Saturday, 24 January 2009

Almost forgot

In our 3 Churches here in Cardiff we publish a weekly newsletter. I usually write a front page article for it, so I thought I'd put that on here too. At least that will be something each week! So here's this week's, for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

If I looked out of my window in seminary in Rome, I could see nearby the front of the Basilica of St Paul-outside-the-Walls (or as the Victorians delighted in calling it St Paul-without-the-Walls). It marks the spot where tradition tells us St Paul is buried. If it was sunset, then the whole view would seem to glow, as the sun lit up the beautiful golden mosaics adorning the venerable church.

And that’s what the great man himself did for Christianity. He shone the light of his faith, his bright evangelizing fervour, on the teachings of Jesus, making them seen to burn in our hearts as they burned in his. We see so much of our faith, and the person of Jesus himself, in particular, in the light of St Paul’s writings.

Sometimes we would take the bus out to Tre Fontane (Three Springs) where Paul’s martyrdom is commemorated, and reflect on his final act of witness. Strange that he who persecuted the first Christians, himself died for being one...

But most of all, during siesta time on a rainy afternoon, I would slip across to the vast and now semi-deserted church and sit for a while, maybe in the beautiful cloister of the adjoining Benedictine Abbey. There I would ask the man himself to obtain for me in my future ministry just a little of his faith, hope and love. “Nothing can separate us from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8) Sometimes, I would ask him to be able to string together just a few words like that. St Paul, pray for us.

No comments:

Post a Comment