Tag Archives: St Paul

Archbishop Chaput to deliver lecture on Saint Paul

A conference on Saint Paul’s faith and his unique role in the diffusion of Christianity. A presentation by Father Peter Cameron, Editor-in-chief of Magnificat; and Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Den­ver. Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 7:00 pm. The event will be at The American Bible Society Auditorium in New York City.


For more info visit the website

Growing in the Faith through the witness of Saint Paul

St Paul detail.jpgThe Opus Dei has put together a fine video clip series on Saint Paul for this year dedicated to him. Various themes are covered by professors of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross briefly; they’re aimed at forming us to have a greater understanding of the Saint. Some videos are in Spanish and others in Italian but they all have English subtitles; there’s at least one given by a native English speaker. As you know, the goal of the Year of Saint Paul is not merely to know the Apostle’s thinking better –scholars are providing new works on this every year– rather, as Pope Benedict has recalled on a number of occasions, the hope of the Year is to learn from Paul how to respond to the current challenges of the faith.

You can view the works here.

Without the Cross & the Resurrection we have atheism in Christianity

Crucifixion Weingarten Missal 13thc.jpgBut what Christ did on the Cross was in no way intended to spare us death but rather to revalue death completely. In place of the “going down into the pit” of the Old Testament, it became “being in paradise tomorrow”. Instead of fearing death as the final evil and begging God for a few more years of life, as the weeping king Hezekiah does, Paul would like most of all to die immediately in order “to be with the Lord” (Phil 1:23). Together with death, life is also revalued: “If we live, we live to the Lord; if we die, we die to the Lord” (Rom 14:8).

But the issue is not only life and death but our existence before God and our being judged by him. All of us were sinners before him and worthy of condemnation. But God “made the One who knew no sin to be sin, so that we might be justified through him in God’s eyes” (2 Cor 5:21).

Only God in his absolute freedom can take hold of our finite freedom from within in such a way as to give it a direction toward him, an exit to him, when it was closed in on itself. This happened in virtue of the “wonderful exchange” between Christ and us: he experiences instead of us what distance from God is, so that we may become beloved and loving children of God instead of being his “enemies” (Rom 5:10).

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St Paul has a daily impact on us today, Greek Orthodox, Archbishop Demetrios said

Catholics and Orthodox Christians are celebrating a Pauline year from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009.


St Paul.jpgA prime characteristic of St. Paul‘s legacy, the archbishop said, was his “adherence to the absolute nature of the truth of the Gospel.” St. Paul saw the Gospel “not as an abstract, theoretical truth,” but a truth grounded in the person of Jesus, who died and is risen.


Christ crucified represents “the medicine of first resort for every spiritual weakness” and thus there can be “no possibility of compromise.” According to St. Paul, to be a pastor is to offer that Gospel with integrity.


St. Paul insisted on overcoming human distinctions among believers. “There is a school of thought” that divisions within a group must be accepted as part of the fallen human condition, but St. Paul rejected such thinking.


“What is the church” but the body of Christ, allowing for no divisions. St. Paul specifically denounced distinctions among Jews and Greeks and rich and poor because any such distinctions are to be subordinated to unity in Christ.


“We encounter the word ‘brother’ 34 times” in St. Paul‘s writings, driving home the point that in Christ “any other distinction is secondary.”


In addition, St. Paul emphasized “the plan of God for salvation for all people.”


St. Paul traveled “the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire” in his zeal to draw souls to Christ. Closely related is St. Paul‘s adherence to the pastoral care of souls, which the apostle freely expressed in his writings. St. Paul wrote to his disciples that he prayed for them and thanked God for them. “What an incredible difference it would make if every pastor” showed such zeal for his people.


While “self-styled apostles” took advantage of the people to whom they preached, “St. Paul took the opposite approach,” accepting nothing and refusing “to be a burden.” Rather, St. Paul demonstrated “pastoral passion,” comparing himself to a father or to a nurse caring for a child.


(Archbishop Demetrios, Sixth Annual Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua Lecture (Nov. 23), Immaculate Conception Seminary, Rockville Centre Diocese, Pete Sheehan for CNS, Dec. 2, 2008, adapted)

In Charge of the Fire: a play about Saint Paul

In Charge of Fire.jpg

If you are in the greater New Haven, Connecticut area this coming weekend, “In Charge of the Fire” is well worth the effort to see. The writer, actors and director capture the essence of the life of Saint Paul and it reminds us of the salient points of this saint’s life and work for Christ. I think this a wonderful contribution to the celebrations happening in the Year of Saint Paul.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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