Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St.

Paul
Fr. Giovanni Rizzi, CRSP

Giovanni M. Paul Fr. Rizzi. CRSP Rome 2009 Barnabite Publications .Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St.

Synthesis Proposal for Present Pauline spirituality .The configuration to Christ in the Acts .Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of Paul .The Configuration to Christ .The Specific Pauline Charism to Evangelize .The Willingness to Abandon whatever one's Project .CONTENTS .The Historical Calling Circumstantial to the Management of the Community .The Configuration to Christ in the Pauline letters .

that you were baptized as my disciples. Paul. Here gushes out a spirituality which is not much outstretched to formulate. but I can't remember whether I baptized anyone else" (l Cor 1:14-16). which remained all the more hidden to the concerned. which we also project in ancient epoch. that Paul lives intimately as ultimate discernment in relation to his proper vocation and to his life's concrete events. so as Antonio Maria Zaccaria have imagined and wanted. It seems to me that there are four essential aspects of the spiritual itinerary of Paul that can offer us even today elements for Pauline spirituality: a specific charism. then. animated by essential gifts of the Lord.D. I also baptized Strephanas and his family. I therefore intend to focus my attention on the theme on a possible Pauline spirituality. It deals about a dynamic spirituality. though much probably so concrete in reality. exactly during the warm epoch of the constitution of the process of Reformed Churches. but always very attentive to be guided by concrete indications in the course of life's voyage. had already arrived at the definite knowledge that the Lord sent him to evangelize and not to do other roles. "the sons of saint Paul". Naturally. . He sent me to tell the Good News. the configuration to Christ. No one can say. the Pauline spirituality is a patrimony and at the same time task of the whole Zaccaria family. than looking forward to conform with all force to the divine design. Barnabites and Laity of Saint Paul. including the Angelic Sisters of St. even reachable through modern critical readings about the letters attributed to Paul and of the Acts of the Apostles. in order to make sure that Christ's death on the cross is not robbed of its power" (1 Cor 1:17). the obedience to circumstantial responsibilities: the availability to abandon any self projects. The specific Pauline Charism to Evangelize Paul for sure. This distinction between "to baptize" (baptizein) and "to preach the gospel" (euaggelizesthai) surprises. It deals about spirituality. in the year 54 A.Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. Paul Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of Paul 1 It has been remembered in these months that the Barnabites are in time the first order in the history of the church with Pauline spirituality. above all because it doesn't have any comparison in our patterns of first missionary evangelization. though necessary in the Christian community: "Christ did not send me to baptize. Yet in the same context in the 1st letter to the Corinthians. Paul cares to precise that he baptized only few number of people: "I thank god that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. and to tell it without using the language of human wisdom.

starting from the mother church of Jerusalem: Peter's message. Paul 2 . so as not to build on a foundation laid by someone else. the fraternal communion. could trace a concise statement of his experience as evangelizer in area between Balkan cost and Turkey. the Acts proceed their fundamental structuring theme to demonstrate how the Holy Spirit may have sustained the apostles in giving witness to the Word till the extreme ends of earth: "But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. 'Each one of you must turn away from his sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. 52:15)" (Rm 15:17b-21). On the other part. For this reason they accept and stylize reports on Pauline evangelization of Cyprus and of central part of southern Turkey. It is obvious in this programmatic summary of the Acts the intent to definitely schematize the events distinguishing the birth of a Christian community. and about three thousand people were added to the group that day.' Those who were not told about him will see." Most likely. since hierosolimitans origin of their "sacred history": "Peter said to them. baptism.D. the Holy Spirit. taking part in the fellowship. listening to the successive apostolic catechesis. at least they were not necessarily done by the same person. They spent their time in learning from the apostles.all whom the Lord our God calls to himself.The distinction between the two functions of the ministry takes a risk of being even completely underestimated compared to the readings of the Acts of the Apostles. My ambition has always been to proclaim the Good News in places where Christ has not been heard of. and to all who are far away . you will be filled with power. In the sphere of which it never says about "to baptize. and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem in all of Judea and Samaria. the so-called first missionary voyage of Paul (Acts 13:1-14. so that your sins will be forgiven. in traveling all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum. in the years of Paul's events the two functions of ministry were not necessary connected. and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers" (Acts 2:38-42). As the scripture says. Peter made his appeal to them and with many other words he urged them saying. I have proclaimed fully the Good news about Christ. and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1 :8). For God's promise was made to you and your children. by the power of miracles and wonders. I will be bold and speak only about what Christ has done through me to lead the gentiles to obey God. highlighting his inclination to operate where nobody had first evangelized: "I can be proud of my service for God. the breaking of the bread and the community prayer. He has done this by means of words and deeds. which on the contrary tends programmatically to connect in a strict sense evangelization and baptism. or however apostolic. and by the power of the spirit of God. The same letter to the Romans has to be the preliminary remarks for a new phase of his charism as evangelizer. 'Save yourselves from the punishment coming from this wicked people!' Many of them believed his message and were baptized. and you will receive God's gift. around 58 A. And so. once retained closed by him the previous phase: "And so I have been prevented Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St.27). and those who have not heard will understand' (Is. Writing a letter to the Christians of Rome.

It is a rule that obliges Paul to write his letters. there is no mentioning of Spain. I hope do so now. according to the tradition in 67 A. in the sphere of which the passage of 2 Tim 4: 6-8 is traditionally contextualized. lately evangelized for the first time around 51 A. or of his activities supposed to be done in that area between 61 and 67A.D.D. told them of being sent above all to evangelize (1Cor 1:17). who encourages the downhearted. the most important testimony shown to us by Paul.D. in the sense of the above mentioned.13. by the fact that his event concluded with martyrdom in Rome.D. And so his love for you grows stronger. for example. How happy I am that I can depend on you completely!" (2Cor 7:6. but there are only references of Rome and the actual Greek-Turkish area. It seems that the project of Paul did not historically come true. It might be noted that.3. I would like to see you on my way to Spain.many times from coming to you. well noted previously (1Tim 1:3. where nobody has arrived yet (Rm 15:20-21). to engage time and energy in a work which is no longer in the front line and for which it is neither autonomous nor self-sufficient. shows actually to engage in different responsibilities. how happy Titus made us with his happiness over the way in which all of you helped to cheer him up! I did boast of you to him. how you welcomed him with fear and trembling.D. It is a matter of ministry of the management of communities that are already established. On the other pat1. Not only where we encouraged. traditionally believed after his arrival in Rome. But now that I have finished my work in these regions and since I have been wanting for so many to come to see you. the “Word of God.13b-16). most likely it seems that Paul may have been already martyred after his arrival in Rome around 61 A. . Paul 3 The historical calling circumstantial to the management of the community In the concrete event of Paul. We have always spoken the truth to you. and in the same way the boast we made to Titus has proved true. his specific vocation and charism as evangelizer presuppose another priority: obedience to the circumstantial responsibilities innate in the same ministry of evangelization. and be helped by you to go there.” doesn't quiet grow from the project of Paul. which is the management of the second evangelization of the community like that of Corinth. In fact. encouraged us with the coming of Titus. 2Tim 4:9-16.12. was able to unblock the difficult situation appeared between Paul and the community: "But God. 20-21). and which is no longer a ministry of first evangelization. In fact.. around M A. till the rise of absolute value to express the same divine revelation. in the indications to pastoral activities. and you have not disappointed me. Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. while writing the letter to the Corinthians. exactly where these responsibilities could remarkably reduce his practice of his fundamental charism in synonym with his vocation as evangelizer. as he remembers how all of you were ready to obey his instructions.1517. but through his obedience to the circumstantial responsibilities of his ministry. Titus. 1Tit 1:5. in the context of the so-called second roman imprisonment. after I have enjoyed visiting you for a while" (Rm 15: 22-24).

You will have all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Paul 4 Paul warns unequivocally that. Instead. we are working with you for your own happiness" (2Cor 1:23-24). you are to hand this man over to Satan for his body to be destroyed. When he deals with you. not only for the Christian community of that period or for the future generation. he knows his power among you. which Paul himself could not even imagine. I have in the name of our Lord Jesus already passed judgment on the man who has done this terrible thing. at least. He must avoid punishing the persons responsible of great scandals so as to definitely loose them: "Now. for we know what his plans are" (2Cor 2:10-11). every day I am under the pressure of my concern or all the churches. and that he could haven't even chose for his own personal inclination. It is enough that this person has been punished in this way by most of you. When someone is weak. I want to tell those of you who have sinned in the past. he knows my heart! It was in order to spare you that I decided not to go to Corinth. but I will say it again now that I am away: the next time I come nobody will escape punishment. it is by God's power that he . still I am there with you in spirit. which the Christian community of his time had foreseen before: "And even though I am far away from you in body. I do it in Christ's presence because of you in order to keep Satan from getting the upper hand over us. when someone is led into sin. then I feel weak too. It in fact deals about responsibility. As you meet together. He must avoid personal reactions in front of situations which could provoke them: "When you forgive someone for what he has done. For when I forgive.Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. streams forth an unexpected turning point rather challenging with respect to his initial vocation. he is not weak. if anyone has made somebody sad. Any accusation must be upheld by the evidence of two or more witnesses. in order to keep him from becoming so sad as to give up completely" (2Cor 2:5-7). and obeys to it faithfully: "And not to mention other things. we know that you stand firm in the faith. He has to intervene energetically where the stubbornness of somebody can mislead the others: “This is now the third time that I am coming up to visit you. instead. and as though I were there with you. I am filled with distress" (2Cor 11:28-29). from his same apostolic ministry as evangelizer. so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord" (1Cor 5:3-5). I forgive him too. that has to be exercised through moral-juridical norm. I forgive anything. but also in an order of his formation completion. by the power of our Lord Jesus present with us. Paul finds himself constructing the local Christian community with difficulty. you should forgive him. For even though it was in weakness that he was put to death on the cross. it is when he exercises his obedience in all his necessities for the remarkable ministerial turning point. however. if indeed. The functionality of this turning point could also be foreseen. In fact. Now. as the scripture says. I said it before during my second visit to you. he has not done it to me but to all of you. namely the specific obedience of Paul. We are not trying to dictate to you what you must believe. and I meet with you in my spirit. and all the others. in part. He has to avoid being interpreted as behaving like a lord: "I call God as my witness.

which instead after thirty years of age he was asked to exercise the apostolic ministry. the juvenile tendency of Saul would have been very far from common sense. He practiced a resolutely aggressive form of Judaism and so uncompromising towards the minim. even though I am like someone whose birth was abnormal. so that if he should find there any followers of the Way of the Lord. Then he appeared to more that five hundred of his followers at once. from his sure written letters we are not capable to view some of his internal evolution in relation to different juvenile positions. but in our relations with you we shall share God's power in his life" (2Cor 13:1-4). It deals about difficult common sense. in spite the fact that Paul was sober when he himself threw a retrospective glance on his past experience (cfr. Last of all he appeared also to me. This means that. and afterward to all the apostles. that he appeared to Peter and to all Twelve apostles. when he could overcome by that time his thirtieth age. he would be able to arrest them. Such ministry is distinct in any case from innumerable or from the number of those who were still called and counted among the Twelve: "I passed on to you what I received.. threw him out of the city. and Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. He participated as voluntary witness of the assassination of Stephen: "With a loud cry the Council members covered their ears with their hands. and stoned him. They kept on stoning Stephen as he called out to the Lord. Then he appeared to James. as written in the Scriptures. which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins.D. I do not even deserve to be called an apostle.lives. between the 45-60 A. 1Cor 15:8-9. Then they all rushed at him at once. both men and women. although some have died. The witnesses left their cloaks in the care of a young man named Saul. the "heretics'" which is typical to the area of Diaspora: "In the meantime Saul kept up his violent threats of murder against the followers of the Lord. because I persecuted God's Church" (1Cor 15: 3-9). For I am the least of the apostles. Paul 5 . 'Lord! Do not remember this sin against them. He went to the High Priest and asked for letters of introduction to the synagogues in Damascus. like men condemned to die in public as a spectacle for the whole world of angels and of mankind" (1Cor 4:9). Fil 3:4-8a). as written in the Scriptures. most of whom are still alive. perhaps the Acts of the Apostles still manages to view indirectly something about the human and spiritual growth to Christian maturity of Paul. In Paul's specific responsibility he can be found completely involved in the fullness of his human and spiritual maturity. expression of evangelizer ministry. also in charge of already founded community. According to the testimony of the Acts of the Apostles. which in his time was typical to the apostle: "For it seems to me that God has given the very last place to us apostles. In union with him we also are weak. that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later. around ten years after his conversion. Nevertheless. 'Lord Jesus. receive my spirit!' He knelt down and cried out in a loud voice.’ He said this and died" (Acts 7:57-60).

but he also was killed. properly by the more extremist current. Acts 22: 3. Gamaliel II. in as much as.bring them back to Jerusalem" (Acts 9:1-2. Leave them alone! If what they have planned and done is of human origin. And so in this case. was highly esteemed in the Judaic tradition of his time (cfr. Acts 5:26ff). cfr. under the roman Solicitor. As the apostles left the Council.. and 120 A.. his nephew. in fact a demand to the Lord to annihilate the minims." (Acts 5: 34-40). of which Saul would be defined as disciple (cfr. Such behavioral tendency can be defined as interpretation on the identity of Judaism. 1 tell you. transmitter of the oral tradition) of the first generation of wise men (between 10 A.D. and ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus. After that. He ordered the apostles to be to be taken out for a while. the Sanhedrin didn't have the same powers. You could find yourselves fighting against God!' The Council followed Gamaliel's advice. who was the teacher of the Law and was highly respected by all the people. had them whipped. but if it comes from God. Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. you will cannot possibly defeat them. The discourse of Gamaliel is evidently reconstructed with certain freedom in the compilation of the Acts and contains some historical anachronisms. but not properly typical of Gamaliel the Old. -70 A. and his movement died out. including also the Christians. Moreover. it will disappear. This Tannaita teacher (i. would be very drastic to the purpose of the obligation to read the XIX "benediction". An emblematic episode relative to Gamaliel the Old is still transmitted to the Acts: "But one of them a Pharisee named Gamaliel. stood up in the Council.22:3-4. of the tannaitic generation during the years between 80 A. due to formal and relapsing disobedience to a preceding injunction to the same Sanhedrin in the retained grievous matter (cfr.D. be careful what you do to these men. which came to save the Twelve from a possible condemnation to death. Judas the Galilean appeared during the time of the census. and about four hundred men joined him. and then set them free. M. comprehensible in a compiler who may have wanted to keep it updated even to safe guard the Christians of his generation around similar risks. But he was killed. one of the most illustrious teachers of all time of Judaism.e. he drew a crowd after him.D. They called the apostles in. could have not received from the Sanhedrin juridical authorization of any kind which might be valid even out of Palestinian area. 23: 6. exactly typical of the Judaic Diaspora and of some Palestinian environment. do not take any action against these men. Paul on the contrary to the more traditional sense given to the formulation of Acts 9:1-2. claiming to be somebody great.D. In the beginning of 30 A. You remember that Theudas appeared sometime ago. because God had considered them worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of Jesus. The biblical text here remembers us the providential intervention of the famous tannaita teacher in the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem. Sota 9. 26:9-12a).15) and was a nephew of the great rabbi Hillel. most of all on the insurrectional messianic movements. they were happy. And every day in the temple and in people's homes they continued to teach and preach the Good News about Jesus the Messiah. On the contrary. all his followers were scattered.D. and then he said to the Council 'Fellow Israelites. and all his followers were scattered. Paul 6 .). 26: 5).

shows that religious intransigence and Fanaticism.there was still Pontius Pilate (from 26 to 36 A. 1Cor 9:6). Paul 7 . If a conversion from one religion to the other is authentic. differently. the rabbinic Judaism also became very critical toward the supporters of the updated revolutionary Messianism.' Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them. during the first phase of his ministry as evangelizer. but had turned back and left them in Pamphylia. while Paul chose Silas and left commended by the believers to the care of the Lord's grace" (Acts 15: 36-40). to notify the local synagogues around the danger of the Christian movement. The narration of Acts 5: 34-40 lets us understand that Gamaliel was firmly convinced that the Christian movement wasn't dangerous and that would have not caused the eruption of roman military forces in Palestine. His disagreement with Barnabas seems to be completely forgotten. as regards to the opportunity to still accept John Mark as collaborator in the mission with Barnabas his disagreement with the latter. in front of the weakness of John Mark. There was a sharp argument. might have caused him to quarrel harshly: "Sometimes later Paul said to Barnabas 'Let us go back and visit our brothers in every town where we preached the word of the Lord. but Paul did not think it was right to take him. renouncing the customary right as evangelizer to be supported by the community (cfr. Gamaliel. and they separated: Barnabas took Mark and sailed off for Cyprus. with an eventual letter of recommendation of the high priest in charge. the old Hebrew teacher could have not ventured himself to expose his co-nationals and coreligionist to a bloody reprisal and repression of the roman military authority. may have manifested about 5 years after his conversion. there was a hypothesis that Paul may have been sent from a hierosolimitan synagogue of the "Hellenistic" Hebrews to Damascus. an apologist that came from a roman family of the Flavians.D. when Paul explains to the Christians of Corinth the specific pastoral choice. which brings us back even in the change of religion. even in groups inside the religious traditions. Joseph Flavius claims that the military irruption of Rome in Palestine was due to the Hebrew-Palestinian revolutionary movement which ended in the hands of the adventurist rascals. the teacher of Paul. may be questionable for the modem critics such as the ancient and modern Hebrew currents.). Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. deferring for almost two millennium the fulfillment of such waiting of a not better predicable eschatological future. sooner or later. The intransigent tendency of the behavior of Paul. are not structural defects of the religious traditions. his and of Barnabas. designed today as Fundamentalism. has to reach also these wounds of a personality. In as much as the thesis of an ancient Hebrew historian. because he had not stayed with them to the end of their mission. and let us find out how they are getting along. so they made adequate measures. but rather expressions of immaturity and however very personal subjects. to support each other with their work.

and sent them off” (Acts 13: 1-3). which doesn't depend from the ecclesial mandate. Priority is the obedience to the responsibility posted before the building of the Christian community. in favor of the community in the pastoral ministry and in favor of the Christian generation in the draft of the letters. even though he is Greek. My companion Titus. The priority is not the realization of how Paul could feel within him as instinctive tendency in Judaism. I did not my work in the past or in the present to be a failure. in order to find out about the freedom we have through our union with Christ Jesus. nor how he could feel it as specific charism within the context of the Christian experience. although some wanted it done. in which fruits are the sign of the human and spiritual personal maturity. Lucius (from Cyrene). 3:6). was not forced to be circumcised. 'Set apart from Barnabas and Saul. and for a whole year the two met with the people of the church and taught a large group. which push him in his youthful age to annihilate those who don't correspond even to his religious ideals. but in order to keep the truth of the gospel safe for you. But the decision of the mission directly comes from the Holy Spirit. When he found him he took him to Antioch. the appearance of the responsibility not personally chosen. Paul is engaged concretely in modifying the aspect. I went because God revealed to me that I should go. to become builder of the community. partly contrary to the charism retained specific. placed their hands on them. and not from the ecclesiastical authority constituted to it: “In the church at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas. to do the work to which I have called them'. While they were serving the Lord and fasting. brings him to face. In this sphere of Pauline spirituality we don't need to underestimate the unicity and the uniqueness of his vocation and mission. Manaen (who had been brought up with governor Herod). that are enumerated inside the revelation of the New Testament. and Saul. which could be those who are not yet in conformity to the gifts of the Lord and that instead they could go far thru this gifts. Paul 8 .In this sense. In a private meeting with the leaders I explained the gospel message that I preached to the Gentiles. The experience of Christ. Simeon (called the black). commit Paul in an experience. which he himself noticed as structural of his personality and of his young religiosity: "and I was so zealous that I persecuted the church. As far as a person can be righteous by obeying the commands of the Law. It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians" (Acts 11:25-26). but inherent to the development of the apostolic mission. not without difficulty and suffering. I was without fault" (Phil. the Holy Spirit said to them. that aggressive and intolerant attitude. But those who seemed to be the Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. taking Titus along with me. lived day to day in the development of his vocation and of his charism. these men slipped into our group as spies. Pretending to be fellow believers. Paul recognized himself is very explicit about the independence of his authoritativeness from whosoever: “Fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem with Barnabas. we did not give in them for a minute. They fasted and prayed. They wanted to make slaves of us. In fact. the Acts recall also and ecclesial journey of Paul at the community of Antioch and Syria: "Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. nor from the authority of the Twelve superior to him. The gesture to impose the hands is not interpretable in this context like a sort of sacred ordination or of an official permit of a religious authority.

it is Christ.. Paul 9 The willingness to abandon whatever one's project Paul experiences also the necessity to be freed from every form of one's plan. without structural ecclesiastic mediation. but that at all times. The faithfulness to the Lord lived by John Semeria. My deep desire and hope is that I shall never fail in my duty.those leaders. Peter. so that with my whole being I shall bring honor to Christ. after his conversion. Writing a letter to the Christians of Philippi during his imprisonment at Ephesus. just as he had given Peter the task of preaching the gospel to the Jews. even those of the effective pontifical and ecclesial teachings. whether I live or die. will bring more. recognized that God had given me this special task. shows us that the true service to the Church. Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. James. as a sign that we were all partners. until they feel the incumbent threat of death. like in Ephesus around 54 A. Death. he said: "Because I know that by means of your prayers and the help which comes from the Spirit of Jesus Christ I shall be set free. which is the very thing I have been eager to do" (Gal 2:1-10). can anyway be accepted through a respectable or fair manifestation of the inviolable demands of own conscience before God. I will stay on with . even when it is necessary to ask a specific space with respect to the teachings formulations. even though it is not recognized as such by all. constitute an experience. which is a far better thing. God does not judge by outward appearances . in front of events which apparently don't seem to have something to do with the Will of the Lord. but in a profound independence of communion with the Twelve. and so I know that I will stay. I am sure of this. Evidently. for example. in view of his fidelity to his vocation and to his apostolic ministry. we need to have clear idea that these aspects of Paul's spirituality are neither directly reproducible as such. made no new suggestions to me. who seemed to be the leaders. they saw that God had given me the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. I want very much to leave this life and be with Christ. but for your sake it is much more important that I remain alive. and John. I say.D. The history of our Zaccarian family. All they ask was that we should remember the needy in their group. it abundantly illustrated that Pauline spirituality doesn't coincide on the supine flattering behind formulas and others' programs. which seems to have been mentioned with particular intensity at least twice in his own letters. We agreed that Barnabas and I would work among the Gentiles and they among the Jews. On the contrary. I shall be full of courage. But if by continuing to live I can do more worthwhile work.I say this because it makes no difference to me what they were. from its origins. Persecution and imprisonment. then I am not sure which I should choose. so they shook hands with Barnabas and me. For what is life? To me. and especially right now. then. In Paul's case. nor applicable to other persons after the closure of the revelation of the New Testament. I am pulled in two directions. it will always be necessary to understand better how he had discovered and realized his way of submission to obedience to the Lord.leaders . so as to avoid dangerous misunderstandings in outlining The Pauline spirituality for our time.

We felt that the death sentence had been passed on us. After awhile. you will have even more reason to be proud of me in your life in union with Christ Jesus" (Phil 1: 19-26). after having practiced charity towards the Christians of Philippi (cfr. but for your sake it is much more important that I remain alive" (Phil 1: 22-24). and we have placed our hope in him that he will save us again. then I am not sure which I should choose. which is a far better thing. remains in Paul a constructive effect about the whole thing: being freed also in relation to the practice of hope reposed only in the Lord (cfr. till then. writing to you. I am pulled in two directions. Paul 10 The Configuration to Christ The theme of the configuration to Christ in the Pauline spirituality appears in the New Testament in two distinct forms: in certain Pauline letters and in the Acts of the Apostles. then. till the abandonment of every plan and personal interest: "But if by continuing to live I can do more worthwhile work. so that when I am with you again.you all. I am pulled in two directions. My love was crucified and there's no fire in me that let me desire some material thing. So it will be that the many prayers for us will be answered. while I am still alive. Death. which tells me interiorly: Come to the Father" (Ignatius. then I am not sure which I should choose. but only on God. Letter to the Romans. writing to the Christians of Corinth remembers: "We want to remind you. and will save us. will bring more. From such terrible dangers of death he saved us. I want very much to leave this life and be with Christ. but there's water in me which is alive and gushing. as you help us by means of your prayers for us. During his imprisonment experience it seemed like Paul had been supported by a special grace: "For what is life? To me. Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. Similar characteristics can also be found in the letter of Ignatius of Antioch to the Christians of Rome: "In fact. who raises the dead. But this happened so that we should rely. I want very much to leave this life and be with Christ. . I am more inclined to die. at this point. brothers of the trouble we had in the province of Asia. and many will raise their voices to him in thanksgiving for us" (2Cor 1:8-11). to add to your progress and joy in the faith. which is a far better thing" (Phil 1: 21-23). The burdens laid upon us were so great and so heavy that we gave up all hope of staying alive. After his freedom from the condemnation to death and from prison. and God will bless us. 7). it is Christ. But if by continuing to live I can do more worthwhile work. Phil 1: 24-25) through faith in Christ. 2 Cor 1:10). not on ourselves. once free.

it deals about interpretations. Paul. emerges also in the conscience of Paul: "To include: let no one give me any more troubles. In the same period. The cited passage has often been traditionally understood as if it refers to the gift of the stigmata of Jesus in the body of Paul. because he. In synthesis. especially in favor of the Christians that came from paganism. such as the vicissitudes and the suffered hostilities during his activities as evangelizer. it seems similar to understand from the context that Paul may have understood the complex and suffered difficulty in managing the situations of the Christian communities. To the Christians of Rome expresses that the heredity of the divine salvation in Christ Jesus reaches to the fullness of fulfillment "for if we share Christ's suffering. in his body. Paul 11 At times it seems that the awareness of a configuration of one's life to Jesus Christ. we will also share his glory" (Rm 8:17). whatever abandonment of the gospel of Jesus Christ. in the valley of Lico in the north-occidental Turkey: "And now I am happy about my sufferings for you. but decisively anachronistic rather than approximate if referred to Paul.The configuration to Christ in the Pauline letters Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. the mark of a slave which pertains to his Lord. because the scars I have on my body show that I am the slave of Jesus" (Gal 6: 17). as if they are stigmata.D. at least between the 54 and 60 A. as a sign of affection of the personality.). more crudely "slave of Jesus Christ" (cfr. Rm 1:1etc.e. i. for by means of my physical sufferings on behalf of his body the church" (Col 1:24). as a diffused spirituality even popular has particularly venerated on some saints of our time. This new translation of the verse presents a formulation certainly clearer than the other traditional records. in the context of Gal 6:17 Paul reminds the Christians of Galatia that whatever moral attack to his apostolic ministry. the labeling used in his time to mark the slaves or animals pertaining to someone. brings in his life. Paul interprets his vicissitudes and those who may work for Jesus Christ as experience in which "the sufferings of Christ abound in us" (cfr Cor 1:5). bound to his responsibility. they would have been done to the person of Jesus himself. Paul himself presents different colts in his letters such as "servant. A similar interpretation seems to be visible in the letter of Paul to the Christians of Colossus. Nevertheless. to the conscience of Paul clearly remains. that the tribulations of his apostolic ministry also have to be included such necessary configuration to the ministry of the suffering of Christ. . Without presuming that the verse and the expression would have been definitely cleared by the exegetes. Jesus Christ. in this sense. writing a letter to the Christians of Corinth. so that the theme of the configuration to Christ emerges in the knowledge of Paul in relation to the tribulations of the apostolic ministry.

Furthermore. starts effectively from Jerusalem so to reach the boundaries of the world. solicited by the Holy Spirit. the Acts are a precious source in order to know the life of Paul. Both are by this time the representatives of a new configuration of the apostolic authority: no longer in as much as official witnesses of the life of Jesus from the baptism of John to the apparition of resurrected Jesus as the Twelve. public and political . In this opera of witnessing. the relative of Jesus. then in Judea and afterwards to the Samaritans and then to the Hellenistic pagans. The Acts intend to guarantee that there is a substantial communion among the Twelve and James. to go materially outside the "land of the fathers". which they interpreted it in a slightly different context. even in their important cities. we noticed that the statements on the life and the and on the Pauline ministry are in various cases stylized reconstruction according to the theological and eschatological principles which are no longer respondent to the epoch of facts.The configuration to Christ in the Acts Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. In this case. their draft dates around 20-30 years after his death and they don't seem to have noticed the Pauline letters. but continuator of a ministry that assists and develops that which of the Twelve. The activity of Paul contributes to emphasize that the testimony to Jesus are now being developed towards the pagans. Acts 1: 68). or they don't even seem to have known them. the work of Barnabas should have not been sufficiently representative. without which it had to talk more about the apostles. so that in such a way they could furnish important information about the life and the ministry of Paul. executive officers. but particularly important in the effects of contemporary actualization of the Pauline spirituality. organized at least editorially as a continuation of the gospel of Luke. realizing as such the words of Jesus himself (cfr. the "story of Paul" absolves the function to demonstrate concretely as the testimony to the Lord Jesus. Nevertheless. as that of Paul may come true. other than the corpus paulinum. closer in time and more secure: nevertheless. In the context of the Acts. especially in the absence of other sources. traders. Analogically new institutional figures appear in the community of the Acts. like the elders. of which elaboration doesn't answer to the demands of a diary or of a chronicle in a modern historical sense. but to the sensibility of twenty years later. it is necessary to remember that the Acts are writings pertaining to the Lucan school that is. not infrequently they coincide with the information extractable from the letters. of which more specific function remains unique and unrepeatable. Paul 12 The theme of the configuration to Christ in the life of Paul appears also in the Acts of the Apostles. while to Peter had the essential signs that mark the progress of the testimony from Jerusalem for the Hebrews of the city and of the Diaspora. Hebrews and Hellenistic. Their nature of "Christian sacred history" makes the Acts a structured theological document on the outline of a sequence of episodes and of speeches. reaching out men and women with no more reserve. The Church is in evolution in a flexible continuity and still not in a rigid stabilized succession. the deacons. solicited by the Holy Spirit. others also unite. On the other hand. workers.

but also highly creative to the point of leaving at times the more evident contributions of our service. Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. to reach out even the depth of our limitations making us also accomplish an itinerary. yet. which comes specified in time as vocation. Each one of us receives with baptism a first fundamental calling.D. in spite of the eventual failures in this field of the historical event of Paul. Exactly in the context of a similar stressed emphasis of the conformation to Jesus and to his word in Paul. may simply be developed putting them at the center of all.e. In Rome. On the other part. i.60 A.authorities. if we should think that these charisms. the Acts of the apostles close their singular theology of the mission of the Church of the years 30 .D. in as much as solicited by the Holy Spirit. represented in the Acts in particular way from Rome. continues to heal the sick. philosophy. in spite of the Jewish resistance and of the imperial control on Paul. lets them rise to be announcement and dialogue models for the year 80 A. In fact this obedience results to be not only a healer. The emphasis given to these episodes. inside his own plans in life. to realize the word and the promise of Jesus. that the Lord makes us accomplish in this itinerary not only doesn't consist in a pure and simple human . allows us to draw some elements for Pauline spirituality realizable even in our times. We might be mistaken. To benefit. it is only profound obedience to the responsibility that life proposes concretely.: in Malta it can just be seen a new dawn of the mission to the idolater pagans. institutional world and the Greco-Roman politics is well emphasized. which could appear misleading with respect to the logic of our attitudes. The border of the world. representatives of the philosophical culture and simple people. attitudes and particular rather personal talents. pagans and Christians exchange themselves for better enabling of offering themselves to each other. Yet. is not included by the Acts simply as an uncontrollable and triumphal expansion of Christianize. The resistance of the Jewish world doesn’t lead to desist from the spreading of the gospel to the Hebrews. toward the pagan religiosity there is no form of properly theological dialogue. are reached out by a prisoner Paul who always reproduces more in his life and in his gestures a conformation to Christ Jesus: persecuted and prisoner. while the effort toward the culture. Paul 13 Synthesis Proposal for a present Pauline spirituality The New Testament. polytheists and superstitious: in an evangelization without word. The testimony to Jesus is signed by oppressions. the testimony given to Jesus. but only done by gestures. persecutions and by true and one's own martyrdom. through the Pauline letters and the Acts. On the contrary. inclinations. eventually traceable to a fundamental and structural element. charism. different for each one. in a way that the formation has to consist uniquely in supporting these gifts. Every one of us brings with him a burden of limitations and negativity that could hardly withstand alone. The journey. since equipped of gifts. the word of God continues his journey. real epicenter of the pagan world.

so as to let the truth emerge sometimes unexpected. Spiritual Itinerary Aspects of St. which don't come from the divine initiative. towards others and towards ourselves. but in a surprising configuration to the mystery and to the person of Jesus Christ. Paul 14 . can require a dialectic confrontation. with the works and with life. The accomplishment of the vocation and of the charism given by the Lord are not entrusted to the proper plan. through circumstances at times deeply hostile. social or other similar enterprises. but it isn't even a supine adhesion to religious and even essential structures: The faithfulness to the Lord. cultural. so that the accomplishment do not consist in the realization of works or of the pastoral. so that it is still and always the mystery of Christ to be testified with the word. the Lord can ask thru love a total abandonment to the faith and to the hope in him. that each one rightly formulates starting from his own capacities and attitudes. but however always in the service of the whole Church. It doesn't deal about pleased self-awareness. but of an effective analogy of situations.plan of ours. up to the renunciation of whatever personal plan. respectable and loyal. In fact. in answer to the calling and to the gifts of the Lord. which paves the way in our conscience.