Assignment for 1st year candidates
As you anticipate your confirmation in another year, it is important to meditate upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit, seven graces that are poured out upon you when you receive the sacrament. These seven gifts are not magic-dust that give you super hero powers. They do however give you God’s power and the content of each of these seven gifts. Like any gift, however, if one doesn’t care for it—whether a toy truck or a Barbie doll—the gift will fall into disrepair—a truck will rust if left in the rain, the Barbie lose hair and limb if left around for the dog to play with.
Such it is with the seven gifts. If they are not nourished with both prayer and practice, they will fade into oblivion. We are not robots—robots cannot love. God gave us free will and God will never force us to do anything that we don’t want to do. So if you choose not to nurture these seven gifts after you are confirmed, they will fall away from you as rotten fruit falls off a tree or is consumed by birds or insects.
In this assignment we want you to reflect upon a person in your life, or a person in history that you admire—living or deceased—and how he/she has exemplified any of these seven gifts. Simply, who is a heroic person in your life that you admire. This can be an aunt, uncle, sister, brother, mother, father, grandparent, coach, teacher, celebrity—anyone who, in your mind, has lived out any or all of these seven gifts in a profound manner—a heroic manner.
Your essay should contain these reflection points:
- A little background on the person you are writing about. Where they grew up, some of the challenges they faced in life, the work they do (did), a story from their life.
- What are the aspects of his/her life that exemplify some of these gifts of the Holy Spirit? Connect these gifts to the person. For example, “My Uncle Joe exemplifies for me the gift of courage. As a fireman, he is always putting his life at risk to save others.” Or “My mother is a great example of the gift of fortitude in that she has been caring for her sick mother for the last three years, going over to her home daily with dinner.”
- Share how you have seen this person live out these gifts, or write about how he/she lived out these gifts through his/her life.
- A good effort at this project would be about a page and a half, 12 point font—longer if you are inspired.
- Candidates in the past have often given their essay to the person they wrote about. One such person had the essay framed for their home. Do a nice job.
The gifts of the Holy spirit are listed below for you to study and determine how you might use them in writing about your heroic person.
What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
As Baptism, we receive seven special gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts are freely given to us to help us live as followers of Jesus and to build up the Body of Christ, the Church. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are sealed and strengthened within us at Confirmation. These seven gifts help us to respond to the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, to make good choices, and to serve God and others.
- Wisdom is the gift of knowing the right choices to make to live a holy life. The gift of wisdom helps you to avoid the things that could lead you away from God.
- Understanding is the gift of comprehension, or the ability to grasp the meaning of the teachings of the Church. The gift of understanding helps you be tolerant and sympathetic of others. It helps you sense when someone is hurting or in need of compassion.
- Right Judgment, or Counsel, is the gift of prudence. The gift of right judgment helps you make choices to live as a faithful follower of Jesus.
- Courage, or Fortitude, is the gift that helps you stand up for your faith in Christ. The gift of courage helps you overcome any obstacles that would keep you from practicing your faith.
- Knowledge is the gift of knowing and enlightenment. The gift of knowledge enables you to choose the right path that will lead you to God. It encourages you to avoid obstacles that will keep you from him.
- Reverence, or Piety, is the gift of confidence in God. This gift of reverence inspires you to joyfully want to serve God and others.
- Wonder and Awe, or Fear of the Lord is the gift of wonder and respect that encourages you to be in awe of God. The gift of wonder and awe moves you to so love God that you do not want to offend him by your words or actions.