Tuesday, August 25, 2009

fire, fire, FIRE!!!!!!

I used to be so afraid of fire I wouldn't even light a match. Yep, I didn't light my first match until I was probably 16 or 17 years old. I had my dad or my brother do it for me...or I'd get one of those cool fire starter plastic lighters with a long handle. I was so afraid of getting burned! I had this fear that I would catch on fire and my skin would fall off...that's gross! But as I got more bold I realized that if I was careful I wouldn't get burned. This analogy of fire is perfect for talking about our faith. Sometimes I am so afraid of getting "burned" by people that I shy away from certain issues because I don't want to chance my skin falling off...you get me? I think it is pretty common that we back down when talking about Jesus to our friends, co-workers, families because of what might happen. Will we get burned? What if fire isn't such a bad thing after all though?
Lately I have prayed a lot in front of the Blessed Sacrament and over and over I find things keep referring to fire. In songs, in verses, in conversations it seems like things just keep going back to this idea of fire. As I was reading about St Alphonsus I came across a quote
"To cast fire upon the earth—that is my mission! And how I wish it were already blazing fiercely! Nothing in the world can set hearts ablaze with love for God like the Blessed Sacrament." This more than anything just affirmed what God has been speaking in my heart that we are called to truly cast the fiery love of Jesus Christ on this earth! How do we do that? Especially in a world of fires of the wrong sort? There is a lot working against us. But we were baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit and we were confirmed in that later when the fire came down again through the Spirit in the sacrament of confirmation. There is a lot of darkness in this world and we are called to bring light to it. We're called to be burned by the fire of the love of God and to go and start that fire in others!
I was talking with my best friend about her retreat she just got back from and she was telling me about how in one of the Servant Songs, in Isaiah 50, there is a verse that says this
: "But all of you are kindlers of fire, lighters of firebrands. Walk in the flame of your fire, and among the brands that you have kindled!" All of us are called to serve, not one like another, we are called to cast fire upon the earth in a way that is uniquely ours. God did not make us to be cookie cutter images of the saints, no, He created each of us to cast fire upon this earth in a way no one else can. How are you called to do that? How does God want you to witness His message to the world? It will be hard. He says that upfront. But we know that at the end of the day God wins the war...He banishes Satan and we, His people, are victorious under the King. So I pray that today we can take that step together to be bold, and to cast fire upon this earth.
But don't play with matches, you WILL light yourself on fire, and your skin WILL fall off. Gross.

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