Chapter 16. Confirmation: Consecrated for Mission • 209
contemplation, or thoughtful reflection, of the mystery of God—Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit—as well as of the mysteries of the Catholic faith.
We are drawn to meditative prayer, where we allow God to lead us while
we rest patiently in the divine presence.
The gift of understanding stimulates us to work on knowing our-
selves as part of our growth in knowing God. It is what St. Augustine
meant when he prayed, “That I may know You, may I know myself.”
When the Spirit pours fortitude or courage into our hearts, we can trust
that we will be prepared to stand up for Christ and the Gospel when
challenged. As the gift of counsel or right judgment grows in us, we can
sense the quiet teaching that the Spirit gives us about our moral lives and
the training of our consciences.
The gift of piety or reverence is an act of respect for the Father who
created us, for Jesus who saved us, and for the Spirit who is sanctifying
us. We learn reverence for God and people from our parents and others
who train us in virtue. The Spirit fills us with this gift at liturgy, which
is a masterful school of reverence, as well as through popular devotions
Finally, the gift of fear of the Lord or wonder and awe in God’s pres-
ence can infuse honesty into our relationship with God, a frankness that
places us in awe before the majesty of God. Yet the gift also imparts an
attitude of grateful wonder that God loves us and that we can share in
When we are responsive to the grace of Confirmation and the seven
gifts of the Holy Spirit, we begin to bear the fruits of the Spirit. The
tradition of the Church names twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness,
modesty, self-control, and chastity (cf. CCC, no. 1832; Gal 5:22).
1. If you have been confirmed, describe what the experience was like.
When did it happen? Who confirmed you? How were you prepared?
2. How are the healing and cleansing qualities of anointing with
oil symbols of what happens in the Sacraments of Baptism