We receive the Holy Ghost first in the Sacrament of Baptism, but especially in the Sacrament of Confirmation. The grace of Confirmation gives us the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which strengthen our supernatural life and lead us to perfection. Thereby we are enabled to become witnesses and soldiers of Christ.
But the fact is that the Sacrament of Confirmation often represents a fleeting episode in the life of a maturing Christian, whereas the graces connected with it lie fallow and this great Sacrament produces almost no fruit for a great number of people. An indelible character was given to us for all eternity and yet this mark does not shine forth, but is as good as dead in us! Who can retrieve these hidden treasures, if not the Spouse of the Holy Ghost?
Mary was present in the midst of the Apostles when the Holy Ghost descended upon them in tongues of fire. Church art always depicts her in the center, as though to suggest that the tongues of fire of the Holy Ghost spread to the other only by her intercession. The Sacrament of Confirmation is “our Pentecost”. And living in the indelible character of the Holy Ghost can lead our souls to the summit of sanctity.
The first grace of Confirmation is that it enables us to start out on the path to perfection by strengthening our spiritual energies and making us grow “unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). The Holy Ghost fills us with the superabundance of His gifts and graces; He strengthens and transforms us, and in a word fulfills His mission, which He began in Mary’s womb at the Incarnation. Now we know that the Holy Ghost always works entirely through Mary. Accordingly, it is logical that the graces and gifts of the Holy Ghost make me a perfect Christian in the measure in which I place myself under her protective mantle. In other words, the Holy Ghost distributes his graces and gifts always in the very concrete form of the Mediatrix of all His graces.
That means that the gifts always begin to have their effect when a person places himself entirely in the hands of the Immaculata as her instrument. “The Holy Spirit grants no grace, the Father does not send down His own supernatural life through the Son and the Holy Spirit into the soul except through the Mediatrix of all graces, the Immaculate, with her cooperation and by her consent. She received all the treasures of grace as her own and distributes them to whom and in the measure in which she wills” (Fr. Maximilian Kolbe).
In this way the indelible character of the Sacrament of Confirmation is applied in a way that is quite concrete. One could say that the “all-too-spiritual” nature of the Holy Ghost, which for us flesh-bound human beings tends to make His efficacy seem remote, abstract and purely theoretical, now becomes a concrete, visible and practical reality through His Spouse, the Immaculata.