Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul: Chesterton's "The Convert"

On January 25, the Church celebrates the Conversion of the Apostle Paul.  Remember: Paul was en route to Damascus, in his quest to persecute the Christians, when he was thrown from his horse, blinded by a vision of Jesus Christ.

People turn their hearts to Christ for many reasons:  They begin to study the scriptures or apologetics, and they are led by their intellects.  Someone in their life, a very holy person, inspires them to dig deeper. They experience a health crisis, or find help in a time of need through the local parish.  Their next door neighbor invites them over for tea.

For the day, here is G.K. Chesterton’s poem “The Convert” which tells a conversion story through the eyes of Lazarus.

THE CONVERT
by G.K. Chesterton

After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white,
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead.

The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

–G. K. Chesterton


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