Thursday, August 17, 2006

On Fire I had breakfast with a friend yesterday; a fellow lover of God, Life, and the Universe at large. Our talk took us deep into the Mystery before the eggs even hit the table (man, that was a good omelet by the way. Nice job Perkins!) We were sharing about our own journeys, insights from prayer, scripture, and Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Thoughts starting flying like sparks, bouncing off of the formica, and glancing off of the glasses and cups. Fire was something we spoke of, and what the Spirit led us to see was that the very life of God is a consuming fire. He truly wants to set the world ablaze. Even the Pope's final letter on the Eucharist hinted at it: "when we eat the Eucharist, we eat fire..." And John Paul's wish in that last letter was to "rekindle a eucharistic amazement"! Then we looked at the Church today, and the experience of a regular guy going to a typical mass at a regular old parish. From a certain stance (and this is only an objective assessment from two guys eating hashbrowns at a restaurant), it seems that words like "fire" and "amazement" don't exactly fit the scene. Just the opposite, sadly. We pondered this mystery. God is a fire of love, and yet we fear this fire. He can burn wild, He can consume us, purify us, He can move us into places that are out of our control. And there it is... We surmised that it's safer to stay at a cool distance, like the Israelites at the base of Mount Sinai. "Go ahead Moses, we'll wait here. Thanks very much." To sit back and be a "pew potato" or to speak generically about being nice and luvy and stuff from a pulpit, this is easy. "Now let's be nice." It is quite another thing to open up our mouths and let fire come in, and then back out again! The pure flame of love that is sacrificial... That leaps into the unknown. It seems there's a cool Christianity all around us. But in a Perkins yesterday morning, some sparks were flying. And I know there are many other places where God is moving, inspiring, calling out to us to come to Him, leap into the Fire of His Love. Because the world is getting colder. Fire happens when we allow God to be God in our lives... oh this is a powerful image! I think we're looking at a 2 part bloggy here, because I have to eat a salad right now. We'll be back tomorrow with the second half. In the meantime, if anybody else out there is seeing the sparks and the glowing embers of God's Love in their work, parish, ministry, feel free to post a comment. Peace! +
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