Tag Archives: Gloria Ziemienski

The Conversion of St. Paul

January 25th is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. It came in a blinding moment, so different than the call of Jesus’ other apostles.

Caravaggio’s dramatic painting of Paul on the flat of his back, arms outstretched, helplessly blind is a vivid picture of humanity before God.

Conversion is God’s work; God alone gives the gift of faith.

The first reading for his feast tell the dramatic story of his conversion. (Acts 22, 3-16)  In the gospel of Matthew,Jesus announces why he was called – to preach the gospel to all nations.(Matthew 16,15-18)

“May the Spirit fill us with that light of faith.”

For St. John Chrysostom  “Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what we really are, and in what our nobility consists, and of what virtue a human being is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead.

“When he saw death imminent, he bade others share his joy: Rejoice and be glad with me! And when danger, injustice and abuse threatened, he said: I am content with weakness, mistreatment and persecution. These he called the weapons of righteousness, thus telling us that he derived immense profit from them…

The most important thing of all to Paul was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ.”

May God give us that grace .

Today ends the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

May God give us all that grace.

Leaves of Memories

I hold in my hand a faded old leaf,
dry and crisp,
and I remember spring
when it was a tender lime green bud
and grass was greening and soft;
when flowers began to bloom
and birds sang again;
when the air was fresh and warm
and breezes were light and fragrant.

I think of that tiny bud
growing into a bright mature leaf;
of spring turning to summer,
of birds nests filled with eggs,
then babies chirping.
I think of the leaf maturing in summer’s heat
and soft grass growing tough and resistant.

Now the leaves have turned to autumn colors
and soon the trees will be bare,
resting in winter’s arms,
waiting for the tiny green buds of spring.

Gloria Ziemienski

October 17, 2007


Gloria Ziemienski kindly gave me a copy of her new book of poems the other day: There are Times:Pages from a Poet’s Journal. This is one of them.


I sit in the quiet, praying.

a name comes to my mind.

As I pray for her,

I’m reminded of someone

or something else

and my mind takes off in

unplanned directions

which lead me toward

another someone or something,

until I gather my thoughts

and rein them all in,

trying to collect myself,

trying not to feel guilty

about my wandering mind.


Then I recall that St. Paul urges us

to pray without ceasing,

so I decide to take You with me

in my mind’s wanderings,

and offer you this day as my prayer.


January 21,2008