From a reader…
I’ve recently learned that the graces of the sacrament of marriage are not received until or unless the person is in a state of grace.
Looking back at my own life, how blind and foolish I was, this got me wondering if it’s a similar case for Confirmation. If confirmation is receive in a state of mortal sin, would we not receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and graces until we made a good confession?
This is a good point. It is important that everyone consider this.
You are right about the graces of sacraments.
There is an old distinction about sacraments of the dead (baptism and penance), and sacraments of the living (the other five).
Sacraments of the dead bring you out of spiritual death (Original sin and actual, mortal sins) into life.
Sacrament of the living are to be received by the spiritually alive, in the state of grace. Otherwise, they don’t bring you all that you need from them, even if they are validly conferred.
For example, a man and woman validly marry but they are in the state of mortal sin. They are validly, truly, married, but they don’t have the actual graces of the sacrament until they are in the state of grace.
Similarly, a confirmand or an ordinand in the state of mortal sin are ontologically changed by their sacraments, that is, they are really and truly confirmed or ordained, but they don’t enjoy all the benefits of being confirmed or ordained which the sacraments confer until they return to the state of grace. Once they are in the state of grace, everything kicks into gear.
Remember this also for those who are in danger of death, who are sui compos, and who are to receive the sacrament of anointing.
Draw your own conclusions about receiving the Eucharist when not in the state of grace (hint: sacrilege).
So, and this is for everyone:
If you long to live your vocation well, whatever be your state of life, or if you are under fire or struggling or even drowning with problems, then you need all the spiritual aid that the sacraments can give you. That means, of course, the Eucharist, received in the state of grace. It also means benefiting from your confirmation character when the challenges come! It means benefiting from the sacrament of matrimony to help you live your married lives!
Are you aware of yourself as being outside of God’s friendship because of unconfessed mortal sins?
GO TO CONFESSION!
GO TO CONFESSION!