Not all moments of parenting present challenges or take a great deal of thought (although you may want to continuously think in most instances). Sometimes parenting is just sitting back and knowing that you are leading your child down a great path; one that will behoove them in their future if they decide that the path is the right one for them. After you lead them, you can only pray that a higher source of power takes the lead and helps them continue on a great path.
This evening over 100 children at St. Michael Church in Wheaton, Illinois have been led by their parents, catechists, shepherds and, of course, Cathy Swanson and Fr. Dan Hoehn, to their Sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation is the last in the trio of the Sacraments of Initiation. The Rite of Confirmation states the following:
by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
As a Roman Catholic parent, when your child makes the decision that Confirmation is right for them, it just feels right altogether! This is especially true when they witness their child being anointed by the Bishop or Priest with chrism (an aromatic oil that has been consecrated by a bishop), accompanied by the words "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit". When this blessing is iterated, you know, as that young adult’s parent, that you have a buddy leading and guiding your child down a righteous path; that they are safeguarded by the Holy Spirit of the graces conferred on the Christian at Baptism.
By being Confirmed, a child of faith will be more firmly rooted in divine filiation, be united more firmly with Christ, have increased the gifts of the Holy Spirit within, obtained a deeper, more perfect bond with the Church, and gained strength in the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the Catholic faith. Each one of these fine points assures a parent that their child will be protected by an even higher power than themselves.
While parenting can bear certain challenges in this world we live in today, know that there is help out there for the asking. The young adults at St. Michael Parish will soon discover that this evening (as well as already discovering it last evening) as they take a big step toward adulthood with the help of God our Father.