June 7, 2018
The following is from Linda Bordoni from the Vatican News. It summarizes the Pope’s catechesis on the sacrament of Confirmation:
Pope Francis urged Christians who receive the many gifts of the Holy Spirit to give back to others, and not to keep those gifts only for themselves “as if the soul were a store-room”.
Addressing the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Wednesday General Audience, the Pope continued in his series of reflections dedicated to the Sacrament of Baptism, calling on all faithful to never stop sharing the Holy Spirit’s gifts for the good of all.
Reminding all Christians that they are called to be “a gift for others”, he said one of Holy Spirit’s gifts allows us to share in the life and mission of the Church “uniting the faithful evermore strongly” as living members of the mystical body of the Church.
Explaining that we must think of the Church as a living organism, composed of people, Francis highlighted the fact that in the Church “there are no masters or simple workers”, but arm-in-arm, all together, we all share the responsibility to sanctify each other and care for each other.
Pope Francis reflected on how the gift of the Holy Spirit, received during the Sacrament of Confirmation, is conferred upon the faithful by the diocesan Bishop in a sign of its ecclesial dimension.
And he highlighted the fact that it is the sign of peace that concludes the rite saying that in that moment we receive “the Holy Spirit and peace” and it is that peace that we must give to others.
One vice that destroys that peace, Francis continued, is the habit of gossiping, of speaking badly of others. “Gossip is war” he said describing its intention to destroy and wreak damage, while Christ’s disciples are called to be “men and women of peace,” not to destroy the work of the Holy Spirit “with the tongue”.
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis saying Confirmation is received only once, but “because the Spirit is creative and not repetitive, the spiritual dynamism aroused by the Holy anointment perseveres in time.”
“We who have received this Sacrament, he said, must never stop opening our hearts to the liberating breath of the Holy Spirit and fan into flame the gifts we have received” for the good of one another, of the whole Church and of the world in which we live.”