“In this new season, Christopher, you’re not alone. The Lord wants to satisfy your hunger.”

These words were spoken over Christopher Benson, a member of All Saints East Dallas, at his confirmation last month. Christopher teaches Literature at the Cambridge School of Dallas and has been a attending All Saints East Dallas for the last year. Christopher recently shared his story from the pew on his blog about the grace and grit of confirmation. An excerpt of his story is below, or you can head to Bensonian for the full post:

When my bishop, +Philip Jones—the Apostolic Vicar of the Anglican Mission in America—laid his hands upon me, he said:

“In this new season, Christopher, you’re not alone. The Lord wants to satisfy your hunger.”

I needed to hear those words because I am tempted to dine at a table of food that does not nourish my soul. Only the feast of the Eucharist satisfies.

Reflecting upon the bishop’s words, this line from the Lord’s Prayer reverberated in my ear: “Give us this day our daily bread.” As the sign of the cross was made on my forehead with holy chrism, the bishop offered this prayer of confirmation from the liturgy:

Defend, O Lord, your servant Christopher with your heavenly grace, that he may continue yours for ever, and daily increase in your Holy Spirit more and more, until he comes to your everlasting kingdom. Amen.

In his sermon, my pastor, Jay Wright, emphasized that this confirmation prayer involves two G words: “grace” and “grit.” The grace language is “heavenly grace” and “Holy Spirit.” The grit language is “continue” and “increase . . . more and more.” Borrowing from Angela Duckworth’s highly popular TED Talk on grit, where she defined it as “the power of perseverance and passion for long-term goals,” Jay said that our long-term goal of union with Christ requires grit but it is only possible through grace.

Grace enables grit.

And why does the Christian need grit? The liturgy of baptism answers: I am up against “Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God.” I am up against “the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God.” I am up against “all sinful desires that draw

[me] from the love of God.” For all these reasons, I need to be defended, as the confirmation prayer says, and the Lord alone can defend me in this vale of tears until I come, at last, wearied but not defeated, into his everlasting kingdom. I will not forget this special rite of confirmation.