Tongues (Gift of Tongues)
- is praying and praising God in words that are inspired by the Spirit, but that cannot be understood
- is given to encourage believers
- if exercised in public worship, should be supervised according to St. Paul’s teaching
- is simple and loving attention to God and the beginning of contemplative prayer
- can usually be exercised at will
- leads to a growing attraction for silence and interior prayer
The Gift of Tongues is a charismatic gift of the Spirit and is listed among those mentioned by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:27-28. Charismatic gifts are distinct from the seven Gifts of the Spirit.
- OMOH: 79-80
- *OMOH: 76-77
- IG: 142
The exercise of the gift of tongues, as well as the reflective reading of the word of God in Scripture, normally leads to a growing attraction for interior silence and prayer. The Gift of Tongues seems to have been given, along with faith in Jesus and the acceptance of Baptism, to encourage the individual believer and to build up the local community of worshippers. Its use in public worship is regulated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:26-28.
- Gifts Of The Spirit
The Gift of Tongues, one of the charismatic Gifts of the Spirit and distinct from the seven Gifts of the Spirit, is a rudimentary form of non-conceptual prayer. While those possessing the gift can normally exercise it at will, they do not understand the meaning of the words they are saying. They are simply aware that they are praying and praising God.
Such a simple and loving attention to God is a good beginning for contemplative prayer. The exercise of the Gift of Tongues, as well as the reflective reading of the word of God in Scripture, typically leads to a growing attraction for interior silence and prayer.
The Gift of Tongues is given to encourage the individual believer, but is often expressed in public worship. In that case, it is given to build up the Christian community. St. Paul lists the charismatic gifts in 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 as: the gift of tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, miracles, discernment of spirits, words of wisdom, inspired teaching, administration. These gifts provide for the spiritual and material needs of Christian communities.
The Gift of Tongues has been given to encourage believers. This gift may also be oriented towards the community.
When is it appropriate to express this gift? How does the Gift of Tongues lead to interior silence?
All Gifts of the Spirit build up the Christian community and give praise to God.