"Faustina, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit," the Bishop said as he laid his hands on my head.
I was in eighth grade, and Saint Faustina was not yet even a very popular saint. In fact, she hadn't even been officially canonized yet. But my mom had us praying Divine Mercy Chaplets on the drives home from school, and taking us to Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations each year at the Shrine. Her message spoke to me, and I chose her to be my patron for Confirmation.
In silence, the Bishop finished his prayer over me, and I returned to my seat. In the depths of my soul I felt a deep feeling of quiet peace. I knew something powerful had just happened though it was all so simple, subtle, and calm.
Our teachers had told us that in the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Holy Spirit strengthens us for our mission and that mission means to be "sent." We were being sent forth. Looking back on that day, I realized that in receiving the Holy Spirit, I received a great gift of mercy and an invitation to be an instrument of that mercy.
On this Memorial of Saint Faustina, Jesus asks in today's Gospel in Luke 10:37 about who acted as a neighbor to the Good Samaritan. "The one who treated him with mercy,” the scholar of the law responds. “Go and do likewise,” Jesus responds, even to each of us, sending us off to be instruments of His mercy.
Think about a time when the Spirit has encountered you and filled you with mercy? How can we share the mercy we have received today?