My Thoughts 25/02/2022

We have three versions of St. Paul’s Conversion on the road to Damascus. Yes it is dramatic. You have only to look at paintings by Luca Giordano, Caravaggio and the fresco by Michelangelo.

If you reflect on his story you soon realise there was the first dramatic moment in the story of the conversion of Saul but then there was process of change for Paul. Paul was told to get up, he was blind for three days, staying at a house of Judas. He was praying when Ananias visited him and laid hands on him, and received the Holy Spirit and then he was baptised. Leaving Damascus, Saul withdrew into Arabia, for prayer and meditation. He then returned to Damascus and only then began preaching the faith.

It is clear from his letters that Paul had to face his faults, failures and shortcoming throughout his life and continued to grow into the person that God was calling him to be. In his letters he talks about “the things that I don’t want to do I to do,”and he talks about. his weakness being is his strength when joined to the Cross of Christ. In his letter to the 2 Corinthians Chapter 12 he writes “Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me—so that I would not become arrogant.”

Like St Paul, our conversion is an ongoing process, a deepening of our awareness that we will only be happy when we submit ourselves to Christ and be allowed to be used as instruments of his love. “ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’

Lord, on this feast may I be encouraged by the example of St Paul to be an instrument of your truth in the world.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest