A year ago, during the Full-Time Worker’s recollection retreat that I attended in May, I had the opportunity of having a one to one with our country servant, and ever since then, I’ve been focusing more on the Holy Spirit. Since then my eyes have been opened to the working of the Holy Spirit in my life in so many areas that before, I took for granted. I’ve shared before on some virtues that He has helped me with, especially the gifts of temperance and patience. But here, I’d like to share on something different.
I did not receive the gift of tongues during the pray over at my first Singles conference in 2016, maybe because my mind was more focused on my knees starting to ache from kneeling for long and the weight of the hand of the person praying over me. It was difficult for me to silence my mind and accept that the gift of tongues was something real. I remember telling a brother in the community later that maybe I did not receive it because I thought I was unworthy, and he told me that it was for God and not me to decide whether I was worthy or not.
It was during the infilling of the Holy Spirit at our CLS last year that I did receive the gift of tongues (even though I had prayed for the gift of tears; now this is an affirmation that we get, not what we want but what God knows is best for us). Sometimes it still gets difficult to ignore my mind telling me that I’m jabbering like a fool and continue praying. I guess that’s a reason I didn’t use the gift as often and boldly as I should. But I do use it, especially when my prayers and spiritual life seem to be getting a little dry.
This is an incident that took place on the 22nd of April 2018. The previous day, a Saturday was a crazy, hectic day since morning. I’d been running errands and doing chores all day until late night. The heat here in Pune is terrible between the late morning and early evening and the sun just seems to suck the life out of you. Owing to this, I feel I had a heatstroke that day. The next day I woke up and went for mass in the morning, had a small breakfast and then did a few chores for my brother and told him I needed to sleep or I would end up with a bad headache. I didn’t wake up for lunch. By 3pm I had a raging fever and terrible body ache (my brother waking me in intervals for silly things definitely did not help). I threw up whatever little I had eaten and crawled back into bed. I knew dehydration would only worsen things so kept taking small sips of water but kept puking even that out. I was alone at home at this point as my brother had gone out. I’ve never felt so weak in my life! I kept praying in bed for God to give me strength. I crawled out of bed again and managed to cut some vegetables to make some soup, but then didn’t have the energy to carry on so back to bed I went. The cycle of throwing up continued until finally, kneeling and trembling I prayed in tongues for deliverance from that terrible weakness and pain. And there, within a few minutes, I broke out in a sweat and my fever disappeared along with the body ache. I was able to get up, finish making soup so that I had something in my stomach without bringing it all up again. I was thankful that I could walk straight again since the condition was pretty terrible.
This was the most tangible experience of the power of praying in tongues that I have had and this affirmation of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit gave me the grace to begin making the gift of tongues a part of my everyday life. All glory to the Paraclete, our Advocate!