CONFIRMATION DAY AT All Saints on the Hudson parish in Mechanicville/Stillwater. About 50 young people were confirmed and presented Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger with a banner they had signed.
CONFIRMATION DAY AT All Saints on the Hudson parish in Mechanicville/Stillwater. About 50 young people were confirmed and presented Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger with a banner they had signed.

Every Easter, I look forward to seeing a new group of young Catholics undergo confirmation. Beyond my happiness at seeing another generation make this important step in their lives, it brings to mind my own confirmation.

I am reminded of what our parish youth coordinator told us. Whatever gifts we may receive from our friends and families, the most important gifts we’ll receive are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

Confirmation is, in a sense, the summation of these attributes that enable us to go further in our development as Catholics and as people. These gifts challenge us to go further in ourselves:

•  Wisdom is more than knowledge. It is embracing something’s deeper significance in relation to God and to ourselves.

•  Understanding doesn’t involve “getting it” when it comes to everything in our faith, but getting the fact that we don’t know everything and won’t until we come face-to-face with God.

•  Counsel isn’t just knowing the right thing to do generally, but knowing what to do in a particular situation that may defy easy logic (or perhaps all logic) and how to communicate that to those in need of advice.

•  Fortitude isn’t just courage, but also remaining firm in the face of continued adversity, even a lifelong challenge.

•  Knowledge isn’t just knowing what the Church teaches, but how and why.

•  Piety isn’t only a matter of going to Church or praying on a regular basis (though both are a part of it), but understanding that our bond with Christ should shine through in our personal activities.

•  Finally, fear of the Lord isn’t so much about fearing God, but standing in awe of God, and remembering His presence when we make decisions.
I will keep all of you in my prayers as you prepare for confirmation, and I wish the best for you in your journeys as Catholics.

(Mr. Gustin attends St. Michael the Archangel parish in Troy.)