Bishop Ricken

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The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we grow in wisdom

By | June 14, 2022

Editor’s note:

This week’s column is based on the homily that Bishop Ricken has given at confirmation Masses this spring.

My Brother and Sister Confirmands,

What a joy and honor to be with you here, today, for the conferral of the Holy Spirit upon you. You were given the gift of the Holy Spirit when you were baptized as a child and, today, the Holy Spirit will come alive in you in a new way. He will accompany you all the days of your life.

Today, I ask you to continue to develop a deep and abiding friendship with Jesus. Invite him to be your best friend, and he will hear and answer that invitation. Offer simple and humble prayer, and the Holy Spirit, who is the very love of God personified, will help you to keep the friendship growing and developing.

It is through the gifts of the Holy Spirit that you will grow in wisdom and knowledge, making you able to reflect on your own life from God’s point of view, as well as to help others understand their lives in light of God’s love. You will know that you are created in the image and likeness of God and you will be able to help others know that they are, too. In all God does, God makes no mistakes; God doesn’t make junk! He makes noble human beings whom he loves and asks for love in return.

Through the gifts of understanding and counsel, you will be able to help guide the lives of others. You will bring hope to your families and classmates and friends through the use of these gifts you are given today. All you have to do is quietly ask the Holy Spirit to help you and he will be right there with you; especially when you are trying to help someone else.

Through fortitude and piety, you will be strong in defending Jesus and the Catholic Church. You will become like a soldier for Christ. You will fight off temptations and attacks against God and the Church, and you will have a strong desire to pray. The more you pray, the more you will want to pray. You will never want to miss a Mass on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, because you love God so much and you would never want to hurt him. Use the Sunday Mass to give God gratitude for the blessings of the past week and ask him for blessings on the week to come.

You will have a strong attraction to the sacrament of reconciliation and confession, because you do not want sin or the effects of sin to poison your souls. The sacrament, especially when received on a monthly basis, helps one to grow and delivers us from the psychological weight of our sins. You will want to be filled with the light and love of the Spirit of God who gives joy and peace to those around them. The sacrament of confession is the dispensary of God’s merciful love and light that helps you to see and embrace the Love of God all around you.

You will have fear of the Lord, while you grow constantly in your understanding of the breadth, the width, the height and depth of the power of the Creator, the Almighty God. From your studies of the cosmos and the universe, surely you are aware that there had to be a Being who made all of creation, including the universe and all its parts. Therefore, you will have fear of the Lord because he is holy and powerful, and you will know that he has chosen to use that power to extend mercy and love to all his creation!  As the old hymn goes, “For he is mighty Lord, God of all; He is love and Lord of us all.”

May the Holy Spirit bless you abundantly and guide you today and every day!

Follow Bishop Ricken on Twitter, @BpDavidRicken.

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