Purpose and Prayer

At first sight it seems strange that the vision of the Christ and the remarkable conversion of St. Paul came at a time when he was engaged in a very evil enterprise, for it would seem that the divine message could not possibly be heard by one whose thought and endeavor appeared to be wholly set on the destruction of those who were serving God. Looking farther, however, we see that the persecutor and the persecuted were agreed on many points, especially that of the destruction of evil, its elimination from human experience.

Saul of Tarsus thought that he was serving God and humanity by persecuting and trying to exterminate the disciples and followers of Jesus of Nazareth, as witness his own words spoken to the Jews: "I ... was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day .... I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women." It does not seem probable that a man of such high character and ideals as those of Paul could ever have been influenced by mean and petty spite against personality. He did not make was against people, but against what he believed to be evil. It was doubtless a right motive and desire which enabled him to see the vision of the Christ and to perceive right methods of warfare against the common enemy, the seeming power of evil. He then devoted the same zeal and courage to the propaganda of the gospel of Christ which he had shown before in persecuting Christian believers.

"God is light"
January 31, 1914

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