The New Testament shows us that St. Paul was a gentle, fatherly man. He was patient and broad-minded. St. Paul communicated successfully with more different kinds of people than just about anyone ever has.
At the same time, the New Testament also clearly reveals that St. Paul was relentlessly precise. He had a prodigious intellect. He put all of it at the service of the truth of God. Christian Revelation is not vague—it involves specifics, facts. Therefore, St. Paul was never vague.
Today is the feast day of two of St. Paul’s pupils, Saints Timothy and Titus.
Let us try to imagine St. Paul as a teacher. Let us imagine him training Timothy and Titus to be bishops.
We can be sure that the Apostle bent every effort to understand his students and help them. We can be sure that he was patient with them.
We can also be sure that he was demanding. St. Paul surely insisted that his students learn all the details of divine Revelation.
For St. Paul, training to be an Apostle of Christ was not a matter of learning a bunch of bromides and facile platitudes. It was about learning the wonderful facts of Revelation and putting them into practice with scrupulous attention to detail.
Today is a day for us to give thanks for all those who have bent the effort to teach us the faith. The more demanding our teachers have been on themselves and on us, the greater a blessing they have been to us.
We are not born knowing the truth about God. We are born ignorant. We need teachers. We need to study.
When we learn enough to teach, then we can do the great service of enlightening the ignorance of others.
No task is more urgent than learning and teaching the truth by which mankind is saved. Nothing is more important and nothing is more generous than diligently learning and punctiliously teaching the Catholic faith.