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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

and piety.

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

his life.

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

and Confirmation?