What saint or holy figure has inspired you the most?
FaithfulNews : What saint or holy figure has inspired you the most? - Ottawa Citizen
Now this is a tall order! After all, we are talking about, in my case, a 2,000-year religious tradition. Today, Christianity girdles the globe, and encompasses some one-third of the human family.
With that kind of scope, how is anyone to narrow down our inspiration to one "saint?"
I have tried a number of strategies, from reviewing biblical texts, to hauling out my biographical dictionary of the saints.
I have considered the greats of days gone long by: Augustine of Hippo, Jerome and Athanasius. I have revisited the mystics: Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and Hildegard. I've thumbed through some of my favourite writes: L'Engle, Lewis and Tolkien. I have reread accounts of the three Christians who A.N. Wilson believes breathed new life into Christianity in Western Europe after a disastrous post-Enlightenment relationship between the church and western secularism: Bonhoeffer, Weil and de Chardin. I've debated choosing among great theologians: Barth, Brown and Niebuhr.
In the end, I choose Pope John XXIII, who convened the Second Vatican Council, and, by doing so, opened the long-closed windows not of the Roman Church alone, but of all Christianity, so that the wind of the Spirit might blow through the household of God.
John XXIII made the first rapprochement with Protestants since the Reformation 500 years earlier, and charted a new course for positive relations with Judaism in a post-Shoa world.
And who better to undertake the latter? As Metropolitan of Istanbul during the Second World War, John, then Angelo Roncalli, was instrumental in collaborating with Turkish Muslims to rescue Romanian Jews from the Nazis.
Fred Buechner says that saints are the handkerchiefs God occasionally drops in God's courtship of the human