The Conversion of Saint Paul

Yesterday, (Friday January 25) was the Conversion of Saint Paul.  Saint Paul literally saw the light on the road to Damascus, "A great light from the sky suddenly shone around me." (Acts 22:6)

My own conversion was similar.  I had a "light bulb moment," when my husband to be said, "I'm worried about your soul," and I began my journey into Catholicism.

The writer, Heather King, had her own experience:

In the fall of 1986, I spent thirty days at an addiction treatment center in rural Minnesota.  Hiking trails meandered through the woods.  The trees were turning color.  One morning I crept out for a walk just past dawn.  Not another soul stirred.  I came upon a pond and, through the mist, saw a blue heron, standing stock-still, noble head erect.  I saw the heron and the heron saw me.

It was a moment from the Song of Songs, a moment of liminal space and time, an instant of such heart-stopping beauty that in my memory it has attained the level of myth.  All those years while I'd been in the bars, this heron, or one like him, had been coming to the pond.  All those years while I'd been drinking morning Sea Breezes at Boston's Sullivan's Tap, another parallel world had been breathing, suffering, praising God.  Many years passed before I discovered Christ, and more years after that before I came into the Church.  But in a way I can mark my conversion from that moment.  In a way that heron was Christ, saying, "Heather, Heather, why are you persecuting me?" - from Friday's Magnificat

I, too had moments where I knew God was present in my life long before I came into the Church.  As a young woman, fresh out of high school, I stood on a beach in San Francisco, watching the ocean's waves crashing down on the shore.  The sun was shining, but it was chilly.  The sounds, the beauty ... I knew it was God, but I didn't do anything about it.

When my soon to be husband said, "I'm worried about your soul," the image of the ocean came back to me and I haven't looked back since.

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