Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Insight...get yer insight!

I am still in pleasant shock over my class yesterday. I s’pose the Holy Spirit has spoken through me before, but I cannot recall being spoken through for such an extended period and in so lucid a manner. It is indescribably cool.

But, as usual (at least for me) hearing* what the HS was saying (using me as the megaphone) leaves me with a heap big chunk of stuff to ponder**. As usual, much of this started with Scripture. Lo and behold, God the Father is mentioned a gazillion*** times as “flame” and, of course, Christ refers to Himself as “light” another gazillion times. But where things get pretty cool is when you realize how the Holy Spirit is likened to heat. First we have how the prophet Isaiah’s lips were “burned” (Isaiah 6:6-7) and thus was worthy of proclaiming God’s word. But better yet…in Isaiah 10:17 we have this li’l tidbit: “The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers.” And on and on and on.

And just to show how Christ—as the Word made man—is the link that connects humans with God we have this snipped from St. Luke’s Gospel: “I have come to bring fire on the earth"

So this got me thinking some more, still meditating on the image of a candle. I realize that often we use one candle to light another. BUT…just waving an unlit candle at a lit one will not ignite anything. The unlit candle needs to be close enough to the lit one so that its heat will ignite the unlit. Once the unlit candle has accessed the heat of its lit brother (or sister, we’re being politically—and thermodynamically—correct here) it has been forever changed and now it can go on and ignite other unlit candles or other candles whose fire has extinguished.

This is why we need to access the fullness of the Trinity. Being exposed to only two aspects of a fire will not do have the “ignition effect.” (this is starting to seem like a good science AND catechism lesson) If you have only heat and light (like, say, a halogen element on a stove) you will not ignite any candle. The same applies to the light and flame of a fire (like, for instance, a candle held at a distance), or to having only heat and flame (like being blindfolded in a room with a lit candle). This is why the Apostles pretty much were just spinning their apostolic wheels UNTIL the heat of the tongues of fire came over them. This is why we cannot transmit our faith to others until we have been ignited ourselves, and we cannot be ignited ourselves until we have accepted the fullness of the fire.

Yours in Christ,


* St. Paul explained this to the Romans in his epistle to 'em...10:17

** In my experience, hearing or realizing something profound (or even semi-profound, or for that matter, profound-ish) isn’t the end, but the beginning. Much like popping a chocolate in your mouth isn’t the end of the process, since it has to slide down your esophagus, go into your stomach and then begin the Digestion Boogie as it extract nutrients to send into your bloodstream.

*** I rounded upwards