Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Clay God Uses: Anthony of Padua

Peace and Good!
At the Basilica of Anthony of Lisbon (he was Portuguese, though he died and was buried in Italy) in Padua, one of the major relics on display is Anthony’s tongue, a reminder of his great ministry of preaching. Anthony would probably think this very appropriate because, while the tongue is used in speech, in itself it is just a muscle, with no power to make a sound or communicate anything. The tongue needs the breath from the lungs and the vibrations from the vocal chords.

So the preacher does not give his own message, but has to open himself to the action of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word of God. Yet, just as the tongue is important in forming words, so the preacher is called to use his gifts to share the Word of God with the men and women.
St. Anthony used the science and culture of the thirteenth century to communicate to others the Gospel message, but always grounded himself in prayerful contemplation of that message first. In this he followed the example of St. Francis while also showing a different aspect of Franciscan ministry.
May he help us today, to live and proclaim the Gospel, to be the tongue giving voice to the Word of the Lord in the Spirit.
God bless!

No comments: