"The Faith Explained", by Leo J. Trese, is a great book that talks about a wide range of Church teachings in a relatively easy-to-understand format. I thought I'd put in an excerpt from the book on the sacrament of Confirmation, because I'm making my Confirmation this year. (YAY!) Here's the quote: "Without Baptism, we can not go to Heaven. Without Confirmation, we can get to Heaven, but the going will be much rougher. In fact, without Confirmation it would be easy to lose our way entirely, easy to lose our faith. That is why it is an obligation for every baptized person to be also confirmed if he has the opportunity of receiving the sacrament of Comfirmation. We know that Jesus did not institute any of the sacraments "just for the fun of it". Jesus instituted each individual sacrament because he foresaw, in his infinite wisdom, that we would have need of certain special graces under certain particular circumstances."
Pretty awesome, eh? If only we could fully understood how many spiritual gifts we receive by allowing the Holy Spirit to come into us in that way, we would be BEGGING the bishop to confirm us early!! My parish priest compares the gifts of the Holy Spirit to a video game. He explains that as the characters advance in the game, they unlock super powers and special features. At confirmation, we're infused with many fruits and graces - a kind of spiritual power-up! Even after Confirmation, we should continue to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us, daily.
Prayer to The Holy Spirit:
Come Holy Spirit! Enlighten my understanding in order that I may know your commands; strengthen my heart against the snares of the enemy; enkindle my will. I have heard your voice, and I do not want to harden my heart and resist, saying " Later... tommorrow." Nunc coepi! Right now! Lest there be no tomorrow for me. Oh Spirit of truth and wisdom, Spirit of understanding and counsel, Spirit of joy and if peace! I want what you want, because you want it, as you want it, when you want it.
OK so I was trying to add another page to this blog yesterday, and instead of adding a page I ended up DELETING the blog I had. :( I rewrote as much as I could, but all the comments are gone. Sorry about that, guys. Feel free to comment again! :)
I was able to retrieve this post from my documents! Yay! I thought I had lost it. The layout is a bit messed up because I used another program to type it up, but the wording is the same!
Here are a couple common
questions about prayer:
Q: So... how do I start?
A: Let's say there's a new girl in your class who you want to get to know. You go over and introduce yourself and maybe talk for a bit about school, friends, interests, etc. Basically, you want to learn
about each other. The same goes for God. To begin a good friendship with
Him, all you need to say is a simple "Hi". You can also talk to Him about your day, tell Him any problems you're having, and thank Him for the many
gifts that He gives you every day. God will definitely appreciate your efforts to get to know Him!
Q: How do I know if God is speaking to me, or if it's all just in my head?
A: People don't recognize voices they aren't familiar with. What that means is that in order to know if God is telling
you something, we have to get used to conversing with Him. It will be much
easier to listen to Him speaking if we're in a place of silence - a place where we aren't disturbed by voices, music, or a noisy - but adorable - dog. It won't take
much, just a bit of time and effort on your part - God will take care of the rest!
Q: How do I find time to pray?
A: We're all busy. With school, sports, volunteer work, jobs, and more, it may seem insane to try and add anything else to the schedule. But as crazy as it
sounds, there is a way. In the morning, as soon as you wake up and all is
quiet for at least a minute, you can
pray. Everything you do in that 24 hours
we call a day is offered to God as a
prayer. By offering your day to God,
you're telling Him that no matter what
happens, it is now His problem. And
He's HAPPY to take it all on himself. That's how much he loves us. :)