Hear Me With Fire
Medium: Pastel Painting
“I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts…”
~1 Kings 19:10
The fire of prophesy is kindled in silence. The Lord has a long history of calling His chosen instruments into the wilderness, before wielding them with His mighty Hand. Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist and even Christ Himself robed themselves in a desert solitude before beginning their public ministry.
The words of the Spirit are first discerned in the quiet intimacy of personal prayer. The fire of divine love must purge and devour every trace of worldliness, disposing the heart to obey the Lord’s commands. As Christ said to the tempter, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Having consumed the spirit of this world, the Holy Spirit is then free to engrave His words upon the prophet’s heart, as upon an empty tablet that will not resist His penmanship.
Divine inspiration burns in the heart of the prophet – God’s messenger – before the prophet sets himself ablaze with preaching and his hearers watch him burn. The Lord answered Elijah with fire before the prophets of Baal and the sons of Israel; but first, Elijah answered the Lord with the fire of holy zeal, in the secret depths of his heart.
Every Christian is baptized priest, prophet and king with Christ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1267, 1268). Even apart from the charism of prophesy, the Christian life is a prophetic vocation. If we burn with love for Christ and conform ourselves to His Word and example, our very selves will become a sign of the Kingdom of God: an extension of the Incarnation, a living testament to the Truth and the life of the world to come.
May we make time in our lives to remove ourselves from the chaos of this passing world, that steeping ourselves in prayer, we may incline our hearts to the Voice of the Spirit. If we do, He will enkindle His flame within us, and through us, set fire to the souls we encounter in our daily lives.