Tag Archives: tongues

“Happy Birthday to the ‘Boo-Man’!”


 

Pentecost Sunday

 

 

Today’s Content:

 

  • Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations
  • Today in Catholic History
  • Quote of the Day
  • Reflection on Today’s Gospel

 

Т

 

Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations:

 

Today is a Feast day marking the birth of the Catholic Church through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Pentecost means “fiftieth day” and is celebrated fifty days after Easter.  Red is the liturgical color worn by the priest at mass today.  The color red recalls the tongues of flame in which the Holy Spirit descended to the disciples of Jesus on that first Pentecost.  The color red also reminds us of the blood of martyrs; those believers who [by the power of the Holy Spirit] held firm to their faith, even at the cost of their lives.

 

Т

I, and the whole family, had a great time on vacation.  We spent the week in Mississippi.  Went to the beach several days, saw some military and historical “stuff” (Mine and two of my four sons favorite parts of our trips), and ended our vacation with a trip to New Orleans.

The kid’s exposure to the eclectic personalities of New Orleans was a rather humorous event.  Their eyes sometimes looked as those of deer in headlights.  It led to some fairly deep discussions on the car ride home.

I am presenting a short reflection today, for lack of time to go into as much detail as I have been.  Hopefully, next week I will be able to go into more detail of the Gospel reading than here.  I pray you still enjoy what I have written. 

 

Т

 

 

Quote of the Day:

 

 

Sainthood is not reserved for monks living cloistered lives of private prayer, or for martyrs who gave up their bodies to the cruelest forms of brutality. Sainthood is a state of grace for all who avail themselves of God’s holy fire of heart, allowing it to burn, burn, burn, right through to the core.” – Liz Kelly May Crowning, Mass and Merton: 50 Reasons I Love Being Catholic, Loyola Press

Т

 

Today’s reflection is about the Holy Spirit entering our lives as Jesus’ Advocate

 

The Easter season concludes with today’s liturgical celebration.  Today is the “Birth” of the Catholic Church.  As a seed dies to be reborn as a tree or flower, so to did Jesus Christ die to be reborn in each of us.

Pentecost was the beginning of the Church: its birthday.  When I was little, and saw all those different famous paintings and icons of the Holy Spirit coming down on the Apostles as flames (tongues of fire), I thought, “Why would God do this?  It would burn their heads!”  I now know that the Apostles, – – with those tongues of fire on top of their heads, – – represent the candles at the Church’s birthday party.  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Seriously, what is Pentecost all about; what is all the fuss?  For me, the answer is simple.  Pentecost allows us to see Jesus in an entirely new and exciting way.  When we pray, or when we are together at Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and any other liturgical event, the Holy Spirit – -His Advocate – – wants to reveal Jesus in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit wants to show us Jesus’ love, majesty, divinity, mercy, and power.  Through the power of fire that represents the Holy Spirit, sins and iniquities keeping us from Jesus’ embrace are burned away.

Jesus defeated sin and death.  He was (and sill is) declared “Lord over heaven and earth!”  By sending the Holy Spirit, He fulfilled His promise to send an “Advocate”, (a helper also known as the “Paraclete”) who would enable Christ’s believers to be witnesses to His “good news”, and to be a reconciling presence in the world.  There is an important connection between the gifts of peace and forgiveness, and the actions of the Holy Spirit working in, with, and through you.

In today’s reading, it is written, “… there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind …” (Acts 2:2).  The words “wind and spirit” are also mentioned in John:

“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

The word “wind” is translated from the Greek word “pneuma” (and the Hebrew word “ruah”) meaning both “windandspirit.”  Could it be that the sound of a great rush of wind is a sign of a new action from God in regards to salvation history?  With this in mind, I may look at spring storms a little different in the future.

Т

 

The tongues of fire have always been a curiosity of mine.  This type of “fire” is also mentioned in Exodus:

“Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke, for the LORD came down upon it in fire …” (Exodus 19:18).

Fire symbolized the presence of God initiating the “covenant” on Mount Sinai.  The Holy Spirit, the third “person” of the Trinitarian God, acted upon the Apostles and disciples by preparing them to proclaim the “new covenant”.  Jesus previously commissioned His disciples to continue the work that He had begun: to teach, to forgive sins, and to baptize.  The Holy Spirit gives them the power to complete His work. 

Jesus wants all His followers to be instruments and means of peace and harmony among all peoples, and in all places of the world.  So, He gave us the same tool to do His work as well – – the Holy Spirit working through us, in us, and with us.

Т

 

To speak in different tongues (languages) is a form of ecstatic prayer.  This type of prayer is sometimes also called “charismatic” prayer.  Interpreted in the book of Acts as speaking in foreign languages:

“… both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.” (Acts 2:11).

This speaking in “tongues” symbolizes the worldwide mission of the church.  Everyone speaking differently wasn’t to confuse the masses of people.  Instead, “speaking in tongues” actually helps bring all peoples of the world together under one large umbrella: the Catholic, or universal Church.

Т

 

To live as a disciple of God – – through, with, and in the Holy Spirit, – – is a gigantic privilege.  The Advocate (or Paraclete) brings us peace and works through us to teach Christ’s message.  Along with this privilege comes a huge responsibility.  As the Apostles and early disciples had done centuries ago, we are still expected to spread the “good news” of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and of His coming again soon.  Are we willing to surrender our lives to the Holy Spirit?  Are we eager and willing to bring His “good news” to this oft-times violent and secularist world?

Today is the perfect day to allow the Holy Spirit to work through you, and to share the gift of forgiveness and reconciliation with others in your life.  Reflect on your need to forgive, and upon concerns you may have with giving and accepting forgiveness.  Then ask the Holy Spirit to help bring you peace through the act of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Ask the Holy Spirit to burn away everything that keeps you from Jesus.  After all, in this case, heart burn is a good thing!

The following prayer may help in finding the Holy Spirit, and in kindling that fire inside you.

 

“Prayer for the Help of the Holy Spirit”

“O God, send forth your Holy Spirit into my heart that I may perceive; into my mind, that I may remember; and into my soul, that I may meditate. Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy.  Teach, guide and direct my thoughts and senses from beginning to end.  May your grace ever help and correct me, and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of your infinite mercy.  Amen.”

Saint Anthony of Padua

 

Т

 

 

Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO

 

 

 

 


 

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“It’s a Birthday Party, and My Head’s On Fire, My Head’s On Fire!”-Acts 2:1-4†


Pentecost Sunday: Today is a Feast day marking the birth of the Catholic Church through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Pentecost means “fiftieth day” and is celebrated fifty days after Easter.  Red is the liturgical color worn by the priest at mass today.  This color recalls the tongues of flame in which the Holy Spirit descended to the disciples of Jesus on that first Pentecost.  The color also reminds us of the blood of martyrs; those believers who [by the power of the Holy Spirit] held firm to their faith, even at the cost of their lives.

Pentecost is historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving Moses the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus.  Shavuot was celebrated on Wednesday, May 19th this year, and will be on Wednesday, June 8th in 2011.

Today in Catholic History:

† 1430 – Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne.
† 1498 – Girolamo Savonarola is burned at the stake, in Florence, Italy, on the orders of Pope Alexander VI.
† 1533 – The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.
† 1967 – Death of Lionel Groulx, French Canadian priest and historian (b. 1878)
† Liturgical Feats/Memorials: Aaron the Illustrious in the Syriac Orthodox Church, Saint Desiderius, Saint Guibert of Gemblours
   

Quote or Joke of the Day:
  

Sainthood is not reserved for monks living cloistered lives of private prayer, or for martyrs who gave up their bodies to the cruelest forms of brutality. Sainthood is a state of grace for all who avail themselves of God’s holy fire of heart, allowing it to burn, burn, burn, right through to the core.”  – Liz Kelly May Crowning, Mass and Merton: 50 Reasons I Love Being Catholic, Loyola Press
   

Today’s reflection is about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit.
     

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.  And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.  Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.  (NAB Acts 2:1-4)
   

The Easter season concludes with today’s liturgical celebration.  Pentecost was the beginning of the Church: its birthday.  When I was little, and saw those famous paintings and icons of the Holy Spirit (as flames) coming down on the Apostles, I thought why would God do this?  It would burn their heads!  I now know that the Apostles, with those tongues of fire on top of their heads, represent the candles at the birthday party.  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Seriously, what is Pentecost all about; what is all the fuss?  The answer is simple: to see Jesus in an entirely new and exciting way.  When we pray, or when we are together at mass, Eucharistic Adoration, or any other liturgical event, The Holy Spirit wants to reveal Jesus to our hearts.  The Holy Spirit wants to show us Jesus’ love, majesty, divinity, mercy, and power.  Through the fire of the Holy Spirit, the things that keep us from Jesus are burned away.

Jesus actually defeated death, and was declared “Lord over heaven and earth!”  By sending the Holy Spirit, He fulfilled His promise to send an advocate, (a helper also called the Paraclete) who would enable His believers to be witnesses to Christ’s “good news,” and to be the reconciling presence in the world.  There is an important connection between the gifts of peace and forgiveness, and the working of the Holy Spirit.

In today’s reading, it is written, “… there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind…”  The words “wind and spirit” are also mentioned in John 3:8 (The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit).  The word “wind” is translated from the Greek word “pneuma” (and the Hebrew word “ruah”) meaning both “wind” and “spirit.”  Could it be that the sound of a great rush of wind is a sign of a new action from God in regards to salvation history?  I might look at spring storms a little different in the future.

The tongues of fire have always been a curiosity of mine.  This type of “fire” is also mentioned in Exodus 19:18 (Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke, for the LORD came down upon it in fire …) where the fire symbolizes the presence of God initiating the “covenant” on Mount Sinai.  Here the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, acts upon the Apostles and disciples by preparing them to proclaim the “new covenant,” with its gift of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus commissioned His disciples to continue the work that He had begun: to teach, to forgive sins, and to baptize.  Jesus wants all His followers to be agents of peace and harmony amongst all peoples, and in all places of the world.  This can only be done through the actions of the Holy Spirit working through us, in us, and with us.

To speak in different tongues (languages) is a form of ecstatic prayer, in praise of God.  We may know it as “charismatic” prayer.  Interpreted in Acts 2:11 as speaking in foreign languages (both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God), it symbolizes the worldwide mission of the church.  Everyone speaking differently wasn’t to confuse the masses of people; it actually helps bring all peoples of the world together under one large umbrella:  the Catholic, or universal Church.

To live as a disciple of God through, with, and in the Holy Spirit, is a gigantic privilege.  He brings us peace, and works through us to teach Christ’s message.  Along with this privilege comes a huge responsibility as well.  As the Apostles and early disciples had done centuries ago, we are still expected to spread the “good news” of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and of His coming again soon.  Are we willing to surrender our lives to the Holy Spirit?  Are we eager and willing to bring His “good news” to this wounded and hurting world?

Today is the perfect day to allow the Holy Spirit to work through you, and to share the gift of forgiveness and reconciliation with others in your life.  Find a place and sit quietly.  Reflect on your need to forgive, and upon concerns you may have with giving and accepting forgiveness.  Then ask the Holy Spirit to help bring you peace through the act of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Ask the Holy Spirit to burn away everything that keeps you from Jesus.  After all, heart burn is a good thing in this case. 

The following prayer may help in finding the Holy Spirit, and in kindling that fire inside you.

Prayer for the Help of the Holy Spirit

“O God, send forth your Holy Spirit into my heart that I may perceive; into my mind, that I may remember; and into my soul, that I may meditate.  Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy.  Teach, guide and direct my thoughts and senses from beginning to end.  May your grace ever help and correct me, and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of your infinite mercy.  Amen.”

Saint Anthony of Padua

 

Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO

*****

Catholic Saint of the Day:  St. John Baptist Rossi
   

This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in the diocese of Genoa and was one of the four children of an excellent and highly respected couple.  When he was ten, a nobleman and his wife who were spending the summer at Voltaggio obtained permission from his parents to take him back with them to Genoa to be trained in their house.  He remained with them three years, winning golden opinions from all, notably from two Capuchin friars who came to his patron’s home.  They carried such a favorable report of the boy to his uncle who was then minister provincial of the Capuchins that a cousin Lorenzo Rossi a canon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin invited him to come to Rome.  The offer was accepted and he entered the Roman College at the age of thirteen.  Popular with his teachers and with his fellow pupils he had completed the classical course with distinction when the reading of an ascetical book led him to embark on excessive mortifications.  The strain on his strength at a time when he was working hard led to a complete breakdown which obliged him to leave the roman College.  He recovered sufficiently to complete his training at the Minerva, but he never was again really robust.  Indeed his subsequent labors were performed under the handicap of almost constant suffering.

On March 8, 1721 at the age of twenty three he was ordained and his first Mass was celebrated in the Roman College at the altar of St. Aloysius Gonzaga to whom he always had a special devotion.

His fame came from his work as a confessor and as his ministry to the sick.

 (From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)

 

Tomorrow (May 24th) is celebration of the “Dedication of the Patriarchal Basilica of Our Holy Father St. Francis at Assisi, and Commemoration of the Transfer of the Body of St. Francis”

This feast and commemoration are observed by all the branches of the Franciscan Order.  When St. Francis died in 1226, he was buried in the Church of St. George in Assisi (now a chapel in Santa Chiara, and the shrine of the original San Damiano crucifix.)  Two years later St. Francis was solemnly canonized, and the building of San Francesco at the other end of the town was begun.  In May, 1230, the body of the saint was transferred to the new church; and in 1253, on the anniversary of the transfer, Pope Innocent IV consecrated the Church of San Francesco.  Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) raised it to the rank of a patriarchal basilica and papal chapel.

   (From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)

 

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #23:
   

Requests for admission to the Secular Franciscan Order must be presented to the local fraternity, whose council decides upon the acceptance of new brothers and sisters.

Admission into the Order is gradually attained through a time of initiation, a period of formation of at least one year, and profession of the rule. The entire community is engaged in the process of growth by its own manner of living. The age for profession and the distinctive Franciscan sign are regulated by the statutes.

Profession by its nature is a permanent commitment.

Members who find themselves in particular difficulties should discuss their problems with the council in fraternal dialogue. Withdrawal or permanent dismissal from the Order, if necessary, is an act of the fraternity council according to the norm of the constitutions.

 

“Go From Gospel To Life And Life To Gospel!”†


Today is the optional memorial for the “Lady of Fatima;” and only 10 days left of Easter, and till the “birth” of the Church: Pentecost.  Most Catholics will celebrate the Feast of the Ascension at mass on Sunday.
     

Today is the “Feast of the Ascension:”

The Feast of the Ascension commemorates Jesus’ ascension into  heaven 40 days after his resurrection.  Thus Ascension Day falls 40 days after Easter, on the 6th Thursday of Easter.  In some parts of the world, the solemnity is celebrated on the Sunday after the traditional date.

Forty Days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Acts of the Apostles records Jesus’ ascension into heaven.  The ascension is an important Christian feast attesting and celebrating the reality of the God-Man Jesus Christ’s returning to the Father, to return again in the future parousia.  The Ascension is the final component of the paschal mystery, which consists also of Jesus’ Passion, Crucifixion, Death, Burial, Descent Among the Dead, and Resurrection.  Along with the resurrection, the ascension functioned as a proof of Jesus’ claim that he was the Messiah.  The Ascension is also the event whereby humanity was taken into heaven.  Finally, the ascension was also the “final blow” so-to-speak against Satan’s power, and thus the lion (Jesus) conquering the dragon (Satan) is a symbol of the ascension.  Early Christian art and iconography portrayed the ascension frequently, showing its importance to the early Church.

(from http://www.churchyear.net)

 

Today in Catholic History:

† 1024 –Birth of Hugh of Cluny, French saint (d. 1109)
† 1497 – Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola.
† 1655 – Birth of Pope Innocent XIII (d. 1724)
† 1704 – Death of Louis Bourdaloue, French Jesuit preacher (b. 1632)
† 1792 – Birth of Pope Pius IX (d. 1878)
† 1917 – The Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, is consecrated Archbishop by Pope Benedict XV.
† Memorials or Feasts in the Catholic Church: Our Lady of Fatima, Abban the Hermit, Saint Servatus, Saint Robert Bellarmine, Saint Gerald of Villamagna, Saint John the Silent

 

Quote or Joke of the Day:
     

“In his search-and-rescue mission, St. Francis saw countless conversions, not as a result of his own clever preaching, but because of the power and mercy of God. What God needed was someone to take His message to the people, and St. Francis recognized that he was merely the messenger.”  — Patrick Madrid Search and Rescue, Sophia Institute Press
   

Today’s reflection:   What charism of St. Francis speaks the loudest to your spirit?
  

I suppose I need to define what charism is.  From Wikipedia:
 

“A charism (plural: charismata) in Greek means ‘gift of grace’.  Mentioned in Rom 12:6, it is a power whose source is the Holy Spirit.  The nature of charism is spiritual ability, endowment and power; and the purpose of charism is service or ministry.  Charism is believed to be a freely given gift by the grace of God.
 

These gifts are given mainly to build the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:8).  Some of these gifts are called Isaiahan gifts: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, fear of the Lord, and piety.  The charismatic gifts are revelational gifts (word of wisdom and knowledge, discernment of spirits), sign gifts or power gifts (faith wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude), and word gifts (prophecy, tongues, teaching and preaching).”
  

From a Franciscan viewpoint, charism for me is taking an active role in the mission of the Catholic Church: to make Christ present in the world.  All Franciscans (laity, religious, and priests) join our Seraphic Father, St. Francis, in the common effort to aid and support the aforementioned life and mission of the Church.  I wish to walk in the footsteps of my Orders founder: St. Francis of Assisi.
   

Charism can be also defined as a particular way in which people respond to God’s call.  “The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi.”  Secular Franciscans mission and charism is to “go from gospel to life and life to gospel.”
   

What does “from gospel to life and life to gospel” mean?  When I first heard this frequently used phrase of all the Franciscan families (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Orders), I believed it was just a simple statement of fact.  Upon reflecting on this phrase, I discovered its complexity.  Living this dynamic phrase includes many aspects: spirituality, community, apostolic ministries, and a simple life style.
  

As a secular in the Franciscan family, I share my life as a person living in the world, but not of the world.  No, I haven’t gone over the edge, or lost some marbles; and there are no new holes in my head (Now my wife may disagree with this statement).  Basically, I have given over my personhood to God to do with as He wishes.  I have chosen to take seriously the common Christian belief that we are temples of God; allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in me, and work through me.  I live the famous prayer associated to St. Francis that embodies the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi’s simplicity and poverty: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. (Prayer is printed below.)
  

Rule number one of the Secular Franciscan order, in part states, “The Franciscan Family, as one among many spiritual families raised up by the Holy Spirit in the Church, unites all members of the people of God—laity, religious, and priests-who recognize that they are called to follow Christ in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi.”  I, in union with all other Franciscans of the various Orders, have a common charism: to share the Good News of Our Lord with His, yours, and my brothers, sisters, neighbors, and community.
  

The following prayer has a lot to say, and a lot to absorb.  This prayer is not just for Franciscans.  If all people observed even just a small part of these charisms, the world would be a much better place.  Please read it slowly; one part at a time, then stop and reflect, before continuing with this most beautiful prayer.

  

 “ Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred,
Let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, Joy.

O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
As to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

 

Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO

*****

Catholic Saint of the Day:  St. John the Silent
  

Bishop of Colonia in Palestine and a hermit. Born in Nicopolis, Armenia, he established a monastery at the age of eighteen.  Appointed a bishop at the age of twenty-eight, he spent nine years in his office before retiring to Jerusalem to embrace the eremitical life.  Through a vision, he found his way to the monastery, or laura, of St. Sabas, asking to be walled up and living for seventy-five years as a silent recluse.  His Feast Day is May 13th.

 (From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
     

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #13:

As the Father sees in every person the features of his Son, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, so the Secular Franciscans with a gentle and courteous spirit accept all people as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ.

A sense of community will make them joyful and ready to place themselves on an equal basis with all people, especially with the lowly for whom they shall strive to create conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ.