Below is the stunning image by the Italian painter Caravaggio entitled 'Conversion of St Paul' (1601). You might wish to spend some moments reflecting on the delicate interplay between light and dark in the painting and the impact of this 'definitive encounter' on Paul (then Saul!) on the road to Damascus.
We read the following account in chapter 9 of the 'Acts of the Apostles:
'Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.'
If you are familiar with the pattern of 'Lectio Divina' you might wish to read the above passage in four phases or steps, letting the words speak to you at a deeper level.
Read - Being open to the word of God in silence. What might these words mean to us individually?
Meditate - Being open to any particular word or phrase that touches your heart. again in silence. Perhaps you can share these thoughts if reading the text as a group.
Pray - This is an opportunity to share any heart felt prayer arising from the text or consider how this particular passage might inform our daily prayer.
Contemplate - We become aware of the presence of God in a spirit of openness and a commitment to a stillness and silence before the text.