"Since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have." Paul (Philippians, 1:30)
In his youth, Paul did bear arms against common circumstances in order to consolidate his position and assert himself in the future of the race. He fought to surpass the intelligence of the youth of his time, distancing himself from many colleagues and companions. He argued in court with Doctors of Law, and was victorious. He tried and succeeded in obtaining a most enviable material situation. He fought to prove himself in the highest court of Jerusalem and overcame elderly instructors of the chosen people. He resolved to pursue those who he felt were enemies of the established order and multiplied his adversaries everywhere. He wounded, tormented, and complicated the life of some of his respectable friends, sentenced innocent people to nameless worries, and fought against sinners and saints, the just and the unjust.
However, a moment surged in which the Lord beckoned his spirit to another type of battle: the battle within.
When that time arrived, Paul of Tarsus become quiet and listened...
The sword broke in his hands forever. He no longer has arms to harass, but only to be helpful and to serve.
He travels in a modified manner, inversely. Instead of humiliating others he bows his own neck.
He goes through suffering and perfects himself through silence with the same disposition for work that characterized him in his era of blindness.
He is stoned, incarcerated, beaten, often misunderstood; however, he proceeds steadfast to the encounter of the Divine Renovation.
If you still have not battled with your inner self, the day will come when you will be called upon to similar service. Pray and be vigilant; prepare yourself and adapt your heart to humility and patience. Remember my brother, that not even Paul who was graced by the personal visit of Jesus, was able to escape.
XAVIER, Francisco Cândido. Our Daily Bread. By the Spirit Emmanuel. Spititist Alliance for Books, 2003. Chapter 178.