Ecclesiam res et talia sermocinamur -

We talk about the Church, stuff, and such

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Conversion of St. Paul

Here's our post, taken from Saint of the Day, for last year's feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

One of the things that always sticks in my mind about this feast is the commentary Fr. Milton Guthrie, for whom my grandmother served as housekeeper for many years, made on the event's popular and artistic conceptions. In a very matter of fact way, he would always comment that it was highly unlikely that Saul had been riding a horse as usually depicted but, rather, that if he had been riding anything, it would have been a donkey.

In some ways, then, there seems to be something even more Catholic, more redeemed, about donkeys than tradition already accepts. The ass finds itself, not only the most absurd and denigrated of all creatures, the most unappreciated and solely utilitarian of beasts of burden, but also the transportation of men such as Saul: petty bureaucrats, tax collectors, the mules of ancient government and society. But just as Saul is approached by God, converted, and redeemed, so too is the donkey. The divine faunal joke is called upon for service, and renders it humbly -- the noble servant has emerged out of a formerly derided creation. His is the story of providence in which all men of faith seek to partake.



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