Who is the number one exemplar, or model, that the Spirit uses to inspire us? It is Jesus, of course. But Jesus cannot model response to Jesus!
I remember a major television presentation by Fr. John Powell, a Jesuit professor at Loyola University in Chicago. It was a compelling lecture, but the camera spent one-third of the time focusing on the responses of the audience. One woman in the audience, perhaps the priest’s sister, was so taken by his talk that you could read it in her eyes. She so caught me up in her enthusiasm that I began to say interiorly “Amen” after each of Fr. Powell’s sentences.
Similarly, there are countless others who have modeled for us how to follow Jesus, how to be conformed to him. From Francis I learn Jesus’ poverty; from Ignatius, Jesus’ obedience; from the great Teresa of Avila, Jesus’ prayer; from Therese of Lisieux, Jesus’ simplicity; from Augustine, Jesus’ wisdom; from Thomas Aquinas, Jesus’ love of the truth; from…
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