Skip to comments.Converted and Converting [St. Paul]
Posted on 01/24/2014 8:43:28 PM PST by Salvation
Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 01.22.14 |
Our patron, St. Paul, isn’t any ordinary saint. He’s a singularity. He’s unique. And the Church calendar reflects the extraordinary role he played in God’s revelation. It was he who brought the Gospel to the world beyond Israel — the Gentiles. He’s credited as author of more than half the books of the New Testament, and it was under Paul’s tutelage that Luke composed his Gospel and Acts.
The Apostle to the Gentiles gets not one but two feasts on the Church’s Western calendar. In June he shares a feast with St. Peter, with whom he died as a martyr as they consecrated Rome with their blood.
On January 25, however, we at the St. Paul Center mark our patronal feast: the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. It’s a glorious day, quite unlike other feasts. For Paul’s conversion marks a milestone not only in his own life, but in the life of God’s people. Once a persecutor of Christ, he became the Lord’s preacher. Once an impediment to the Gospel, he became its great champion. Once a guardian of Israel as an ethnic preserve of holiness, Paul came to serve as a father in the worldwide (literally, catholic) Church that included both Jews and Gentiles.
The story of St. Paul’s conversion is told repeatedly in the New Testament, three times in the Acts of the Apostles and then, briefly, in Paul’s own correspondence with the Galatians and Corinthians. In all of history, no other conversion gets that kind of special coverage, with God himself as primary author of the narrative!
It’s possible, though, to over-emphasize the uniqueness of Paul’s conversion. When we consider the lives of the saints — and especially saints as extraordinary as Paul — we can be tempted to miss the lessons of their lives. We can miss the lessons that apply especially to us.
More than a decade ago, with my wife Kimberly and a few colleagues, I founded this apostolate, and we decided to name it after St. Paul. Most of us were converts to the Catholic faith, having come into full communion with the Church as adults. St. Paul, the “adult convert,” was a special guide for us.
But even that application is too narrow for this saint and this feast. For he’s not just a patron to those who change religious affiliation. In fact, it’s debatable whether he would have considered his affiliation to be different after he met the Lord.
No. St. Paul is everyone’s patron because we’re all called to conversion — and we’re always called to conversion, even if we’ve been Catholics since the cradle and attending Mass daily for decades.
Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The word he used for “turn” is at the root of all our Christian terms and notions about conversion.
Conversion is a turning toward God. It is a turning away from sin and from attachment to worldly things and worldly cares. This is the work of a lifetime. It’s not the matter of a moment. It’s not just “once and done.”
Unless we turn — unless we become “converts” — we’re not Christian. Unless we make a habit of repentance, we’re not disciples of Jesus Christ. We must convert again and again. We celebrate our conversions whenever we go to Confession. We celebrate our conversions, in fact, whenever we resist distraction and turn to our Father God in prayer.
In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, on the joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis makes this matter abundantly clear. He is worried less about the enemies “out there” in the world than the enemies within — the vices and the unconverted habits that tempt us away from Christ and threaten our perseverance in the faith. He calls baptized Christians to “experience a conversion which will restore the joy of faith to their hearts and inspire a commitment to the Gospel.” He defines conversion as “openness to a constant self-renewal born of fidelity to Jesus Christ.” He emphasizes that even the pope must undergo such a conversion.
St. Paul should be our model for conversion. His conversion was ongoing, lifelong, never easy, but always joyful. “Rejoice in the Lord always,” he said in his Letter to the Philippians (4:4). “Again I will say, Rejoice.” Paul is joyful not because of how good things are getting, but how good God is. That’s the fruit of true conversion.
And that’s a great reason to celebrate on January 25. I hope you’ll join me in a special observance of the day. Be bold in asking God for graces. Be importunate, too, as you beg on my behalf and on behalf of the St. Paul Center.
Novena to St. Paul the Apostle
Entrust your intention to St. Paul and offer the following prayer.
O St. Paul, the Apostle, preacher of truth and Doctor of the Gentiles, intercede for us to God, who chose you.
You are a vessel of election, O St. Paul the Apostle, preacher of truth to the whole world.
O God, you have instructed many nations through the preaching of the blessed apostle Paul. Let the power of his intercession with you help us who venerate his memory this day.
Conclude with an
Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.
St. Paul Ping!
That's just crazy talk!
In what way is it crazy?
“That’s just crazy talk!”
I think he’s parodying godless libs.
The Damascus Road is one many of us lesser beings found ourselves on, before being blinded by the Truth.
Pauline doctrine is foundational to the Christian Church.
There were other adversarial converts in the Old Testament; none of whom went on to do what Saul of Tarsus did...
Wretched being that I am.
Acts, chapter 9
Saul’s Conversion. 1* Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,a went to the high priestb 2and 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. 3On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.c 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”d 5He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.e 6Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”f 7The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one.g 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;* so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.h 9For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.
The Apostle to the Gentiles gets not one but two feasts on the Churchs Western calendar. In June he shares a feast with St. Peter, with whom he died as a martyr as they consecrated Rome with their blood.
O St. Paul, the Apostle, preacher of truth and Doctor of the Gentiles, intercede for us to God, who chose you.
So now Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles after all? Who ever would have thought?
Wait a minute...This guy is the Catholic religion's bible guru...He has to be right...
Catholics have always said that.
It just gets weirder by the day......
So that makes Peter what now?
Apostle to the JEWS?
The thread is about St. Paul......not Scott Hahn. Please stick to the subject or leave.
-— This guy is the Catholic religion’s bible guru...He has to be right -—
How does B follow from A?
I would also suggest reading what’s between the quotation marks when forming an opinion of Hahn’s opinion.
Paul addressed the people in these words:
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia,
but brought up in this city.
At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law
and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.
I persecuted this Way to death,
binding both men and women and delivering them to prison.
Even the high priest and the whole council of elders
can testify on my behalf.
For from them I even received letters to the brothers
and set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem
in chains for punishment those there as well.
“On that journey as I drew near to Damascus,
about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me.
I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me,
‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
I replied, ‘Who are you, sir?’
And he said to me,
‘I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.’
My companions saw the light
but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me.
I asked, ‘What shall I do, sir?’
The Lord answered me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus,
and there you will be told about everything
appointed for you to do.’
Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light,
I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus.
“A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law,
and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
came to me and stood there and said,
‘Saul, my brother, regain your sight.’
And at that very moment I regained my sight and saw him.
Then he said,
‘The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will,
to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice;
for you will be his witness before all
to what you have seen and heard.
Now, why delay?
Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away,
calling upon his name.’”
“So now Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles after all? Who ever would have thought?”
“The great Apostle to the Gentiles” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11567b.htm
Sometimes anti-Catholics just sound stupid.
What kind of cheese you going to have with that whine???
The posted article was written by Dr. Scott Hahn. Are we supposed to to take it at face value and disregard the source?
The humor there, was in reference to particular aspects of "Romanist" discussions (and even dogma) concerning Paul and the other Apostles, in regards to relationship and "station" between and concerning the several -- those items having been previously discussed upon numerous occasion, and at some lengths, on these (FR RF) pages. In fact, it touches upon (or at least --- makes oblique reference to) oft repeated claim and alleged grounds for justification of "Romanist" supremacy.
Should I draw for a map for those who didn't "get it"? Or would that be as yet another "new gate" to moo at, leaving map-making in this instance, a fools errand?
Dontcha' know all this stuff already? Try to keep up. Why must this need explaining? For years...this has been like one long, drawn-out conversation. I remember things which have been said, held to be "truth" (frequently -- up one side and down the other) by FRomans here. Obviously, AM does too.
That AM is not understood -- or is woefully misunderstood --- is no surprise to himself, myself, and possibly other observers...but what is surprising (in part) concerning this particular article, sourced as it is from Hahn, is that Hahn makes no overt Romanist supremacy claims in this particular article (as per his own usual "style" --- "up with Rome" "down with all doctrinal understanding/expression outside of her", or in conflict with some *aspect*) but instead restricts himself to such as;
with the latter portion, denying that one can be sealed in Christ truly once and for all (as much NT scripture does indeed indicate) leaves man not able to in truth cry unto the Father (The Holy Creator, "God the Father") by spirit of adoption, even as this one Apostle whom Hahn chooses here to focus upon (Paul) went to some lengths to repeatedly explain, touching upon the very issue numerous times throughout his own writings, with that unwavering truth woven in thoroughly, throughout his own texts...
Now that one can indeed be sealed unto salvation, once and for all time, by the blood of Christ --- that is (or at least once was, again, much according to Paul) one of the central teachings of the earliest, most primitive, "church", does not mean that the former, or earlier portion of Hahn's statement of is not true.
For as he says (to which I, and/or many or most, most heartily agree);
At this juncture --- perhaps it may help to suggest that it is truly not an either/or proposition, as the more complete quotation of Hahn's which I have selected portrays things ("things" being the truth, concerning salvation) to be, for he repeats an oft stated false dichotomy, while this instead (the truth) is one of those instances not either/or , but rather both.
And no, Judas the betrayer (for example) was never "saved", then "lost it". He never truly HAD IT, in the first place.
Exactly...There are a few wannabe posting cops out there...
I think the self effacing Paul would be horrified to be called a “patron saint” with feast days devoted to him.
Thank-you and God Bless Salvation!
I just came onto this thread about St. Paul and I see that the “bashing” has started.
***The thread is about St. Paul not Scott Hahn. Please stick to the subject or leave.***
Who died and made you mod?
Did y’all hear that Supper Bowl ticket prices are plummeting?
Well, next time some FRoman Catholic goes on about how Paul was the apostle to the Jews and Peter was the apostle to the Gentiles, hence making Peter the first pope, I’ll drag this thread out.
Seems that Catholics can’t ever get on the same page about what they believe.
So much for one “unified” church with “unified” teaching and doctrine.
I don't care who you are, that right there is funny!
And you reach that conclusion by pointing to a 2005 article that pretends to accurately present his views from a 2002 writing?????
In all of history?
Abraham seems to get a lot of ink throughout Scripture, even the Roman Catholic bible.
In other-words your dear apologist is fracturing Scripture to present HIS faulty conclusion.
Another Catholic put-down, correct?
Actually I think it would be wonderful for us to unite and celebrate St. Paul’s Conversion. Without it, many of us probably would not be here on this forum.
Without The Holy Spirit none of us would be here.
Paul was a sinner, like all the rest of us.
Then we could still unite.
In Catholicism, isn't that another word for "subjugate"?
Come to Lake Geneva where the water is cool, clear and refreshing! Not muddy and turbulent like the Tiber.
Yes and the rest of the time they are deceptively obfuscating, misdirecting and sewing falsehoods and descent among those honestly seeking the face of Christ. A most pitiable lot indeed.
In truth, Salvation is correct, if the Holy Spirit did not work through St. Paul, we would not be here.
No wonder those who have no fatih in Christ look at those who do who fight one another with disdain.
The Holy Spirit could have worked through the mouth of an donkey and we would be saved. (Num 22)
This shows the Roman Catholic error in holding up God’s mouthpieces as superior humans. Paul was a sinner, just like the rest of us.
In truth, God the Holy Spirit worked via St. Paul.
....So Salvation is in the CORRECT.
....I often wonder if those who post anti-Catholic stuff simply are just giving their “own opinons” only.
Yes that is a very sad fact however we have been warned that weeds have been sewn in with the wheat and that to prevent the innocent from being pulled up with the guilty we would be allowed to grow together until harvest time. It is of utmost importance that during this time that the little ones are not misled by our teachings, for the penalty of such carries a very HEAVY price indeed.
Christ instructs us that we are to LOVE one another (and our enemies) as he has loved us, this is how people can recognize His disciples. It is painfully obvious to me that some here do not practice His teaching and it does not take much reading to discover who they are by the tone of their posts. We must remember however that this is not a war against flesh and our prayers for their salvation will be answered.
I humbly ask that you pray for the conversion of all sinners especially the one writing this.
Yeah, it's not like the Holy Spirit had someone else to use. There were no other people on the planet, I guess.
The rest of us have a bigger God than one who is hamstrung by people and their willingness to cooperate. We know enough Scripture to know that He can even use a donkey.
Of course the Holy Spirit worked through Paul.
However, He could have used ANYONE because it’s the Holy Spirit responsible for whatever Catholics want to attribute to Paul, not Paul himself.
Imagine what Paul would have specifically said had he known people would have PRAYED TO him when he had departed this earth. Or had asked for his intercession with God with Christ reigning. The Epistle to the Catholics.