Benedict, Paul, Real Conversion

Caravaggio Conversion on the Way to Damascus Paul

Anybody remember what happened eight years ago today? Benedict XVI was elected the 264th successor of St. Peter.

During the Pauline Year in 2008, the Pope Emeritus spoke about St. Paul’s conversion (which we read about at today’s Holy Mass). Benedict said that what happened to St. Paul teaches us what makes a conversion a conversion—a real, genuine, true conversion–away from nothingness and to God.

Happy 8th Anniversary, Papa Emérito!

Happy 8th Anniversary, Papa Emérito!

Basically, the long and the short of it is:

A real conversion involves interacting with the actual living God-man Himself, Jesus Christ.

Saul did not ‘change his mind,’ or ‘embrace a new religion,’ or ‘undergo a paradigm shift.’ Rather, he was on the receiving end of some actions that Christ did.

The Lord Jesus, then, is in charge of genuine conversions. These conversions can take a while—maybe all our years on earth, plus some Purgatory time, too. Who knows? Christ is in charge of how long they take. He is completely in charge.

Maybe that’s the $10,000 question, then—the question I can ask myself, and thereby know if I am undergoing a real conversion, a conversion from bad to good, from death to life, from sin to God.

Am I undergoing a real conversion? Well, is Jesus Christ in charge? Is He in charge? If I can say, Yes, He is! then I guess I am undergoing a real conversion.

If I ask, “in charge of what?” then my answer is really No. Because Jesus Christ is in charge of everything.

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