Tongues of Fire
In pursuit of the truth - www.cinopsbegoneblogspot.com - Mother’s Day, May 13/12
Are we looking for men and women with tongues of fire during this two week period - June 21st to July 4th? The U.S. Catholic Bishops have designated this “fortnight of freedom” a great hymn of prayer for our country. The statement on religious liberty dated April 12th was titled, Our First, Most Cherished Liberty.
Let’s take a look and make some personal comments on Pope Benedict XVI’s insightful Bavarian radio address over 25 years ago, May 15, 1986: “Saint John Chrysostom comments on the passage in the Apostle that relates how Paul and Barnabas healed the lame man in Lystra.
“The excited crowd saw in these strange individuals who could exercise such power a visitation of the gods of Zeus and Hermes. They called the priests and wanted to offer a sacrifice of bullocks. But Barnabas and Paul were appalled and called to the crowd.
“We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news” (Acts 12:15) They were to be sure, mortals like others because Tongues of Fire had rested upon their human nature. That is what distinguishes the Christian - that he has received a tongue of fire in addition to his human nature.
“That is how the Church came into being. Each person receives the tongue of fire that is wholly and personal his and, as this person, he is a Christian in a unique and inimitable way.
“Admittedly, one who encounters the average Christian today is likely to inquire: “But where, then, is the tongue of fire?” The words spoken by Christian tongues today are unfortunately anything but fire. They taste all too much like water that has been left standing and is barely lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. [Think of the CINOP!]
“We have no desire to burn either ourselves or others, but in not doing so we place ourselves at a distance from the Holy Spirit and our Christian Faith degenerates into a self-made philosophy of life that wants to disturb as few as possible of our comfortable habits and relegates the sharpness of protest to a place where it can cause the least inconvenience to our customary way of life.
“If we elude the burning fire of the Holy Spirit, it is only at first glance that being Christian seems easy for us. What is comfortable for the individual is uncomfortable for the whole. Where we no longer expose ourselves to God’s fire, the friction among us becomes insupportable and the Church, to quote Saint Basil, is torn by the cries of interior factionalism. [Ex. The invitation by Georgetown’s Jesuits to have Kathleen Sebelius as commencement speaker; and “America” magazine not supporting Cardinal Dolan on the HHS Mandate.]
“Only when we are not afraid of the tongues of fire or of the strong wind that accompanies them does the Church become an icon of the Holy Spirit. And only then does she open the world to the light of God.
“The Church had her origins when the disciples gathered with one mind in the room where they had celebrated the Last Supper and prayed there together. It thus that she begins over and over again. In our prayers for the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, let us always call upon her.”*
George H .Kubeck, *Meditation for May 13th from the 1992 book, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Co-Workers of the Truth, Meditations for every day of the Year” Ignatius Press - San Francisco