Cyril of Alexandria: We are Made Partakers of the Holy Spirit, Who is as Fire Within Us Tuesday, Aug 13 2013 

cyril_alexandriaI am come to cast fire upon the earth: and what will I, if already it be kindled?(Luke 12:49).

God the Father for the salvation of all sent down for us the Son from heaven.

For to the Israelites indeed He gave the law to be their helper, according to the Scripture; and also spoke to them by the holy prophets such things as were profitable for their salvation, promising them the deliverance that is by Christ.

But when the season had arrived, in which those things that had been prophesied of old were to be accomplished, He Who is God and Lord shone forth upon us.

And He tells us the cause thereof in these words; “I am come to cast fire upon the earth; and what will I if already it be kindled?”

Come therefore, and let us examine of what nature is this fire, concerning which He here speaks. Is it useful for those upon earth?

Is it for their salvation? Or does it torture men, and cause their perdition, like that which is prepared for the devil and his angels?

We affirm therefore that the fire which is sent forth by Christ is for men’s salvation and profit. God grant that all our hearts may be full thereof.

For the fire here is, I say, the saving message of the Gospel, and the power of its commandments; by which all of us upon earth, who were so to speak cold and dead because of sin, and in ignorance of Him Who by nature and truly is God, are kindled unto a life of piety, and made “fervent in spirit,” according to the expression of the blessed Paul.

And besides this we are also made partakers of the Holy Spirit, Who is as fire within us. For we have been baptized with fire and the Holy Spirit.

And we have learnt the way thereto, by what Christ says to us: for listen to His words; “Verily I say unto you, that except a man be born of water and spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

It is the custom moreover of the divinely inspired Scripture to give the name of fire sometimes to the divine and sacred words, and to the efficacy and power which is by the Holy Spirit, and whereby we are made, as I said, “fervent in spirit.”

[…] Christ…comes “like the fire of a furnace…, like one that smelts and purifies as silver and as gold.” (Malachi 3:2-3).

Just therefore as those who know how to refine gold and silver, melt out the dross contained in them by the use of fire; so also the Saviour of all cleanses by the doctrines of the Gospel in the power of the Spirit, the mind of all those who have believed in Him.

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): Commentary on St Luke’s Gospel, Sermon 114.

Jordan of Saxony: Their Hearts Catch Fire in Their Prayers and Meditations Thursday, Nov 8 2012 

I urge you to think of those “ancient paths” by which our predecessors hastened to their rest with all the intensity of their spirit, and now reign with the Lord, forever comforted in bliss and repose; all the days of pain with which God humbled them have now been turned to joy.

When they lived on earth, it was for spiritual gifts that they were jealous; they thought little of themselves and scorned the world. It was the kingdom they longed for, and so they were strong to endure hardship, enthusiastic for poverty, on fire with love.

Surely our father Dominic, of holy memory, was one of these. When he was living with us in the flesh, he walked by the Spirit, not only not fulfilling the desires of the flesh, but actually quenching them at the source.

He displayed a true spirit of poverty in his clothing, his food and his behaviour. He prayed constantly, was outstandingly compassionate, used to intercede for his sons with abundant tears because of the fervour of his zeal for souls.

Difficulties did not daunt him, obstacles did not worry him. We could see from the works he accomplished, from his virtues and miracles, what a great man he was on earth. Now that he is with God, his greatness has been made known to us in these last days, when we were moving his holy body from its previous burial place to a more noble tomb.

Praise to our Redeemer! Praise to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for choosing such a man as this to be his servant and for setting such a man over us as our father, to form us by his religious training and inspire us by the example of his resplendent holiness.

[…] There are some among you, by the mercy of God, for me to rejoice over and thank God for. There are some whose aim is beauty, who do cultivate their consciences, who do seek perfection and who do work hard at their preaching, who are zealous in study, whose hearts catch fire in their prayers and meditations, who keep the Lord always before them, looking to him as the one who will reward and judge their souls.

Rejoice, if you are such as these, and seek to abound still more. But if you are not yet like this, work at it, devote energy and attention to it, so that you may grow towards salvation in him who called you to this state of grace in which you find yourself, not to make you lukewarm, but to make you perfect.

Jordan of Saxony (c.1190-1237): Encyclical Letter, from the Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours for the Order of Preachers, Feast of All Saints of the Order of Preachers (November 7th).