Confirmation does not Devalue Baptism Vol. 3, No. 12

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Towards the conclusion of our last edition, it could be vividly recalled that one of the reasons that made the protestant reformers to deny the sacramentality of confirmation was the thought that confirmation devalued the role and content of baptism. Consequent upon this thought, some of our separated brethren define confirmation only as a religious rite to witness publicly to one’s faith and commitment. Against this false ideology therefore tecsthought deems it necessary to defend confirmation as a true and proper sacrament which confers a character that is universally relevant for the initiation of Christians into a deeper commitment with Christ.
In comparison to confirmation, the role and content of Baptism is so primordial that it is called the first sacrament. Baptism is a sacrament without which the reception of other sacrament remain inoperable because it is the door to other sacraments. It washes away the original sin and makes us children of God as well as Christians. There are theological and juridical effects of Baptism. The theological effects of Baptism is that Baptism makes one a member of the Church; a member of Christ’s body who is in communion with the faithful. Through Baptism, the individual is initiated into the community of Christ’s faithful and as such is made to participate in the salvific mission of Christ in the Church. There is also a juridical effect of baptism in which it constitutes one a person with full right and duties in the Church. Through baptism, the individual automatically is placed under an ecclesiastical jurisdiction, with a parish priest (if he resides in a parish) or with the bishop (if he resides within a diocese).
Now, in the case of Confirmation, the catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that it roots us more deeply in the divine filiations, which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!” It unites us more firmly to Christ, increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us and renders our bond with the Church more perfect. Very importantly, it gives us the strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the cross.
In our world accentuated with lukewarmness, spiritual apathy, cultism, corruption, robbery, wars and terrorism. Christ has commissioned us in our different fields of life and status, to bear witness to him through the grace of the spirit that we have all received. Amongst the fruits of this spirit is love. The Sacrament of Confirmation therefore enables us to have the heart, the mind, the thought and the word of the Spirit. So that through the fire of love, we can illuminate human heart with the light of Christ and be able to point for others (like mother Theresa and the other saints) a portrait of Christ that will pull them to him. This is a Sacrament that imbues us with the spiritual agility as Christ’s witnesses, to renew the face of the earth by becoming the voice of the voiceless from our immediate environment to our local governments, states, nations and beyond. It will be bizarre and embarrassing to this sacrament we have all received, if we who should be vanguards of evangelization turn to be the evangelized.
Let us therefore implore the Holy Spirit to offer us the continuous consciousness of his indwelling presence in us for the task as often as we call on Him: “Come O Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love

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