Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Confirmation Readiness and the Sailboat's Sail

It reminds me of a sailboat whose sail is curved, like the curve of a woman's belly when she is six or seven months pregnant.

It reminds me of a kite that has found enough wind to remain airborne but not quite enough wind to soar.

Both are waiting for the mighty gust - so that they can fulfill their destiny, their mission, their reason for being.

Our daughter will be Confirmed in just a few weeks. She is the sailboat. She is the kite.

At the evening meal on Sunday night, she talked about the previous night's sleepover at a friend's house. There were five girls total. Three that were not Catholic. And two that were Catholic (my daughter included).

The topic of abortion and gay marriage came up.

(Yes, the world's talking points are hitting our children.)

Our daughter was sad because she was the only one to defend Church teaching. Even the other Catholic girl affirmed gay marriage and abortion rights.

My daughter lowered her head. "I lost the debate." She took a bite of her quesadilla, but kept her eyes

My husband and I asked her some questions and realized that she felt bad because she had not convinced anyone of the very things she holds dear. Even the strength of her defense was weakened because the Catholic girl said that she did not believe a Catholic has to accept everything the Church teaches...and if two people love each other... and if a young woman is pregnant and doesn't want to be pregnant...

So, as Dad and Mom, we listened and felt our daughter's frustration. But we were also very proud.

She was the little sailboat with the curved sail. She was the kite full of promise.

All she needs is the gusty wind of the Holy Spirit. She is ready to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It is a beautiful thing to witness the spiritual readiness of one's child.

We affirmed her efforts. We told her she handled herself well. She hadn't become angry or arrogant. She hadn't backed away from Truth. She hadn't sat quietly while the others affirmed one another's opinions.

She stood in her Baptismal grace and did her best.

My husband told her that she had experienced a small portion of persecution for the Faith. And there is always a cross and a crown that come with that. He reminded her of the profession of faith every catechumen made just a few evenings ago at the Easter Vigil - what she will also affirm in a few weeks when she is Confirmed. I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God. Yes, a Catholic must accept all that the Church teaches. That is our Catholic Faith. We revisit this very question every Easter Vigil.

Even so, we both said a silent prayer for this very special daughter. She will face moments like this many times. Her faith will be tested. And she will feel like she has failed all too often.

She will need wisdom and understanding. She will need right judgment and courage. She will need knowledge and reverence. She will need to sense the wonder and awe of the Holy Spirit.

Or the sail will deflate.

The kite will take a dive.

And, as her parents, as those who have been Confirmed and have full access to the Holy Spirit's gifts of wisdom and understanding, we recognized that the moment has come.

She is ready.

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