Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Paul, a compelling man of the gospel

"St. Paul appealed to the feelings of others by projecting his own. He did this both in words and actions. In his words he expressed himself to suit the occasion either fervently, vividly, directly, soberly, gently, sympathetically, intimately, affectionately, ardently, joyously, reverently, enthusiastically or concernedly, and once censoriously (Acts 23:3). His words were accompanied at times by smiles or tears, strength or weakness, prayer or song, courage or self-control, loud cries or quiet conversations, urgent restraints or welcoming gestures, impassioned eloquence or reasoned persuasion.

The feelings aroused by St. Paul in others were various and led to a variety of actions. Some of these feelings are very complex, others less so: love, joy, sympathy, thankfulness, contentment, longing, comfort, trust, wonder, reverence, confidence, generosity, hopefulness, cheer. On certain occasions he purposefully aroused shame, indignation, fear, surprise, dissension, acquiescence. He sought to secure an absence of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, railing and malice. He received some responses from the feelings of others which he did not seek and which were undesirable: envy, jealousy, hate, mocking."

Howard Tillman Kuist, The Pedagogy of St. Paul, pages 112-113.