A Pauline Centenary Pastoral Tool: Eucharistic Adoration n. 4
PAULINE SPIRITUALITY AND
’s Mistica-Metanoia-Missio Experience” Saint Paul
(+) Jesus Master …
On the road to
Damascus, Saul of Tarsus had a profound,
dynamic, spiritual experience. It was God’s initiative, grace, and compassion
that brought about Paul’s encounter with the Risen Lord. It was an experience
of light – of revelation – of who Christ really is for Paul. In this
Eucharistic Adoration, let us pray that as we celebrate the Centenary of the
foundation of the Pauline Family, we may re-live deeply Saint Paul’s experience of metanoia-mistica-missio.
OPENING SONG: “Earthen Vessels” or another appropriate song
SILENT ADORATION - PERSONAL PRAYER
PROCLAMATION OF PAULINE VERSES
Antiphon: O Saint Paul the Apostle, preacher of truth and doctor of the Gentiles, intercede for us. (sung)
1. After that, Saul began to harass the Church. He entered house after house, dragged men and women out, and threw them into jail. (
2. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Sir?” he asked. The voice answered, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. (
3. For he who worked through Peter as his apostle among the Jews had been at work in me for the Gentiles and they recognized the favor bestowed on me. (
4. With my many more labors and imprisonments, with far worse beatings and frequent brushes with death. (
5. And so I willingly boast of my weaknesses instead that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (
6. But by God’s favor I am what I am. This favor to me has not proved fruitless. (
7. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on a merited crown awaits me. On that day the Lord, the just judge that he is, will award it to me. (
Leader: God our Father,
you taught the gospel to all the world
through the preaching of Paul your apostle.
May we who celebrate his conversion to the faith
follow him in bearing witness to your truth.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:1-22 READING
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Psalm 98 (cf. “All the Ends of the Earth”
by David Haas and Marty Haugen) or another fitting psalm
ALLELUIA - GOSPEL: Mk 16: 15-18
POINTS FOR REFLECTION
The feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul provides wonderful insights into his spiritual journey, which can be summed up as “MISTICA” (spiritual experience), “METANOIA” (conversion-transformation) and “MISSIO” (mission of evangelization). Paul’s spiritual journey was a spiritual experience that produced a transformation and impelled him to assume a mission of evangelization. The converted Paul thus became an apostle of Christ to the nations.
Mistica: On the road to
Saul of Tarsus had a profound, dynamic, spiritual experience. It was God’s
initiative, grace, and compassion that brought about Paul’s encounter with the
Risen Lord. It was an experience of light – of revelation – of who Christ
really is for Paul. Christ revealed himself not as an enemy, but as a personal
Savior. Moreover, on the road to Damascus,
it was revealed that Jesus of Nazareth lives on in his Body, the Church – the
suffering Church. It was a knocked-down experience that left Paul vulnerable,
defenseless, and open to grace. He could not help but welcome the loving
initiative of God. Saint Paul
is a model for us of total receptivity and openness to grace.
Metanoia: Paul confessed: “I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, a man filled with arrogance, but I have been mercifully treated … I thank Christ Jesus our Lord. He has strengthened me … made me his servant” (cf. I Tim 1:12-13). He experienced a change of heart, reorientation of goals, renewed vision, and life transformation. From a bold persecutor of Christ-Church, he became a vessel of grace and the great apostle to the nations. As we look to
as a model of true conversion, let us turn away from thoughts, words and
actions that negate the love of Christ … from inconsiderate actions and words
that wound the Church … from irresponsible deeds that do not promote the
dignity and personal worth of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Above
all, Saint Paul
is our model of “christification”. Blessed James Alberione, the founder of the
Pauline Family, exhorts us: “So then reach the point of Vivit in me Christus
… when our thoughts and desires exist no more, but we live in Christ … It is
not I anymore, but Christ in me. Transformation, transformation!
In that way we have not only a body and soul, but another natural life – that
is, the life itself of Christ.”
Missio: Paul’s mystic experience and conversion led to a special task or mandate: the mission of salvation … the call to evangelization. The Risen Lord who appeared to Paul made him a servant and witness to the nations. He mandated Paul to preach the Gospel that he may turn their darkness to light … that they may be brought back to God … that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and become part of God’s covenant people.
Today’s Gospel reading (Mk 16:15-18) about the missionary mandate to go out to the whole world and tell the Good News and about the signs of protection and power that will accompany the believers is fully exemplified in the life and person of
Saint Paul. He went to the Gentile world to
preach the Gospel of salvation. He was baptized by Ananias in Damascus. Totally obedient to Christ in
faith, he became God’s vessel of salvation to the nations. He made the crippled
man in Lystra walk. Through the apostle, God performed unusual miracles in Ephesus. Even
handkerchiefs and aprons Paul had used were taken to the sick, and their
diseases were driven away, and the evil spirits would go out of them. At Troas
Paul resuscitated Eutychus, who fell from the third story to the ground during
an evening fellowship meal while sitting drowsily by the window. When they
picked him up, Eutychus was dead but Paul gave him back to them alive. After a
shipwreck in Malta,
Paul was bitten by a snake but was unharmed. Also in Malta, he healed the father of
Publius, the chief of the island, and many others. Wherever he went, Paul was
speaking a totally “new language” – the good news about Jesus as the Son of God
– a marvelously “new language” of love and salvation.
On this beautiful feast of Paul’s conversion, we conclude this year’s Octave of Prayer for the Unity of Christians (January 18-25, 2014). I remember an ecumenical prayer service that I attended in the 1980’s at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in
Pope John Paul II led the prayers for Christian unity with the participation of
leaders from various denominations. That evening I felt that the spirit of Rome, Italy Saint Paul was with us –
challenging us to center our lives on Christ that we may overcome the divisions
among us believers. We have a long way to go, but in faith we continue our
quest for Christian unity so that at the end we could declare with Saint Paul: “Because
there is one bread, we though many are one body, for we all share in the one
loaf and in the one cup” (I Cor 10:17). This year’s theme focuses on Saint Paul’s provocative
question, “Has Christ Been Divided?”
(I Cor 1:13). We continue to be divided by doctrine,
policy, and practice, and to maintain our own religious identity, yet our
pilgrimage towards unity continues under God’s guidance.
SONG: “One Bread, One Body” or another appropriate song
POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART
Each of us has a spiritual experience. How do we imitate Paul in being receptive and responsive to this experience? Do we imitate him in our work of conversion and “christification”? How do we carry out the mission of evangelization?
PRAYER TO SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE: Cf. Manual of Prayer p.233
Holy Apostle who, with your teachings and with your charity, have taught the entire world, look kindly upon us, your children and disciples. We expect everything from your prayers to the Divine Master and to Mary, Queen of the Apostles. Grant, Doctor of the Gentiles, that we may live by faith, save ourselves by hope, and that charity alone may reign in us. Obtain for us, vessel of election, docile correspondence to divine grace, so that it may not remain unfruitful in us. Grant that we may ever better know you, love you and imitate you; that we may be living members of the Church, the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Raise up many and holy apostles. May the warm breath of true charity permeate the entire world. Grant that all may know and glorify God and the Divine Master, Way, Truth and Life.
And, Lord Jesus, you know we have no faith in our own powers. In your mercy grant that we may be defended against all adversity, through the powerful intercession of Saint Paul, our Teacher and Father.
SONG: “For the Sake of Christ”, or “Only This I Want”, or another appropriate song
ROSARY “THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES”: The Rosary may be prayed in part or in full.
, the Apostle
of Jesus Christ” Saint Paul
Leader: God our Father, thank you for giving us
Paul to be the apostle of your Son Jesus Christ. With
his great love and passion for Jesus and the Church, Saint Paul used all means and became all
things to all so that the power of the Gospel can reach all. With zeal he faced
the challenges of travel, cultures and imprisonments and beatings; of
shipwrecks and sleepless night, of magic and philosophies. Through all these he
steadfastly witnessed to the length, breadth and depth of the mystery of God’s
saving love and grace in Jesus Christ.
Assembly: We ask you, loving Father, that we may continue to know
Saint Paul, especially his epistles which are
now part of our Scriptures. May we understand the love for you and Jesus and
the Church that consumed his life. May we serve you and the Church as he did,
tirelessly, relentlessly, faithfully and lovingly.
Leader: At the end,
gave his life as a lasting witness to his deep and living faith in Jesus and in
his Body, the Church. We pray that in celebrating the grace you have shown to Saint Paul, we may also
deepen our faith and trust in your loving mercy and grace.
Assembly: Help us to know, understand and love
Paul, tireless worker for the Church. Through him, we
can be sure that we will be led to you, our Father, in heaven.
Leader: We thank Jesus, who showed his mercy and revealed himself to
Saint Paul, for giving the apostle to us as
our example and intercessor. May Saint
Paul continue to intercede for us and for our country
that we, too, may turn from sinful ways and be converted, so that we may attain
peace in our hearts, in our families, in our country and in the world.
Assembly: We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
SONG: “Scio Cui Credidi” or another appropriate song
Prepared by Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang, PDDM
1. Adoration Guide: “JESUS MASTER: He Imparts the Light of Faith”
2. Adoration Guide: “Light of Faith”
3. Adoration Guide: “The Word Became Flesh … The Word Became Bread”