Confirmation - What Exactly Does it Mean??


#1

Hi,
Just a quick word about my beliefs -
I am a former Catholic, and the mass majority of my family is Catholic. A few years ago I became an atheist after deep examination of my spirituality and beliefs. While I do not expect any kind of intolerance on this forum (I have rarely met a Catholic who has been intolerant or disrespectful of my beliefs) I just would like to add that I respect your beliefs as Catholics and I hope you will respect mine and not attempt to convert me.

On to my question -
While I was Catholic, I was confirmed. I was the age of 13, which I personally believe is much too young of an age to make such a decision. While I agreed to be confirmed, I really had no choice in the matter at the time as my mother simply told me I was going to be confirmed and that was that. I was wondering, what exactly does Confirmation entail? I understood it to be a sacrament bringing believers closer to the Church, as well as bringing the person into adulthood in the Church. If this is true, is it not my choice of whether or not I wish to continue to be a part of the Church or if I have to attend mass? (If you cannot tell, I still live at home and my mother is very ardent in ensuring I attend mass with the rest of the family).

It might also be helpful if there is any suggestion as how to break the news to my family that I am no longer part of Catholicism. I think it would break my mother’s heart in particular if I told her I did not believe in any sort of god at all, as Catholicism is a very important part of her life. But I also think it is immoral of me to attend mass, not participate, take communion when I don’t believe the same things about as Catholics do, and to continue to lie to my family about my beliefs.

Thank you in advance for your help!


#2

You can read about Confirmation here: usccb.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt1art2.shtml

Confirmation is often viewed as a sacrament that makes someone an adult or a sacrament where someone chooses to be Catholic. It's not either of those things.

When you were baptized as a baby, you became Catholic. Being confirmed doesn't make you more Catholic or less Catholic. It is a sacrament of initiation, so someone who has been baptized, confirmed, and received their First Communion is a fully initiated Catholic. Someone who hasn't received all three sacraments is not fully initiated. Being confirmed at 13 is not unusual. The sacrament can be conferred to anyone over the age of reason which is usually considered to be about 7. In some dioceses children are confirmed and receive their First Communion when they are 7; in other dioceses it's put off until high school.

I have no advice about telling your mother that you no longer wish to be Catholic. As long as you are living under her roof you are subject to her rules, and if one of those rules is that you must attend Mass with the family then I'll leave it up to you to work things out.

I hope that you will continue to attend Mass with your family. Perhaps you will hear something in Scripture or a song or a homily that will inspire you as you walk out of the church and live your everyday life. Perhaps you will hear something that reminds you of how very much God loves you. And at the very least, you can take some comfort in knowing that you're making your mother happy.


#3

Hi, and welcome to CAF.

First of all, don't be offended if someone here tries to invite you back to the Catholic faith. It is not meant as any sign of disrespect for you as a person; we just love our faith, and out of love for all who visit the forum we sometimes want to share the great treasure of our Catholic faith with others. Don't feel threatened. Rather, there may come a time when you begin to question your decision to leave the faith of your childhood, and I want you to know that you will always be welcome here to get answers to your questions.

Now, on to the Sacrament of Confirmation.

You said that

While I was Catholic, I was confirmed. I was the age of 13, which I personally believe is much too young of an age to make such a decision.

Confirmation is not a decision, nor is it "bringing a person to adulthood." It is a sacrament, which means it is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give us grace (a share of God's life in our soul). Specifically, it is the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity), who comes to us in a special way in this Sacrament. It is a sacrament of strengthening. The root "firm" in the word Con*firm*ation reminds us of the purpose of the Sacrament: to strengthen us in our faith.

When your parents brought you to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, they did exactly as they should have done. We as parents make all kinds of decisions for our children that they are not ready to make for themselves, and we would be irresponsible not to do so. We feed them, send them to school, take them to the doctor when they are sick, etc. It is just as important (actually more important) that we provide for their spiritual needs as well.

Confirmation is administered at different ages. In the Roman Catholic Church it is usually given any time after the age of reason (about age 7), and in the United States it is often given sometime between middle school and high school (I was in 4th grade for mine). In some Eastern rites of the Catholic Church it is given along with Baptism to infants, which proves that it is not a "coming of age" or adult decision thing.

At Confirmation you received the seven "Gifts of the Holy Spirit," which are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude (courage), Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord. Of course, gifts are useless if we do not open and use them. They are gifts that last a lifetime and can be called upon at any time. I challenge you to open yours and pray to the Holy Spirit. What harm can come of it? If God exists (and I am certain He does), He may fill you with His blessings and call you back to Himself and His Church.

Feel free to visit these forums at any time if you have more questions. I hope I don't offend you by saying that I will pray for you.


#4

I taught CCD classes for Confirmation for several years and I would begin the class by asking the students to explain to me why they were Catholic. To a student, no knew why, which was quite sad, but over the years I began to anticipate.
The reason they were Catholic as are you, is that the choice was made by the parents, so I posited the Confirmation classes I taught as an investigation into the Catholic faith to allow the student to determine, “Did Mom & Dad make the right choice, and can I now CONFIRM that choice voluntarily on my own cognition?” CON - meaning “with” FIRM - meaning “strong,hard,foudational” TION - meaning “a process”.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the PROCESS by which a young adult WITH STRONG belief accepts the decision of his parents in Baptizing them in the Catholic faith and in which they voluntarily decide to continue.
The Catholic Church upholds that a persons conscience stands above all else and should never be intentionally violated for coerced for forced. If a person does not believe in God, we cannot force them to do so, without violating their conscience.

That being said, I doubt that you truly analyzed your spiritual life, because I do not think you actually understood “Catholicism”, which was the case for ALL my Confirmation Students over the course of 4 years. I do not know what has happened in Catholic families, but there is not the teaching, research, prayer life, and focus on the faith in a familly environment anymore. The kids are left to “whatever” they learn in CCD and that is that. Perhaps it all started with the need for dual income parents, I don’t know, but I do know the kids are clueless to the beauty, grace and Presence of our Lord and Savior in the Church.

Therefore, as you continue in your lifes journey, I would suggest that to give credit to you Mom’s love for you, that you begin to read books about the faith, saints and Eucharist and get CD’s. Do not simply base your decision today on the weak foundation and media bias you may have encountered in some movies, but instead be honest and say, “I don’t know much about my faith, and what I do know is not strong enough for me to stay, but for the sake of Mom, I will dig a little deeper before I make a final decision”. Then the next time you attend Mass with Mom, in your own thoughts, just say - Jesus help me understand that you exist. - And then be open to His answer.

For Christmas ask Mom to buy you the CD from Father Larry Richards entitled “TRUTH” she can find it online at www.thereasonforourhope.org


#5

I find your story touching, mostly because you are living my life, 20 years ago. I left God, did my own thing, called myself agnostic or atheist or whatever my mind wanted to believe, just avoiding God and His great love for me. I did this, I think, because I was scared to feel that love, scared to devote my life to the obedience that I knew would be required when I finally felt Him in my life. The obedience, I have found now, to be nothing but overwhleming joy!. Oh, when he finally touched me, in His own time and for His own Glory, I cried becasue I knew I had turned my back on Him and all the love He pured on me. All the blessings in my life, all the happiness I was living, He continued to give to me despite my refusal to accept them. Nonetheless, when I was ready to turn around, there he was.

I was raised catholic, was confirmed, the decided to leave the church like you have. I did not know anything about my faith. When it was time to raise my own children, my wife and I decided to raise them Catholic, so we began to take them to church. Every time I went to mass, I listened a little harder. Then I started praying again. Wow, I felt it now. I prayed more, and I began to ask Jesus Christ to give my back faith. Give me peace. Help me give your gift to my children. Like yesterday, I remember hearing him say, “I have always been here. You will have peace” In my heart, he was always there, no matter what I believed. He lifted my face, wiped away the tears, and it has been joy ever since. This year, I had my first Easter and my first advent, and now my first Christmas is coming. Maranna tha! This has a been a special year.

I think you are on the same path as I was not so long ago. The reason I say this is because of something you wrote made me think, God is still in his heart. You wrote:

“I also think it is immoral of me to attend mass, not participate, take communion when I don’t believe the same things about as Catholics do, and to continue to lie to my family about my beliefs.”

What does an atheist have to do with morals. I am not taking about being a good and bad person, I was not a bad person just because I didn’t believe in the one true God, but you are concerned about telling lies, descrating the loving Eucharist because you dont believe in the Body, etc…this means you still see the joy of following God’s law, and you in some way still revere the host as Holy despite your current theological philosophy. That bread, that body of Christ, lives in you heart! It is powerful, it is turth, light, love, and the one true way to eternal happiness with our Lord. That Faith is what saves us from eternal loss of God: Hell.

The next time you try to wrap your arms around a 100 year old tree, ask yourself what you really know about this life. I hope you realize one day that God is not a choice. That God lives in us as His image of love. You remain a good person, for His glory, because that is how he made you, no matter what you believe. I am not sorry to preach and evangelize, because without love, we are all gongs. So I hope you here my message for when a person becomes so filled with the loving grace of God like I am, it is only natural to want to share that with others; especially those who are walking the same sorrowful steps I walked once upon a time. Maybe I will make you think, maybe I won’t; however, my God loves you, always, no matter what you do or where you go. He will be there when you are ready for him. He will always be your God.

Abounding love for you my brother and peace in Christ,

Christian Love


#6

[quote="SuscipeMeDomine, post:2, topic:180685"]
he sacrament can be conferred to anyone over the age of reason which is usually considered to be about 7. In some dioceses children are confirmed and receive their First Communion when they are 7; in other dioceses it's put off until high school.

[/quote]

When I was being confirmed as a pre-teen back in the early 1970's, there were some in the class that were excused because they were confirmed already as babies at the time of baptism. I never understood that.


#7

[quote="SuscipeMeDomine, post:2, topic:180685"]

I have no advice about telling your mother that you no longer wish to be Catholic. As long as you are living under her roof you are subject to her rules, and if one of those rules is that you must attend Mass with the family then I'll leave it up to you to work things out.

I hope that you will continue to attend Mass with your family. Perhaps you will hear something in Scripture or a song or a homily that will inspire you as you walk out of the church and live your everyday life. Perhaps you will hear something that reminds you of how very much God loves you. And at the very least, you can take some comfort in knowing that you're making your mother happy.

[/quote]

Thank you for the feedback, but I simply do not agree that I should go to mass simply because it is a rule of the household. Surely as a Catholic you must agree that spirituality (or lack thereof) is a very important thing in a person's life and it should not be forced on someone.
And if it gives you any hope, I do pay attention to the readings and even closer attention to the homilies in the mass. It just does not speak to me.


#8

[quote="Sir_Knight, post:6, topic:180685"]
When I was being confirmed as a pre-teen back in the early 1970's, there were some in the class that were excused because they were confirmed already as babies at the time of baptism. I never understood that.

[/quote]

They were probably Byzantine Catholic (or another Eastern rite of the Catholic Church that has infant "Chrismation" or Confirmation), or, if Roman Catholic, perhaps they were confirmed as infants because they were ill and in danger of death (and in special need of the strengthening of the Holy Spirit).


#9

[quote="Sir_Knight, post:6, topic:180685"]
When I was being confirmed as a pre-teen back in the early 1970's, there were some in the class that were excused because they were confirmed already as babies at the time of baptism. I never understood that.

[/quote]

Eastern Catholics confirm infants. To me it makes perfect sense since the two sacraments are closely related. In the West we separated confirmation so that the bishop could confer the sacrament.

[quote="quickquestion, post:7, topic:180685"]
Thank you for the feedback, but I simply do not agree that I should go to mass simply because it is a rule of the household. Surely as a Catholic you must agree that spirituality (or lack thereof) is a very important thing in a person's life and it should not be forced on someone.

[/quote]

I'm sure there are many rules that you might prefer to ignore. You might similarly say that education is an important thing and shouldn't be forced on someone, yet I'm sure your parents insist that you go to school. Students can refuse to participate in their classes and can come out of them not having mastered the material, but their parents probably think it best that they attend anyway.

There will come a time when the decisions will be yours to make. At least you'll have had the exposure and will be able to make a decision.


#10

[quote="Julian0404, post:4, topic:180685"]
I taught CCD classes for Confirmation for several years and I would begin the class by asking the students to explain to me why they were Catholic. To a student, no knew why, which was quite sad, but over the years I began to anticipate.
The reason they were Catholic as are you, is that the choice was made by the parents, so I posited the Confirmation classes I taught as an investigation into the Catholic faith to allow the student to determine, "Did Mom & Dad make the right choice, and can I now CONFIRM that choice voluntarily on my own cognition?" CON - meaning "with" FIRM - meaning "strong,hard,foudational" TION - meaning "a process".
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the PROCESS by which a young adult WITH STRONG belief accepts the decision of his parents in Baptizing them in the Catholic faith and in which they voluntarily decide to continue.
The Catholic Church upholds that a persons conscience stands above all else and should never be intentionally violated for coerced for forced. If a person does not believe in God, we cannot force them to do so, without violating their conscience.

That being said, I doubt that you truly analyzed your spiritual life, because I do not think you actually understood "Catholicism", which was the case for ALL my Confirmation Students over the course of 4 years. I do not know what has happened in Catholic families, but there is not the teaching, research, prayer life, and focus on the faith in a familly environment anymore. The kids are left to "whatever" they learn in CCD and that is that. Perhaps it all started with the need for dual income parents, I don't know, but I do know the kids are clueless to the beauty, grace and Presence of our Lord and Savior in the Church.

[/quote]

While I agree that in the Church there is a lack of teaching, I will not agree that in my family that is the case. We (well the rest of my family anyway) pray before every meal, my mother has always emphasized the importance of prayer, she encourages us to read the Bible, and in addition to that she is too a CCD teacher, and I am her assistant (yes I know, perhaps problematic for an atheist to do this but I would never teach anything against the Catholic faith in such a situation). I would say I'm actually more knowledgeable about Catholicism than most people my age - I attend a Catholic school. I have read a good amount of both the Bible and the CCC.
And please do not doubt that I gave this matter serious thought. I actually did a large amount of reading and research on several religions, and Catholicism was of course the one I did the most on. I meditated, I prayed, I did everything I could possibly to discover my spirituality. And I came to my conclusion.

[quote="Julian0404, post:4, topic:180685"]
Therefore, as you continue in your lifes journey, I would suggest that to give credit to you Mom's love for you, that you begin to read books about the faith, saints and Eucharist and get CD's. Do not simply base your decision today on the weak foundation and media bias you may have encountered in some movies, but instead be honest and say, "I don't know much about my faith, and what I do know is not strong enough for me to stay, but for the sake of Mom, I will dig a little deeper before I make a final decision". Then the next time you attend Mass with Mom, in your own thoughts, just say - Jesus help me understand that you exist. - And then be open to His answer.

[/quote]

I understand entirely why you wish for me to do these things - read books about the Church, saints, etc., asking for Jesus' help. But again, be aware I have done all these things.
Perhaps you could understand the different perspective on this if I asked you to read about Islam, the miracles of Islam, its history, and pray to Allah to understand his existence, then be open to his answer. There's probably no way you'd do this. And just the same there's no way I would pray to something I do not believe in.
And do not assume I made this decision based on "media bias". Most people in media are actually Christian. And the majority of media I use is music, and none of it has any religious ties to it.


#11

Refrain from reception of holy communion. You can attend Mass though, belief or not. It’s neither moral or immoral to sit in the pew and refrain from reception. God isn’t offended non believers are present in church if they are respectful.


#12

While I appreciate that my story touched you, I am troubled by what you wrote. “What does an atheist have to do with morals?” While the issue of morality is something we cannot simply understand or throw away, I am offended that you believe that atheism cannot be moral. While probably most will disagree with this, I do not believe belief in a god brings morality into our lives. Morality, as I understand it, is the do’s and don’ts in society, integrated over a long period of time. We understand it is immoral to kill because that is detrimental to society. I understand personally that for me, it’s not ok to lie (most of the time), because it will eventually blow up in your face and make your life more painful. When it comes to morality, I try to live by the Buddhist philosophy which goes something like “Good actions will bring good consequences, and bad actions will bring bad consequences.” It doesn’t take belief in a god, let alone Jesus to figure this out. It is a lesson just about everyone eventually will learn, even if it’s not spelled out this way.
And again, I understand that you believe that you should evangelize all and bring them to the Church, please remember I am here simply trying to find an answer to a couple questions. Nothing anyone can say here will turn me to theism, let alone Christianity. I do not try to turn you on to atheism, please do not try to turn me on to Catholicism.


#13

Yes I agree and I tried this for a while, but it caused a huge argument between me and my parents. They wish for me to take communion, and I am simply trying to not cause problems between us.


#14

[quote="PhilotheaZ, post:3, topic:180685"]

When your parents brought you to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, they did exactly as they should have done. We as parents make all kinds of decisions for our children that they are not ready to make for themselves, and we would be irresponsible not to do so. We feed them, send them to school, take them to the doctor when they are sick, etc. It is just as important (actually more important) that we provide for their spiritual needs as well.

I challenge you to open yours and pray to the Holy Spirit. What harm can come of it? If God exists (and I am certain He does), He may fill you with His blessings and call you back to Himself and His Church.

Feel free to visit these forums at any time if you have more questions. I hope I don't offend you by saying that I will pray for you.

[/quote]

While I disagree that taking a child to Church is of more importance than ensuring that he is healthy and educated, I do appreciate the nice response. :D
And of course you do not offend me by saying that you will pray for me. You are free to believe what you want and to say and do what you like, no matter how much I disagree with it. :thumbsup:


#15

[quote="quickquestion, post:13, topic:180685"]
Yes I agree and I tried this for a while, but it caused a huge argument between me and my parents. They wish for me to take communion, and I am simply trying to not cause problems between us.

[/quote]

The only thing you can hope may help is telling the priest about this so he can help your parents understand that you can not recieve, and you love them but you are not a believer right now. Leaving the door open that you may again be one. It may go over better if they hear it from him. It sounds like you have tried your best on your own. I am sure the priest will help you here. Just a thought that popped into my head, feel free to reject it utterly.
Best to you in this


#16

It is not simply a rule that I prefer to ignore. It is a serious matter and faith is a personal decision. Freedom of religion is one of the things that makes me American.
Whether or not there is a heaven or hell, my lack of faith is not seriously detrimental to society. However, having a population that is ignorant and has the power to elect officers is a much more dangerous thing. Certainly students can refuse to participate in school and flunk out and struggle throughout life. That is their choice. But many American students see education as a punishment. I see it as an opportunity to better myself, better my world, and better the future of my children and their children. I believe we should leave the world a better place than we found it, and education is the best way to do so.
Besides that, it is a law that children attend school until the age of 18 (unless they choose to drop out at 16 and join the work force). There is a good reason for this. It however is not a law that I should attend church. And there is a good reason for this as well.


#17

[quote="StrawberryJam, post:15, topic:180685"]
The only thing you can hope may help is telling the priest about this so he can help your parents understand that you can not recieve, and you love them but you are not a believer right now. Leaving the door open that you may again be one. It may go over better if they hear it from him. It sounds like you have tried your best on your own. I am sure the priest will help you here. Just a thought that popped into my head, feel free to reject it utterly.
Best to you in this

[/quote]

Thanks for the advice, I will talk to the priest after the holidays! :thumbsup:


#18

The word "confirmation" describes what GOD does in this sacrament, not what YOU do in the sacrament. This is not a sacrament by which you "confirm" your baptism.

This sacrament is meant to come after Baptism and BEFORE your first reception of Holy Communion. It's only quite recently that the Roman Church encouraged Holy Communion before Confirmation.

The Roman Catechism (from after the Council of Trent) says that "after Baptism, the Sacrament of Confirmation may indeed be administered to all; but that, until children shall have attained the use of reason, its administration is inexpedient. If it does not seem well to defer (Confirmation) to the age of twelve, it is most proper to postpone this Sacrament at least to that of seven years."


#19

[quote="quickquestion, post:10, topic:180685"]
While I agree that in the Church there is a lack of teaching, I will not agree that in my family that is the case. We (well the rest of my family anyway) pray before every meal, my mother has always emphasized the importance of prayer, she encourages us to read the Bible, and in addition to that she is too a CCD teacher, and I am her assistant (yes I know, perhaps problematic for an atheist to do this but I would never teach anything against the Catholic faith in such a situation). I would say I'm actually more knowledgeable about Catholicism than most people my age - I attend a Catholic school. I have read a good amount of both the Bible and the CCC.
And please do not doubt that I gave this matter serious thought. I actually did a large amount of reading and research on several religions, and Catholicism was of course the one I did the most on. I meditated, I prayed, I did everything I could possibly to discover my spirituality. And I came to my conclusion.

I understand entirely why you wish for me to do these things - read books about the Church, saints, etc., asking for Jesus' help. But again, be aware I have done all these things.
Perhaps you could understand the different perspective on this if I asked you to read about Islam, the miracles of Islam, its history, and pray to Allah to understand his existence, then be open to his answer. There's probably no way you'd do this. And just the same there's no way I would pray to something I do not believe in.
And do not assume I made this decision based on "media bias". Most people in media are actually Christian. And the majority of media I use is music, and none of it has any religious ties to it.

[/quote]

Dear QuickQuestion:
Well you certainly have had the proper environment in which to learn and understand the Catholic Faith, and perhaps at some time in the future an experience in life may bring you back, but if your conscience is unable to grasp or believe, then let it be your guide. I will keep you in my prayers.
And as a sidebar, I am studying the Mulsim Faith. As you recoginize, it is important to know what all peoples believe because we are all in this world together until we all stand before Jesus.


#20

HOPE: I have hope for you. I did not say that an atheist doesn’t have morals; I asked, “What does [he] need with them. I went on to say, an atheist can be a “good” person, and then you defined that as having morals. However, to those with a God, there is a difference. For Catholics it means we have a natural law that is written in our hearts by God (2 Cor 2-3), and to follow that law (right and wrong, the Golden rule, etc), is to keep our covenant with God (we believe in Him and His Son, and we are saved). So being good and having morals are two different things. You made note of this point but completely scooted by the fact that you feel bad about taking communion. Why is it an issue with you? If you don’t believe in God, it should not bother you to go eat a piece of bread in a ceremony that means nothing to you. I, along with many in this forum, do believe that that bread is the true presence of Christ with us each and every time we go to mass. It is the reason we bow in front of the tabernacle: Emmanuel, God-with-us. Is it the respect and love for Mother? More likely, right? This later reason is why I believe there is still God in you (I will explain this more below). You feel that natural law and it makes you uncomfortable when you receive communion while you are not in communion with Him. At least I hope that is the case, because like any good Christian, I hold hope up on high esteem.
FAITH: Freedom from religion was created to prevent the problems that surround the Christendom of the Roman empire after Theodosius made it the only religion to be practiced. The religion grew in strength with the empire and began electing emperors. To not accept the religion was to go against the state and vice versa…we all know that that was not going to work, and eventually it all blew up in the inquisitions and people looking for a new place to practice their Christian faith here in America.
This country was founded by individuals who believed in Jesus Christ. It was a law then to teach children about God and Jesus. Education took second place in the survival of those times. Nonetheless, here we are now in this great democracy where the masses should and must be educated even at the cost of God, and I will be the first to admit, we have done a very poor job of bringing our society to a higher “moral” standard. The decay of this country’s fabric is apparent to everyone with any sense of right or wrong regardless as to whether we are the strongest nation on the planet.
Luke 1:
50[God’s] mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
Good deeds don’t always have good outcomes, and bad deeds sometimes are not brought to justice. Justice is something we will have when the Sun rises up over the darkness at the end of days. This is Faith and Hope.
Your individual decision to turn away from God may not be “seriously detrimental to society,” but it is a problem when people see themselves as individuals. “What can I do, I am just one person?” You are part of a group, and groups of people have much more power with responsibility, and as more and more turn away from God, the fabric unravels more. I was part of that group, but now I praise the Lord for my salvation, and I try to give it back to others as I have had it done to me. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states "1895 Society ought to promote the exercise of virtue, not obstruct it. It should be animated by a just hierarchy of values."
LOVE: And then it we come to the greatest of the theological values and virtues, not unique to the Godly or godless: Love (1 Cor 13:13). It is with tender love that I have seen other tell you how they will pray for you, how they want to give you advice as to how to get around receiving communion and not hurting your family, how they care for you, a brother in Christ though not a believer. That is enough for us, to know that God is love and in some way we want to be part of that. How you call your God (or not) may not be relevant from His standpoint, but God is Love. "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him (1Jn 4:12&16). If you live in love (for your mother as an example) then God lives in you. Your respect for your mother and her beliefs stems from love, it is the basis of natural law, written on our hearts by God himself. The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to see Him now, or later, but one day before it is too late; I hope you do see him again.
I am not bashing on you quickquestion, seriously, just getting my preach on I guess. Our power to chose for ourselves is the ultimate godliness we tote around like children, but it is time to put away childish things (ref 1 Cor 13:11-12; 14:20). Wield your power justly.

And it is with great Love for all of mankind that we give thanks to the LORD our God on this eve of the birth of His Son to save us all. As we prepare to celebrate with joy the feast of his birth, may the LORD Jesus Christ renew in the hearts the love of God and neighbor which is the true sign of his kingdom to come.

“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir (Galatians 4:6-7).”
Merry Christmas


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