By Annie-Rose Keith
CONNECTING FAITH AND LIFE
I remember very clearly what I wore for my Confirmation day. Luckily, it wasn’t raining; otherwise, my choice of footwear would have been ill-suited. I wore a pink shirt with a floral pink peasant skirt and very tall platform sandals. These shoes would have been low enough to be deemed suitable by my very particular teacher, but tall enough to still fall into the SpiceWorld/early 2000’s aesthetic that seventh-grade me was chasing. Either way, I couldn’t walk very well in them.
We piled into the car for a morning Mass on the tails of my protestant grandparents, who didn’t miss a grand event. My class of about 30 lined up to process into church for our Confirmation day. We had worked very hard to get to this moment, and I chose my saint based on my favorite place: Camp Ondessonk. Our kindly catechist walked us through the motions as we wrote our saint report and tried her best to instill the proper meaning behind this sacrament.
As a catechist now, Confirmation is part of my job; and it’s one of my favorites to coordinate. But I’ve frequently wondered why the only thing I remember about my own Confirmation day is my poor choice in footwear and the light tap on the cheek given to us by the wise Bishop Schlarman of Belleville, Illinois, after we were sealed with the chrism.
Those were the physical details I could see. The more I guide young people through this sacrament, the more I have to tune my eyes and heart to the things I can’t see about this sacrament. Or, at least, the things that I can’t immediately see. This is a sacrament that plants fruit that will blossom later. The Holy Spirit probably won’t crash through the rafters of the church when the Bishop seals the candidates with holy oil. That would be neat though, don’t you think?
Confirmation is a call; a call and a choice to step out and take our Catholic faith as our own. Regardless of what age you were Confirmed, this sacrament is lived out each and every day we are walking with Jesus, and within our calling from God. How’s your walk going? Do you think you’re doing what God created you to do? Who was your patron saint? Mine, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, is now a constant companion in my journey with God; whereas before, I took her name because I wanted to be at Camp Ondessonk all … the ... time.
Confirmation gives us the confidence to know that we are following Jesus through His Church. We are acting according to God’s will, and looking to Heaven with our friends and family. We renew our baptismal promises every year, so why not reflect on our Confirmation each year? Ask yourself: Why am I Catholic? Am I doing what I believe God wants me to do? Am I going to Mass every Sunday? Am I partaking in the sacraments? Simple acts that enable the unseen actions, in a sacrament that’s often hard to explain, to become seen in our hearts.