You know those old cartoons that would show a character making a decision with a good angel one shoulder and a bad angel-devil-thing on the other? … they would fight for his attention? It was like a kid’s version of the Screwtape Letters (minus the brilliance of CS Lewis of course). I imagine that whenever someone is asked to be a Confirmation Sponsor this scenario plays out. We all know what the “Good Angel” would say, but what about that other one? If Screwtape or Wormwood was to whisper in the ears of Confirmation Sponsors, what would they say? Here’s what I imagine:
1. “Don’t Pray. It’s Boring”
I don’t mean don’t pray for the young man or woman you are sponsoring, I mean don’t pray at all. Ever. Not for them, not for any reason. It’s SO BORING and it takes away from the really important things you could be doing: checking Facebook for the 2,654th time, binging on Netflix, trying out snapchat filters, gossiping and just being lazy. Don’t worry about praying. Your Confirmation kid will be just fine without it. So will you.
2. “Don’t Get to Know the Young Person You are Sponsoring”
Why bother? Just show up for the mandatory meeting and the actual Confirmation and call it quits. You have better things to do than spend time with them outside of Church related mandatory events. Don’t take them out, have them over, or communicate in any way. Don’t ask them what their hopes and dreams are. Do not, under any circumstances, ask them about their Confirmation Saint and for Old Pete’s Sake, don’t bring up the *gulp* Holy Spirit.
3. “Buy Them a Completely Materialistic Gift”
Everyone knows the MAIN duty of the Sponsor is to buy a really cool present for the Confirmation after-party. What? You didn’t know this? Well, now you do. You’re welcome. Just make sure it SCREAMS materialism and has absolutely NO religious or faith-filled connections. A Bible? What are you thinking? Rosary Beads? *gasp* don’t even mention them! Statue of their Confirmation Saint? The Youth Catechism? You can do SO much better. The Wild Goose series by Fr. Dave Pivonka? NO! Subscription to the Magnificat or book of daily meditations? Pssshh. Maybe you should just settle for money or a gift card….and tell them to spend it any way they want.
4. “Ignore the Holy Spirit”
He is such a Menace; strengthening and confirming children in what He calls His “Gifts.” Do NOT talk about these gifts with the child you are sponsoring. Do NOT refresh yourself if you are rusty on what they are. Above all DO NOT invoke His Name and refuse to encourage the child you are sponsoring to call upon Him.
5. “Avoid the Parents of the Child You are Sponsoring”
They don’t need your help. They certainly don’t need your prayers. (Remember, NO praying…see #1). They also don’t need your encouragement or your support. Raising kids is easy. Simple. It’s a no brainer. Seriously. The last thing any parent needs is some other adult (even if they have technically been invited to be part of their child’s life) loving and caring about their kid. I mean really. What parent wants that?
And there you have it. Wormwood’s Bad Angel’s Guide to being a Confirmation Sponsor. Now, go avoid your Sponsored Child. (See #2).