My Letter to My Newly Confirmed Niece

Holy Spirit Detail of Chair of St. Peter

Holy Spirit Detail of Chair of St. Peter

So far, two of my nieces have been confirmed Catholic. I’ve written them both letters. I highly recommend the practice of writing a letter to those you love who are celebrating sacraments. It’s a great way to connect with them and share your thoughts. It’s also a gift that gives long after it’s written.

This letter was written in 2011.

Dear Ree,

There are some who will tell you that you’re now an adult in the eyes of the Church.

There’s also an underlying expectation that you’re “done” now that you’re confirmed.

Though there’s truth in both of those, I hope you don’t fall for the misleading lies beneath them both.

You are an adult, in that you have received both of the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism and Confirmation. You are a full-fledged member of the Body of Christ, and what was started in your Baptism when you were a wee baby has been fulfilled by the full gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation.

Your formal classes in religious education might be finished, but don’t let go of the desire to learn. There’s no shortage of information available to you in the last 2000-plus years of our Christian faith, but even more, don’t hesitate to continue to try to learn to be close to God.

As the bishop told you at your Confirmation Mass, don’t forget your dignity. You’ll be challenged many times in your life to let this slide: don’t give in.

Being confirmed, many years ago, used to be seen as being accepted into an army. Grammy said she was called a “soldier for Christ.” You are part of that army now, and it’s a very real war that’s going on, many times beneath the noses of people who would rather ignore the important issues in favor of what’s convenient and easy.

You will face difficult choices in the years to come. Do not ever be afraid to turn to God and, as you shake your fist at him, throw yourself into his arms.

Just as he has carried you safely through hurdles before, he will do so again.

We do not ever understand the full extent of how God is at work in our lives. Life, though not easy, is filled with many opportunities for God’s grace to work in us and through us.

May the Holy Spirit remain close to you and may you always have the courage to say Yes to God, just as Mama Mary and Saint Lucy did. Turn to your guardian angel and your special patrons in your dark hours of need and know that we, too, will be here for you to help guide you, to the best of our ability, back to God’s loving arms.

Love,

Aunt Sarah


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