Tomorrow, our two younger sons will be confirmed. They will (a bit of paraphrasing) "... receive the spiritual seal, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the Spirit of holy fear in God's presence.[They will] Guard what you [they]have received. God the Father will marked you[them] with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your heart." Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Fifteen years ago, both of them were baptized on the same day. Thus began their journey to this point in their faith walk. Following Christ as little children, they had a simple faith - love God, be good, obey your parents in the Lord and pray. As they grew, they learned that they were accountable for their actions. The list of simple faith grew - they learned to repent the wrong they had done, and to ask for forgiveness. They were given a second sacrament, the sacrament of reconciliation, that they could and do frequent. They then received their first Holy Communion - the Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.
As they continued to grow, they learned that they had more responsibilities in their walk with God. For several months now, they have attended classes on top of attending Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation. They have been taught what it means to be a young person, taking on responsibility for their faith. Not their parents' faith or their grandparents' faith, but their own faith.
Our eldest younger son was not at all sure he wanted to attend confirmation classes, and he balked at the idea of going. We had discussions with him - we told him he did not need to continue going, but we would like him to attend a couple of sessions. He honored our request. He also continued attending classes.
Three weekends ago, they were on a confirmation retreat - by all reports, our eldest younger son was the most outspoken and the most well spoken (reported by several of the adults who were in attendance) about his faith. The adults sought me out to tell me how much he had impressed them. My response - thank you Jesus!
Tomorrow is a day that we celebrate a sentimental romantic saint's day ... it is also my birthday - this year, unlike any other birthday I have celebrated, will be the best birthday of my life. I thank you Lord for our two younger sons choosing You freely - choosing to be sealed "by the the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the Spirit of holy fear in God's presence."