The purpose of Chrismation is to enable us to share in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This anointing brings the Lord Jesus ­himself to dwell in us, our only salvation and hope.

Through ­him we are made sharers in the Holy Spirit and are led to the Fa­ther.

Unfailingly it procures for Christians those gifts that are needed in every age, gifts such as faith, reverence for God, prayer, love, and purity.

It does so even though many are un­aware of having received such gifts.

Many do not know the power of this Sacrament or even that there is a Holy Spirit, as it says in the Book of Acts, because they were anointed before reaching the age of reason and afterward they blinded their ­souls by sin.

Nevertheless, the Spirit does in truth give the newly initiated his gifts, distributing them to each one as he wills; and our Lord, who promised to be with us always, never ceases ­to shower blessings on us.

Chrismation cannot be superfluous. We obtain the remis­sion of our sins in Baptism and we receive the body of Christ at the Altar. These Sacraments will remain until the unveiled appearance of their author.

It cannot be doubted, then, that Christians also enjoy the benefits that belong to this holy anointing and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

How could some Sacraments be fruitful and this one without effect? How can we be­lieve that Saint Paul’s words: He who promised is faithful, apply to some Sacraments but not to this one?

If we discount the value of any Sacrament we must discount the value of all, since it is the same power that acts in each of them, it is the immolation of the same Lamb, it is the same death and the same blood that gives each of them its efficacy.

The Holy Spirit is given to some, as St Paul says, to enable them to do good to others and to edify the Church by prophesying, teaching revealed truth, or healing the sick by a mere word.

The Spirit is given to others for their own sanctification, imparting to them a shining faith and reverence for God, or making them outstanding in purity, charity, or humility.

Nicholas Cabasilas (1319/1323–after 1391): The Life in Christ, 3 (PG 150:574-575); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Thursday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide, Year 2

Advertisements