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Encountering the Sacred

[caption id="attachment_580" align="alignright" width="250"]Pat Dual Blog by Sr. Pat Dual, OP[/caption] Somewhere in the early 90’s, I became fascinated with the idea of learning more about the “story behind the stories” in the bible.  The pastor of my home parish at the time had a relate-able teaching style of preaching. His homilies often contained little nuggets of biblical knowledge about the stories and the people of the bible. I remember one such homily about St. Paul. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I do remember becoming very curious about learning more about Paul.  In fact, one of the first books about biblical studies that I ever purchased was a book about the life of St. Paul, which I still have today.  For me, the story of Paul’s conversion is a reminder that when we encounter Jesus, our life is transformed, despite who we are and regardless of what we’ve done. I have often read or heard the account of Paul’s conversion in scripture, which recounts the story of him falling to the ground and surrounded by a blinding light (Acts 9:1-9).   As I reflected recently on this life altering event in the life of St. Paul, I thought about the times that our lives take unexpected turns.  I thought about the times when my own life circumstances stopped me in my tracks or caused me to make changes that I had not anticipated.  Perhaps a more accurate description of those times for me is that “God finally got my attention.”  While these encounters may or may not have been comfortable, they have always been times of personal growth and transformation.  One such transformative moment in my life was the day I finally decided to learn more about religious life…and the rest, as they say, is history. Paul’s conversion story has a lot it can teach us about the transformation that can happen when we are open to those encounters with the sacred. All of us have had such encounters and they were, undoubtedly, wonderful moments of grace.  I invite you to think of a time in your life when “God finally had your attention.”  How were you changed by the encounter? Are you are being called to transform your life and the lives of others by becoming a sister?  Let’s talk about it. Peace.

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