The fire that fell from God’s presence onto the Old Testament altar is the same fire spoken of in the NT as the fire of purgatory which purifies, or sanctifies, us now on earth or after death (in the absence of mortal sin). Popes Gregory and Benedict XVI, along with such mystic Saints as Catherine of Genoa, Faustina, and John Paul II, have said the all-consuming fire of God’s presence, the fire of purgatory, and the fire of hell are the same fire: Trials on earth are bitter fire for the sinner, even as they purify the person of God.
Life’s “fiery trials,” then, are the all-consuming, jealous fire of God probing and purifying us deliberately, deeply, and intimately, just as the altar fire once idd in the OT sacrifices. If we offer them to God willingly in Communion with Jesus’ Cross, they contribute to our salvation to the degree that we can be wholly holy at death. When our trials are viewed this way, they become our sacred offerings of love, offered in participation in Jesus’ Cross. They “save” us.
Welcome Alison W, Julie H, and Rachel M, Bible Study Evangelista's newest friends of the show! Thank you for loving and lifting me 🙂
LOVE the Word™ is a Bible study method based on Mary's own practice: lectio without the Latin.
L – Listen (Receive the Word.)
O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)
F | Franciscan – Cradle a crucifix in your hand; touch His five wounds; pray a thanksgiving prayer on each one.
I | Ignatian – Imagine you are offering an animal sacrifice at the tabernacle. What can you see around you as you lead your goat to the priest at the altar? As you lay your hand on its head and confess your sins over it, what else can you hear? What do you smell? How do you feel just before you cut its throat with your knife and bleed its blood into the pan? What are your thoughts as the priest pours the blood out around the base of the altar?
A | Augustinian – How does this week's show make you understand and appreciate the Eucharist more? How is Jesus' gift of His Body and Blood meant to help you be more broken and spilled out for others?
T | Thomistic – Make a list of anything new you learned about Old Testament sacrifices, and see if you can connect them to Jesus' sacrifice.
V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)
Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word journal. Or get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.
E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your spirit, and there shall be a new creation, and you will renew the face of the earth. Amen +
*LOVE the Word™ exercises are offered according to FIAT: the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic: FIAT! These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.
Notes and References
“For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29).
Fire in the OT:
Genesis 15:1-17 God calls Moses from the burning bush
Exodus 3:1-8 God leads from the pillar of cloud and fire
Exodus 12:8-10 God descends on Mt. Sinai in a fire
Exodus 13:17-21 God and Abraham make a covenant
Exodus 19:18-19 the Passover lamb must be roasted and eaten
Leviticus 9:22-24, And fire came forth from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat upon the altar.
Leviticus 6:9-13 it is stressed three times that the altar fire, once lit, must burn continuously, because every sacrifice offered in the tabernacle from this time forward was to be incinerated in the fire that originated from God’s presence.
In early Judaism,