“Come, Holy Spirit.”
A simple prayer calling on the guidance of the third — and most mysterious — Person of the Holy Trinity.
The Holy Spirit is the Gift of God, who is received in a particular way at the sacrament of confirmation. In receiving the Holy Spirit in our lives through this third and final sacrament of initiation, we are strengthened to build up the Church and be witnesses of Christ to others.
“In order to become more like Jesus, we need the helper to help us,” Auxiliary Bishop Mark Rivituso said about the sacrament of confirmation, featured in the Steadfast in Faith section this week. “The graces of confirmation, the fruits of the sacrament, help us to strive every day to become more like Him.”
Through confirmation, the baptized are “more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1285).
The Catechism notes that by the power of the Holy Spirit, “God’s children can bear much fruit. He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear ‘the fruit of the Spirit: … love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control’” (CCC, 736).
The Holy Spirit prepares us to go out with God’s grace, in order to draw others closer to Christ. The Holy Spirit also makes present the mystery of Christ, most notably in the Eucharist, in order to bring others into communion with God.
So here’s the question: Do we allow ourselves to give the Holy Spirit the room to work in our lives? It’s possible if we have the ability to surrender our heart to Jesus. When we give the Holy Spirit the freedom to come into our lives and we surrender our lives to Him, then we are excited to share the Good News with others.
Pope Francis has called on us to not give in to the pessimism and discouragement we face in our lives. “We have the firm certainty that the Holy Spirit gives the Church with His mighty breath, the courage to persevere and also to seek new methods of evangelization, to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”
Confirmation is not a “one-and-done” sacrament. We are called to continually live out the fruits of the sacrament. Those who are fully initiated into the Church also must support one another in our mission to live as disciples and share the Gospel message. “We are all called to be the beauty of Christ in the world,” Bishop Rivituso said. “In the midst of all of the chaos, woundedness and suffering, people need to experience the beauty of Jesus.”