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 | By Veronica Andrade, Archbishop Mitty High School Class of 2023

Let Yourself Be Loved

While I waited for Confirmation Mass with Bishop Oscar Cantú to begin, I reflected on my journey that culminated in that moment. My faith is the constant in my life. From daily prayers with my family to Sunday Mass, it is the foundation that forms me. At my baptism, my parents committed to raising me in the Church and to cultivating my relationship with God. My first holy communion as a student at Saint John Vianney Catholic School was a group effort with my second-grade class as we prepared to receive the Body and Blood of Christ together. In these two sacraments of initiation, the greater community welcomed me into the faith. Preparing for confirmation, on the other hand, was a personal choice and felt different.

It is quite daunting to be a teenager trying to decide if I am truly prepared to dedicate the rest of my life to practicing my Catholic faith. The pressure to uphold those original baptismal promises made on my behalf intimidated me. Thankfully, my parents' support and gentle patience— they never pressured me to make this eternal commitment — helped me to understand what the Sacrament of Confirmation is about: my relationship with God.

I have always felt peaceful contentment in the faith that grounds me. Its presence prevents me from feeling completely alone in this unsettling world. Through grace, I am confident that God will never leave my side. I would be utterly lost without God, my anchor; therefore, I felt that becoming sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation would be the greatest gift God could bestow upon me.

My confirmation classes at Archbishop Mitty refresh my memory of the catechism that a decade of Catholic school, starting with my elementary school, St. John Vianney, had taught me. Conversations with my family and sponsor further prepared me to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We discussed the difficulties of being a practicing adult Catholic and the challenges that may try to lead us astray from our Faith. Through my parents’ unconditional love and unwavering support, I can confidently say that receiving the sacrament was my choice and a commitment truly for me made by me.

My sponsor, Catherine Gonzales, a close family friend, shared a quote with me from Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, a Carmelite nun, “ ‘Let yourself be loved more than these’ is your vocation.” I came to understand from these few simple words that to show my gratitude for God, I must let myself be open to God’s love. My bond with God can never be severed by the struggles of life or temptations when I allow God to love me. God’s presence will forever be my anchor, so the beauty of that is: my confirmation pledge will not last for an hour during a Mass but, with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and God’s grace, for the rest of my life!

Let Yourself Be Loved 2