Editor’s Corner: Christian Imagination
Paul of Tarsus treasured the Jewish faith in which he was raised. But at a critical moment in his early adult life, he discovered something far beyond what he ever imagined. The risen Christ transformed Paul from “persecutor” (Gal 1:23) into missionary preacher, innovative biblical theologian, pastoral writer, and founder of house-church communities.
In this issue, we accept the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI to reflect upon the gift of St. Paul to the Church.We visit the site of his martyrdom and the Roman Basilica whose ancient stones still boldly speak a Christian message to the world.
Paul the Apostle’s family and educational background enabled him to bridge the worlds of Judaism and Greco-Roman culture. His imaginative creativity sparks similar efforts in Christians today both in word and deed.
Faced with the frenetic quality of modern life, Paul’s advice to “pray without ceasing” is more necessary than ever. The vibrant experience of “house-churches” in Paul’s letters inspires Catholics today to develop small Christian communities in the midst of large metropolitan parishes from Sao Paolo to Seoul.
Just as suffering in body and spirit shaped the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul, so the 18th century Italian mystic and Passionist Founder, St. Paul of the Cross wisely supported suffering people in all walks of life with spiritual counsel.
Passionist Bishop Paul Michael Boyle (1926-2008) exemplified the same vigorous missionary commitment as his namesake, the great Apostle. As first bishop of Mandeville in the final chapter of his life, he generously gave his wisdom and love to the people of Jamaica.
Paul Zilonka, C.P.