Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Share this paragraph of the Catechism:

To Catechism home page

Paragraph:

696 Fire. While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions. The prayer of the prophet Elijah, who "arose like fire" and whose "word burned like a torch," brought down fire from heaven on the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. 37 This event was a "figure" of the fire of the Holy Spirit, who transforms what he touches. John the Baptist, who goes "before [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah," proclaims Christ as the one who "will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." 38 Jesus will say of the Spirit: "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!" 39 In the form of tongues "as of fire," the Holy Spirit rests on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost and fills them with himself 40 The spiritual tradition has retained this symbolism of fire as one of the most expressive images of the Holy Spirit's actions. 41 "Do not quench the Spirit." 42

Move forward or back a paragraph: Previous | Next

Where this paragraph appears in the Catechism:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

»

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

»

SECTION TWO: THE PROFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

»

CHAPTER THREE: I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

»

ARTICLE 8: "I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT"

»

I. THE JOINT MISSION OF THE SON AND THE SPIRIT

Notes for the above paragraph:

37 Sir 48:1; cf. I Kings 18:38-39.

38 Lk 1:17; 3:16.

39 Lk 12:49.

40 Acts 2:3-4.

41 Cf. St. John of the Cross, The Living Flame of Love, in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, tr. K. Kavanaugh, OCD, and O. Rodriguez, OCD (Washington DC: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1979), 577 ff.

42 I Thess 5:19.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

To Catechism home page