Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

St. Bonaventure

It certainly seems fitting that today, after the terrible events in France last evening, that we celebrate the feast of St. Bonaventure, who died in Lyon, France on this date in 1274 attending the Council of Lyon.

St. Bonaventure's birth name was John. He became very ill when he was a child and at his mother's request, St. Francis of Assisi prayed for his recovery. When John did get better the good saint exclaimed, "O Buona ventura"-O good fortune!" Even then it is said that St. Francis saw the potential in St. Bonaventure.

As a young man, St. Bonaventure entered the Franciscan order and was sent from his home in Italy to live and study in France. He studied under many learned men including St. Thomas Aquinas.

He did a lot for the Franciscans including:

Apparently he died very suddenly after experiencing very severe abdominal pain!.   Perhaps it was a simple bowel obstruction or even appendicitis! Who knows!  But that is how he came to be the patron of all afflictions of the bowel.

Prayer after mass written by St. Bonaventure:
O sweetest Lord Jesus Christ, I implore Thee, pierce the very marrow of my soul with the delightful, health-giving dart of Thy love, with true, tranquil, holy, apostolic charity, so that my whole soul may ever languish and faint for love of Thee and for desire of Thee alone. May it long and pine for Thy courts; may it ever desire to be dissolved and to be with Thee. 
Grant that my soul may hunger for Thee, Who art the bread of angels, the comforting nourishment of all holy souls, our daily and most delectable bread, our supersubstantial bread, in which is found every sweet delight. May my heart ever hunger for Thee, on whom the angels lovingly gaze; may it feed on Thee; and may the innermost depths of my being be filled with the sweetness which comes from having tasted Thee. 
May my soul ever thirst for Thee, Who art the source of life, the fount of wisdom and knowledge, the brightness of everlasting light, the flood of all true happiness, the riches of the house of God. May I at all times think of Thee; may I ever seek Thee and ever find Thee; 
 may I always follow thee and reach Thee; may Thy holy name be in my heart and on my lips; and to Thy praise and glory may every work of mine be done. Humble and discreet, loving and happy, ever ready and cheerful in Thy service, may I persevere, by Thy grace, even unto the end. Be Thou alone and evermore my hope; be Thou all my trust; be Thou my wealth, my delight, my joy, my consolation, my rest, my endless peace. Be Thou to me as a goodly taste, as a pleasant perfume, as a soothing sweetness. 
Be Thou my food and my refreshment; my refuge and my help; my wisdom; my portion, mine own possession and my treasure. In Thee, O Lord, may my mind and my heart remain fixed and firm, and rooted immovably for evermore.

St. Bonaventure is a doctor of the church and is also known as The Seraphic Doctor.


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