Session 4: Conversion

Nóirín Ní Riain, with the monks of Glenstal Abbey, sings, in Irish, “Jesus is the Just One who reclaimed our souls. It was he who bought us out of slavery”. As I begin to pray today, I acknowledge that I am in his presence now, the Just One, the Holy One, the one who leads me from slavery to freedom.

For Luke, the Holy Spirit isn’t simply something outside, guiding our actions; rather, the Holy Spirit is something that works within us, transforming our lives to help us to follow the will of God more closely. The grace of baptism and inclusion in the Christian community doesn’t mean that we’re never going to sin again, but rather that, although we sin and fall short, we have the possibility of return always open to us. As you hear the famous story of the conversion of Saul into the apostle Paul, ask yourself what you are being called to in your own life.

Acts 9:1-9; 17-19
Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.’ The men who were travelling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Then Ananias went and entered the house where Saul was staying. He laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Where in your life do you need to follow the example of Saul?
What ways of life do you need to give up in order to become more fully who God wants you to be? It might not be anything as radical as the life of Saul, but Saul’s repentance has some physical sign – the scales fell from his eyes.

Do you need to see anew or do you have a sense of needing another form of healing?

Paul speaks directly with Christ in this passage.

In the last few moments of this prayer, can you speak with Jesus as directly as Paul? If you can, ask Him for whatever healing you need. If you can’t speak directly like Paul perhaps you could ask for the grace to be able to do so.

Session 4: Conversion
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