whatever it takes
"The Lord said to him: 'You must go! This man is the instrument I have chosen to bring My name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I Myself shall indicate to him how much he will have to suffer for My name.'" —Acts 9:15-16
The Lord converted Saul of Tarsus by:
- grace (see Eph 2:8),
- the martyrdom of St. Stephen (Acts 7:60—8:1),
- the redemptive suffering of the early Church (Acts 8:1, 3; 9:4),
- the prayers of God's people (Acts 2:42, 47),
- a flash of light (Acts 9:3),
- Jesus audibly questioning Saul (Acts 9:4),
- striking Saul blind (Acts 9:8),
- Saul's fasting (Acts 9:9),
- calling Ananias (Acts 9:10),
- the prayer of Saul (Acts 9:12),
- giving Saul a vision of Ananias (Acts 9:12),
- the courage and obedience of Ananias (Acts 9:17),
- the laying on of hands (Acts 9:17),
- healing Saul of blindness (Acts 9:18),
- filling Saul with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17), and
- Baptism (Acts 9:18).
The Lord, of course, can convert people any way He wants. He seems to want multi-faceted conversions with maximum participation. In effect, He wants each of us to witness, suffer, pray, risk our lives, heal, serve, die, and love so as to lead to Christ as many people as possible (1 Cor 9:19). Offer your life for the conversion of billions of people.
Prayer: Father, may I want all "to be saved" (1 Tm 2:4) more than I want life or pleasure.
Promise: "If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." —Jn 6:53
Praise: Thomas retired early to devote his time to evangelization.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 2016
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