The Conversion of St. Paul

Today, January 25, is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

From The Acts of the Apostles 9:1-9:

Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing; so they led him by hand and brought him to Damascus. For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

Today might be a good day to reflect on the circumstances that brought us to faith in Jesus. Many of us were raised in the faith by parents who loved Jesus and the Church and who desired nothing more than to pass that faith on to us. Many others were raised in families that, if nominally Catholic or of another Christian tradition, never enjoyed the experience of living the faith in the home, by means of prayer, service, or discussions about the faith. Still others were brought up in families that had no faith, either out of a lack of interest, or out of genuine hostility to disciples of “the Way,” as Saul was.

We only think we plan our lives. Who knew what was going to happen on that road to Damascus? He took an enemy and turned him into His greatest theologian and missionary. Who knows what God has in store for us? All I can recommend is: Be ready for anything!

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.


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