Since you are receiving this E-spiration a few days after Christmas, it
seems appropriate to offer you a musing on this touching Bethlehem scene, which
unites Jesus and Mary with the larger family of creation.
|When God entered the family of humanity, as well as the whole family of creation, through Marys Yes, all creatures drew near and rejoiced as one family. Jack Wintz, O.F.M.
In my last musing, I reminded
you of how Francis of Assisi wanted all creatures to
join in the celebration of the feast of Christmas because all creatures were blessed
by Gods entering the family of creation.
Francis wanted people to strew grain along the roads so the birds
would enjoy a special treat on Christmas Day. Even the beasts in the stables should
get special food on this feast day.
We can imitate the spirit of Francis by throwing some extra bird
seeds on our feeders or bread crumbs on the ground outside our doors during the Christmas
season. Or you could give your pets some kind of treat or go out and hug a tree or bend
over and kiss Mother Earth or a snowball or stone. Or, we could just
praise God for our favorite brother or sister creatures, as
Francis did in his Canticle of Brother Sun, the wonderful hymn he sang to
Gods creatures, even when he was dying!
Be praised, O God, in all your creatures! May the Christmas
respond to Friar Jims What Is the Sacrament of Confirmation?
Dear Friar Jim: I was born into the Church of England faith and was baptized in
England and at a later date Confirmed in the Anglican Church of Canada. When I was 20
years old I returned to England and became a Roman Catholic, and the
priest at that time (39 years ago) conditionally baptized and, also, he
reconfirmed me. I did become a lapsed Catholic for about 15 years but am now
returning back into the Catholic faith here in Canada. I am at the present time
taking the RCIA course (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), and
the priests have said that one can only be baptized and confirmed once in
their lifetime. This had been bothering me, and I want to know your thoughts regarding
what happened to me. Hoping to hear from you soon, Sarah
Dear Sarah: Let me reassure you that once you are baptized and confirmed, you are
always baptized and confirmed. Each of those sacraments leave an indelible mark upon your
soul, a kind of identity that says, I am a believer. The
fact that you may be now returning to the Church after a time will not in
any way affect those two sacraments. And I wouldnt worry about what occurred 40 years ago. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is
what now applies to you. This is a sacrament which we receive again and again
all through our lives; its purpose is to be there for us as often as we
need. Hope this helps. Friar Jim
Dear Friar Jim: Is the Sacrament of Confirmation as
essential as Baptism? I am not sure if I was confirmed or not. Do I need to be
confirmed? Sincerely, Vilma
Dear Vilma: No, the Sacrament of Confirmation is not absolutely
necessary (e.g., it is not necessary for Marriage). But it is very much a part of
our faith and if possible we should try to receive all the sacraments that fit
with our state of life, and Confirmation fits the life of every Catholic.
Call your pastor and find out when the adults in the Diocese can be confirmed.
I can assure you that you are not the only one in your area who was never
confirmed. Friar Jim
Dear Friar Jim: When I was very young I had the Sacrament of
Confirmation. I dont like the Confirmation name. I wonder if it is possible
to change this with the Church, legally and officially? Chris
Dear Chris: You could change the name yourself if you
wanted to and choose a different patron saint. But the Church records would stay the
same. People change their legal names from time to time, but their baptismal
record would stay the same. What they will do is make a note of the new legal
name in the margin or the back of the certificate. But they would not change
the historical document. Friar Jim
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