In other tongues: Meditation on Acts 2:4

“and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4
Does the Spirit do this to each of us in a unique way. If I think of speaking “in other tongues,” analogously, it could be applied to manifesting God in different ways, in each of our lives, in a form custom tailored to meet a particular need in the Mystical Body, the Church, the Kingdom of God. Indeed, if I look upon the special blend of charisms in the particular context of my life applied to my set of circumstances, I am indeed speaking “in other tongues” of God to the world around me…and to myself.
For the language is idiosyncratic, manifesting both a public and a very personal side. The public side speaks to those around me, and God provides me feedback in complimentary comments from others for the Good performed in which they are seeing God in action through his instrument, and in the effectiveness of my work, in which He has given “success to the work of our hands,” Ps 90, [though God’s judges “success” differently than I do, being judged on in terms of the evolution of the trifold Cosmic Kingdom, Triumphant, Suffering and Militant rather than the mundane temporal outcome] which follows as day the night, if God is doing the task, it is His “will be done.” Even the place often seems to exude the appropriateness of God manifesting His presence everywhere.

Personally, there is a sense of correctness, the rightness, aka righteousness, I experience, a sense of the serendipity of “our greatest longing meeting the world’s greatest need,” and the serenity, exuberance and energy and even of accomplishment, in applying myself to the task.

These personal charisms are, as George MacDonald commented, God’s gift of “a white stone upon which is inscribed a new name, which no one knows except the one who receives it.” Rev 2:17 It is unique to me, without parallel, an intimate token of friendship, the five or two or one talent which he entrusts to me.

However, prior to the stone, John sees God giving “to the victor…some of the hidden manna,” the food of life to which Jesus referred: “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.” Jn 4:34. The utilization of the charisms feeds me spiritually and psychologically. Part of each cross is that this work, the call to evangelization, that harkens back to my “baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished.” Lk 12:50 And this evangelization through charisms is to be carried out, as St. Francis exhorts, “always; when necessary, use words.”

God, I pray through Mary in Christ that you enable me, through your gifts, to praise, reverence and serve you as I, the “just me,” should. Amen. Alleluia!!!


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