January 25, 2011 The Conversion of St. PaulDear Family of Mary!Today we celebrate the fantastic moment when Saul, the enemy of Christians, was knocked to the ground, blinded and given the grace of conversion to Christ. (Read Acts 9: 1-22)What a story!Unbelievable!Conversion!It is indeed a gift.I pulled a message at random from my box of messages for this reflection, and here is the message I was given: "Dear children!Today I bless you with my motherly blessing and I invite you all to conversion.I wish that each of you decide for a change of life and that each of you works more in the Church not through words and thoughts but through example, so that your life may be a joyful testimony for Jesus.You cannot say that you are converted, because your life must become a daily conversion.In order to understand what you have to do, little children, pray and God will give you what you completely have to do, and where you have to change.I am with you and place you all under my mantle.Thank you for having responded to my call." (February 25, 1993)On this beautiful feast we are all called to conversion!Every one of us needs to decide for a change in our life.Each of us is called to convert every day, little by little, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and with the motherly help of Our Lady.Isn't it a comfort to know that we are all in it together!Conversion is our common call.
Yesterday I heard the most beautiful story of conversion.Ten years ago, Denis gave a picture of Our Lady that had been blessed at an apparition in Medjugorje to our friend, Mary Ann.She took the picture home with her and placed it in her dining room, near the table.Every day her husband, Kendall, sat across from that picture.He was not a Catholic.In Mary Ann's words, "He looked at your gift to us of Our Lady's face, and after a year of keeping her company every day in our dining room, he asked to become a Catholic.I had never asked him - but Our Lady from her heart to his - did!Several years later we took a copy of this gift and put it in the dining area at Kendall's brother's house.One year later, he too asked to become a Catholic."Isn't this beautiful!!But that is not the end of the story.About two weeks ago, Kendall died, in the loving presence of his wife, Mary Ann, and his daughter Jennifer.Mary Ann writes:"Your image (the picture of Our Lady) is what I imagine Kendall saw on his death bed when he looked up (much like the visionaries) and saw Our Lady for well over 1 ½ minutes.I said, 'You see Our Lady's face don't you?'He looked back down into my eyes with an 'other-worldly' expression.Deep, deep love!I said 'I love you too.'He then turned to look at Jennifer, deeply.He closed his eyes, took three breathes and died."Our Lady was present to help Kendall make the final conversion from earth to heaven.She came with her motherly mantle to accompany Kendall home.The presence of Our Lady brings us all to conversion!She draws us into the Kingdom of Heaven with her sweet love!She wants us each to change, more and more, into the likeness of her Son.With her help, in her company, we can change!In Jesus and Mary! Cathy NolanPS.Thanks to Mary Ann for sharing this beautiful story of conversion with us!We will pray for you and Jennifer, as you mourn your loss.Our Lady will keep you company.