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athgarvan

CONVERSION

On Monday last (25th January) many Christian Churches (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican Churches, and others) celebrated the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle.

This feast is at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The conversion of Paul was, according to the New Testament, an event which led him to cease persecuting early Christians and to become a follower of Jesus.

I have always been much taken by the sentiments expressed by John Betjeman at the end of his poem ‘The Conversion of St Paul’:

"What is Conversion? Turning round
To gaze upon a love profound.
For some of us see Jesus plain
And never once look back again,
And some of us have seen and known
And turned and gone away alone,
But most of us turn slow to see
The figure hanging on a tree
And stumble on and blindly grope
Upheld by intermittent hope.
God grant before we die we all

May see the light as did St Paul".
                                                                                                                                                                      (Caravaggio 1601

Comments

if it works for an individual - Great!

there is an old saying
there are many paths to the top of the mountain but the view is always the same

probably most Christians are just there because that's where the find themselves
that was my experience with most of the people i knew
if it works - fine

if it doesn't work then the individual has to find something else

as for a world view
if you want to stay relevant and stay christian the Episcopal Church in America is probably the place to be

Edited at 2016-01-27 20:51 (UTC)
"But most of us . . . stumble on and blindly grope
upheld by intermittent hope".
absolutely!
hope is a common human emotion
we just find different names and ways to make our hope seem real

belief in something is a gift
the person who can not believe is indeed bereft
but the subject/object of belief can be different from individual to individual and still be effective

the great mystery is why some of us have the great gift of hope and belief and others suffer without it
"there is an old saying
there are many paths to the top of the mountain but the view is always the same"

And how would they know that was true?
i suppose i should just let it go but
this confuses me
how would who know what was true?

the mountain is the goal - understanding - peace - harmony - unity - "salvation"- it has been given many names
and obviously there are many paths to that goal
the view - the desire for "the mountain" - the goal is always the same

it's just an old saying
truth about anything is what you believe
"It" has not merely been given many names -- it is "they" because in fact it is Legion, because there, in reality, are a vast number of goals -- many obviously incompatible.

Even if it were true that everyone was after the same goal, it would not therefore follow that many paths lead to it, so that's not obvious, either.

"Truth" is conforming to reality. And remains so even if no one believes it.
and reality is what we believe it to be and so there we are at the beginning again
Reality does not care what you or I or anyone else believes.

And if what you said was true, it would be false, because the vast mass of mankind think it's independent of our beliefs, and therefore if it were shaped by them, it would therefore become independent.
I followed Christianity for well over 15 years, now today it is no longer relevent in my life. However i respect others who may find this religion relevent to them. I've found Buddhism deeply resonates with me and what i like best about it's teaching is we need to take responsibility for our own actions, there is no one to save us but ourselves, and this has in fact set me free.
Shanti
xx
But most of us . . . stumble on and blindly grope
upheld by intermittent hope.
I used to be like that for a long, long times, now i'm so grateful i no longer have to search.
xx
Good for you.
Yes!

Next? :o)