Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  331 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 331 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

331

IV.

W

ho

C

an

R

eceive

T

his

S

acrament

?

1306

Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should

receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

123

Since Baptism, Confir-

mation, and Eucharist form a unity, it follows that “the faithful are

obliged to receive this sacrament at the appropriate time,”

124

for

without Confirmation and Eucharist, Baptism is certainly valid and

efficacious, but Christian initiation remains incomplete.

1307

For centuries, Latin custom has indicated “the age of discretion”

as the reference point for receiving Confirmation. But in danger of death

children should be confirmed even if they have not yet attained the age of

discretion.

125

1308

Although Confirmation is sometimes called the “sacra-

ment of Christian maturity,” we must not confuse adult faith with

the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace

is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need “ratifica-

tion” to become effective. St. Thomas reminds us of this:

Age of body does not determine age of soul. Even in child-

hood man can attain spiritual maturity: as the book of

Wis­

dom

says: “For old age is not honored for length of time, or

measured by number of years.” Many children, through the

strength of the Holy Spirit they have received, have bravely

fought for Christ even to the shedding of their blood.

126

1309

Preparation

for Confirmation should aim at leading the

Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more

lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit—his actions, his gifts, and

his biddings—in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic

responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confir-

mation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church

of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish commu-

nity. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of

confirmands.

127

1310

To receive Confirmation one must be in a state of grace.

One should receive the sacrament of Penance in order to be

cleansed for the gift of the Holy Spirit. More intense prayer should

prepare one to receive the strength and graces of the Holy Spirit

with docility and readiness to act.

128

123 Cf. CIC, can. 889 § 1.

124 CIC, can. 890.

125 Cf. CIC, cann. 891; 883, 3°.

126 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

III, 72, 8,

ad

2; cf.

Wis

4:8.

127 Cf.

OC

Introduction 3.

128 Cf.

Acts

1:14.

1212

1250

2670