Confirmation: marks and seals, sin and salvation.

Posted June 6, 2017 8:13 pm by Isten Joe

Evil is an absence.
The mark upon the brow – y’know, that mark of the beast thing so chatted about in fundamentalist circles – is only half the conversation (cf Revelation 13:16-17). The mark of the Lamb, the Seal of the Holy Spirit traced upon the brow of every confirmand this season of Pentecost and Trinity, is the Sign of the Cross, traced with the Sacred Chrism.

Be sealed with the Holy Spirit.

CCC1304 Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the “character,” which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness.

Liturgical Christians, frankly, know better than others that the whole “mark upon the forehead” issue which traumatizes non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, is not a problem for those who receive the Seal of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation (cf Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30). Sure, Catholics can sell their souls and lose grace and, by so doing, become lost in this world to the world, becoming no different that those who, in the absence of the Seal of the Holy Spirit, are signed with the mark of the Beast. Catholics must necessarily “own” the Gift which they have received, working out our salvation with trembling and fear (Philippians 2:12), with awe and with deliberate cooperation with the grace given by God.

A side note on “knowing better”. The Bool of Revelation is a liturgical work (cf Described in its pages is the liturgy of Heaven and earth. A disciple familiar with the Sacred Liturgy will recognize in its pages a tapestry of the ars celebrandi of salvation in Christ, replete with warnings of dangers and exhortations to persevere in the Faith and to persevere in the faithful celebration of Holy Mass. The visions confirm that we have one foot on earth and one foot in heaven. Saint John, speaking in liturgical “code” to those under severe persecution, knew his listeners would understand that he was encouraging them to keep the Faith by keeping the Liturgy undefiled and, by so doing, would keep their souls. Rather than buying and trading with the world to achieve the approval of the world, the Christian, sealed with the Blood of the Lamb, would pass beyond this world past oblivion and the absence (emptiness) of the devil to enjoy the fullness of life in Jesus Christ.

The mark of the Beast is exactly that – an absence. 666 is complete or total imperfection, six being the number of the devil and thus the number of incompleteness, of absence. Emperor Nero certainly represented a timely embodiment of the Anti-Christ, the embodiment of all that is opposed to the Lamb of God. The devil is always trying to mimic the Lord.

The soul, without the baptismal character of the redeemed in Christ and the strengthening of the Holy Ghost in Confirmation (con = with; firmatio = strength), risks compliance with the (fading) ruler of this world, the devil.

Catholics have the distinct advantage, provided they continue to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, of being identified with the Lamb. As prophesied (cf Ezekiel 9:4), the Tau, the “T” or Cross which God sees marked upon the lintel of the forehead, saves the soul from death.

cf also:

As the Angel of Death passed over the houses of the Jews captive in Egypt (alien/nation) marked with the blood of a lamb (cf Exodus 12:1-32), a type of the Christ to come, i.e., the Lamb of God Who is Jesus Christ, the True Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world, so too death passes over the redeemed soul who, faithful to God and enrolled in the Book of Life, enters into the promised land.

Of Feasts and Festivals

Shavuot: the Law (inscribed upon stone tablets). God delivered the Law to Moses at Sinai.

Pentecost: the fulfillment of the Law (now inscribed by the Holy Spirit upon the human heart). The Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and Mary

Passover and Easter. 7 (completeness) x 7 = 49, and the 50th.

The Hebrew word פּסח pesach (Strong’s #6453) is the noun behind the word for ‘Passover’ and comes from the verb פּסח pâsach ‘to pass over, spring/leap over’ (Strong’s #6452). From a numerological point of view and that of biblical neatness it is rather amazing that the word for probably the most important Jewish festival celebrating the Exodus redemption occurs exactly 49 times. Essentially 7×7, symbolic of perfection, a week of weeks leading up to a Pentecost (50 days later). Furthermore, the root verb occurs exactly 7 times. [S]

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Mary accompanies us through the valley of the shadow of death as she accompanied her Son as she stood at the foot of the Cross. Mary is the woman clothed in the sun, with a crown of stars, crushing the serpent beneath her feet. She, our Mother, will intercede for us to help us gain safe passage through the Red Sea, to endure this valley of tears and to pass through the desert to finally enter that land of milk and honey. She is our life, our sweetness and our hope (cf Salve Regina) who points us to Jesus, her son, the very Son of God Whose death and resurrection destroyed death and purchased for us the reward of eternal life.

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