Monday, January 25, 2016

The Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul

"Therefore, brothers. Stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by word or by letter from us."
 2 Thessalonians 2:15

The story of Saul being knocked off his horse and blinded is one of my favorite ones from my childhood.  I think that is because I have related to Saul.  Thinking I was doing the right thing and running headlong into the fray.  Judge, Jury and Executioner.

Saul persecuted Our Lord in big ways before his conversion.  Binding up those he thought guilty, having them put to death or imprisoned.

Once Saul saw the light he was baptized and became one of the most important preachers of the Gospel.  He became Paul.  He preached anywhere and everywhere.  He was a prolific letter writer. He was martyred for his beliefs.

I too am guilty of being a persecutor of Our Lord.  No, I haven't had anyone arrested, thrown in prison or put to death.  But I have gossiped.  I have had unkind thoughts roll around in my head for days about someone, so much so that I have imprisoned them in my most unkind evaluation of them.

I have been uncharitable not only with my time, but with my treasure.  I have let my pride stand between me and others.  And is it not true then that it stands between me and my Lord?

There are actual persecutions going on now.  People are being threatened for their beliefs, they are being put to death for their beliefs.  I on the other hand have the freedom to worship when and how I want.  I have a Church and brothers and sisters in Christ at my disposal.  I have ready access to the Sacraments.  I have Freedom!

Lord, help me when I persecute
those around me, with my words,
my thoughts and my actions.

Remind me of the conversion of Saul.
Help me to be a better preacher of my beliefs,
by my words, but more importantly by my actions.


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