Albert & Thomas: Selected Writings

By Simon Tugwell | Go to book overview

From the First Lectures on St. Paul

1 Corinthians 14:13-15
13. So anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray to interpret.
14. For if I pray with a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is without benefit.
15. What then? I will pray with my spirit, I will also pray with my mind. I will sing psalms with my spirit, I will also sing psalms with my mind.

Above (1 Cor. 14:1-4) the apostle has shown the superiority of the gift of prophecy over the gift of tongues on the basis of their use in exhortation; here he makes the same point on the basis of their role in prayer. These are the two things for which we use a tongue: prayer and exhortation.

In connection with this, he does two things: first, he indicates the need to pray (verse 13), then he shows how the gift of prophecy is worth more in prayer than the gift of tongues (verse 14).

So he says, first of all: I have explained that the gift of tongues without the gift of prophecy achieves nothing; therefore, since interpreting is an act of prophecy, which is superior to the gift of tongues, "anyone who speaks in tongues," speaking things which are unknown, that is, or strange, or some hidden mysteries, "should pray" to God "to interpret," that is, to be given the gift of interpretation, 1. "praying that God will open for us the door of speech" (Col. 4:3).

The Gloss takes oret in a different sense. Orare has two meanings : to pray to God, or to urge. So the meaning would be, "Anyone who speaks in a tongue should speak, that is, urge, in such a way as to interpret." And the Gloss takes orare in this sense throughout the

____________________
1.
From the Interlinear Gloss or Lombard's Gloss (PL 191:1666D).

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