I recall reading an old 1970’s rapture book. In it, a born-again girl invited her friend who didn’t know Jesus personally to her church. The Spirit was moving the non-converted girl to have the courage to raise her voice in singing and accept Jesus’ love, but, out of fear, conscious teenager that she was, she didn’t accept, despite that her Christian friend was singing loudly in love of Jesus. Of course, the rapture was a few days later, and the non-Christian girl was left behind.
Despite the errors of the rapture doctrine, there is much truth here, I admit. The teens being confirmed in the Catholic Church at eighth grade is too young. Too self conscious they are. They can hardly whimper the responses to the bishop’s questions. Singing? Impossible! No, they must rather prefer their vulgar rap music and noise that is called heavy metal. They would sooner die than participate in Mass. The girls heros are Britney Spears and the boys heros are NFL athletes, not the saints. Very sad this is.
Remember, a sacrament that can only be received once, like Baptism and Confirmation, can be validly celebrated, in which case, it cannot be repeated, but may not be FRUITFUL, in which case, it will revive when there is restoration of grace.
Absolutely, a personal relationship with Christ, the Father, and Spirit is essential. For how can one say one loves God if one has not a relationship with God that is intensely personal? This is indisputable. If one loves a person, they seek to know and understand that person, and would never be ashamed of showing their allegiance to that person in public, especially where it is called for. “If you are ashamed of me before men, I will be ashamed of you also before my Father…”