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Daily Catholic Question

What is Confirmation all about?

Sometimes words aren't enough. Sometimes it's not enough just to tell your mom, "I'm sorry." It may take a hug as well. Sometimes it's not enough to say, "Thank you" or "I love you."

You might give a gift. Such a special gift can become more than just the object given. It can become a reminder of the one who gave the gift. It can become even more than a reminder: it can become a symbol. It can evoke the presence of the giver, the occasion when it was given, the feelings that ,came with the gift.

Sacraments are like that, too. Sacramental symbols can say more than words alone because, while words speak to our mind, symbols speak to our whole body.

Words may be able to explain what happens at Confirmation and what it means to be confirmed. But we really don't "know" what Confirmation is until we experience the ritual symbols of the sacrament. The principal symbols of the Sacrament of Confirmation are seven:

  • Community
  • Baptism
  • Anointing
  • Touch
  • Words
  • The Minister
  • Eucharist
The full text of this Youth Update explains each of these seven symbols.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 7/10/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 7/12/2013


Philip and James: 
		<b>James, Son of Alphaeus:</b> We know nothing of this man except his name, and of course the fact that Jesus chose him to be one of the 12 pillars of the New Israel, his Church. He is not the James of Acts, son of Clopas, “brother” of Jesus and later bishop of Jerusalem and the traditional author of the Letter of James. James, son of Alphaeus, is also known as James the Lesser to avoid confusing him with James the son of Zebedee, also an apostle and known as James the Greater. 
<p><b>Philip:</b> Philip came from the same town as Peter and Andrew, Bethsaida in Galilee. Jesus called him directly, whereupon he sought out Nathanael and told him of the “one about whom Moses wrote” (John 1:45). </p><p>Like the other apostles, Philip took a long time coming to realize who Jesus was. On one occasion, when Jesus saw the great multitude following him and wanted to give them food, he asked Philip where they should buy bread for the people to eat. St. John comments, “[Jesus] said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do” (John 6:6). Philip answered, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit]” (John 6:7). </p><p>John’s story is not a put-down of Philip. It was simply necessary for these men who were to be the foundation stones of the Church to see the clear distinction between humanity’s total helplessness apart from God and the human ability to be a bearer of divine power by God’s gift. </p><p>On another occasion, we can almost hear the exasperation in Jesus’ voice. After Thomas had complained that they did not know where Jesus was going, Jesus said, “I am the way...If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6a, 7). Then Philip said, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8). Enough! Jesus answered, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9a). </p><p>Possibly because Philip bore a Greek name or because he was thought to be close to Jesus, some Gentile proselytes came to him and asked him to introduce them to Jesus. Philip went to Andrew, and Andrew went to Jesus. Jesus’ reply in John’s Gospel is indirect; Jesus says that now his “hour” has come, that in a short time he will give his life for Jew and Gentile alike.</p> American Catholic Blog Only in human weakness do many of us begin to rely on God and explicitly repudiate our own divine ambitions. Every pain alerts us to the fact that we are not the Almighty.

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