Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pentecost

The gifts of the Spirit. First illuminated in Isaiah:

The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Isaiah 11:2-3
This passage is in the section most often related to the rule of Immanuel, God with us. The Septuagint and the Vulgate read “piety” for fear of the Lord and so lists the Seven Gifts of the Spirit.
As can be seen the Gifts can be divided into two groups. Those which apply to the mind or intellect and those which apply to the will.
In the minds of most American Catholics the gifts are associated, in some respect, with maturity of faith, which is why in many dioceses the Sacrament of Confirmation, which bestows these gifts, is seen as a "right of passage" or affirmation of Christian adulthood. This is a mis-reading of the sacrament which in other rites and overseas is often given to very young children.
One benefit of waiting to Confirm until late high school, at least in the United States at this time, is that so many parents were badly catechized, and so few children attend parochial schools that the preparation for Confirmation at least allows a structured opportunity for catechisis which is often missing in the home. We spend so much time in high school catechism teaching social justice that we often don't get enough time to teach doctrine and tradition on an advanced level.
Not that items like Just War Theory, Abortion and charity aren't subjects that need to be taught, but when you consider that the parts of the Liturgy is usually taught to a cradle Catholic before First Communion when they are all of seven years old, it is easy to see why some adults have a seven year old understanding of the Liturgy, as opposed to an adult understanding. This holds for many other Church teachings, conveyed in elementary catechism, but never expanded on later, at least not until Confirmation preparation.
Of course n mature acceptance of the gifts can go a long way toward inspiring a desire to increase one's depth of knowledge of Christian teaching, no matter the age.

1 comment:

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

it is important to develop spiritually through life isn't it?

God bless