Through a radical encounter with the living Christ, St. Paul experienced one of the greatest conversions of all time.  St. Paul, who was seeking to radically live out his faith as a Jewish man, was scandalized with the claim that a human person was claiming to be the Messiah. According to the Jewish Law, this was blasphemy and punishable by death. It was in this place, probably with much vengeance and anger, that Christ broke through his heart. Acts 9 tells us that he was, “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”. It was here that Christ spoke the truth of his love into Paul’s heart. It was here, that Christ called St. Paul to live radically for Him!  

The call that St. Paul received by Christ is the same call that Christ invites us to today, a call to flourish. We are all broken down and wounded by sin. We face difficulties, sickness, broken relationships, stressors, etc. Like Paul, we might even allow our own convictions to temporarily blind us from the path that God is actually calling us to. Just as Christ came to St. Paul, physically blinding him as he fell of his horse, so Christ desires to break through the darkness of our lives, the darkness we can have within our hearts, and bring us to the light of his truth.  

The story of St. Paul’s conversion is quite remarkable. It involves so many yes’ to the Lord’s voice. Not only did it require humility on the part of St. Paul, who was faced with the task of recognizing his flawed understanding, but it required humility and obedience on behalf of others. We read about Ananias, a Christian, who was charged by God to find Saul (who would become St. Paul), whom he knew was killing Christians. We read that Ananias immediately knew the Lord’s voice, and trusted his word that this man was to be an instrument of the Lord. It would have been very justifiable for Ananias to have hatred toward Saul, to fear him, and to doubt the prompting he was receiving to go to Saul. But, it was through Ananias’ prompt trust, and yes to the Lord that he could say to Saul, who would become one of the greatest missionaries of the Church, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Ananias’ obedience to God, his trust that this former persecutor of Christians was to be filled with the Holy Spirit, was part of God’s plan. In his mystery, the Lord allowed Ananias’ yes to participate in the unique call to flourishing that the Lord was giving to St. Paul. 

Each of us experiences this call to flourishing. The Lord knows the world we are born into. He knows the darkness that surrounds us. He too was born into this world and came to raise it up! To bring us back into relationship with the father, to bring us life! The call to flourishing is this call to bring life! As Christ says in the Gospel of John, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) So how must we respond?  

  1. Read Scripture. The Scriptures are the living word of God. They are not stagnant and/or unrelated to our present lives. Christ speaks intimately into our hearts through Scripture.  St. Jerome famously wrote, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” In order for us to live the call to flourishing, we have to allow Christ to speak to us where we are at. If this is knew for you, try practicing Lectio Divina. You can even consider signing up for our next member small group if you are a member of CMF CURO! 
  1. Seek a personal encounter with Christ in the Sacraments! Just as St. Paul encountered Christ when he fell off his horse, so can we have a physical encounter with Christ in the Sacraments. As Catholics we believe Christ is physically present in the Eucharist. When we go to Mass, we are physically receiving our Lord. When we visit an Adoration chapel, we are spending time in the physical presence of Christ. When we go to the Sacrament of Confession, we are encountering Christ tangibly in the presence of the priest.  
  1. Allow yourself to be brought to Christ through the gift of others! Surrounding ourselves by those who are also pursuing a relationship with Christ is essential for our path to holiness and flourishing. Just as St. Paul was so blessed by the obedience and trust in the Lord’s will that Ananias clearly had, so can we be blessed by the obedience and prayerfulness of those we surround ourselves with. Whether that be our priest, spiritual director, spouse, coach, or friends, seeking to be in relationship with those who are actively seeking to follow the Lord is so helpful for our own journeys to flourishing. As CURO members, you have access to both Spiritual Direction and Catholic Wellness Coaching. Through both of these opportunities, you are presented both the space and the time to have authentic accompaniment as you seek to respond to the Lord’s promptings in your life. Whether it is hearing where the Lord is leading you through spiritual direction, or in seeking to develop goals for your personal growth in virtue; desirous of further aligning your life to Christ in spirit, mind, and body through wellness coaching, our CURO team desires to walk with you on your own call to flourishing! 

As St. Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” As Catholics, we are called to live life joyfully, to live life boldly. We are called to flourish in spirit, mind, and body. Let us ask St. Paul’s intercession as we seek to live lives joyfully for the Lord!