Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Adversity be damned!

Last week I mentioned Saint Peter here in this space and today I want to say something about Saint Paul, because Sunday was the day the Church celebrated his conversion and also because he is one of my heroes.  Yes, I do indeed count him as a hero, and I'll tell you why. 

First, just in case you don't know, let me point out that Paul the Apostle, who is also called Saul of Tarsus is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age, with approximately half of the Acts of the Apostles in The Bible dealing with his life and ministry and another dozen of the Bible's books attributed to his writing.  He founded several churches in Asia and in Europe and is credited with many of the basic principles of Christianity.

Here's the thing though.  He was not always a follower of Jesus.  He in fact was against the early Christians and took part in the stoning of one of them.  Saint Paul though had a conversion, and if that wasn't enough, he withstood tremendous adversity during the remainder of his life.  He didn't complain though or moan about it all being unfair.  Instead he preached all the more.  His faith became stronger!  Pretty incredible, huh?  I find it very inspiring.  Yes, life can be tough, but certainly there is good, so let's look at the good and let's share it with others - that's how I view Saint Paul.

Saint Paul was exposed to death again and again. He knew hunger and thirst and had often gone without food. He was shipwrecked three times. He had been in danger from bandits. He was in prison many times. He had various medical conditions (which we really know little about).  He worked very hard at writing and preaching and in visiting various places and was often exhausted to the point of collapse.  Despite many adversities, certainly more than any of us encounter, Paul the Apostle kept on going.  I think that's pretty remarkable.  Makes me want to do likewise.

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