Have you ever had an insight that was so strong you have described it as “a bolt of lightning?” I wrote some time ago about my experience in a college philosophy class where I was totally in the dark until one of my friends explained the same fundamental concept that the professor was unsuccessfully trying to get across and a light went on in my brain. No lightning bolt but at least a flash of light and gratitude that I finally understood! I can’t imagine the power of St. Paul’s conversion on that road to Damascus, chronicled in today’s lectionary in the Acts of the Apostles, chapters 9 and 22. It changed his life in an extraordinary way.
Having come to faith “organically” – one would describe me as a “cradle Catholic” – it was always a given that I would remain faithful to the religion of my parents and their parents. I am grateful for that rootedness in me that has kept me all these years but it isn’t so taken for granted a reality anymore. A living, adult faith has to be examined often, just as any personal relationship does. Just like the rest of life, my scrutinized faith is not simple or perfect but, like my DNA in a way, it is a part of me that holds me together and needs to be nurtured personally and in communion with others. My trials have never even come close to what St. Paul experienced in his ministry and relationship with Christ and the gifts I have received have guided my life.
On days like this, I am grateful for testimony that we find in the totality of the Acts of the Apostles and would recommend it to you as a good read for the day. It’s a cold, rainy, snowy, sleety day here, perfect for hunkering down and reflecting…Have a good one!