Thursday, January 28, 2010

Preparing for Conversion

This week started with a very special feast for me- The Conversion of St. Paul. I KNOW I've blogged about this before. The past 2 or 3 years this feast has been very significant for one reason or the other...mostly having to do with discerning religious life and transition from.

This year, I got to reflect on it a little in the light of grad school and also in the current goings on in my life (basically, that I am a 28 year old going on 82 year old and have freaking back problems which I've been dealing with for the past couple of months but have come to ahead this week. I wish I could say that the back behavior also affects my other geriatric tendencies of Wheel of Fortune watching and Snuggie wearing, but alas, I believe those aspects of my life are unrelated to the slipped disc).

On the feast of the Conversion itself, I had some good prayer time before my first doctor's appt this week. I went to Mass and then prayed with the Scriptures. The antiphons are really what struck me at Mass because they were verses from Paul that we prayed and sang with while I was with the sisters: "I know Him whom I've believed and I am confident that He will guard what He has entrusted to me until that last day" and "It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me". Always, Paul's trust and confidence and self-sacrifice all for the love of Jesus gets me EVERY TIME.

Tuesday I had my liturgical catechesis class that I've been mentioning and we used the first reading on Paul's actual conversion to start off our class. My teacher pointed out some of the characteristics of conversion:
- the intimate, revelation or 'light' of Christ that draws us and starts us on our journey
- the vulnerability that exists after (Paul was blind for 3 days and dependent on others, uncertain of what was next)
- the trust that God will finish what He started
- it happens with the help of others (Ananias had to help Paul understand what had happened and Ananias had to go through his own mini-conversion in order to trust that the Saul HE knew of wouldn't attack and kill him! Indeed. That's trust.)

I was particularly struck with the community aspect of conversion and Ananias' openness. I think I've often thought my conversions happened in seclusion- that sometimes no one else understands. But when I think about it, though Christ certainly prompts me, He does so through and with the help of others. And that we can't have these conversions alone, really.

Also, the openness that has to exist for a conversion to happen. Yes, God knocked Paul off his horse, but in that moment, Paul was open to hearing God's message (the scales fell, so to speak!) and to change. Ananias, too, as I already said, had to be open and trusting that God telling him to help Paul was the right thing to do.

So it made me of course question, how open am I to a conversion right now in my life? I think I am open, but am I really? I've really become quite content, thank you very much! Sometimes we even become comfortable as a defense. Hmmm... What would I do right now if Jesus really shook things up for me?

Okay, so yesterday I had an MRI because of this back craziness. I had never had one done before and so my nurse friends prepped me for the noises and close quarters that occur. Because of this preparation, I was less frightened. I know that I shouldn't be scared of doctor's appointments or procedures, but there is that loss of control because I don't know what is going on. I like to have the doctors talk me through a procedure- even if it's just filling a cavity- so I can be in the know and it calms me down for the 'unknown' to happen.

So thinking about that from a spiritual standpoint...I do believe Jesus wants us to be prepared for things. I think of the parable of the 10 virgins with their lamps and the 5 whom are not prepared for the Bridegroom. Jesus doesn't want that for us, he warns us to be ready. But then, he does crazy things like speak to Paul out of nowhere and walk on water- stuff like that. And this freaks us out! (which I've talked about before) No doubt, the fault lies with us (Jesus being perfect and divine and all ;) but there is some truth that being prepared for something gives us security (haha- Christine! SAH-KURITY. If you don't know, you betta ask...or watch this.... If you liked Pants on the Ground, I think you'll like Bon Qui Qui).

Where was I...oh, (hehe). But there are obviously times where we just have to hope and trust that we are prepared enough for whatever God wants to happen. We have to be OPEN for whatever God has in mind.

We know this, I just was thinking about it in a new way these past couple days. Thanks for the prayers for my back. I'm fine. You know I'll keep ya posted ;) 'Til then...

St. Paul, pray for us!

1 comment:

Jeremiah 29:11 said...

Love it. Am I ready for something big to happen in my life? I don't know!