"1 When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.It's also part of what we read during Mass this morning: Acts 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23.
"And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, 2 and it filled the entire house in which they were.
"Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, 3 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, 4 as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim."
(From Thomas Cole, used w/o permission.)
If "a noise like a strong driving wind" and "tongues as of fire" showed up at the corner of Ash Street and South 9th, here in Sauk Centre, Minnesota: I'd be flabbergasted. That sort of high-profile display doesn't happen very often: anywhere.
I've received the gift of the Holy Spirit, though, at baptism. That's when I became a "temple of the Holy Spirit," entered the life of the Church, and started on my trek to God's kingdom. I was a baby at the time, so everything I've learned about my faith came later. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 782, 1213-1284)
The Holy Spirit makes folks who are baptized "a spiritual house and a holy priesthood." (Hebrews 5:1-5; Revelation 1:6; Catechism, 784)
That makes it sound like we're all supposed to be clergy. That's not the way it works, so I'd better back up a bit.
(From the Holy See, used w/o permission.)
(The Apostles Creed and The Nicene Creed, in Chinese.)
Catholics are united by common beliefs: like the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed. But our goal isn't being cookie-cutter Christians, trying to fit a single mold.
Some of us get spectacular gifts, charisms, like speaking in tongues. Most of us don't, and that's okay. 1 Corinthians 14:23 is pretty clear about what could happen if an entire congregation was into speaking in tongues.
"Now the body is not a single part, but many.Charisms aren't for the benefit of folks who have them: they're gifts that are meant to help "the Body of Christ, the Church:" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2003)
"If a foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,' it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.
"Or if an ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,' it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.
"If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?"
(1 Corinthians 12:14-17)
"...Whatever their character - sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues - charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.54"God issues an extensive array of field kits, including prophecy, teaching, healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
Administration isn't as glamorous as speaking in tongues or prophecy: but we need administrators, too. (December 9, 2012)
I take speaking in tongues seriously, and may have heard someone 'speaking in tongues.' Then again, maybe the chap simply had a good memory and active imagination. The sounds he made were an awful lot like a paraphrase of the Aramaic quoted in Matthew 27:46: which made no sense in context.
Anyway, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit I'm pretty sure I don't have is tongues. I've read the first half of 1 Corinthians 12:31, "strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts...." but I've read the rest of the book, too.
Instead of griping about what I wasn't issued, I figure a better use of my time is using the equipment I've got. And that's another topic. (September 1, 2013; December 9, 2012; November 23, 2011)
- "Guide, Friend, Counselor, Comforter: the Holy Spirit"
(May 25, 2014)
- "A Billion Ways to be Catholic, and the Spider-Man Principle"
(December 9, 2012)
- "The Important Idea, Charisms, and Working With What I've Got"
(June 24, 2012)
- "Talents, 'the Outer Darkness,' and Interest-Bearing Bank Accounts"
(November 23, 2011)
- "Speaking in Tongues and Getting a Grip"
(June 1, 2011)