“Confirmation is thus the personal Pentecost of man, his entrance into the new life in the Holy Spirit, which is the true life of the Church. It is his ordination as truly and fully man, for to be fully man is precisely to belong to the Kingdom of God. And again, it is not his “soul” alone— his “spiritual” or “religious” life— that is thus confirmed, but the totality of his human being. His whole body is anointed, sealed, sanctified, dedicated to the new life: “The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit,” says the Priest as he anoints the newly baptized, “on the brow, and on the eyes, and the nostrils, and the lips, and on both ears, and the breast and on the hands, and the feet.” The whole man is now made the temple of God, and his whole life is from now on a liturgy.
It is here, at this moment, that the pseudo-Christian opposition of the “spiritual” and the “material,” the “sacred” and the “profane,” the “religious” and the “secular” is denounced, abolished, and revealed as a monstrous lie about God and man and the world. The only true temple of God is man and through man the world. ch ounce of matter belongs to God and is to find in God its fulfillment. Each instant of time is God’s time and is to fulfill itself as God’s eternity. Nothing is “neutral.” For the Holy Spirit, as a ray of light, as a smile of joy, has “touched” all things, all time— revealing all of them as precious stones of a precious temple.
To be truly man means to be fully oneself. The confirmation is the confirmation of man in his own, unique “personality.” It is, to use again the same image, his ordination to be himself, to become what God wants him to be, what He has loved in me from all eternity. It is the gift of vocation. If the Church is truly the “newness of life”— the world and nature as restored in Christ— it is not, or rather ought not be, a purely religious institution in which to be “pious,” to be a member in “good standing,” means leaving one’s own personality at the entrance— in the “check room”— and replacing it with a worn-out, impersonal, neutral “good Christian” type personality. Piety in fact may be a very dangerous thing, a real opposition to the Holy Spirit who is the Giver of Life— of joy, movement and creativity— and not of the “good conscience” which looks at everything with suspicion, fear and moral indignation. Confirmation is the opening of man to the wholeness of divine creation, to the true catholicity of life. This is the “wind,” the ruah of God entering our life, embracing it with fire and love, making us available for divine action, filling everything with joy and hope. . . .”
Fr.Alexander Schmemann (For the Life of the World)