Theme for February: Resilience
Friday, February 12, 2021
When I think about St. Paul’s famous ‘conversion’ as it’s described in the Bible, I like to think that maybe he suddenly came to a completely new way of thinking about love . Perhaps he instantly realized, in a flash, that love is a force that is totally non-material, and that therefore has no limits and can never be destroyed or even slightly diminished. Perhaps Paul saw that this power called love, or Love, is not confined to any particular place or object, but is worldwide, widespread, and invincible. Having no material boundary lines, there’s no place where Love isn’t present, and there’s no power that can oppose its preeminence. What’s extraordinary about this – and it’s what I believe – is that the same is true for other non-material qualities. Kindness, for instance, has no boundaries and can never be even slightly restricted by any material force. Enthusiasm, too, cannot be confined or constrained, for it is made of nothing but its own wholehearted spirit. Gentleness, confidence, generosity, peacefulness – all of these are intangible, elusive forces that sweep through the universe without hindrance. I suppose what really astonished Paul about his new realization is that it thoroughly transformed his notions about God. He had probably been trapped for years in the belief that the ‘supreme being’ was some type of super-human ruler who controlled the universe the way a human monarch would. What he suddenly saw on the road to Damascus was that this force called ‘God’ was actually far, far greater than he had imagined. He now saw that it is a non-material and therefore boundless power that is utterly unassailable and indefatigable. It’s the power of Love and Gentleness and Confidence and Generosity and Peacefulness, the power that knocked this hostile persecutor of Christians right off his horse – and knocks me around in a wonderful way, whenever I’m alert enough to see and understand it.