"consuming fire" (heb 12:29)
"My eyes have witnessed Your saving Deed displayed for all the peoples to see: a revealing Light to the Gentiles." —Luke 2:30-32
Jesus is the Light of the world (see Lk 2:32; Jn 8:12). "He is like the refiner's fire" (Mal 3:2). He is "a consuming Fire" (Heb 12:29).
We are like candles. We give light (Mt 5:14) only through being consumed by God's love. The Lord is lighting several people now with priestly and religious vocations. If you let the Lord light the candle of your life, your light will shine very brightly. Through your vocation as a priest, sister, brother, or deacon, you will lead thousands into God's kingdom of light. These vocations will consume you. They will burn up your time, energy, sexuality, and money. These vocations will burn your life down to nothing.
The Lord is lighting most of the people who are reading this book with the vocation of marriage. If you let the Lord light you, you will be consumed by your unconditional love for your spouse and your unconditional acceptance of the children God will give you. If you are already married, you are tempted to blow your light out because you want more time and money for yourself. Your marriage and family are taking up your whole life. But don't blow out your light. If you try to save your life from being consumed, you will lose your life (Lk 9:24).
The Lord is lighting a number of select people to the lay single vocation. Your light will shine in the secular society of politics, business, education, medicine, mass media, entertainment, etc. Your light can burn in the culture of death with a special intensity as a sign of contradiction for the rise and fall of many (Lk 2:34).
Let Jesus light your candle and consume you in His love.
Prayer: "Refiner's Fire, my heart's one desire is to be holy, set apart for You Lord" (from the song, "Refiner's Fire").
Promise: "He will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the Lord." —Mal 3:3
Praise: Praise Jesus, "a revealing Light to the Gentiles" (Lk 2:32).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998