Paul wanted to bring Christ to the world. He wanted to bring the world to Christ. His letter are love letters, written to the Christian communities he established and cared passionately about. There were no half measures with St. Paul.
Paul’s Letters to the budding Christian communities were centered on Transformation. Transformation in Christ. A transformation that was life-changing for Paul and is life-changing for all of us, for all those who put their faith in Christ. The following prayer from Ephesians is at the heart and soul of what that transformation was, and remains for us today.* This prayer then is the summation of St. Paul’s Letters. The goal, as I see it, of his work and our lives.
This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:
Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and that, planted on love and built on love, you will with all the saints have the strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depths, until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God. Ephesians 4:14-19
Isn’t this the goal of Christian life. To come to realize the fullness of God within. And in our very ordinary and daily lives. This fullness comes to us in the love of Christ. This is what Paul wants us to know-the love of Christ. This love is within, hidden in our inner most being, in our selves.
The hidden self is the Christ-self. The Christ who is within each of us, waiting to be discovered, inviting us to follow him, to grow strong in his life and love, and lead us into the fullness of God, the One he called Father.
- Ephesians was most likely written by one of Paul’s companions. However, it truly reflects Paul’s prayer for the Christian communities and may have been prayed, heard and then transcribed by one of his companions and incorporated into this letter.