In our parish, the Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred in 8th grade. The kids are all 13 and 14 years old and they bring with them to their classes and other sacrament preparation all of the things that 13 and 14 year old people are into (and not into).
There is one young man who I had the pleasure of working with one-on-one for some of his Sacrament prep. And he seemed really serious when he and I worked together.
Then there is his other personality: the one he has when he is with his other 13 and 14 year old friends. This is the personality I am a little bit more familiar with. The "Why do I have to stalk you to get you to turn in your paperwork" personality. The "Can I go to the bathroom 50 million times so I can meet my friend in the bathroom to talk" personality. This "split personality" is pretty typical of the teenage animal (But indeed, when it comes to "God stuff," don't we all suffer from this a bit?). It doesn't bother me as much as it used to.
Well, it being Saturday, Confessions started at 1:00. Confirmation Mass was at 2. This young man was in church at 1:30, when the kids and their sponsors were to be gathering to process into Mass. I was sort of taken aback. I thought at first he was hanging out, but none of his friends were there. I thought about telling him to go on downstairs, but I'm glad I didn't. He was there for confession. When I talked to his mom after Mass, she said that he wanted to get to church early so that he could go to Confession. I was surprised that he even knew that confession was going on then.
You've really got to hand it to mom and dad. They are doing it right. They have set an excellent example for their son and they ought to be quite proud.
Let's pray for T. that he will use the gift of courage that he received sacramentally yesterday to stand up for what is right, to set an example for his friends to stay close to Jesus in His Church. Let us pray for his mom and dad that they may never tire of doing the right thing by their kids.