1.5-minute Podcast #IamVincent = imitate Vincent?

by | Feb 2, 2017 | Formation, Reflections, Spirituality and Spiritual Practice

To imitate the saints. A laudable goal?

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Fr. John Guy Winfrey wrote,

Oscar Wilde once said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” It is certainly a common place response. I recall with some embarrassment imitating a priest who was once my pastor. He was incredibly intelligent, winsome, articulate …and could talk like a sailor. To a young man it seemed so chic and I imitated his use of coarse language, but the recollection of that embarrasses me terribly. I now know that this is a common reaction of the immature as they struggle to grow up. But does this apply to the Christians’ response to the Saints?

Vincent was a man of many sides. His sanctity didn’t reside in his activity or his character; in his pious practices or his human failings. Don’t imitate that. Sanctity is a work of the Holy Spirit.

If there is anything in Vincent, or Louise, or Frederic or Elizabeth, or… worth imitating, it is their desire for union with God.

However weak at times, it is this desire that leaves room for the Holy Spirit to act.

It does not cause the Holy Spirit to act, for the Spirit blows where it will.

This is the fundamental attitude of a mystic: desire. openness.

Cultivate this, and the Spirit might enable you to say in “spirit and in truth,” #iamVincent.