Monday, January 25, 2010

Saint Paul!

Today's Feast is the Conversion of St. Paul. I really love St. Paul. So many great stories, so much in the stories to chew on. Today's second reading from the Office of Readings is from a homily by St. John Chrysostom about St. Paul. In it he points out a wonderful bit of perspective we can gain through St. Paul's life:

The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else; were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers. He preferred to be thus loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than to be without that love and be among the great and honored.

To be separated from that love was, in his eyes, the greatest and most extraordinary of torments; the pain of that loss would alone have been hell, and endless, unbearable torture.

So too, in being loved by Christ he thought of himself as possessing life, the world, the angels, present and future, the kingdom, the promise and countless blessings. Apart from that love nothing saddened or delighted him; for nothing earthly did he regard as bitter or sweet.

Paul set no store by the things that fill our visible world, any more than a man sets value on the withered grass of the field.

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