Before researching and writing St. Paul’s School of the Word I had all sorts of WRONG ideas about St. Paul the Apostle. I mean, I liked and respected him, but St. Paul always seemed a little bit more, well, Protestant.
Is that weird to say?
It was just always easier to look at St. Peter as CATHOLIC. After all, don’t Protestants quote St. Paul when arguing against the Church?
Well, it is amazing what some research and prayer can do!
This summer I spent 6 weeks at my parent’s farm. We were in the middle of a move from Kansas to Minnesota.
My parents have notoriously terrible internet and Catholic Sprouts was on re-runs, so I had a bit more quiet time than usual. And I devoted much of this time to studying St. Paul.
I read some great books (this one was the best – The Catholic Perspective on Paul) and slowly worked my way through the Epistles. And as I read and prayed I was finally able to see St. Paul as he really was: A Catholic Priest.
And not only that. St. Paul was a man in love with the Eucharist and devoted to Mary.
He never said we are saved by “Faith Alone” (this was actually a deliberate mistranslation by Martin Luther) and St. Paul zealously spread the faith through the sacraments.
The idea that St. Peter and Paul didn’t get along is also baseless.
They belonged to the same church–Our Church, the Roman Catholic Church!
Perhaps most enlightening in all of my study and prayer was the concept of PARTICIPATION.
We are all familiar with the term “Body of Christ”, which St. Paul gave us, but often we miss the full meaning St. Paul intended.
Not only are we united to each other when we worship, we actually ARE part of Jesus when we believe and live our faith.
When we stop fighting God, we become His hands and feet. Literally! Just as bread and wine become Jesus in the Eucharist, we become Jesus when we do His will.
And not only that but all of the great saints, when they get out of God’s way and allow His work to be done, they are a part of Jesus–and this is why we honor them!
We honor Jesus through venerating His saints since the saints PARTICIPATED in His work. Also, the sacraments and Mary and everything else in our faith can be understood as a participation in not only God’s work–but in God Himself!
Deep stuff, I know, but this is what you will see if you really dig into the writings of St. Paul.
You will also see that St. Paul was Catholic! He was a Catholic Priest. End of story.
This is why I put together St. Paul’s School of the word. So that you could teach your children to pray through Scripture AND understand better this great man that did so much to establish the Church that we still belong to today.
So, if you are eager to learn more from St. Paul, then go and grab your copy of the study.
Your sister in the small things,