Sunday, January 25, 2009

Conversion and Vocation: It's never ending

Brothers and Sisters,

Today is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Our Sunday readings ( continue on the theme from last week regarding God's calling to us to be redeemed and share in the coming of the Kingdom.

This week we hear how Nineveh was saved by Johna's obedience to God's will in going there to preach a message of repentance. The Ninevites listened, turned back to the Lord, and were saved by His mercy. Paul reminds us of how this world and the next life are not the same and for us to be on gaurd from loving this world too much and not remembering we are called to an eternity with God. Finally, Jesus continues to call his disciples together by knowing their hearts' desires.

Remember that we as religious, whether professed, oblate, or in formation, are answering God's call. First we are called to our own redemption through vigilance to prayer, penance, and integrity of heart. BE WHO YOU ARE! That is where God's call begins. Then allow God's Word to permeate you, pound your doubts and fears to sand by your living each day in your call wether in married life, single life, or celibacy. Then and only then can God's mercy effect a change in you to go out and minister as He wishes. Once you, yourself, have experienced God's transforming love, God's abundant mercy, God's radical acceptance of you, then you are ready to do His will and lead others, through intercessory prayer, example, preaching, or good works to the same journey and conclusions.

Ours is not an easy life, but it is one we live day by day. Paul's conversion was begun when he was knocked off the horse, it was completed the day he entered heaven to hug and greet his master. Our Holy Father Augustine began his conversion in Milan and completed it in the same way as Paul. We never have all the answers or should feel completely comfortable in our vocation because we are called to radical conversion EACH and EVERY day! God has placed this journey before us and He will see us through...just keep holding his hand and the hand of your brothers and sisters in community.

Yours, one in mind and heart, and yes, often confused, but ON THE WAY TO GOD with you,

Joseph Augustine+