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.
by G.K. Chesterton
After one moment when I bowed my headThe sages have a hundred maps to give
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.
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