Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on MEDIOCRITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, St PAUL!, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The PASSION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 25 January – Mediocrity

Thought for the Day – 25 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mediocrity

“There is no such thing as half-way virtue.

Virtue is a struggle and a sacrifice.
It presupposes a generous heart which gives itself to Jesus without reserve.
Did He not give Himself completely for our sakes?
Did He not die upon the Cross for our salvation and reopen Heaven, which had been closed to us by sin?
Moreover, did He not remain hidden in our midst under the Eucharistic species in order to become our sustenance and our support?

When we are faced with such goodness and generosity, can we be so niggardly as to offer God, only a part of ourselves and perhaps a part which is worthless and perishable, as Cain did when he offered sacrifices from his fields and flocks?
God would certainly turn away from us and refuse our gifts.
And then, we should be lost forever!
Let us give ourselves completely and then be able to say with St Paul “I have fought the good fight to the end, I have run the race to the finish, I have kept the faith … ” (2 Tm 4:7)

“The time is sure to come, when people will not accept sound teaching but their ears will be itching for anything new and they will collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes and then they will shut their ears to the truth and will turn to myths.
But you must keep steady all the time; put up with suffering, do the work of preaching the gospel, fulfil the service asked of you.
As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation and the time has come for me to depart. I have fought the good fight to the end, I have run the race to the finish, I have kept the faith … ”
(2 Tm 4:3-7)

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/25/thought-for-the-day-25-january-mediocrity/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St PAUL!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Pau

Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Readings: Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9: 1-22, Psalms 117:1, 2, Mark 16:15-18

“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
And he said, “Who are you, Lord?”
And he said, “I am Jesus,
whom you are persecuting.”

Acts 9:4-5

“ … He is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before the Gentiles
and kings and the children of Israel.
For I will show him
how much he must suffer
or the sake of my name.”

Acts 9:15-16

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Philippians 1:21

“The most important thing of all to him, however,
was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ.
… 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.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father ad Doctor of the Church

“The Apostle Paul, formerly Saul,
was changed from a robbing wolf into a meek lamb.
Formerly, he was an enemy of the Church,
then, is manifest as an Apostle.
Formerly, he stalked it,
then, preached it.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, St PAUL!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – “I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead”

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Readings: Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9: 1-22Psalms 117:12Mark 16:15-18

“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to vthe whole creation.” – Mark 16:15

REFLECTION – “Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is and in what our nobility consists and of what virtue this particular animal is capable.
Each day, he aimed ever higher; each day, he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him.
He summed up his attitude in the words: “I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead”…
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” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor

PRAYER
Great convert Teacher of the Faith
Who never ceased from preaching Christ,
Saint Paul impart to us your zeal,
That we may reach the joys unseen.

All glory to the Trinity,
Forever honour, sov’reignty,
To God Almighty be all praise,
Beginning and the End of all.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!

Feast of the Conversion of St Paul and Memorials of the Saints – 25 January

Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – 25 January
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/feast-of-the-conversion-of-st-paul-25-january/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/25/feast-of-the-conversion-of-st-paul-25-january-2/

St Agape the Martyr
St Agileus of Carthage
St Amarinus of Clermont
St Ananias of Damascus
Blessed Antonio Migliorati OSA (1355-1450) Priest
Bl Antoni Swiadek
St Apollo of Heliopolis
St Artemas of Pozzuoli
St Auxentius of Epirus
St Bretannion of Tomi
St Donatus the Martyr
St Dwynwen
St Emilia Fernández Rodríguez de Cortés
St Eochod of Galloway
St Joel of Pulsano
St Juventinus of Antioch
Bl Manuel Domingo y Sol
St Maximinus of Antioch
St Palaemon
St Poppo of Stavelot (977-1048)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/25/saint-of-the-day-25-january-saint-poppo-of-stavelot-977-1048/
St Praejectus of Clermont
St Publius of Zeugma
St Racho of Autun
St Sabinus the Martyr

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Second Thoughts for Today – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle

Second Thoughts for Today – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle

St Paul’s life is perhaps the best known in the annals of the saints and his conversion was one of the most earth-shattering miracles of the early Church.

Of course, not all of us can be knocked off our feet by a vision of Jesus Christ but we can live our faith with the same intensity as that of St Paul did.   After his conversion, St Paul spent his life spreading the news of Jesus everywhere and died as his final witness to the faith.

It is total commitment and heroism that planted the Christian faith and it is still needed very badly in our day.   The bottom-line is this:

the question is “what is it about”

and the answer is “love”.

St Paul, Pray for us!st paul - pray for us - no 3- 25 jan 2018

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle

Morning Hymn from the Psalter
for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Apostle of the gentiles, Paul
The greatest witness of them all.
You turned to Christ, the risen Lord,
When out of light you heard Him call.

You journeyed far and wide to tell
That Christ was risen from the dead,
That all who put their faith in Him
Would live forever, as He said.

To Father, Son and Spirit blest,
The light of man’s uncharted ways,
With all the Church throughout the world,
Give glory and unceasing praise.apostle of the gentiles paul - hymn from the psalter - 25 jan 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, MIRACLES, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – 25 January

Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – 25 January

St Paul the Apostle is the greatest of the early Christian missionaries.   He first appears in the Acts of the Apostles under the name of Saul.   Saul was raised in the Jewish faith as a Pharisee trained in the strict observance of God’s Law.   He believed the Law should be obeyed by himself and all Jews.   Saul was upset by the early Christian Church, believing that the early Christians had broken away from their Jewish traditions.   He actively persecuted the Church in Jerusalem.   As the first Christian martyr Stephen was being stoned to death, Saul watched the cloaks of the persecutors (Acts 7:58).

Paul then traveled to Damascus to further persecute early Christians.   On the road to Damascus Saul had an encounter with the Risen Jesus Christ (Acts of the Apostles 9:1–19, Galatians 1: 13–14).   Jesus asked, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”   Paul replied, “Who are you, sir?”   Jesus responded, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9: 4 – 5).   Jesus then sent Saul into Damascus to wait for further instructions.   Saul was shaken and blinded by the experience.   When a Christian named Ananias came and baptised Saul, his blindness went away.   As a result of this encounter Saul became a follower of Christ.   He was now convinced that fellowship with the risen Jesus Christ, not the observance of the Law, was all that was needed to receive God’s promise of salvation. (Galatians 1:11–12; 3:1–5)header 1 conversionHEADER 2 - conversion of st paulheader - conversionStPaulEscalante

Saul, whose name now became Paul, went to Jerusalem to consult with Peter (Galatians 1: 18).   After his first missionary journeys, Paul was called by Jesus to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles.   He spent the rest of his life journeying on his missions, establishing local churches and writing to them when he heard of their accomplishments and failures.   Paul’s letters are the earliest records of the life and history of the early Church.   As inspired by the Holy Spirit Paul’s letters are part of the Canon of the New Testament.   As a record of the happenings in the early Church they are in invaluable record of the expansion of the Christianity.LARGE - conversion - caravaggio

St Paul’s Writings

All together, there are 13 epistles that bear Paul’s name as the author.   However, scholars do not believe that he wrote them all.   Paul himself was the author of first and second Thessalonians, Galatians, Philippians, first and second Corinthians, Romans and Philemon.  The epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, Titus and first and second Timothy bear Paul’s name but it is believed that they were written after his death.   The writers of these letters were disciples of Paul who wanted to continue his teaching.   Whoever the authors of these epistles were, these writings have been accepted into the New Testament as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Centrality of Jesus Christ

The most profound and moving day in Paul’s life was when he met the risen Jesus Christ. Paul was well respected by the Jewish community and his peers.   But he gave it all up for Christ.  “More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8) Jesus Christ, Paul realised, was sent by the Father to bring salvation for all.   Paul taught that we are united with Christ in faith and Baptism – “We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

On the personal level, individual Christians recognise that when they are united with Christ, they receive the grace needed to overcome sin and to live moral lives.  (Galatians 5:16–26)conversion of st paul 2conversion of st paul - LARGE VERSION detail

Justification

Paul teaches that the justice of God was saving justice at its best.   God is faithful, fulfilling the promises made in the Old Testament covenant.   Through the sin of Adam and Eve the human family was alienated from God.   Through Christ the human family is called back into relationship with God.   This process of reuniting the human family with God is called justification. (Romans 3:21–31)   It is impossible for us to justify ourselves; we are only justified by being united in faith with Jesus Christ and by accepting the gift of grace won by Christ. (Romans 5:1–2)   We can only be made right with God and set free from a life of immoral living by accepting the gift of God’s reconciling grace.

Life in the Spirit

Paul teaches that the love of God is being poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5)   The Holy Spirit is the source of all love.   The Holy Spirit creates a bond between us and God like children bound to a father.  (Romans 8:14–16)   The Holy Spirit not only establishes our relationship with the Father.   Even though we are weak, the Holy Spirit helps us to live faithfully within that relationship. (Romans 8:26–27) It is through the Holy Spirit that we can live in love with all people. (1 Corinthians 13:3–7)

The Moral Life

What does it mean to live a Christian moral life?   Paul thought deeply about this question.   He was raised as a faithful Jew.   As we have seen Paul, was raised to believe that following the strict moral code of the Jewish faith was the way to salvation.   Paul believed “… the law is holy and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” (Romans 7:12.)   What Paul realised, however, that because we are weakened by the sin of Adam and Eve, it was impossible to us to reconnect in our relationship with God through our efforts alone (Romans 7:14).

After his experience with Jesus Christ, Paul knew that he was not alone on the road to salvation.   Jesus Christ has already accomplished salvation for us.   In faith and Baptism, Christians receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is our constant guide.   The Holy Spirit helps us to live in relationship with God and others.

So Paul’s great message to the world was:  You are saved entirely by God, not by anything you can do.   Saving faith is the gift of total, free, personal and loving commitment to Christ, a commitment that then bears fruit in more “works” than the Law could ever contemplate.

St Paul Pray for us!conversion-of-st-paul-2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 25 January

Thought for the Day – 25 January

We marvel at the total conversion of the man whom we celebrate today.   We marvel at his zeal, his influence, and his transparent honesty in speaking about himself:  “I am the foremost of sinners but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” ( 1 Tim 1:15-16).    That sums up the importance of this feast for us, who are among those who follow in Paul’s footsteps and believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life, and are still making good on our own conversion.

In the end, the same thing that converted Saul is the only thing that will convert us:  the deep conviction that “Christ loves us with all the inexhaustible charity of God’s own heart.” (Christ is Passing By, no. 59)   For St Paul the time came and then everything changed—he changed, the world changed.   He discovered that he possessed the age-old love which the Lord had pledged to his fathers:   I have loved you with a timeless love(Jer 31:3)   And “in being loved by Christ,” concludes Saint John Chrysostom, “he thought of himself as possessing life, the world, the angels, present and future, the kingdom, the promise, countless blessings.”…………Rev. John Henry Hanson, O. Praem.

Paul is undoubtedly hard to understand. His style often reflects the rabbinical style of argument of his day and often his thought skips on mountaintops while we plod below.   But the bottom-line is this:  the question is “what is it about” and the answer is “love”.

St Paul Pray for us!

st-paul-conversion-jan-25confersion-of-st-paul

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 25 January

One Minute Reflection – 25 January
Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me………..Galatians 2:20

REFLECTION – “Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is and in what our nobility consists and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: “I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead……………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”…….St John Chrysostum

PRAYER – O God, who instructed the whole world through the preaching of the Apostle St. Paul, grant that we who celebrate the Feast of his conversion today, may through his patronage and prayers, begin too to understand our greatest gift, that we are LOVED by You! This we ask of You through Christ our Lord. St Paul Pray for Us! Amen.

galatians-2-20chrysostum-on-paulst-paul-pray-for-us

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Our Morning Offering – 25 January

Our Morning Offering – 25 January

Saint Paul’s Prayer (Ephesians 3: 14-21)

This, then, is what I pray,
kneeling before the Father,
from whom every fatherhood,
in heaven or on earth takes its name.
In the abundance of his glory may he,
through his Spirit,
enable you to grow firm
in power with regard to your inner self
so that Christ may live
in your hearts through faith
and then, planted in love
and built on love,
with all God’s holy people
you will have the strength
to grasp the breadth and the length,
the height and the depth,
so that, knowing the love of Christ
which is beyond knowledge,
you may be filled
with the utter fullness of God.
Glory be to him whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine;
glory be to him
from generation to generation
in the Church and in Christ Jesus
for ever and ever. Amen

st-pauls-prayer

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES

Saint of the Day – 25 January – St Paul on his Conversion

Saint of the Day – 25 January – St Paul on his Conversion

The conversion of Paul the Apostle, was, according to the New Testament, an event in the life of Paul the Apostle that led him to cease persecuting early Christians and to become a follower of Jesus. It is normally dated to AD 33–36. The phrases Pauline conversion, Damascene conversion and Damascus Christophany and road to Damascus allude to this event.

The great Apostle Paul, named Saul at his circumcision, was born at Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia and was by privilege a Roman citizen, to which quality a great distinction and several exemptions were granted by the laws of the empire.   He was early instructed in the strict observance of the Mosaic law and lived up to it in the most scrupulous manner.   In his zeal for the Jewish law, which he thought the cause of God, he became a violent persecutor of the Christians.   He was one of those who combined to murder Saint Stephen and in the violent persecution of the faithful, which followed the martyrdom of the holy deacon, Saul exemplified himself above others.   By virtue of the power he had received from the high priest, he dragged the Christians out of their houses, loaded them with chains and thrust them into prison.

In the fury of his zeal he applied for a commission to take up all Jews at Damascus who confessed Jesus Christ and bring them bound to Jerusalem, that they might serve as examples for the others.   But God was pleased to show forth in him His patience and mercy.   While on his way to Damascus, he and his party were surrounded by a light from heaven, brighter than the sun and suddenly struck to the ground.   And then a voice was heard saying, “Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?”   And Saul answered,   “Who art thou, Lord?” and the voice replied,  “I am Jesus whom thou dost persecute.”   This mild expostulation of our Redeemer, accompanied with a powerful interior grace, cured Saul’s pride, assuaged his rage and wrought at once a total change in him.

640px-caravaggio_-conversion-of-stpaul

Wherefore, trembling and astonished, he cried out, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Our Lord ordered him to arise and to proceed on his way to the city, where he should be informed of what was expected from him.   Saul, arising from the ground, found that though his eyes were open, he saw nothing.   He was led by hand into Damascus, where he was lodged in the house of a Jew named Judas.   To this house came by divine appointment a holy man named Ananias, who, laying his hands on Saul, said,  “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to thee on thy journey, hath sent me that thou mayest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”   Immediately something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he recovered his eyesight.

 

Then he arose and was baptised;  he stayed some few days with the disciples at Damascus, and began immediately to preach in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.   Thus a blasphemer and a persecutor was made an apostle and chosen as one of God’s principal instruments in the conversion of the world.

From then on, his only work was to “present everyone perfect in Christ.   For this I labour and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me” (Colossians 1:28b-29). “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and [with] much conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5a).

Paul’s life became a tireless proclaiming and living out of the message of the cross: Christians die baptismally to sin and are buried with Christ;  they are dead to all that is sinful and unredeemed in the world.   They are made into a new creation, already sharing Christ’s victory and someday to rise from the dead like him.   Through this risen Christ the Father pours out the Spirit on them, making them completely new.

So Paul’s great message to the world was:   You are saved entirely by God, not by anything you can do.   Saving faith is the gift of total, free, personal and loving commitment to Christ, a commitment that then bears fruit in more “works” than the Law could ever contemplate.

 

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

Saints & Feasts – 25 January

Conversion of Paul the Apostle (Feast)

St Agape the Martyr
St Agileus of Carthage
St Amarinus of Clermont
St Ananias of Damascus
Bl Antoni Swiadek
Bl Antonio Migliorati
St Apollo of Heliopolis
Bl Archangela Girlani
St Artemas of Pozzuoli
St Auxentius of Epirus
St Bretannion of Tomi
St Donatus the Martyr
St Dwynwen
St Emilia Fernández Rodríguez de Cortés
St Eochod of Galloway
Bl Francesco Zirano
Bl Henry Suso
St Joel of Pulsano
St Juventinus of Antioch
Bl Manuel Domingo y Sol
St Maximinus of Antioch
St Palaemon
St Poppo
St Praejectus of Clermont
St Publius of Zeugma
St Racho of Autun
St Sabinus the Martyr
Bl Teresa Grillo Michel