L.T. has sent in a picture of a small test canvas. You’ll note the deadly serious, militant insistence of the expression of the Holy Spirit, whose work of sanctification among us is to forgive our sins and have us formed into being members of the Body of Christ, who, as we read in Genesis 3,15, is The Soldier in this Church Militant.
That Holy Spirit, the inspiration of the martyrs, is about to swoop with lightning speed into the soul of L.T.’s eldest son, who is holding that test canvas above, and who is in his preparatory time preceding the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation. What a fright! What a joy!
When I was teaching “upper-level” catechists for the Archdiocese of New York, the idea many had was that the Sacrament of Confirmation is a mere psychological affirmation of the Holy Spirit on the part of the candidate, a statement to the world, if you will, that he now chooses the Catholic Church over against atheism or whatever. Rubbish.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is that sanctifying grace lifting the soul in its own particular manner into the life of the Church. Confirmation doesn’t merely make the grace of Baptism flourish. Baptism is well able to have the candidate live in the life of the Holy Trinity. Confirmation doesn’t merely make the grace of Holy Communion flourish. Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament is well able to bring us heart to Heart with Himself.
Confirmation, like Baptism and Holy Orders, provides the soul with an eternal character: once baptized, always baptized; once a priest, always a priest (even if “laicized”); once confirmed, always confirmed.
With Confirmation, one is marked out eternally as a soldier of Christ in this Church Militant, the merits of which, the love of which, one will bring into heaven, just as Christ Jesus bears the wounds on His risen body, in His hands and feet, in His side… His Sacred Heart.
With Confirmation one is invited by Christ Jesus to be on the Cross, to lay down one’s life for others, to embrace the entire Mystical Body of Christ, all those souls of whatever time or place, who, by the intercession of our very lives, will be encouraged to be on the way to heaven that much more.
The ferocity of this love! A seven-fold Yikes!
Now, here’s a detail of that detail of the test canvas. Note that has been “edited” just a bit, regarding the thickness of the lines.
Thinner or thicker, that is the question!
I opt for thinner, sharper, more ferociously clear, intensely fiery!
I think that if Bernini’s window didn’t have to have such a heavy supporting framework for the alabaster, he would have opted for something a bit more on the lines of a painting. However, I’m leaving this to the inspiration of L.T., the extraordinary artist of the Holy Spirit.
* * *
There are plenty of series on the sidebar of http://holysoulshermitage.com and I think I just might add one or two more, on the ferocious gifts of the Holy Spirit, and on the ferocious fruits of the Holy Spirit.