27 Jun

“Spirituality: the art of keeping your internal fire alive.”  ~ Maxime Lagace

There was a series of commercials that I always liked to hear.  They were the Motel 6 commercials that ended with, “I’m Tom Bodette for Motel 6, and we’ll leave the light on for you.”  Whenever I heard those commercials, I imagined a place that was warm and inviting, a place that welcomed people to stop by, and a place upon which you could count.

There’s something about the image of a light being left on for you.  It evokes vigilance and warmth.  It lets you know that you are welcome there.  Light is so very important.

We use the image of light in our liturgies.  At the Vigil Mass of Easter, we bless our Paschal candle and process it into the church with the celebrant singing “Light of Christ!” while the congregation responds “Thanks be to God!”  We celebrate the fact that Christ, our Light, has come into the world to dispel the darkness of sin and death.

The light of Christ is depicted as that flame on the Paschal candle.  We also depict flames hovering over the heads of Mary and the Apostles at Pentecost.  The flames represent the Holy Spirit coming down upon those in the upper room giving them the gifts of the Spirit that would need be necessary to proclaim the Good News to the world.

When we talk about significant experiences in our faith, we often describe them as “burning within.”  God has, indeed, kindled a fire in our souls by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation.  Once kindled, it is up to us to tend the fire.

We need to make sure that the fire of our faith continues to burn brightly.  There are many ways to fuel that flame. Prayer, good works, and almsgiving are the basic tenets of stewardship and they help us to keep the flame of our faith burning for it is in the practice of the faith that the faith deepens.

Just as a fire cannot remain lit if it does not receive fuel for the burning so our faith cannot remain burning if we allow it go to fallow.  Activity is the best method to keep the flame lit.  The activity can be internal in prayer, meditation,  and spiritual reading or the activity can be external in performing good works and acting as an example of the faith.

If you do so, you not only nurse the flame within you but you help to ignite the flame of faith in another.  This is how we proclaim the Good News in our world.

FAITH ACTION:  Make sure that you take time to pray, do spiritual reading, and whatever else is necessary to keep your faith burning strong today.