The Conversion of Saint Paul

Far away, in ancient times again,
Augustus Caesar welcomed Hera’s reign;
But nestled in a verdant village rough,
The King of Kings reigned from a feeding trough.

And when Our Lord had grown in love and grace,
His Mother viewed the anguish on His face,
And though His death, at first, like folly seemed,
All the world was finally redeemed.

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

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

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

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

And 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.

Thus 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 dumfounded,
In the dark of night, his soul was grounded.

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

When Ananias heals his sightless eyes,
And rosy morning fills the yawning skies,
It dawns on him, like light beyond the grave,
Israel cannot the Romans save.

So by his own offences he’s defeated,
And Saul expects his sentence will be meted,
But here, instead, 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,
Which disappears then reappears anew,
Presenting newer wonders to pursue.

In time, with whips and lashes, he is led,
For greater love of all to die instead,
The Keeper of the Inn anoints his feet,
And Paul goes out, his debt is paid complete.