The Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. … The gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God.
– Acts 10:44
ON THE GIFT OF TONGUES…
“They heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God.” When I pray in tongues, I look – with the eyes of faith – at the Lord, without thinking, without concepts. It is a looking with love at the Lord while letting the heart freely express itself.
Praying in tongues is a deep and audible groaning from the heart. When I speak or sing in tongues, I do not speak or sing a language. When I pray in tongues, I babble. The meaning is not in the sounds, the meaning lies in the heart. The sounds are not words, but they are a full expression of love.
Praying in tongues involves humility and interior freedom, both necessary to let go of control of what one says and to just let it flow up from the center of one’s being. A brief period of praying in tongues and then I can enter – consciously – into the Lord’s presence and remain there in complete silence.
Tongues is the humblest of prayers where I pay no attention to the unintelligible syllables I say or sing because my eyes, my mind, my heart are fixed on the Lord, contemplating Him.
– excerpts from Fr. Robert Faricy’s book “Seeking Jesus in Contemplation and Discernment”
“(Tongues) involves words and sounds that in the normal course do not belong to any existing language but are made up on the spur of the moment. The one who speaks in tongues is not aware of what he or she is saying, but is only aware of saying it. The person who speaks in tongues, in other words, is in control, able to decide when to start and when to stop… [Speaking in tongues] opens the way to a deeper level of prayer, a more immediate experience of contact with God, from which great benefits flow. […]
Those who pray in this way experience a new sense of wholeness, of being wholly united in the depths of their personal being, open to God in every way, body, soul, and spirit all in harmony.”
– Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa
Increase in me, Lord, the gift of contemplation.
When my heart yearns and groans for You, Lord,
give me the humility to allow it to humbly and freely
express itself audibly to You in tongues.
Lord, help me keep the eyes of my heart fixed on You.