That They Might Be Sealed In Christ...

My two older boys have been studying for their interviews with our Pastor this Sunday in preparation of their Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form.

In our 4 years of homeschooling, studying religion EVERY day, we ALL have learned so much from the Baltimore Catechisms, the Bible, Faith & Life books and Fr. Laux books. The boys remind me that sadly in their former school, a Catholic school, they had religion class rarely. If any program or assembly happened that week, religion was bumped to make room for it. Why? Because religion wasn't on the Terra Nova standardized tests....

So I am so grateful for God's persistence on my heart to homeschool. In homeschooling, I believe we are praying more, we are studying our faith more and frequent more Sacraments than we had before. And "my students" have absorbed much so that at times they challenge my faith to grow.

Today, our last item to review was the Effects of Confirmation, the final one being that it SEALS one in Christ, creating a INDELIBLE MARK imprinted on their soul. My oldest replied that seal will make all the difference. It would protect him from the mark of the beast.

In a Spiritual Work of Mercy he admonished me, "You've got to try harder with your brother (who he had wished could be his sponsor) and sister, Mom. What could matter more? How are you going to feel someday when you are all before God and they ask you why you didn't try harder to convince them to be confirmed?" He believes, thank you Lord.

He believes in the gifts of the Sacrament and wants my siblings to have those gifts. So do I.

It makes me sad and introspective. He makes me aware of the responsibility we all have to evangelize...and it's difficulties. He reminds me that God who is merciful is also just and will judge me and what type of effort I expend in gratitude for the gifts I 've been given.

They have their own ideas about faith and it's place/portion in their lives. It leads to anger or retreat when the topic is brought up and although we are close, it is the reason why we aren't as close as I pray my children will be to each other.

Everyone thinks their own way is "right." I can only continue to live my faith. I publically made professions and promises to this faith when I was married, when my children were baptised and so when I say I am Catholic I mean that I accept it and all it's teachings. I pray my children see that example as I train my children up in the way I think they should go. (Proverbs 22:6)

And I pray.

Pray... that others embrace their Catholic faith in it's fullness.

Acts 8:14-17 "Now, when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them: but they were only baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them: and they received the Holy Ghost.
Ephesians 4:30 "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God: whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption."

What is Confirmation (also called "Chrismation")? What does Confirmation do?

* indelibly seals us to the Holy Ghost, hence its name, "Sacrament of the Seal." Because this seal is indelible and leaves a permanent mark on the recipient's soul, the Sacrament, like Baptism and Holy Orders, may be received only once.

* gives us the sanctifying grace to become perfect Christians and true soldiers of Christ, well-armed to defend Christ as King, His Mother as Queen, and the Church Militant as His Kingdom on earth. God confirms us (strengthens us) so we may do spiritual battle.

* imparts to us the 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost, as in a "personal Pentecost":
- Wisdom
- Understanding
- Counsel
- Fortitude
- Knowledge
- Piety
- Fear of offending the Lord

In any case, just as Abram became Abraham, as Jacob became Israel, as Simon became Peter, and as Saul became Paul, the confirmand takes on the name of a Saint when he is sealed to the Holy Ghost and receives an increase in the sanctifying grace received at baptism.

More. More grace..strength for the journey.

Prayer to St. Anthony for conversion
Loving Saint Anthony you always reached out in compassion to those who had lost their faith. You were especially concerned because they had lost access to the healing words of Jesus found in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and in the nourishing presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Intercede for (name) who has stopped practicing his/her faith. Reawaken in his/her heart a love for our Church and the sacraments, and enkindle in his/her heart a sense of forgiveness for the ways he/she might have been hurt by members of the Church who fell short of the teaching of Christ.
Finally, St. Anthony, help me to respond to my own call to conversion so that I might become an example of someone who has found great peace in the arms of Christ. May the joy I experience as a Catholic be an invitation to those who are lost to come home again to the Church which we love. Amen.


Ashley said...

That was a beautiful post! Your sons are brilliant, and they are right. I know exactly how you feel about struggling to reach your sibling(s) so that one day they may experience the fullness of our Faith. I am sad that my sister was never confirmed, but there is hope; there is always hope.

And now I am reaffirmed in my decision to homeschool my children, and I won't let the other voices in my family deter me from doing the best for my children's souls. Like you I pray that they will be closer to each other because of their faith than I am with my sister.

Sarah Oldham said...

OOOOOH, I need to send my friend Suzanne over to read this one.

Therese said...

You have a wise son! This weighs on me...we all know people like your hard. I pray for your family and for conversions and reversions. God Bless!

Jamie Jo said...

Beautiful post, God bless your boys!!!

Gosh, I dread our local Confirmation prep, our Diocese insists that the kids take the classes with the other kids, and I've heard that those other kids are just, well, awful. (they talk sex, have no faith, you name it) Homeschooling protects them from all that, doesn't it?)

Great post JMJ!

kimberly said...

What a beautiful post, Allison! And what amazing young men you and your dear husband are raising. We'll keep them in prayer as they prepare for this beautiful Sacrament. Two of my boys were confirmed last year (on April 29th...nearly one year ago!) according to the Extraordinary Form. It was exquisite...may God grant your good young men every grace and blessing during this time of preparation!

Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful post! Your son and your siblings are in my prayers.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to share with you another great teaching resource: - designed by the Apostolate for Family Consecration ( God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Allison, in your good intentions to "save" your siblings, I believe you will drive them further away.I am sure they love you or would run from you completely. Others simply do not share your beliefs. I know you would push me further away. This is for you. You need not publish it.

+JMJ+ said...

To my regular visitor Anonymous in Pompano, FLorida area (who I suspect is family or must know me since they know my name and search here for my sister) I did publish this in hopes that my response would reach you.

It saddens me to think I may have turned you, or anyone, away from the Truth of the Catholic faith. But I know thatCatholicism is not popular. The world doesn't like what it stands for, the change it requires, the surrender....counter-cultural.

Many MUCH greater minds than my own selfish one have come to see it's beauty. My ability to share my faith is clumsy, flawed, but sincere. I pray and trust that God will do a better job in sending His will and planting seeds.

Thank you for sharing your opinion. Convictions should be held 100%, otherwise why have them? Right? Thank you for visiting eventhough you don't agree with the Catholic faith and my blog.

Hopefully we can both agree to search for the Truth.

Christine said...

My thoughts and prayers for you and your son as you will soon celebrate a beautiful Sacrament.

I love out faith. I love coming here and seeing all the good that you do. You are much braver then me. You see,...most of my family are not Catholic. I use to blog hoping that they would "See the light"...or plant some seeds. Nothing came of it though.

I pray a lot for my family and leave the rest to God.

I think you do a great job posting the truth.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that I do NOT know you or anyone in your family. I happened upon your site researching homeschooling for my 3 young children. Although I was not thinking about homeschooling for religious reasons, I found your site and am very impressed with what a wonderful job you are doing with your children. I realize that I am not up to the task. Your children are being brought up beautifully,you are a beautiful human being and I am sorry if I have interrupted your life with my comment.

+JMJ+ said...

Thanks everyone...yes, pray and leave it to God, like CHristine said.

Anonymous, you have not interuppted my life. Hopefully this is how friendships start. I can sense that you want what is best for your children. Just researching possibilities shows your you're doing a great job.

If "God leads you to it , He will lead you through it" has been so true for me. For 6 years I felt I wasn't up for the task...

I will pray for your discernment in what educational choices to make and for God to send special blessings to your family.

Laura O said...

Praying that all goes well for the boys as they meet with Father. I found out that they have confirmation on the late side (think 11th grade) here. The upside is that gives me several more years to help guide the boys in faith formation.

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