A Letter to My Daughter on Her Confirmation

Dear Elizabeth,

Wow. So often today, I looked at you and saw the little four-year-old Catholic school girl bravely marching in to her first day of Kindergarten. I saw the precocious four-year-old reciting the rosary in the front pew of the church. I saw the first grader whose voice somehow rose above all others during the hymns at Mass.

I saw the precious infant, cuddled in my arms, who I thought would never start putting on weight. I remembered the moment the tears came, as the baptismal water was poured over your forehead. And I remembered the task I was entrusted with, a task to teach you the faith, to raise you in the 2000 year traditions of the Church.

A New Phase

Of course, my task isn’t complete. It will not end until the day I pass from this earth. Still, a significant phase has passed. The formative years are behind us.

These first fourteen years, you have been a sponge, absorbing the teachings I have placed or allowed to be placed before you. You trusted me to bring you the truth, and I have tried to live up to that trust. Sometimes that meant putting you in the hands of other trusted teachers who could do what I could not. Sometimes that meant shielding you from influences that might pull you away from the truth, or corrupt your still delicate mind. Lately, however, in the past two years especially, I have seen in you a burgeoning ability to judge, to discern, to think critically. That is why, I think, the Church, in Her wisdom, confirms Her youth at this age. It is time for a more adult life in the faith.

Your Own Personal Pentecost

This was, though you may not be able to see it now, your own personal Pentecost. No, there were no tongues of fire, and there were no tongues in the other sense as well. Nothing quite so dramatic. Nonetheless, the Holy Spirit did descend upon you in a very real if subtle way. It is rare that God makes a big splashy entrance. Rather, He comes upon you the way he came upon Elijah. Not in the thunder, but in the whisper of the most gentle breeze. That gentle breeze brushed your cheek. Were you listening? Are you listening still? Because He is still speaking. He is always speaking.

Into the Battle

So now, as an adult insofar as your faith formation goes, you are now commissioned to march off to battle for our Lord. Wear your spiritual armor: your virtue, your innocence, your chastity, your charity, your love. Wield your spiritual weapons: the Rosary, the sacraments, your prayers. Head off to battle. There are souls to be won!

Yours, for starters. You can do nothing if you do not do what God needs you to do to preserve your salvation. So keep cooperating with His grace. But other souls depend on you as well:

1. The souls in Purgatory need your prayers to complete their holy transition.
2. Strangers still living need your prayers to help bring them the graces they need to persevere.
3. Your friends need your example of virtue and piety to help them to avoid the near occasion of sin and to help them see the value in living a holy life.
4. Your brothers and sisters need your exhortations and your spiritual advice. There my be times when you are the only person they will listen to.
5. Your mother and I need the spiritual sustenance we get when seeing you grow and persevere in the faith. Nothing gives me more strength than to see the fruits of my spiritual labors in you.

My Guidance to You
If I had to give you one piece of advice, it is this: keep learning about your faith. The beautiful thing about the Catholic faith is that intense and honest scrutiny always leads to an increase of faith. This is a hallmark of the truth. As someone who has focussed on learning his whole life, I can attest that the Catholic faith is unique in this regard. When you study history, you soon learn that history is written by the winners, and those winners let their biases show through. The daily news is written by people with an agenda, and the more you learn the less you find to trust. The more you study science, the more you find that we do not know, that the physical world is always much grander than we imagined.

But when you study the Catholic faith you find that what you learn reinforces what you learned before. You find a faith that is historical as well as theological. You find that every piece fits into a bigger whole that is more beautiful than you ever imagined. So learn. Read books. Listen to Catholic radio. Learn new prayers. Join study groups. Always have an aspect of the faith that you are studying. Then take what you have learned and go bring more souls to God!

I love you Elizabeth. I am excited for you as you enter this new phase of your spiritual life. And I am proud that you have made this very public proclamation of your faith.

God bless you on your confirmation, my sweet daughter.

Please jump in! I'd love to hear what you have to say.

  1. This is beautiful. My daughter Elizabeth Grace (I call her ‘Matilda’ on my blog) just made her First Communion. It’s humbling to realise the little girl I’m helping to raise is a child of God with her own eternal soul.

  2. A very insightful letter to your daughter that will help through any difficult time, if she has to have any. A child remaining in faith is the biggest assurance a parent can have. I am so moved by your letter.

  3. Hi,

    I came into this page as I was looking for a sample because I was required to write a letter for my Daughter on her Confirmation. Thank you sharing such an inspiring letter. It had gotten me started.

    Just want to share my version especially to those who like me looking for somewhere to start….Here it is…

    My dearest Ate,

    Advance congratulation for you coming Confirmation! Such sacrament will seal you with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and strengthened you in your Christian life. I thank the Lord for giving you the opportunity. May you receive Him warmly in your heart and may you continue to dwell in His mighty and loving presence.

    You are now fourteen but it seems not long ago that you were given as a precious gift, a bundle of pleasant surprise from God to Dada and me. I looked at you as a beautiful present wrapped nicely with a big red bow. You still are, Ate. I remember carrying you in my arms and thought you would never start putting on weight, you still haven’t but you have grown to be as tall as I am today. I appreciate the times that you pray constantly for my eyes to get healed. We live in West Bay at that time all cramp in one big room even if the other room was vacant. Daddy and I are privileged to watch you grow up as many Filipino parents working outside of the Philippines have lesser opportunity to bring their families with them.

    For many years, our family has been into a whirlwind of changes – change of location, change of school, change of people surrounding us. Many start buttons and chapter endings. Some are big leap out of our comfort zone and despite thinking we’ve all landed, every now and then… God manages to give us a little shake and humbly remind us, “You’re still jumping, guys!”. He has to, because we are constantly forgetting that we are still jumping due to the countless blessings of supportive loved ones steadying us onto more secured ground. At times, we seem to think we’ve landed because not all jumps are as big as the others. Well, that is life, Ate. God is a generous God who has an unending supply of opportunities. See Him in every success, joy and even in sorrow you have and will experience in life. Life is God’s pre-built rollercoaster – full of dips and dives, smooth and rough but in all – Exciting knowing that God is in control. Always remember Ate that God’s love is constant no matter who we are and what we have done. Dada and I cannot promise that life will be easy and steady, but I promise be a pair of hands in the sea of many that will always reach out, hold on and steady you when your everyday jumps make you a bit wobbly on your feet, because knowing you, you’ve still got a lot of exciting things up your sleeves as it has been for the past 14 years. It will be an honor to jump into tomorrow with you.

    Thank you for the love you have given to Dada, Dodoy and me. Thank you for doing well in your studies. Thank you for helping us in the chores at home. Thank you for doing the things we want you to do and learn the things we want you to learn even if at times you don’t understand us. Keep up the good work may it be at school, at home, in the church and in your extra-curricular activities like Steel Pan, Volleyball and Key Club. Most importantly, keep the faith! Make Mommy, Dada and Doy proud! May you be a living testament of how great and loving God is.

    We love you very much Ate! Reach for whatever your heart yearns for because we will be right behind you – ready to jump.

    God bless you on your confirmation, my sweet daughter.

    Love,
    Mommy