Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative

catechetical resourses for the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative RCIA in

the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative adult

education in the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative

Exploring the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative Early

Church Fathers
Crossroads Initiatitve, a ministry of Dr. Marcellino


Sacrament of Confirmation, Sacrament of Champions - Part II

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio - Free Lenten Resources!

Dr. D'Ambrosio - Holy Land Pilgrimage


Sacrament of Confirmation,

Sacrament of Champions - Part II

By: Marcellino D'Ambrosio


Confimation, Sacrament of Champions, Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Sacrament of ConfirmationJesus’ anointing marked Him out as a prophet greater than all the rest, including Elijah, Elisha, and Moses. Through His miracles, conversations, and entire being, Jesus was God’s spokesman. This is a prophet’s main job description. In fact, it’s the literal meaning of the Greek word for prophet: one who speaks on behalf of another.


Speak up for God

Being a prophet has nothing necessarily to do with foretelling the future. To share in Jesus’ prophetic anointing, then, means being called to speak for the living God in our deeds and words — that is, to proclaim the gospel to all people.

When I was growing up, I thought only bishops and missionaries were called to evangelize. Looking around, I saw no need for spreading the gospel in this “one nation under God.”

Certainly, the work of foreign missions is an urgent necessity for the whole Church. Ever since the Second Vatican Council, however, the Church has been pointing to the emergence of a new evangelization, a work which every one of its members is called to embrace.

What’s “new” about this evangelization? First of all, the mission field: our formerly Christian society must be re-evangelized. A recent
Gallup poll showed that the overwhelming majority of American church-goers live in a way that is indistinguishable from everyone else in America. Also, many people in our society are unchurched; they have no religious identity whatsoever and are hungering for meaning in their lives. Who is going to speak for God to all these people? No way that missionaries, bishops, and religious alone can do the job. It’s too big.

That’s another reason this evangelization is called new: it needs to be carried out by new evangelizers. By people who may never have thought of themselves as missionaries.

Holy Spirit, Confirmation, Sacrament of ConfirmationFortunately, confirmation equips everybody to proclaim the gospel. It “gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ” (Catechism, para. 1303). In fact, a Vatican II document pointed out that Catholics who have been confirmed are “more strictly obliged to spread the faith by word and deed” (Lumen gentium, para. 11).

I’ve heard a lot of homilies that advise, “Don’t worry about talking about your faith. Just be a good example.” But this is not the teaching of the Church! Certainly, it’s disgraceful to speak God’s word without bearing witness to it by our actions. But a silent witness through example only is bad evangelizing too. If you never explain why your life is different — why you have a smile on your face and peace in your heart — people are likely to draw the wrong conclusions. Instead of seeing God in your life, they may think you are just especially well-adjusted.

Of course, to explain the faith successfully, we need to study it. Studying, understanding, and then speaking out boldly for God — this is part of what it means to share in Christ’s prophetic anointing. The Church is essentially missionary, so unless we accept the call to mission, we’re not fully Catholic.


An Apostolic Commission

Baptism, Confirmation, Sacrament of Confirmation, Sacrament of BaptismIf baptism is like getting your foot in the church door, confirmation is like coming into the living room. There we are personally welcomed by the host of the house, the bishop, who is a successor of the Apostles and the visible center of the local church. He is the original minister of confirmation who signs and seals those receiving the sacrament.

The connection with the Apostles is also evoked when confirmation is conferred by a priest, since the sacred chrism he uses must be blessed by the bishop. Whether present in person or through the use of this blessed oil, the bishop is our living link with those to whom Jesus first entrusted the great commission to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mk
16:15). In confirmation He conveys that commission to others.

Fortunately, the Lord never imposes obligations without equipping us to carry them out. As we’re anointed, we’re empowered to serve as apostles, evangelists, intercessors, servants. Because God’s word never returns to Him empty, things happen through the sacramental signs and words of confirmation. The Holy Spirit, a Spirit of power, is always given to us. We can count on it.

The prophet Isaiah describes the Spirit and His power in terms of seven gifts that rest upon the Messiah: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (see Is 11:2). Poured out on Jesus as the anointed king, this seven-fold Spirit is likewise poured out on us in confirmation

Each of these gifts is fabulous and would warrant a book in itself. But in an age when there is such ignorance of the faith and such fearful passivity on the part of so many of the faithful and the clergy, here are reflections on just two of them.

Pentacost, Sacrament of Confirmation, ConfirmationFortitude: This supernatural courage characterizes the Apostles once the Spirit comes at Pentecost. What a transformation! Fearful no more, they burst out into the same streets through which Jesus was dragged to Calvary, proclaiming publicly that Jesus is risen from the dead. Their bold witnessing has a powerful effect: “about three thousand souls” are baptized and added to the Church that day (Acts

Stories like this comfort me. Even though I’m not courageous by nature, I know that the Holy Spirit can give me supernatural courage when I need it. All I have to do is yield to this gift of holy boldness.

Understanding: Through the power of the Spirit, we’re equipped to understand biblical truths with our heart, not just our rational mind. The Holy Spirit helps us to penetrate their meaning in a supernatural way. This is how St. Thomas Aquinas explains the spiritual gift of understanding.

This certainly rings true to my own experience. Following my personal Pentecost, I developed a hunger for the Bible. Things I had found boring and meaningless suddenly came to life; they nourished and excited me. If this has happened to you too, know that this is the gift of understanding. If this gift hasn’t been activated in you yet, ask the Holy Spirit’s help. The gift is already yours through confirmation.


Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Sacrament of Confirmation, Confirmation“Accept the Charisms with Gratitude!”

The Holy Spirit also brings us gifts called “charisms.” While the “seven gifts of the Spirit” build us up and enable us to grow in sanctity, charisms enable us to build up the Church and serve others. Charisms are supernatural gifts of grace, but sometimes they build on humble, natural foundations. That’s the way God usually works: grace builds on nature; it perfects and elevates it.

Having always believed in and encouraged charisms, the Catholic church is officially the largest Pentecostal church in the world! The Catechism calls the charisms a “wonderfully rich grace for the apostolic vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of Christ” (see Catechism, paras. 799-801). The Second Vatican Council, in its “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” teaches that the Holy Spirit “distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank.... These charismatic gifts, whether they be the most outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation, for they are exceedingly suitable and useful for the needs of the Church” (Lumen gentium, par. 12).

More dramatically, on Pentecost 1998, John Paul II said: “Today to all of you, and to all Christians, I want to cry out: Be open and docile to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Accept with gratitude and obedience the charisms that the Spirit never ceases to bestow. Come, Holy Spirit, and make the charisms you have bestowed ever more fruitful.”

What charisms does the Spirit bring? I can’t enumerate them, because charisms are so varied and specific to particular needs that they can’t be compiled into an exhaustive list. One famous listing in 1 Corinthians 12 mentions charisms like teaching: supernatural instruction that gives inspiration as well as information. There’s the mountain-moving faith that Jesus talks about in the Gospels. There’s supernatural healing and miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues.

But 1 Corinthians 12 also speaks of humbler charisms. Administration, for example. Doesn’t this sound like a gift for an accountant? Well, the charism of administration is broader than the ability to manage finances or business affairs. It refers to the Spirit-inspired ability to oversee a project, mission, or other service to God’s people in a way that builds up the Church, glorifies God, and doesn’t bog down in bureaucracy.

Washing the FeetOther humble charisms are mentioned in Romans 12. The ministry of service sounds unexciting — but remember, this is what Christ demonstrates in the foot-washing episode of John 13. Housework for an elderly person, planning a Holy Week liturgy, working on a parish hospitality team — all these ordinary services are supernatural, if done with the joy and love of the Spirit. Romans 12 also mentions the charism of exhortation, the ability to motivate others to greater love and service of Christ. Calling people on without cajoling and brow-beating, in a way that inspires, uplifts, and encourages is a supernatural gift. Doing works of mercy is a charism (see Rom 12:8). Some so-called charitable works demean people, keep them dependent, and take away their dignity. What a contrast with the way Mother Teresa and her sisters would perform these works! One with those they serve, they enhance and elevate the dignity of the poorest of the poor and make them feel like the princes and princesses they really are in God’s eyes.

Another mention of charisms appears in 1 Corinthians 7:7, where Paul calls Christian marriage itself a charism. Marriage is a natural institution which offers many natural goods, such as companionship and children. A Christian marriage, though, is supernatural. Building on a natural foundation, it turns a marriage heavenward and bases it on the rock that is Christ. Christian marriage also reveals the love and unbreakable bond between Christ and His Church.

Celibacy, too, is a charism of the Spirit, says
St. Paul in the very same verse. He’s not talking about people who stay single to have a fun-filled life without the burden of caring for children. Charismatic celibacy means being single in imitation of Christ, for the sake of greater freedom to serve a bigger family. It’s a gift of love to the Lord and to the whole church.


Unwrapping Our Charismatic Gifts

Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Confirmation, Sacrament of Confirmation, Catholic ChurchThree points about the charisms. First, it’s important to remember that they’re gifts for the good of the Church. We can’t just pick out the ones we want and use them as we please. Our charisms need to be discerned and coordinated. Bishops, priests, and deacons have a special charism, received through ordination, for this discernment, and we should all work together with them to build up the whole Church (see Catechism, par. 801).

Second, keep in mind that the humble charisms are just as important as the flashier ones. I have to admit that I’d love to be able to raise the dead and work miracles! But this doesn’t seem to be how God normally works through me. Right from the beginning, God called me to serve Him in more ordinary ways — like offering my music as a gift for use in prayer and the liturgy. I saw my natural gift gradually transformed into a supernatural one that enables people to lift their hearts and minds to God. If we’re faithful in little things like this, the Lord will often give us greater.

St. Paul gives us the most important directive of all about the Spirit’s gifts when he teaches the preeminence of love. If I have spectacular gifts of tongues, prophecy, or healing but “have not love, I am nothing,” he says (1 Cor 13:3). Every charism in the Christian life is intended to build and serve charity or agape. This is the totally self-giving kind of love that God has for us and invites us to return to Him and others. Without charity, everything is in vain (see Catechism, para. 800).


Confimation, Sacrament of Champions, Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Sacrament of ConfirmationA Word to the Confirmed and the Not-Yet Confirmed

If you’re awaiting confirmation or preparing others for this sacrament, I encourage you to realize that the experience of the Holy Spirit — His joy, gifts, and charisms — should be seen as normal for adults who are being confirmed. It destroys faith to entertain thoughts like, “Gee, this might not happen. Better not get my hopes up.” The Holy Spirit does come in power, and we need to be prepared for that — disposed and ready to respond.

Interestingly, in the early Church receiving the Spirit seemed to be a perceptible experience; it made a difference that was noticeable to everyone. Otherwise, how could Paul have told the Galatians: “Have you had such remarkable experiences all to no purpose...? Is it because you observe the law or because you have faith in what you heard that God lavishes the Spirit on you and works wonders in your midst?” (Gal 3:4-5, NAB).

This palpable coming of the Spirit was also reported by Church Fathers writing over an eight-hundred-year period in both the East and the West. As shown in a 1991 study by two accomplished theologians, biblical scholar George Montague and patristics scholar Kilian McDonnell, the Fathers indicated that adults who were baptized and confirmed experienced a difference in their lives. In the words of St. Hilary of
Poitiers, “We who have been reborn through the sacrament of baptism experience intense joy when we feel within us the first stirrings of the Holy Spirit.” Speaking of the charisms right afterwards, he adds, “Let us make use of such generous gifts” (See Fanning the Flame, Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1991, 16).

“But I’ve already been confirmed,” some people say, “and I didn’t feel anything happening.”

This is certain: the grace and power of the Spirit really were communicated to you in confirmation. But the gifts need to be unpacked. It’s like getting a new credit card that can’t be used until you call in and activate it.
St. Paul uses another image to make the same point when he tells Timothy to “stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you” (2 Tm 1:6, NAB).

Holy Spirit, Confirmation, Sacrament of ConfirmationThere are sparks deep within everyone who has been confirmed. Some of us have already felt them leaping up into the fire of the Holy Spirit. Others need to pray that the sparks will burst into flame and that the gifts of the Spirit will be activated and become fruitful for the life of the Church.

“What have I done with my baptism? How do I answer my vocation? What have I done with my confirmation? Have I used the gifts and charisms of the Spirit to bear fruit?” These are the fundamental questions that Pope John Paul II suggests we ask ourselves in light of this new millennium. For each of us, may these questions serve as both an examination of conscience and a spur to action. Let’s ask for the strength of the Spirit to respond to God’s call and live out the grace of confirmation.


This is Part II of The Sacrament of Champions - To read Part I, Click Here!



Follow Us -

Join us on FacebookJoin us on Facebook



Join us on TwitterJoin us on Twitter




Be a part of the “new springtime” of evangelization!  Your tax-deductible gift helps us use TV, radio, and the web to proclaim the message without compromise but in language even the young can understand.  Click here to donate now.



Download and Print The Prodigal Son

Click here to download and print Confirmation, Part II!


For more Catholic resources to feed your faith, visit the Crossroads Initiative Homepage.

 Win a Free CD - Catholic Online Resources

To sign up for our free weekly e-mail with Dr. D'Ambrosio's commentary on the Sunday readings, liturgical feasts, updates on where Dr. D will be speaking, a chance to WIN a FREE CD and MORE, CLICK HERE!

Confirmation - The Sacrament of Champions 

 Sacrament of Confirmation sacrament of Champions, confirmation gift for RCIA & Catholic teens Why do we need the sacrament of confirmation? What is the purpose and meaning of this sacramental anointing? These questions and more are answered by this dynamic talk appropriate for both teens and adults.


God's Seven Gifts: The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church
 God's 7 Gifts |The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church | 6 CD set on liturgy and sacraments The Catholic Church has always emphasized how important the seven sacraments are for our lives. Yet many take these 7 sacraments for granted. With little understanding of the sacraments, many are simply going through the motions. This CD will give you new insight into the meaning of these seven unique embraces of divine love that will unlock the power of the sacraments in your life!



I Believe - The Heart of Catholic Faith

I Believe - The Heart of the Catholic Faith, The Nicence Creed, Catholic FaithThis is an awesome 4 session program to revitalize your faith. I Believe is based on the Creed and is perfect for individuals or families or small groups. The workbook is a treasure of discussion questions, devotions and spiritual exercises that can serve as an easy-to-follow roadmap through the Lenten season that will break you out of stale patterns and enrich both your prayer and your understanding of the central truths of the Catholic faith, empowering you to share that faith with others.



 Exploring the Catholic Church Introduction to Catholic Doctrine and Practice, a Roman Catholic Book Exploring the Catholic Church
Exploring the Catholic Church: An Introduction to Catholic Teaching and Practice by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio is an accessible, affordable Roman Catholic Book--perfect gift for anyone!! -- the inactive Catholic, the Sunday Catholic wanting to know more, Protestants who want to know why Catholics do what they do. This makes the perfect gift for anyone in RCIA or going through Confirmation



The Virtues: Seven Habits of Champions- DVD
 The Virtues: Seven Habits of Champions- DVD Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio offers a spirited 8-part meditation on the four moral virtues - fortitude, prudence, justice and temperance - as well as the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. This program lays out how God's inspiration for Christian living is accessible to everyone and demonstrated for us through the lives of the saints.



BioLean® of the BioLean® Weight Management System - free-shipping

 BioLean of the Bio-Lean weight management & fat-loss system Ephedra-free BioLean®, of the BioLean® Weight Management System, is an excellent natural choice to help jump-start your healthy lifestyle.  The great thing about BioLean® is that is can help reduce body fat even while promoting the development of lean muscle mass --the only path to long-term, healthy weight loss.



The Handbook for Catholic Moms
 The Handbook for Catholic Moms Drawing from the deep tradition of the Catholic faith, Lisa Hendey coaches Catholic moms in how to care for themselves—heart, mind, body, and soul—so that they can better love and care for their families, their neighbors, and their Church.
With warmth and wisdom, Hendey creates an environment where Catholic moms can reflect peacefully upon often-competitive topics like parenting style, types of schooling, and working outside the home. By sharing her own story, Hendey inspires readers to better balance their own needs with the demands of family life and faith commitment.



Feast of Faith - The Transforming Power of the Eucharist  

Feast of Faith, Resource on Eucharist

This enlightening, four-part adult faith formation series developed for the Year of the Eucharist is perfect for Lent, Dr. D’Ambrosio offers profound reflections on the nature of the Holy Eucharist – the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith throughout every season of the Church year.



Psalms: School of Prayer 10 Week CD Set
 Psalms: The School of Prayer 10 Week CD Set This CD series contains the audio from the Psalms DVD series in which Jeff Cavins, Sarah Christmyer, and Dr. Tim Gray provide comprehensive teaching and commentary on the Psalms. Each 50-55 minute talk is designed to follow a lesson in the Psalms Study Set.



 The Seven Deadly Sins, Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio The Seven Deadly Sins - 3 CD Set
What are the Seven Deadly Sins? Join Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio as his explains them in this dynamic 3 part series!



Keeping Your Kids Catholic - CD Set - Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
 Keeping Your Kids Catholic, Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Catholic Church, Vatican II How in this day and age do we raise our children in the Catholic Church? This 2 talk set will shed light and offer suggestions based in faith and reality from Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio, father of five and Catholic Theologian.




Islam and Christianity - CD by Father Mitch Pacwa and Daniel Ali
 Father Mitch Pacwa, Daniel Ali, Islam and Christianity, Muslim, Mohammed Rev. Mitchell Pacwa, S.J. and Daniel Ali give a comprehensive introduction to Islam, presenting the fundamentals of the faith from a Muslim perspective. They explain Islamic beliefs as well as the Koran and Mohammed's Tradition, to help Christians dialogue with their Muslim friends in a respectful, though informed manner. They cover the do's and don'ts for Christians when speaking with Muslims about their Faith.



Great Adventure 8 Week Journey (CD)
 Great Adventure 8 Week Journey CD, Jeff Cavins, Catholic Bible Study Now you can have Jeff Cavins as your personal Bible teacher in the Great Adventure Bible Timeline 8-Week Study! This study is an excellent introduction to the full, 24-week Timeline study, and offers a compelling overview of God's plan of salvation.



 Mercy Minutes Mercy Minutes
This new revised edition includes a foreword by Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, reflecting on filming segments of Mercy Minutes for EWTN television. Start any day and use any year. This perpetual devotional includes brief passages from the Diary of St. Faustina, compiled by Divine Mercy expert Fr. George Kosicki, CSB.



The Fathers of the Church - Who They Are and Why They MatterFathers of the Church Early Church Fathers CD by Marcellino D'Ambrosio

In a single, upbeat talk, full of examples and fascinating stories about some of the Church's most intriguing personalities, Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains who people are talking about when they refer to the "Fathers of the Church" or "Early Church Fathers.  Though the ranks of the fathers include a tremendous variety of cultures, locales, and personalities, there is surprising consensus that emerges from them on a variety of the most pressing questions of our day.  In this dynamic talk, Marcellino makes clear just how much these figures have to teach us. 


BioLean® of the BioLean® Weight Management System - free-shipping

 BioLean of the Bio-Lean weight management & fat-loss system Ephedra-free BioLean®, of the BioLean® Weight Management System, is an excellent natural choice to help jump-start your healthy lifestyle.  Designed to help curb your cravings, promote healthy energy levels, and satisfy your appetite, BioLean® is powered by Advantra Z®, the only patented citrus aurantium extract for weight loss on the market today.  The great thing about BioLean® is that is can help reduce body fat even while promoting the development of lean muscle mass --the only path to long-term, healthy weight loss. 








Resource on the Sacrament of Confirmation





Confimation, Sacrament of Champions, Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Sacrament of ConfirmationConfirmation - The Sacrament of Champions 

Why do we need the sacrament of confirmation? What is the purpose and meaning of this sacramental anointing? These questions and more are answered by this dynamic talk appropriate for both teens and adults.

 CD - $9.00 each $25 for 3!

Cassette - $9.00 each or $25 for 3!

Home | Site Map | Links | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Free Newsletter | Win a CD | Calender | Donate Now!
A ministry of Crossroads Productions, Inc. + PO Box 271227 + Flower Mound, TX 75027 + 1.800.803.0118 + a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.