Friday, May 4, 2012
faith fridays: sacraments
This photos melts my heart. It's my sweet Adam entering into new life through Baptism. As much as anything else, I think, I enjoy the interested looks from his oldest two siblings. New life is exciting stuff!
Just tonight, that same "baby" took a shower by himself, declaring he doesn't like night showers because then he has to sleep with wet hair. I told him about the towel trick -- to put a towel on his pillow to at least soak up some of the moisture. He's an information guy like I'm an information gal and he seemed pleased to have this new option.
He's 9 now, and still as precious to me as that day. Adam is our child whose basic disposition is calmer, more thoughtful and thought-filled than most of the Salonens -- in general, anyway. He's always been a bundle of sweetness and even though all our kids have special qualities about them, I've always felt an abundance of grace emanating from this little guy.
This weekend he'll take the next step in his Christian journey. He'll be our fourth child to receive First Holy Eucharist and be confirmed in the Catholic faith as a third-grader. Our firstborn, Christian, was among the very first crop of younger confirmants in our diocese.
There are all sorts of opinions as to whether children should receive these Sacraments this early. Bottom line, Confirmation is a Sacrament of Initiation, not a graduation. And in the early church, the two were very close together, initially one after the other, and only separated more and more as time went on. Our current bishop wanted to get closer to the original intent, so here we are.
The other thing that needs to be understood, perhaps above all else, is that a Sacrament is a grace that helps the person be strengthened in his or her Christian journey. If you knew you could be strengthened to put on the armor of Christ at an early age but also had the choice to wait years later, what would the purpose be? Why not have access to them earlier if they're being offered? I realize different denominations approach this differently, but for Catholics, this isn't much different than the idea of infant Baptism. Grace is grace, and even an infant can feel and respond to its effects.
For those reasons, I like this earlier Confirmation deal. And I'm looking forward to this weekend's celebration. Our son has a wonderful sponsor, his godfather, and has chosen the name "Joseph" as his Confirmation name.
Q4U: What are your thoughts about offering these Sacraments earlier rather than later? I'd love to discuss, even if your thoughts are different than mine.