LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, Chapter 39

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OF THE WONDERFUL DISCOURSE WHICH ST ANTHONY OF PADUA A FRIAR MINOR, MADE IN THE CONSISTORY

All present "understood what he said as perfectly as if he had spoken the language of each." In my travels I've visited churches where I've heard sermons preached in languages I didn't understand, or didn't understand really well enough to get more than the gist of the message. There's something wonderful about participating in worship in a language we don't understand. I think it has to do with knowing that we're about something that goes beyond our ethnic boundaries, and that is inexpicable, anyway. Not comprehending the words, I often found myself resonating the emotions of the preacher. I usually had some clue about the message, such as knowing what scriptural text it was based on, and that helped me understand enough to appreciate the message on a spiritual or emotional level. Here in America, we can usually find a Spanish speaking church to visit. In most major cities, there are usually ethnic churches. Maybe next time you're travelling and looking for a place to worship, you might seek this kind of worship experience. It calls to mind the mention of the gathering of people from every language and tribe in Revelation.

Miracle of Tongues

Hi Bill,

"Does not he that preacheth come from Spain? How is it, then, that in his words we each hear our own tongue spoken?"

I have often pondered on the miracle of tongues at Pentecost… on a miraculous realtime translation of speech.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

“Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

“They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, ‘Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.’

“They were all astounded and bewildered, and said to one another, ‘What does this mean?’

“But others said, scoffing, ‘They have had too much new wine.’”

We have others in our day that scoff at the miraculous, and offer any materialistic excuse to lay it conveniently aside. We ignore them when we can, and suffer the cross when we can’t. As such, they can be a catalyst to the intimate approach of Our Lord.

Pax,
John Ignatius of the Signature of God, OCDS




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