Forgotten Truths about Confirmation and St. Vincent

by | May 18, 2018 | Formation, Reflections, Vincentian Family | 1 comment

Forgotten truths from confirmation

A snap quiz! Name the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It has probably been many years since your confirmation classes. Maybe your memory is rusty. So here, straight from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Forgotten truths about St. Vincent

In recent weeks I have been thinking a lot about some other forgotten truths… forgotten truths about Vincent.

The truth is that he was convinced that others shared his vision and would be generous in their response to needs. “The poor suffer less from a lack of generosity than from a lack of organization.”
The truth is that he was humble enough to ask others to help. He was not wedded to any messianic delusions, tendencies of thinking that he had to do it on his own.
The truth is that he was adept at involving others in what he saw needed to be done. He found his strength in accepting his limitations.

He was all about networking for the sake of the mission!

Now think about how he embodied the seven gifts of Holy Spirit

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.
Understanding is the gift helps you be tolerant and sympathetic of others. It helps us sense when someone is hurting or in need of compassion.
Right Judgment, or Counsel, is the gift of prudence or knowing what must be done
Courage, or Fortitude, is the gift that helps overcome any obstacles in serving
Knowledge is the gift of knowing what obstacles to avoid
Reverence, or Piety, is the gift of confidence in God. This gift of reverence inspires us to joyfully want to serve God and others.
Wonder and Awe, or Fear of the Lord is the gift of wonder and respect to see the other side of the coin

This, my dear confreres, shows us how highly God and the Church, inspired and led by the Holy Spirit, look upon charity practiced toward poor persons. O brothers, how fortunate we are to be in a Company that professes to run to the relief of the neighbor! (CCD:XI:331)

See his words below.

Praying for the Fire of Forgotten Truths

Come Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of your faithful – followers of Vincent and Louise.
Enkindle in us the fire of your love – a love especially for the least of our brothers and sisters
Send forth your spirit and they shall be created – so that love lights up our mortal frames until others catch the living flame.
Grant us in the same spirit to be truly wise – knowing that others share our vision and be humble enough to ask for their help so that together we may be set on fire.
And ever rejoice in his consolation through Christ Our Lord.

In the words of St. Vincent…

I lovingly invoke His Holy Spirit upon you so that, animated by it, you will be able to pour His light and fruits into souls deprived of the assistance priests owe to them. CCD:IV:118)

I ask the Holy Spirit, who is nothing if not love, and who is the sacred bond of the Father and the Soli, to be the soul of your leadership and the gentleness of your words and actions (CCD:VIII:318)

What means are to be employed and what dispositions are necessary in order to participate in the reception of the Holy Spirit.

The first one that occurred to me was that Our Lord told His Apostles that He had to leave them so, as to return to the Father and to send them the Holy Spirit. This taught me, that I must be completely detached from all creatures and even from the Divine Presence so that my soul may be empty of all obstacles and the Holy Spirit may fill it with His presence. and gilts which will draw me out of my lassitude by the power of His love and cause me to act by His strength. Therefore. it is not enough for You, O Lord, to have taught me the means for disposing myself for the coming of the Holy Spirit. I must also labor diligently, 0 my soul, to remove all obstacles and to act, or better, to let the grace, with which the Holy Spirit wills to’ fill all the powers of my being, act in me. This can only come about by the destruction of the evil habits which on diverse occasions, hinder His action in me. O Eternal Light, lift my blindness! 0 Perfect Unity, create in me simplicity of being! Humble my heart to receive Your graces. May the power to love which. You have placed in my soul no longer stop ‘at the disorder of my self-sufficiency which, in reality, is but powerlessness and an obstacle to the pure love which I must have as a result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Confusion then for myself because of my errors which have often attached me to falsehood and led me to abandon eternal truth. Consume all that, 0 Fire of Divine Love. although I do not merit this grace. (SWLM:818 [A.26])

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