Sunday, January 25, 2015

Collects for the Conversion of St Paul

O God, Who, through th preaching of Thy Apostle St Paul, hast instructed the whole world; grant we beseech Thee, that we this day having his Conversion in remembrance, may by his example attain unto Thee. Through Jesus Christ Thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, God, throughout all ages world without end. Amen

1549 Prayer book
God, which hast taught the world through the preaching of Thy blessed apostle St Paul; grant, we beseech Thee, that we which have his wonderful conversion in remembrance may follow and fulfill the holy doctrine that he taught. Through.

1662 Prayer book
O God, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This collect has gone through a few revisions over the turbulent reforming of the English Church. We are drawn from using St Paul as an example by which the Light of Our Lord God draws us to Him to focus on our adherence to Holy Doctrine and then finally to being thankful.

Whatever our stripe as Anglicans, we still have the same progression, we see a saint whose life shines with the Love of God which draws us to know more. Once we are able to study what this holy man knew, we find ourselves enlightened more directly by God. Through this we give thanks not only for the revelation that God has shown us, but also for the holy saint through whom God's light was reflected.

The ikonography of our saints is never a static milieu. Their pictures upon which we reflect dance with the light with which they are filled by the Divine Godhead. That light blinds St Paul temporarily until his eyes become accustomed to the Truth and its Divine Substance. That light is open to us, but often we shy away from letting it blind us to the world so that we can see more clearly the Truth that lies beyond.

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