Thirdly, the gift of the Spirit is a gift of diversity: the tongues of fire are “cloven” or “divided” (Acts 2:3), and they are distributed to each one directly. Not only does the Holy Spirit make us all one, but he makes us each different. At Pentecost the multiplicity of tongues was not abolished, but it ceased to be a cause of separation; each spoke as before in his own tongue, but by the power of the Spirit each could understand the others. For me to be a Spirit-bearer is to realize all the distinctive characteristics in my personality; it is to become truly free, truly myself in my uniqueness. Life in the Spirit possesses an inexhaustible variety; it is wrongdoing, not sanctity, that is boring and repetitive. As a friend of mine, a priest who spent many hours each day hearing confessions, used to remark wearily, “What a pity there are no new sins!” But there are always new forms of holiness.
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