The question teenagers constantly ask is, “Why does this matter?”
And if they don’t feel it matters, they won’t participate. (Or at best, they will drag their feet.)
Math homework and cleaning often fall into this category.
And unfortunately, prayer, Mass, the Bible, and Confirmation are often lumped in there, too.
So what can we do? You want to give them the answers they need to live their lives deeply in love with Christ beyond Confirmation because it’s the best we can offer them. But sometimes, we struggle to answer their questions about how Confirmation is important to their lives in a clear and satisfactory way.
I’ve worked in youth ministry for over 15 years, and have taught many Confirmation candidates. During this time, I’ve been asked a lot of questions from morality, to church, to aliens. These are the top four questions I’ve found that students ask, along with answers inspired by Ascension Press’ Confirmation program, Chosen: Your Journey to Confirmation.
4 Questions Teens Ask About Confirmation And How To Answer Them!
1) Why should I be Confirmed?
This world is complex, and can be very challenging. Confirmation gives you the tools you need to live life with Christ and the Church and sets you on a mission and adventure for God. It’s your next step in growing in relationship with God.
Also, it’s Biblical. In the Gospel, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to us after he rises again. The Holy Spirit comes upon the apostles at Pentecost. Confirmation is your Pentecost because the Holy Spirit comes upon you!
In Acts 8:14-18, the Apostles prayed over the Samaritans so they would receive the Holy Spirit. When the Apostles laid hands over the Samaritans (just like the Bishop does when you are confirmed), the Bible says they received the Holy Spirit. This means that Christians have been receiving the sacrament of Confirmation for over 2,000 years. When you get confirmed, you are joining a community of believers of all kinds throughout history.
2) How do I know this is real?
This is a fundamental question and one we often ask… Does God even exist? How do we know the Sacraments and this Church is the right one? I always say I am 100% Catholic because I have questioned and doubted everything the Church has said BUT I went on a journey to find the answers. If you are seeking objective truth you will be able to see the beauty and goodness of our faith and know of God’s existence which can be proven.
We know God is real by looking at the world around us. We see how the beauty of creation, the mountains, the oceans, the sunset, our friends and family point to God—just like a painting points to the artist who made it, and a book reflects the heart of the author. There has to be a source.
This Creator came to earth as Jesus Christ out of love for you and me. He knows how it is to feel our pain, to fully know us, and to fully love us. During his time on Earth, Christ established the sacraments for us to tangibly grow in relationship with him. Yes, every sacrament, and the Catholic Church for that matter, was established by Jesus Christ Himself. (all found in the Bible)
All of these things seem difficult to comprehend, and it’s okay to ask questions. When we are open and ask the Holy Spirit to show us, He will guide us along the journey.
3) What changes during Confirmation?
Nothing and everything! The Catechism talks about the importance of our predisposition, if we are open to what occurs in this Sacrament it can change everything. The choice is yours.
When you were baptized, you began your relationship with Christ. This is the foundation, when the very substance of your soul changed (woah), and you were filled with grace from God. You received some of these tools to equip you for your life. Primarily your identity as belonging to the Lord as his son or daughter.
Confirmation equips you with the Holy Spirit, who gives you everything you need to build a life for God and helps you discover his will for your life. The gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, help you to do this which are all given to you in Confirmation.
In this way, Confirmation completes the work God started in your Baptism. It is also a reminder that you are called to be an active participant in the Church, to go out and take action by being the Lord’s instrument in how you live your life on a daily basis.
4) What does the Holy Spirit have to do with my life on a regular basis?
Amidst a world with challenges and different opinions that makes it difficult to know the truth, scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is the one who will guide you into all truth! (John 16:13)
It’s through the Holy Spirit that we can be truly joyful. This doesn’t mean we won’t suffer or that our life will be perfect but rather that He will be with us every step of the way. The Holy Spirit gives healing and guides us to what we are called to do with our days and with our lives. The Spirit helps us grow in our relationships with others and equips us to handle difficult conversations and situations. The Holy Spirit gives us strength to face stress, anxiety, fear and reminds us who we are created to be.
We all want our lives to be an adventure, filled with excitement, joy, and ultimately a life with purpose even in the midst of trial. Life with the Holy Spirit is the way to live a life like this.
How do you do this? Be open and pray to the Holy Spirit. Each morning, each time you are stressed, worried, grateful, happy, have to make a big decision simply say “Come, Holy Spirit.”