Faith on Fire: Set the World Ablaze

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  • Feast of the North American Martyrs: Saint John de Brébeuf, Saint Isaac Jogues, and their companions. "The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church."
  • Year of Faith: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division" (Lk 12:49-51).
  • Paradox: the world is starving for God's love, but refuses to eat what is set before it.

The Spirit is Fire and Light

Jesus wants to equip us with power tools to do His work.

  • Disciples on the road to Emmaus: "Were not our hearts burning within us?" (Lk 24:31).
  • "I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire" (Mt 3:11).
  • Tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
  • Fires of love, Fires of Purgatory, Fires of Hell: all caused by exposure to the infinite love of God.

"His disciples recalled the words of scripture, 'Zeal for your house will consume me'" (Jn 2:17).

People are attracted to firelight

- Glow sticks, sparklers
- Diamonds
- Candlelight--romantic affection
- Candles on the altar
- Vigil light
- Easter candle: blessed fire
- Halos
- The sun is a burning fire
- Women's Aglow Fellowship
- halos on saints in paintings

A soldier's baptism by fire: first day in battle.

Sacrament of Confirmation

Light on a mountainside

Lantern held high

Warmth, cooking, beauty, cleansing

Indoor fire: fire-place, hearth

"Keep the home fires burning."

We must add fuel to the fire.

Kindling goes up quickly; big logs burn slowly all night long.

Embers left in the morning can start the new day's fire.

Fire of Pentecost: burning deep underground, like Centralia.

Fire can burn out of control, and yet we know how to contain it.

Fire is a power-tool. There is nothing like a blowtorch when you need to melt lead!

Melts metal

Consumes wood

Boils water

Cooks food

Fire of the Holy Spirit

forest fire: "Only you can prevent Forest Fires."

The fields are ripe for harvest--ripe to be set on fire.

Dozens, if not hundreds of fires at the farm: the barn, two outhouses, fallen trees, furniture ...

Bonfire of the vanities

Gina: anchorite, vigil light, hidden away in Studio A

"It only takes a spark to get a fire burning."

Matches, lighters, boy-scout-water vs. survival shows.

Failures to light fires: failed 2nd class test; camping in the cold.

Building fires for the family: ritual, sacramentality

Disposing of sacramentals and American flags reverently

Burning the "cursed notebook" for George

Judgment by Fire

Blessing of Salt and Water

Water made by God, I purge you, too, of evil,
in the name of God the Father almighty,
in the name of Jesus Christ His Son our Lord,
and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Become now water blessed to banish all power of the enemy,
and to conquer and dispel that enemy himself with his fallen angels,
by the power of the same Lord Jesus Christ,
who shall come to judge the living and the dead
and the world by fire.