By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK
Dear single Mom,
You wrote to me, sadly, informing me that you had decided to withdraw your daughter from Confirmation faith formation classes as you had reached a conclusion that she is not “prepared” to receive Confirmation this year.
You are right. But here is why I am recommending that we go forward with it anyway.
No one can ever adequately prepare for the infinite and divine gift of grace because we are all human. Human beings merit nothing except in Christ who has alone “merited” it for us by reason of His sacred humanity and divinity through His Passion, death, and Resurrection.
Grace is never given because it is deserved but because of the love and mercy of the Giver, our all-compassionate God. That is the reason why no one is ever truly “prepared” to receive grace as it remains always pure gift.
What we do, however, is make our best effort to prepare, which requires an intellectual and volitional component as well as baptismal faith. Instruction, spiritual exercises such as worship at Mass and personal prayer, are necessary therefore. Every child, due to the young age at which he or she is confirmed, needs a Catholic parent or parents who provide consistent and an active example and guidance. Very few of our young people who are confirmed today are realistically expected or capable of being mature adult witnesses of the faith.
Perhaps your family has grown over the years into a habit of sleeping in on Sundays. Perhaps family prayer is tragically a rare and awkward occurrence. These are opportunities, however, and not dead ends. Now is always the right time to do the right thing. God always has the living Word in Christ to offer to us so that human hopelessness will never have the last word in our lives.
Let’s discuss creative ways to approach worship and instruction so that your family can better follow the path of conversion and hope in Christ, which rightly belongs in every human life and in every home, while taking into account your particular challenges and circumstances.
Faithfully and prayerfully yours in Christ,
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(Follow Fr. Cusick on Facebook at Reverendo Padre-Kevin Michael Cusick and on Twitter @MCITLFrAphorism.)