-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Pope Francis: Confirmation Completes Our Bond With the Church
Urges Parents to Ensure Children Receive Sacrament
VATICAN CITY, January 29, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Sacraments during his General Audience, focusing on the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The weekly audience was held in St. Peter's Square earlier this morning. Confirmation, along with Baptism and Eucharist, he said, form the salvific event of Christian initiation which unites us in the Death and Resurrection of Christ.
The Holy Father began by explaining the origins of the word Confirmation which, he noted, brings a growth of the baptismal grace and completes our bond with the Church. Stressing the importance of the Sacrament, the 77 year old Pontiff explained that in not receiving Confirmation, children will always remain "half-way."
"Let us think, each one of us: do we truly care that our children and our young ones receive Confirmation? This is important, it is important! And if you have children in your home, young ones who have not received it yet and are of age to receive it, do everything possible to bring to fulfillment this Christian initiation and that they may receive the strength of the Holy Spirit. It is important!" the Pope exclaimed.
"Naturally it is important to offer to the confirmands a good preparation, that should looks to conduct them towards a personal adhesion to the faith in Christ and awaken in them a sense of belonging to the Church," he said.
"Confirmation, like every Sacrament, is not a work of men, but of God, in which He takes care of our lives to mold us in the image of his Son, to make us able to love like Him."
The Pope went on to say that the gifts of the Holy Spirit that come with the Sacrament allow for Christ to be present in us and take shape through our lives.
"Through us, it will be Him that will pray, forgive, infuse hope and consolation, serve the brothers, to come closer to the needy and the last ones, to create communion, to sow peace." (J.A.E.)
Concluding his catechesis, Pope Francis called on the faithful to remember to give thanks to the Lord for the gift of Confirmation, as well as inviting them to "always walk with the joy according to the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
After greeting pilgrims from various countries, the Holy Father reminded the youth present of the upcoming memorial of their patron saint, St. John Bosco. "Dear youth, may his figure of father and teacher accompany you in your years of study and formation," the Pope said.
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