As a confirmed member of the Catholic Church, how does one's role in the Church change?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Catholicism, the sacrament of Confirmation in the early days of the Church the rite of initiation into adulthood.  There are three effects from the reception of this sacrament:

  1. An increase of grace which helps to make the recipient a better Christian
  2. A special sacramental grace which includes the seven gifts (something of a supernatural nature that is above the powers of nature) of the Holy Spirit, especially the strength and courage to confirm boldly the name of Christ.
  3. An indelible character by reason of which the sacrament can only be received once by the person.

Thus, as an adult, the confirmed person possesses wisdom, understanding, fortitude, counsel, fortitude, piety, fear of the Lord.

  1. Wisdom allows the confirmed to recognize that the things of the world are not as important as the truths of Christian belief.
  2. Understanding allows the confirmed to grasp the meanings of what he recognizes with wisdom.
  3. Counsel affords the confirmed the ability to judge how best to act.
  4. Fortitude gives the confirmed the ability to follow through on the actions suggested by counsel.  Fortitude goes beyond courage; it is what the martyrs possessed--the virtue to suffer death rather than to renounce Christ.
  5. Knowledge allows the confirmed to see his/her actions the way that God sees them.
  6. Pietry is the willingness of the confirmed to go beyond a sense of duty.
  7. Fear of the Lord confirms the theological virtue of hope.  The confirmed does not wish to offend the Lord; at the same time, he hopes to do better out of love of God.

Clearly, the receiving of the Sacrament of Confirmation--if one is Roman Catholic--bestows much grace upon the recipient, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit strengthen the confimants in their endeavors as they are now soldiers of the Lord.


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