Did Saul actually fall off his horse on the road to Damascus?

By Hector Molina

Did Saul actually fall off his horse on the road to Damascus?

He more than likely did not. It is commonly assumed that Rabbi Saul was thrown from his horse on the road to Damascus. This assumption has been reinforced by several artistic depictions, including Caravaggio’s “Conversion on the Way to Damascus” and "Conversion of St. Paul" (1601).  However, nowhere does the New Testament make mention of Saul being thrown from his horse. In fact, it doesn’t even make mention of Saul traveling by horse!

Each of the three accounts of Saul’s miraculous conversion (Acts 9:3-4, 22:6-7, 26:12-14) asserts that Saul, upon seeing the light from heaven, fell to the ground. Most people assume that because Saul was en route to Damascus, he must have been traveling by horse at the very moment when the heavenly light appeared. This blinding light caused him and those accompanying him to fall from their horses to the ground. This is highly improbable. The reason being that St. Luke, the author of Acts, in two of his three accounts of the conversion of Saul, furnishes us with a clue that sheds light on what Saul was more than likely doing when he fell to the ground. See if you can pick it out.

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Oh If Only We Could All Become Dodoes for the Lord!

A Reflection on the Life of Mother Angelica

God’s timing is something else, or as Mother Angelica would often say, “God’s timing is always perfect.” Her passing on Easter Sunday, the Feast of Feasts, is somewhat perfect. For a woman who did so much to bring the Good News to the world, to die on the day that marks that supreme Good News…well…that is pretty great timing.

If you are like me, I was never fortunate enough to meet Mother Angelica and yet she lives one with a feeling like I personally knew her. Her personality was so tangible even through a television set. Her impact on our personal lives, for many of us, perhaps cannot be measured. 

Here I just want to share a few of my memories of Mother and the profound impact she had on me. 

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Evangelize like a Duck Commander

by Chris Stewart

My family and I were watching an episode of the A&E hit show “Duck Dynasty.” Most people by now are familiar with the bearded family of West Monroe, LA that have turned the business of making duck calls into a multi-million dollar phenomena.

While the Robertson clan’s sense of humor may not be entertaining to all people or there ‘controversial’ moral stances have pushed some away, they have built up a loyal base of support by holding to traditional American values of God, family and country. Their signature ending of each episode (a family meal beginning with a prayer in which they’re not afraid to use the name of Jesus) is why my family has been fans from the beginning.

This past week we watched the season nine episode “Heroes’ Welcome.” It was an episode that showcased all the virtues we have come to love about the Robertson family.

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Evangelization 101: A Short Guide to Sharing the Gospel

By Carl E. Olson

If asked to complete this sentence, "The entire mission of the Church, then, is concentrated and manifested in –", how many Catholics would finish it with the word "evangelization"?

That sentence is from Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, "On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World." It was written by the late Holy Father at the end of 1988 in response to the 1987 Synod of Bishops, which had focused on the theme "Vocation and Mission in the Church and in the World Twenty Years after the Second Vatican Council." Forty years have now passed since the conclusion of the last Council and the topic of evangelization remains as vital and urgent as ever.

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Fulton Sheen's Secret to Evangelization

By Brandon Vogt

Who was the greatest Catholic evangelist of the twentieth century? To me it’s no contest: Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. Some might argue for Pope John Paul II, who had a bigger impact on the world. Others might claim Mother Teresa, whose smile and sari were certainly more recognizable. But in terms of evangelization, I don’t think anyone drew more people into the Church than Sheen.

His success was due in large part to his mastery of new media, which in his day meant radio and television. In 1930, Sheen launched his “Catholic Hour” radio show. It broadcast globally on over 100 stations and reached more than 7 million listeners. In 1951, he moved to television, where his popular “Life Is Worth Living” show drew in over 30 million people each week.

The show also generated more than 20,000 personal letters written daily to Sheen, many of which he answered himself. Through his mail correspondence and personal instruction, he helped thousands of people enter the Church and countless others further into it. In fact, my own spiritual director is one of them. He’s an 89-year-old, self-described “Sheen-fiend” who credits Sheen with inspiring him to become a priest.

What made Sheen so successful? He of course had charisma, wit, and intelligence, but what strategies did he use to draw people to Christ?

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