Monday, January 25, 2016

The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul: 2016

To quote an overly played (and played out) totally out-of-date pop culture reference from 2013:


The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul!!!

It's not news by now that 8-9 years ago (yeesh) when I was discerning religious life that I had a special connection to St. Paul on this feast day. I was in need of a "blinding light" and a conversion in the midst of my suffering and I feel like I got it with the help and inspiration of Paul.

Since then, I take this day to meditate and reflect on any conversions I might need to make in my life and I ask St. Paul to help me with them.

Last year on this day, my friends and I were on a retreat that my spiritual director had planned. It was the last retreat that I have been on. I was supposed to go on one with the RCIA group that I am helping out with in my new parish, but it got snowed out!

View from my apartment window after two days of non-stop snow. We have about 1 1/2 feet!

Because the retreat last year was on this feast day, my spiritual director (who is known for coming up with awesome meditations for the rosary), gave us the Mysteries of St. Paul:

1st Mystery: Paul witnesses the martyrdom of St. Stephen
2nd Mystery: Paul's conversion and baptism
3rd Mystery: Paul preaches to the Gentiles
4th Mystery: Paul's letters
5th Mystery: Paul's Martyrdom

I prayed these mysteries today as I walked around in the snow on my 2nd "snow day" from school so far this year. It was kind of like my own mini-retreat. I am not sure what kind of conversion needs to be made in my life right now- things continue to be great!- but I know that we can always be called to some kind of conversion.

As I read the readings this AM for this feast day, I was struck by how horrific Paul had been to those he was persecuting and in turn how merciful the Lord was with Paul. The Lord wanted Paul to use his zeal for good instead of persecution and he sought after Paul, just like He seeks after everyone of us.

I'm praying today to use my zeal that I have for good and seeking- in this Year of Mercy- how I might, like Jesus and Paul, bring mercy to others.

A short and sweet reflection today. No need to over-complicate stuff, I'm keeping it simple...St. Paul, pray for us!