Sunday, January 25, 2009


Today the Church around the world celebrates the "Conversion of St. Paul." Many refer to this as "The Damascus Event." Saul who became Paul was approaching Damascus with the intent of arresting those Jews who had become Christians. All of a sudden he was surrounded by a brilliant light which blinded him. Then he realized when he asked the voice that he heard, "Who are you, Lord?" and the answer came, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting." A few days later Saul was baptized by Ananias. Then began the adventure of Paul, the Apostle. This morning we attended Mass at the Church of St. Paul on Toronto's west side. It is the only Maltese Catholic parish in all of North America. Paul was once ship wrecked off the coast of Malta. The Maltese cared for Paul and his companions. And, they listened to and accepted the message of the Good News about Jesus Christ that Paul offered. The people of Malta have remained Catholic Christians from day one.
The artist Caravaggio painted a dramatic picture of Paul lying on the ground bathed in light while his horse gazes at him. Even if Paul had been only walking toward Damascus, he was knocked off his high horse of arrogant dislike for Christians, and for all those who did not fit into his former way of thinking. Somewhere inside of us there may be a high horse rearing up with its own sort of baggage that wants to make us lesser than we should be. St. Paul can help us with his prayers of intercession and with his insights liberally sown throughout his letters.
There is a hymn to St. Paul called "Lead Us Great Teacher Paul." In that song we ask Paul to follow him as he learned "wisdom's way."
As we continue this Year of St. Paul, may you be guided by Paul to a deeper knowledge of Jesus, Way, Truth and Life.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Here is a photo of the St. Paul Icon without the glare of reflected lights, and one which is full of lights!
My title lines keep turning into what I think is Hindi. Does anyone out there know how to keep it in English?


From December 22 through December 29, 2008, we Daughters of St. Paul in Toronto had the privilege of welcoming the Archdiocese's traveling icon.
A Benedictine nun in Israel, Sister Marie Paul, made the icon which is truly beautiful. St.Paul is shown with the book representing the Word of God in his hand.
This week I will be speaking on St. Paul at a parish in the west end of Toronto. The parish will be hosting the icon for 3 days. I will try to give you a glimpse of what it looks like. Because it has a glass covering, any light source was reflected on it. To me, it is a very prayer-inspiring image, a true religious icon that helps us "step into the sacred."


Today in North Amerca we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, or the "Manifestation of the Lord." This day is when we read the account of the three Wise Men in the gospel of Matthew. After seeing Catherine Hardwicke's movie "The Nativity Story" several times, I have a vivid mental image of the three men from the East--perhaps Iraq or Iran, who followed a star to Bethlehem and found Jesus.
These men, as far as we know, we not Jews, but God-fearing people who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus. In Italy the legend says that "La Befana" brings gifts to all the children. In Spanish speaking areas, the Tres Reyes, the Three Kings, do likewise.
Epiphany is a reminder to be a manifestation of he Lord in my own life. That's always a challenge. As the grown up Jesus told his followers, "Do as I have done", that is a daily goal to strive for. As our Founder Blessed Alberione said, "By myself I can do nothing; but, with God I can do all things. To him (to God) all honor and glory, to me the heavenly reward."
A word to those who may be reading this blog, and wondered why I missed several weeks. One reason is that my computer which served me everyday for the last 5 years had a major stroke. Its screen died. The data was retrieved. However, with the new computer I have not yet been able to get all the older programs going. It is taking me a while to get used to it.
As I write this, there is violence and what looks like all out war in the Gaza Strip. St. Paul prayed, "Come Lord Jesus." We pray that Jesus will come with his just peace to Gaza, to the Congo, to those suffering in Zimbabwe, to those suffering from human trafficking--to all who need to be saved both physically and spiritually. Amen!