For a Christian who wishes to distinguish himself before God,” writes Adrienne von Speyr, “there is always the possibility of trying to do great things on one’s own, but that does not go very far. True growth consists in placing oneself, without reserve, at the disposal of the Lord’s will, which is still unknown. This form of readiness is typically Catholic. It alone brings about a complete openness. […] Following the lords example, a Catholic never chooses anything in particular. He chooses obedience and nothing more.”
God does not need to look for extraordinary tasks in order to make each person a unique being. It is by fulfilling the most ordinary duties that a person is original. Everyone who honestly tries to live in obedience to the Spirit’s inspiration knows that a life that from the outside looks monotonous and dull can be very adventurous and exciting. It is the same with a person’s external appearance. Every face has two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth. Is there anything more monotonous than that? And yet what endless variation! There is a variation so great that we find it strange when two people “resemble” each other
Then we understand that it can be risky to read the lives of saints if we do it with the intention of imitating them in every detail. What the life of a saint can inspire in us is the will to live in the same total obedience and surrender, in the same openness to the Spirit’s constantly new impulses. It is fascinating to see what God can do with a person who is willing to follow the Lamb wherever he goes (Rev 14:4). But it is good to know that the Lamb is totally “unpredictable” and that there is a new, surprising path for each person.