“One tongue is enough for a woman” Mother Teresa.
I had my first powerful experience of the Holy Spirit when I was 17 and a Spanish priest, Fr. Marcellino Iragui prayed that I would receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Hey, this was India, and anyway, religion and authoritarianism are always closely linked. So I repeated the prayer for the Holy Spirit after him (I’ve always objected to repeating prayers after people).
When we came to “And Lord, please give me the gift of tongues,” I said, “No, I don’t want that. My father will make fun of me.”
He said, “You can’t pick and choose among the gifts of God.”
And so I prayed. And felt nothing. And felt relieved.
And woke up at night with a sense of overwhelming joy, joy so intense that I was, in fact, close to tears. I praised God in ecstatic, broken, joyful English.
And in a language I hadn’t learned. Tongues! Goodness!
I joined Mother Teresa’s convent a month or two later. And, when I met with her, I asked, “Mother, what do you feel about the gift of tongues?”
She had reached the dangerous age. The age at which one instinctively dismisses new ideas. (Oh dear, I feel that age coming upon me, and am valiantly resisting it!)
She answered, “One tongue is enough for a woman.”
And that was that. I was 17.
Thankfully, the gifts of God are irrevocable, and I pray in tongues today, though not as much as I should.
Sadly, true for both praying. And praying in tongues.
I think I will go and do both right now!!