Easter Season with the First Disciples – St.Paul
Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ He answered, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized.”
—Acts of the Apostles 9:10–12,17–18
When Paul—who was also known as Saul—encountered Christ in a vision outside Damascus, he lost his sight. For three days, Paul could not see; nor did he eat or drink.
I think about the times I have been blinded, that is, the times when life’s challenges have left me confused and paralyzed. Unable to see a way out of whatever predicament I find myself in, I am left feeling trapped. In those times, the greatest temptation might be despair.
Following the example of St. Paul, there are two things that I can do to help me resist that temptation. First, I can pray. More than anything else, I can ask the Lord for whatever grace I need to get me through such moments of confusion until the “scales” fall from my eyes and I can see a way forward. Prayer reminds me that it’s OK to be confused, because God is with me in my confusion.
The second thing I can do is to seek help from others, just as Paul relied on Ananias. The love of my wife, the counsel of my friends, and the wisdom of my spiritual director, each in their own way, help me find clarity in times of confusion.
And most importantly, I seek out Christ himself in the Eucharist.
by Bob Burnham, author of Little Lessons from the Saints
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