Saturday, June 19, 2010

What It Means, What It Takes to Be Enflamed by the Holy Spirit

Fire attracts people. The intensity of it sets a mood. Fire draws people closer together, gives off a comforting warmth, emits a glow, changes the appearance of things, and creates glimmers of light where darkness prevailed. 
In the Old Testament, fire symbolizes two aspects of God: presence and holiness. There are many stories about offerings and sacrifices of praise to the Lord, and many times these sacrifices were burned on the altar. Moses and the burning bush show how when God uses fire, it can purify and ignite without reducing something to ashes.
The story of Abraham and Isaac is a profound Old Testament example of what the Lord calls us to do. God instructed Abraham to give back to Him what he had wanted most and prayed for most fervently: a son. Why would the Lord ask this? God wanted proof Abraham was consumed with love for Him above everyone and everything else in his life, even his beloved son.
In the New Testament, the apostles are together on Pentecost at which time “…there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were filled with the holy Spirit…” (Acts 2:3-4).
In this instance, the Holy Spirit as symbolized by the flames which descended upon each one of them, gives them the courage, passion, and confirmation they needed to go out and spread the Good News. After locking themselves in an upper room, afraid of what would happen next, they experience the power of the Advocate Jesus said He would send to them, and they’re suddenly ready to go and carry out the task they were called to from the beginning.
If we give our lives over to God completely, He will set us on fire with His love. The more we “let go, and let God” by allowing ourselves to be consumed by Him, the brighter He shines in and through us.
We were lit from within when given the gift of faith. Offering our minds, bodies, and souls on the altar each day means we allow God to use us however He sees fit. If we only put some of who we are and what we have on the altar, the flame of our lives won’t be as big. The more we sacrifice on the altar, the bigger the flame. The bigger the flame, the more who will see and be drawn to it. It was God’s intent to shine as much as possible in and through the apostles. He also wants us to be beacons of light, bonfires of love, hearts on fire who, by allowing the Holy Spirit to move freely in and through us, glorify the Lord and draw others closer to Him.
Daily prayer, the Sacraments, reading Scripture, ongoing religious and spiritual formation, generously giving of who we are and what we have, and maintaining close relationships with other strong Catholics will fuel the fire of faith God has given us.
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. And kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your spirit, Lord, and they shall be created. And thou shall renew the face of the earth.
     Let us pray, O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of your faithful; grant that in the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

Note to reader: This reflection originally appeared in the June 2010 edition of the Rooster Review in honor of all of the participants of the Cursillo Women's Weekend taking place June 24-27, 2010.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...