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How Paul's conversion is relevant today Print
Guest column
Thursday, Apr. 30, 2009 -- 12:00 AM

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Note from Bishop Morlino: Dear Friends, As we come to the close of this year of St. Paul, let us refocus our minds and hearts on the life and works of this great Apostle. One of our newly ordained priests, Fr. Brian Dulli, parochial vicar of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish in Sun Prairie, has been kind enough to offer some excellent reflections on St. Paul to help us along the way. -- Bishop Robert C. Morlino

Third and last in a series

How is Paul's conversion relevant to today? Paul was a religious zealot, whereas many of the people we would like to evangelize have a casual approach to religion. 

The Lord intervened and saved Paul from egotism. God saved Paul from becoming a law unto himself as Saul. 

He was about to be the chief zealot for the Jewish law, its defender more than its observer.  Paul himself admits that he was wrong to persecute the Church (1 Tim 1:13). In Christ, Paul discovered one greater than he. 

Relates to modern people

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Paul's story relates to that of many modern people. Lacking higher direction, many have become something like a law unto themselves. In their laudable attempts to do good, they have unknowingly defined laws and wisdom which ought never be broken. 

In this desire for justice, the mind becomes entertained by enormous problems.  Every person seems to have some culpability. 

If others fail to see the urgency of the complaint or ask to talk specifics, a terrible wrath can ensue. Disdain for others is collateral damage in a world of activism without love. 

A fuller feast of wisdom

By following Christ, the Church enjoys a fuller feast of wisdom than the world can provide. 

Turning to 1 Corinthians, we read that Christ has become the power of God and the wisdom of God to those who believe (1 Cor 1:24). "None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Cor 2:8).

The love of God cannot be demonstrated through philosophical platform speeches. It is hidden in God for all eternity. 

The name of Jesus Christ lives on in us, members of his body.  That name will lead to our giving testimony with our words and our lives. 

In our search for eternal truth, we must lovingly claim the cornerstone of Christ Jesus and the teaching of the Catholic Church even while others seem to find it a stumbling block. 

Let us remember that we are called to offer up our own lives in loving sacrifice so that wisdom might endure in the face of any earthly confusion that may remain.