Monday, January 25, 2016

the particular significance of the conversion of St Paul for today

Today is the day we celebrate the feast of the Conversion of St Paul. St Paul was, as we all know, the greatest persecutor of the Church of his time. Some Church Fathers believe that he not only watched the stoning of St Stephen, but took part; and they credit his prayers for his killers for the conversion of St Paul.

We live in an age when Christians are greatly persecuted. Watchdog bodies say Christians are the most persecuted group on all the earth today. And daily Christians are martyred for the faith, in Isis controlled lands and elsewhere. The lesson we have from the life of St Paul is that we must pray for these persecutors. Who knows but that their hearts may be turned from their evil ways; and that also they may be led into the light of Christ? Indeed, perhaps among those who commit such dreadful acts today stands someone who will one day be a great champion of the faith? 

So even as we pray for the safety of those persecuted, we must pray for those who persecute them. For prayer is a powerful thing. Something that St Paul, the man who urged us to pray constantly, would certainly agree with. 

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