Missionary Saints – St. Anthony Mary Claret

The Fire Power of Mission

I have a dear friend, a super savvy, sometimes salty retired corporate executive who teases me for using Greek words when speaking on the Trinity. He says “Literally, you are speaking Greek to me! How about saying it in some good ole American English?!” Often there is no English word that offers the same precision. “Dynamis” is such a word.

Dynamis is the internal force, the powerful well-spring that ignites action. Skills, tactics, strategies, intellect, and training can lead to success. However, without dynamis they have no potency. They are merely words on a page.  Likewise in our missionary activities we can assess situations, develop and deploy strategies but without an internal driving force nothing moves forward. We need wind in our sails.

Trinitarian Love, the greatest force in the entire universe has been given to us!! We are given the very Body of Christ and His Holy Spirit in the Sacramental life of the Church.  We receive Divine Love as dynamis for mission. It is not our own will or energy that is the force of mission but rather it is the very Love of God that inflames mission. Think about that.

Are we conscious of this power?  Are we conduits of it?  St Anthony Mary Claret is one person who clearly was. He said:
“Love is the most necessary of all the virtues. Love in the person who preaches the Word of God is like a fire in a musket. If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything; but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill. It is much the same with the Word of God. If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbor- it will work wonders.”

The dynamis of Divine Love is the fire power of mission for the life of the world. At the Holy Mass this weekend ponder the Divine dynamis you have received for the sake of mission. Keep it dry. Protect it from getting damp from despair and discouragement. Before any work this week, pray for the Father to spark the Divine Love within your heart, ask the Son to keep it burning.

My dear friend may not understand the Greek word, but Divine love is surely the dynamis of his transformative work in the Church.