St. Paul the Apostle had unlikely beginnings as a terrorist. Saul of Tarsis, as he was first known, went from home to home in Jerusalem, dragging out Christians and putting them in prison. Then, as he was on his way to Damascus to do the same thing, a blinding light appeared to him, along with a voice that said “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” According to Paul the voice told him it was Jesus of Nazareth, and Paul was converted on the spot.
This seems a little too easy. It’s like all those Evangelical Christians, who get to live a dissolute life for as long as they want and then, suddenly, they’re miraculously converted and holier than everyone else.
What about poor Mother Theresa, who spent her life tending the poor and the sick and continually in doubt? Or St. Teresa of Avila, who had the same problem?
Early in his career Michael Crichton wrote a fascinating book called Travels, where he recounted his efforts to find evidence of the supernatural. I was particularly struck by one of his more prosaic moments: his claim that, during a spoon-bending workshop of all things, he actually bent a spoon with his mind.
If only I could once do this, or see a ghost, or have a blinding light appear to me, my search would be over. I would know there’s something more (and I could stop writing this blog every day!).