, endure any trial. The Fear of the Lord gives me a childlike relationship with God. I can call Him my Father. Piety enables me to look upon my neighbor as a brother because we share the same Father.

Fortitude gives me the courage to withstand suffering and persecution for His sake. Counsel enlightens my mind to discern the inspirations coming from the Holy Spirit, the Enemy or my own selfishness.

He gives me Knowledge so I can see through the folly of passing things and keep my eyes on the invisible reality. In order to feed my soul with His word, He gives me Understanding so I may pray without ceasing and trust without doubt. And then, as if to seal all these gifts so they are not lost, He gives me Wisdom, that ever growing awareness of His Presence within me and around me.

With all these gifts and His constant attention, how can I continue living a lukewarm life or refuse to change? He only asks that I receive these gifts and use them to become holy. I am constantly exposed to His light. Why do I insist on living in darkness? He has called me to great things. Why do I hanker after petty things? I have been chosen from among thousands, yes, even millions, to be a beacon in the night — a light on top of the mountain for others to find their way. To be a Christian is to have a special vocation. Paul told the first Christians, "Lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together." (Eph. 4:1-4) My thoughts, opinions, goals and desires should radiate the Spirit of Jesus. I must be vigilant over my senses and ever keep His Will before me that I may "grow strong in the Lord with the strength of His power." (Eph. 6:10)

CONCERNED

"If our life in Christ means anything to you.... then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind ... There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people's interests instead. In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus." (Phil. 2:1-5)

My Confirmation has made me a prophet of the Lord, for a prophet is one who by word and example manifests the love that God has for His people. The life of a prophet is an outward sign of the Gospel of Jesus and so it is that St. Paul says to all Christians, "avoid anything in your everyday lives that would be unworthy of the Gospel of Christ." (Phil. 1:27)

I should have a deep concern for my neighbor, for the love of Jesus in my heart cannot be hidden. Love is a power that must go out and serve as the Master served. It was love that drove Him to work and suffer for mankind and that same love should inspire me to have a brotherly concern for my neighbor. There are many in need whom I cannot reach, but I must never forget my prayers benefit every member of the human race.

I must give my love to every person who crosses my path. If he is in material need, I should help in every way possible, never forgetting that all I possess is a gift from God to be shared with my neighbor. The sick, aged, lonely and destitute should be the special recipients of my love and care, for Jesus suffers in them.

God has set me apart as His "chosen race, His saint." (Col. 3:12) He loves me and my heart should be filled with "sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience."

My Mother, the Church, should possess a special place in my love and prayer for She forgives me when I sin, anoints me when I am sick and feeds my soul with the Body and Blood of Christ. Her ministers deserve my loyalty and support for we form one Body. I should ever uphold them in my prayers and assist them in their task as shepherds. St. Paul tells me to, "Be considerate to those who are working amongst you and are above you in the Lord as your teachers. Have the greatest respect and affection for them because of their work." (I Th. 5:12,13)

I should strive to be "poor in spirit" so my neighbor need never feel inferior in my presence, gentle so he never feels suppressed, sympathetic so he knows I share his sorrow, merciful so he never feels I am better than he is, pure in heart so he feels loved for his own sake, peaceable so he is calmed in his turmoil, hopeful when he is discouraged, faithful in his time of need and loving no matter how unlovable that neighbor is at the moment.

I have been called by God to do great things, the first of which is to be holy and the second to assist my neighbor in his search for holiness. If I fail in this, all else is lost for if I "possess all knowledge, give my body to be burned and give all I possess to the poor without love, it is nothing." (I Cor. 13:3)

PRAYER

Holy Spirit, I place myself under your guidance. I desire to radiate the love of Jesus to my neighbor. I do not know the joys or sorrows in store for me but I know You will temper the joys so I do not rest in them and You will lighten my burdens so I will never fall beneath them. Give me the grace to see Jesus in my neighbor and the Father's loving providence in my daily life. Let me think of my neighbor before myself and ever be faithful to Holy Mother Church. Never permit me to blur the Seal You have placed upon me.

RENEWAL OF CONFIRMATION

Eternal Father, all things are present to You and so I ask that You renew all the graces and gifts You bestowed upon me on the day of my Confirmation. Let Your Spirit renew in my heart my priestly role in the Church to offer Jesus as a pleasing sacrifice, my prophetic role to be a beacon of light to the world, my intercessory role to plead for mercy, my missionary role to spread the Good News. Imprint ever more deeply that indelible seal that marks me as a son of God. Give me an increase of the Seven Gifts and let me bear all the fruits of Your Spirit. I pledge to work for Your honor and glory and for the salvation of my neighbor.

When the Enemy tempts me, the world allures .me and my own selfishness takes possession of my will, stir up within my soul that act of humility so necessary to see the grace of the moment. Ever keep my dignity as a temple of Your Spirit fresh in my mind and never permit me to lose that sense of awesome wonder when I think of Your goodness and love. Let neither persecution dishearten me nor my own weaknesses discourage me, but renew within me a constant growth in the fruits of Your Spirit that were given me in such abundance on the day of my Confirmation. I promise, Lord Father, to listen to Your Spirit as He exercises my soul in developing His Gifts and Fruits. Fill me to overflowing with an increase of Faith, Hope and Love so my soul may never cease giving the love of Jesus to everyone.

INVOCATION

Spirit of God make me
Patient
Courageous
Joyful
Trusting and full of Love

Spirit of Jesus make me
Humble
Gentle
Self-sacrificing
Obedient and full of Faith

Spirit of the Father make me
Compassionate
Merciful
Kind
Productive and full of Hope

SCRIPTURE

"Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you since you received
Him from God. You are not your own property; you have been bought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God. (I Cor. 6:1920)

"We with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit." (2 Cor. 3:18)

"What we ask God is that through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding you should reach the fullest knowledge of His will so you will be able to lead the kind of life which the Lord expects of you, a life acceptable to Him in all its aspects; showing the results in all the good actions you do." (Col. 1:10)

"Remember it is God Himself who assures us all, and you, of our standing in Christ, and has anointed us, marking us with His seal and giving us the pledge, the Spirit, that we carry in our hearts." (Cor. 1:21-22)

"Guard against foul talk; let your words be for the improvement of others ... otherwise you will only be grieving the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with His seal for you to be set free when the day comes." (Eph. 4:30)

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The author prays that all those who read this booklet will have a deeper awareness of the Father's Mercy, the Son's Love and the Spirit's Power.

Printed with the ecclesiastical approval of
JOSEPH G. VATH, D.D.
Bishop of Birmingham
Alabama, USA

©1976 Eternal Word Television Network, Inc.

Scripture Quotations taken from Jerusalem Bible unless otherwise indicated


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