Confirmation in the Roman Catholic tradition is not primarily the individuals confirming his commitment to Christ, but rather God the Father’s confirmation that this baptized person is God’s adopted son or daughter through Baptism.  God confirms this adoption by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the chosen candidates.  The presence of the Holy Spirit calls the baptized person is called to play an adult role in the mission of the Church to the world. The confirmed person discharges this mission in many ways, but in a most significant way by assembling with fellow Christians to hear the word of God and celebrate the Eucharist or, in other words, by participating in the Mass.

By participating in the Mass, the Roman Catholic is declaring that he is a listener to God's word who acts accordingly, and that he wishes to identify himself with Jesus in His sacrifice. But when he sins, he rejects God's word and disassociates himself from the obedience of Jesus' sacrifice. In the sacrament of penance, the Roman Catholic confesses his sorrow for his sins, repents, and begs God to restore him to obedience to the divine word, giving him anew the Spirit of Jesus. The declaration of God's pardon in Jesus Christ in the sacrament of penance restores obedience and the Spirit of Christ to an individual sinner, so that he may participate in the Eucharist as he ought to.

We participate in the Mass in order to grow in the likeness of Jesus in His obedience unto death. The most critical moment of our lives, therefore, is our own death: if we do not die – really die – in Christ, then our Christian life will be in vain. To strengthen our fidelity in danger of death, Jesus gives Himself to us through the ministry of the Church in Holy Communion, called Viaticum in this situation. But if the threat of death is from bodily injury, disease, or debility, the suffering and fears which go with death weaken us. To strengthen our fidelity to Christ in such suffering, and to encourage us to unite our sufferings with Jesus in His sacrifice, the Church prays at the side of the sick person and anoints him, asking God to forgive his sins and even to restore health, if that is God's will. Roman Catholics believe that God's saving grace in Jesus Christ is offered to the seriously sick person in this prayer and anointing by the Church. Thus the sacrament of anointing of the sick helps a person to do in reality what he expresses the desire to do when at Mass, namely, live, suffer, and die faithful to the Father, like Jesus.

In the sacrament of holy orders or ordination, God calls men to the ministry of bishop, priest, or deacon. By this sacrament, therefore, God provides His Church with ministers charged with the primary responsibility for ordering the celebration of the word and the sacrament, that is, the Mass, for helping the faithful participate with understanding and profit in the Mass, and for assisting them in carrying out their mission in the world as baptized and confirmed members of Christ's body.

Inspirational Bible Verses