Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 25 January

detail of the painting 'The Conversion of Saint Paul'; by Benjamin West, c.1786; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, USA; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsThe Conversion of Saint Paul

The love of predominating had taken such a hold of Saul that he boldly resolved to triumph over Christianity in the persons of its first members. These he undertook to bring from Damascus to Jerusalem in chains, so that thenceforth they should no longer preach the scandal of a God dead on a Cross. But while he went on his way, breathing forth threats, Jesus stopped him, blinded him, and threw him to the ground by a single word. Saul at once humbled himself and let himself be led by the hand like a child, and though only just converted, he merited by his love to be made the Apostle of the nations. He has since been known by the name of Paul. Great miracle of divine power indeed, which sometimes, as Saint Thomas observes, moves a soul with such vehemence that it changes the will acting in opposition to divine grace in the very act of resistance, and makes it attain at a bound to the perfection of justice. Saint Dominic, who had received the apostolic spirit so abundantly that according to some authors it was seen to descend upon him in the form of a fiery tongue, would naturally have a great attraction for the apostle by excellence. He carried about the Epistles of Saint Paul everywhere, meditated on them constantly and often explained them before the prelates of the Pontifical Court, in his capacity as Master of the Sacred Palace. May we also relish them and through Saint Paul drink in the pure, vigorous sap of divine grace that flows from the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

Say often with Saint Paul at his conversion: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?”

Practice

Examine whether you have not persecuted Jesus Christ by resisting His inspirations, perhaps by depreciating those who try to promote piety.