The Conversion of St. Paul

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 the hand and brought him to Damascus.For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.”  Acts 9:1-9

(Read the rest of Paul’s conversion here)

 

Conversion of Saint Paul

Image by eugeniu (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Today is the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. What I love most about this feast is the message of hope. I’ve said this before: where there’s life, there’s hope. There is no one beyond God’s reach, even the most “lowliest” of persons. Look at Saint Paul (Saul, before his conversion), a fierce persecutor of the early Christians. Jesus touched him in a powerful way that transformed his life forever. And his conversion changed the world in many ways, ways that affect us to our own day.

God CAN touch those we love. God WANTS to bless those we love. We must keep on praying and trusting that one day our those we love who are from the Lord will return. He probably won’t knock them off a horse as He did with St. Paul, but He can touch them in a powerful way, even if that way is gradual. God’s ways are not our ways and so we just need to trust in Him!

By the way, If you are looking for ideas on how to celebrate this feast with your family, there isn’t much on the web. I did find this link to coloring pages that your kids can color, maybe while you read the story of St. Paul’s conversion to them. (Non-Catholic link, but there is nothing objectionable that I can see, at least not this page.)

Here are some other links to learn more about this feast:

Catholic Encyclopedia

Catholic Culture

Women for Faith and Family

P.S. Here is a wonderful prayer that I found over at Our Beautiful Catholic Faith. It is directed specifically to non-Catholics, but it is very much applicable for our fallen-away Catholics, too:

Prayer for a Loved One’s Conversion to Catholicism (Colossians 1:9-14)

O Father, in the name of Your Son Jesus, and in the power and authority of the Holy Spirit,
with the knowledge of Your will,
I ask that You fill null with the knowledge of Your will through ALL spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Enlighten this precious child of Yours, dear Lord!
Teach this dear one to live in a manner that is worthy of You,
so as to be fully pleasing to You,
full of good works bearing good fruits and ever growing in knowledge of You.
Strengthen this lost lamb, dear Lord,
with every power of Your Holy Spirit,
in accordance with Your might, for all endurance and patience,
with joy, giving thanks to You O Father!
Make Your child fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in the Light.
Deliver this beloved one from the power of darkness
into the kingdom of Your Beloved Son, Jesus,
and transfer null into the kingdom of Your Beloved Son, Jesus,
in whom is redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

Amen!

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Pst: Are you struggling with your faith or making time for prayer? Want accountability and support in taking your faith life to the next level? I can help. Get on my calendar and let’s talk.

31 Days of Prayer – Saint Paul of the Cross

Today is the optional memorial of Saint Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionists religious community.

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Saint Paul had a great appreciation and love for the suffering Jesus. He also had a deep understanding of the meaning of the Cross and its place in our lives. He embraced his sufferings (great and small) and united them to Christ.

I wish I could do that more faithfully! I don’t know about you but I balk at the slightest sufferings. There are certain things I’ve had to deal with because of my cerebral palsy and issues related to my condition; however, I can’t say that I’ve always accepted those issues. Oh no, I’ve fought them more often than not!

I am guessing that I’m not alone here so let’s ask Saint Paul to help us love and accept our Crosses like Jesus did. The following prayer comes from the Christian Prayer book of the Liturgy of the Hours:

Father, You gave your priest Saint Paul a special love for the cross of Christ.
May his example inspire us to embrace our own cross with courage. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one god, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Saint Paul, pray for us!

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Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer – Saint Paul of the Cross

You are Loved

Are you going through a difficult time right now? YOU are LOVED.
Are you feeling lost, abandoned or confused? YOU are LOVED.
Are you feeling angry, rejected, or lonely? YOU are LOVED.

You are Loved

Even when others reject you, neglect you, or disappoint you, YOU are Loved beyond measure.

Truly, you are loved more than you know. You have not been abandoned. You are not alone. In your darkest days, God is with you, even if it doesn’t seem like it. As St. Paul writes, nothing can separate us from God.

We may separate ourselves from God through sin or by ignoring Him but He NEVER separates Himself from us.

So, if you are struggling or going through a difficult time, take courage. Trust in God. Believe He is there. Know that He loves you.

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And, yes, if all is going well for you, if you are happy and “living the good life,” God loves you too! Remember Him, thank Him, and know that he shares your joys as well as your sorrows!

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Tweetable: You are Loved

Saints and Feast Days for June 2016

Wow. We are almost halfway through 2016. Wow, wow, wow! June has my favorite solemnity, the Sacred Heart of Jesus! Anyway, without further ado:

Saints and Feast days in June

Image by NikolayF (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Saints and Feasts

June 1St. Justin, Martyr (obligatory memorial)

June 3: Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (movable feast)

June 3: First Friday Devotions (optional)

June 4: Immaculate Heart of Mary (optional memorial – movable feast – day after Sacred Heart)

June 4: First Saturday Devotions (optional)

June 6: St. Norbert, bishop (optional memorial)

June 9: St. Ephrem, deacon and doctor of the church (optional memorial)

June 11: St. Barnabas, apostle (obligatory memorial)

June 13: St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (optional memorial)

June 21: St. Aloysius Gonzaga, religious (obligatory memorial)

June 22: St. Paulinus of Nola, Bishop (optional memorial)

June 22: Sts. John Fisher, Bishop and Thomas More, Martyrs (optional memorial)

June 24: Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

June 27: St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (optional memorial)

June 28: St. Irenaeus, bishop and martyr (obligatory memorial)

June 29: Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles

June 30: The First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church (optional memorial)

Other Dates to Note

Every Saturday is traditionally dedicated to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

June 14: Flag Day (USA)

June 19: Father’s Day (always 3rd Sunday of June)

June 20: 1st of summer

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Tweetable: Saints and Feast Days in June 2016