For Christians who need a great model to look to, they should turn to St. Paul….
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this recommendation during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he noted that the great Apostle’s life was characterised by three characteristics: preaching, persecutions and prayer.
Drawing inspiration from today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Francis suggested that St Paul was truly a man of action.
“It’s hard to imagine him, relaxing under a beach umbrella,” he said, “because he was always on the go and rarely to be found sat in front of a desk.”
Rather, Francis said, St Paul was driven by a passion for preaching and was evangelizing.
His passion for preaching, the Holy Father explained, led to a second characteristic of the apostle’s life, namely “the persecutions he suffered at the hands of the religious leaders of his day.”
Yet Paul was inspired by the Spirit and was able to sow divisions between the Sadducees, who didn’t believe in the Resurrection and the Pharisees, who did.
Prayer, Francis stressed, was the third aspect of Paul’s life, which propelled him. His intimate relationship with the Lord, made him keep going.
This mystical dimension of Paul’s encounter with the Lord, which started when he was knocked off his horse, was a fundamental aspect of his life along with his preaching “to the ends of the earth” and struggling against his persecutors.
Being a man of prayer who constantly seeks and encounters the Lord, the Pope stressed, was Paul’s strength.
Pope Francis concluded, praying that ‘we too, may be given the grace to learn these three attitudes of preaching, of resisting persecution and of encountering Christ through prayer.’