GUEST KAI: Hi there, I have a room booked for tonight.
Top floor, suite.
HOTEL CLERK LIBBY: Wonderful, top floor suite.
That comes with perks: the seven gifts.
GUEST KAI: Wow. HOTEL CLERK LIBBY: And your name?
GUEST KAI: Chesterton, that's my traveling pseudonym.
You know, to avoid the paparazzi.
HOTEL CLERK LIBBY: Did you confirm?
GUEST KAI: No, but I did book the room over a year ago.
HOTEL CLERK LIBBY: But we sent you an email and we require confirmation.
GUEST KAI: Why?
HOTEL CLERK LIBBY: To remind you of your commitment,
and for the sake of other guests who wanna be here.
GUEST KAI: But I need a place to sleep.
HOTEL CLERK LIBBY: Do you wanna book a room right now?
GUEST KAI: Yes, that's obviously what I want.
HOTEL CLERK LIBBY: Right.
All right, top floor suite, you are all booked.
GUEST KAI: Thank you.
HOTEL CLERK LIBBY: Oh, I'm sorry.
Those seven gifts are for confirmed guests only.
GUEST KAI: Wait a minute.
This episode must be about...
LIBBY: Hi, welcome to Catholic Central, I'm Libby.
KAI: And I'm Kai.
Today we're talking about Confirmation,
one of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
LIBBY: A Sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace.
KAI: Using physical things like
water, oil, bread, and gestures,
Catholics encounter God in both
the physical and metaphysical way
in our journey as disciples.
LIBBY: The Sacrament of Confirmation
is one of the three rites of initiation
that are required for someone
to become a member of the Catholic Church.
KAI: And those three rites are
arriving late, kneeling at the wrong time,
and cursing in the parking lot when leaving.
LIBBY: Those are personal issues and not Sacraments.
KAI: We're actually talking about
Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion.
LIBBY: The three primary Sacraments
on which the rest of one's life as a Christian depends.
They initiate Catholics into Christian life.
KAI: We'll start with the
Biblical origins of Confirmation,
then talk about the ritual itself,
the Four Symbols and the Seven Gifts of the Spirit,
and then the energy that this Sacrament
brings to the spiritual journey.
LIBBY: Like all seven Sacraments, Confirmation
was instituted by Jesus Himself.
KAI: At the Last Supper, Jesus promised
to send his disciples the Holy Spirit.
LIBBY: 10 days after Jesus ascended into heaven,
the Apostles and Mary gathered together
for Pentecost, a Jewish feast day.
KAI: And suddenly the Holy Spirit rushed upon them,
sounding like a strong, driving wind.
LIBBY: Then tongues of fire
burst apart and floated above each person's head.
From that time on, the Apostles
preached with a new level of spiritual power.
KAI: Confirmation is often called a personal Pentecost.
In Acts 1, Jesus told the Apostles,
"You will receive power
when the Holy Spirit has come upon you."
LIBBY: Yeah, and the apostles
went to the believers in Samaria
and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit
because, as it was described in Acts Chapter 8,
"They had only been baptized."
KAI: So let's talk about the actual ritual and what happens.
LIBBY: Well, first when you are a candidate for Confirmation,
or a Confirmand, you pick a sponsor.
KAI: Like a soft drink or a shoe company.
LIBBY: Not that kind of sponsor.
You choose a person who will serve
as a guide and model during the process.
It can be anyone who is a Catholic
and is willing to guide you as a spiritual mentor.
Often, it could be a godparent.
KAI: The sponsor also serves as a witness during the ceremony.
LIBBY: Also, in some dioceses, those about to be confirmed
take a favorite saint's name as their own.
KAI: Yeah, like a special sign of spiritual identity.
You can choose a saint whose qualities
you relate to and want to emulate.
And this helps you own the Sacrament,
make it personal and connected to the communion of saints.
My Confirmation saint, for instance,
is Saint Louis de Montfort.
I like him because he showed such bravery
in serving people who persecuted him,
and his devotion to Mary.
Who's your confirmation saint?
LIBBY: Oh, Saint Nonna.
She's the patron saint of grandmothers,
and I really love her because of how she
converted her whole entire family.
I thought that was pretty cool.
KAI: That's pretty cool.
LIBBY: Let's talk about what happens during the ceremony.
KAI: Yeah, there are four main parts
or symbols to the Sacrament.
First, the Confirmandees speak their baptismal vows,
renewing or, if I may be Captain Obvious,
confirming their rejection of evil
and their embrace of the faith.
LIBBY: Second, the bishop.
KAI: A diocesan bishop governs
both practically and spiritually
his local diocese, district of churches,
working with the parish priests and deacons.
LIBBY: The bishop stretches out his hand
over the Confirmand and calls down
the power of the Holy Spirit. The laying on of hands is how
the Apostles conferred this gift.
KAI: Next is anointing with chrism,
which is oil that's been blessed
by the bishop on Holy Thursday.
LIBBY: The bishop anoints the forehead with the chrism,
saying, "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit."
KAI: The doves are optional. LIBBY: The doves are not a thing.
KAI: Next, the bishop says, "Peace be with you,"
to show the Church is one people of God,
and these gifts of the Spirit
are to be used for building peace,
love, and unity with God's people.
LIBBY: And that brings us to
what Catholics call the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
KAI: Wisdom: to know what's truly important.
LIBBY: Understanding: to know why it's important.
KAI: Counsel or right judgment:
to judge between right and wrong and to choose what's right.
LIBBY: Fortitude: to persist in doing
the right thing with courage, no matter what.
KAI: Knowledge: to know God and God's plan of salvation.
LIBBY: Piety, or reverence: to know that the God
who created the universe deserves love and praise.
KAI: Fear of the lord: having a right perspective
of God's almighty power and love,
and our place in His creation.
LIBBY: Sounds like Confirmation makes us unstoppable,
but why do I often feel so very stoppable?
KAI: The gifts of the Spirit are not powers
that take over the person.
They are gifts for each of us to unwrap,
and dive into, and learn how to develop.
LIBBY: You know, the preacher Billy Graham
was once praised for how much patience he had,
and he said, "I don't have any more
"patience than anyone else, I just use mine."
KAI: Well played, Billy Graham.
The Christian journey has also been compared to a boat.
The faithful row hard with their
natural virtues and abilities, but put a sail in that boat,
that's the Seven Gifts, and the Holy Spirit
fills it with the wind of Pentecost, lot faster.
LIBBY: Although Catholics believe they receive
the Seven Gifts in Baptism,
the gifts were planted like seeds.
Through Confirmation their yes actively
invites the Holy Spirit to grow these gifts
in a more dynamic way.
KAI: Yeah, and ideally as they use the gifts
to grow spiritually, they're drawn to service,
and to sharing their experience with others.
LIBBY: They become natural witnesses,
bringing good to others from a place of truth and grace.
KAI: Yeah, like how the Apostles,
after they received the Holy Spirit, changed history
with their radical message of self-giving love.
LIBBY: So to sum up, confirmation in the Catholic Church
is a public, deeper yes to the Holy Spirit.
KAI: It's also a deeper yes to the Church,
and through saying yes to the Holy Spirit and the Church,
it blesses the individuals and the community in general.
LIBBY: And it allows each person to use
their newly unleashed gifts to benefit the whole world.
KAI: I'm Kai.
LIBBY: And I'm Libby.
KAI: Looks like we're done.