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In all the New Testament, there is likely no section more mournful, more despairing than the latter half of chapter 7 of St. Paul's letter to the Romans.
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The 16th century Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant Reformation, called for religious imagery that would encourage piety, uphold doctrine and be decorous.
Let the heavens be glad and earth rejoice; let the sea roar and all that fills it; let the field exult and everything in it. Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord; for he is coming, he is coming to judge the earth" (Psalm 96.11-13).
The Acts of the Apostles emphasizes the Holy Spirit's role in the spreading of the Gospel and in charisms such as prophecy and speaking in tongues. But while St. Paul was a primary actor in the spread of the Gospel and he recognized the importance of charisms, his emphasis was different.
St. Paul had great respect for the spectacular charisms of tongues, prophecy, healing and others and how they could build up the Church. Yet his repeated insistence in his letters to the Corinthians that God's power is made perfect in weakness gives us reason to pause.
First, the gift of tongues. At Pentecost, the disciples receive the gift of tongues to speak the word of God to Jews visiting Jerusalem each in their own language. Yet, very soon, Christians were praying in tongues and no one could understand them (1 Corinthians 14.16).