The Conversion of Saint Paul

Far away, in ancient times again,
Augustus Caesar welcomed Hera’s reign;
But hidden in a verdant village rough,
An Infant King reigned from a feeding trough.

And when this child had grown in age and grace,
His Mother saw the sorrow on His face,
And though His death, at first, like folly seemed,
The world entire was finally redeemed.

Around this time, there was a man named Saul,
Whose eloquence of discourse would enthrall…
But Rabbi Saul, a Roman and a Jew,
Eyed the early Christians to subdue.

To Saul, this Jesus with His rabble band
Were madmen in a lunatic’s command…
What kind of king would kindle such a fire,
Then shamefully, upon a cross, expire?

So when the first of martyrs had been stoned,
Saul observed, and Stephen’s death condoned,
Now Stephen blamed the Jews for regicide,
And prayed for his assailants as he died.

Now with the fervor of a temple priest,
Saul rides to Damascus in the east,
To hunt for zealous Christians to arrest,
And prosecute and crucify if pressed.

Mounted on his high and mighty horse,
Saul goes riding on without remorse,
Until confronted by the Risen Lord,
Presented in the Bible, word for word.

Spoke the Lord to Saul with clarity:
“Saul ~ why are you persecuting me?”
And Saul was thrown from off his steady mount,
And blinded, too, by more than one account.

By his bold transgressions, down he fell,
Like an anvil, falling down a well;
O happy chance, the Rabbi was dumbfounded,
In the dark of night, his soul was grounded.

Now, through the blackest night, O Man, you grope,
Guided by a single ray of hope,
Forward, through that loving night, you’re led,
To an Inn, and here you rest your head.

Rosy morning fills the eastern skies,
And Ananias heals his sightless eyes,
And then it dawns, like light beyond the grave,
That Israel cannot the Romans save.

By his own offenses he’s defeated,
And braces for his sentence to be meted,
But suddenly, by Mercy he’s surprised,
Confirmed and, in the Holy Ghost, baptized.

The Divine Innkeeper

The Keeper of the Inn completes his rounds,
And Saul is disabused of all his wounds,
And rising with his mortal frame anointed,
A preacher to the Gentiles is appointed.

Now Wisdom shines Her face upon the land,
And Beauty is created with Her hand;
And as She makes Her way around the world,
The secrets of Creation are unfurled.

He finds the hidden traces of the Lord,
Who guides the holy pilgrim with His Word,
Who disappears then reappears anew,
Presenting newer wonders to pursue.

In time, with ropes and irons, you are led,
For greater love of all to die instead;
The Keeper of the Inn anoints your feet,
And you go out, your debt is paid complete.

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