Monday, August 20, 2007

Light my Fire

A few days late.... since I was on retreat at the Cistercian Abbey since Saturday and fasting from Internet.

I was meditating on the baptism of fire in the 12th chapter of Luke's gospel.

"I have come to set the earth on fire, and how wish it were already blazing."

Here and in the Matthean passage where Jesus speaks of the baptism of fire and of his death we see a close connection between that fire and the fiery trial of Christ's passion. Two or three other other scriptures also came to mind: Deuteronomy 4 and Heb 12:29 where God is described as a Consuming Fire. In both places we see that the fire of God is a fire of jealous love, of One who wants us only for Himself. That God appraoches us in Jesus and immolates himself on the Cross in the fire of that love.

Here a way cool text on the fire from a famous monk, Denis the Carthusian (1408 - 1471),

Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, 12: 72-74,To light in human hearts the fire of God's love

"I came down from the heights of heaven and, by the mystery of my Incarnation, I made myself manifest to men in order to light in human hearts the fire of divine love; “and how I wish it were already blazing!”, that is to say that it take hold and become a flame activated by the Holy Spirit, and that it bring forth abundant acts of kindness!

Christ then reveals that he will undergo death on the cross before the fire of this love ignites in humanity. It is, indeed, the most holy Passion of Christ which merited such a great gift for humanity, and it is above all the memory of his Passion which lights a flame in faithful hearts.

“I must be baptized”, in other words: “It falls to me and it is reserved to me by a divine decree to receive a baptism of blood, to bathe and to plunge as if in water, in my blood shed on the cross to redeem the whole world; “and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!”, in other words until my Passion is completed, and when I can say: “All is accomplished!” (Jn 19:30)

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