The gift of the Holy Spirit conferred in confirmation is ordered to the life of worship. Thomas Aquinas declares, “The Holy Spirit is Author and master of our holiness; it is he who gives us the power to be ‘true worshipers [of] the Father in spirit and truth.’ (Jn 4:23).” This idea would lead St. Thomas Aquinas to affirm that it is the seal given in confirmation which qualifies the Christian to participate in worship. In the teaching of Aquinas one could venture to say that confirmation plays a role in enabling one to actively participate in the Eucharistic liturgy, as we become true worshippers of the Father, united to Jesus in his own worship of the Father.
Thus, the completing gift of the Holy Spirit given in confirmation then is a strength which orders the person to a more perfect integration into the life of the Body of Christ both as one who is a witness and one who worships the Father in spirit and truth. In this context, one can come to understand how confirmation is ordered to the Eucharist.
It would be odd to have a person participate in the Eucharistic life of the Church, which has the building up of ecclesial unity as one of its goals, if he or she has not received the seal of the Holy Spirit which perfects their personal bond with the community. “An intrinsic dynamism exists between the three sacraments of initiation, as a result of which the one leads to the other, while the sum of the catechumenal and initiatory process has its culmination in the Eucharistic mystery, centre and form of the whole life of the Church.”
© 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: [email protected] The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.