Friction, often considered detrimental in relationships, may be beneficial for the common good. Issues get aired, sorted out, and resolved. Rubbing two sticks together causes friction causing heat, causing ember to begin warmth and comfort.
Fire pits are all the rage these days. Warmth, comfort, and a metaphysical experience of cleansing and rebirth are before us, but the paradoxical nature of fire gives us pause. We are the mythological Phoenix bird that rises from its ashes and is regenerated into a new life. Jesus expects that we have set ourselves on fire, which is why he came. This spiritual fire carries with it a destructive and a life-giving force to create a new person, a new world ablaze where standards are broken, divisions erased; falsehoods and new forms of paganism extinguished, clearing the way for an enlightened world ablaze with the love of the Christ. We are asked to set a fire in our hearts and minds, channeling the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus wished the earth were already blazing, for he came to set the world on fire. So, we, too, must ignite ourselves. Saint Peter Julian Eymard yearned for this fire, lived in this fire, and burned with this fire. There are no ashes. It continues to burn, and we only have to ignite ourselves.
Fire maintenance. Fires die out, becoming warm tinder, giving little heat. So, we must carry oil to feed the fire. And return to the source to gather whatever burning embers we can to bring fire to the world. For this, we turn and face the Divine Presence. Every day, all the time.
Dear God, when you pass through waters, I will be with you; through rivers, you shall not be swept away. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, nor will flames consume you. For I, the LORD, am your God. (Isaiah 43:1-2)