“Temptations”—from the sayings and writings of the enemies of religion. To neglect it when we have an opportunity of receiving it without any very great difficulty would be a sin. When persons have been unfortunate enough to grow up without Confirmation, they should come at any time in their lives to receive it, and not be ashamed to do so on account of their age or condition in life.
176 Q. What are the effects of Confirmation? A. The effects of Confirmation are an increase of sanctifying grace, the strengthening of our faith, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
“Increase,” because we must be in a state of grace, that is, having already sanctifying grace in our souls when we receive Confirmation. “Strengthening,” so that we have no doubt about the doctrines we believe.
177 Q. What are the gifts of the Holy Ghost? A. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
178 Q. Why do we receive the gift of fear of the Lord? A. We receive the gift of fear of the Lord to fill us with a dread of sin.
On account of the goodness of God and the punishment He can inflict.
179 Q. Why do we receive the gift of piety? A. We receive the gift of piety to make us love God as a Father, and obey Him because we love Him.
180 Q. Why do we receive the gift of knowledge? A. We receive the gift of knowledge to enable us to discover the will of God in all things.
181 Q. Why do we receive the gift of fortitude? A. We receive the gift of fortitude to strengthen us to do the will of God in all things.
Some know the will of God—what they should do—but they have not the courage to follow the dictates of their conscience. For example, a person goes with bad company: the gift of knowledge will teach him that he should give it up; but the gift of fortitude will enable him to do what his conscience shows him to be right.
182 Q. Why do we receive the gift of counsel? A. We receive the gift of counsel to warn us of the deceits of the devil, and of the dangers to salvation.
The devil is much wiser than we are, and has much more experience, being among the people of the world ever since the time of Adam—about 6,000 years. He could therefore easily deceive and overcome us if God Himself by the gift of counsel did not enable us to discover his tricks and expose his plots. When at times we are tempted, our conscience warns us, and if we follow the warning we shall escape the sin. Counsel tells us when persons or places are dangerous for our salvation.
183 Q. Why do we receive the gift of understanding? A. We receive the gift of understanding to enable us to know more clearly the mysteries of faith.