Fr. Thomas Colyandro
Be Completely Converted
Have you ever thought about what it really means to be converted? When I ask this question I am neither thinking of the complexities of transferring from one religion or denomination to another, nor am I thinking of the specifics of changing your mind about some aspect of faith. My question really is centered on whether you have ever considered what it means to be truly and deeply changed so that you live your life fully and completely for God. And when I say “fully and completely for God” I am thinking about the total transformation of body, mind, heart and spirit.
Perhaps the best-known story of conversion appears in the Acts of the Apostles 22:6-11. While it is essential we understand how God revealed Himself to Saul with a great light and a loud voice, it is equally important to understand what Paul did as a result of God’s intervention.
"And when I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus. And one Anani'as, a devout man according to the law, well-spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And in that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Just One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name’" (Acts 22:11-16).
Notice what is happening here: (1) Paul is blinded by God so that he could see by faith and not by sight, (2) Paul had to rely on others to get where he needed to be, (3) Paul sought spiritual direction (with Anani’as), (4) Paul was physically healed (also by Anani’as), and (5) Paul did not delay, he was baptized and began his life’s work in the name of Jesus Christ.
In other words, Paul's allowed himself to be converted by God in body, mind, heart, and spirit. It was a total transformation.
So ask yourself: do I watch for God’s light and listen to His voice? Do I pay attention to how God is converting me? Am I willing to give myself over to the changes he asks me to make? Am I willing to risk everything, even my economic and social standing, to live as God intended? Do I help others do the same?
Let us pray for each other so that we may all decide to live our lives in this way.