“I Am the Way”
Presence of God – O Jesus, my beloved Master, take my hand and lead me to the Father: You alone are the way of salvation and sanctity.
Jesus is not only the Master who teaches us how to attain to the perfection of His heavenly Father, but He is also the living model of that perfection. Men, on the other hand, are by their very nature so limited and imperfect that they can never serve as perfect models for us. At the same time, we cannot see God, who is holiness itself. But the Son of God, His living image, by becoming man, has made infinite perfection incarnate in Himself. In Jesus, we see, we know, we touch, so to say, the sanctity of God. The divine perfections, which were beyond our grasp and inaccessible to our senses, we find as a living, concrete, tangible reality in Christ Our Lord. The Father has presented Him to the world as His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased, because He sees in Him His own perfect image and all His own infinite perfections. The Father gives Christ to us, not only as our Master, but as our Model, since from all eternity He predestined us “to be made conformable to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).
Jesus Himself has told us that He is our only model: “I am the way…. No man cometh to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). By His example, He shows us how we can approach God’s perfection, and He says very definitely that we must imitate Him: “I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also” (John 13:15). “Learn of Me because I am meek and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29). When we imitate Jesus, we are imitating our heavenly Father; when we endeavor to practice the virtues as He did, we are drawing nearer to God’s infinite perfection. When we become conformable to the image of Christ, we become conformable to the image of God.
“O Christ, eternal Truth, what is Your doctrine? And by what path do You direct us to the Father? I can find no other way but the one which You have marked out in virtue of the fire of Your charity. The path, O eternal Word, which You have marked with Your Blood is the way.
“O loving, tender Word of God, You tell me: ‘I have marked the path and opened the gate with My Blood; do not be negligent in following it, but take the same road which I, eternal Truth, have traced out with My Blood.’ Arise, my soul, and follow your Redeemer, for no one can go to the Father but by Him. O sweet Christ, Christ-Love, You are the way, and the door through which we must enter in order to reach the Father” (St. Catherine of Siena).
O Jesus, be truly my model, my way! All that You have revealed to us of the Father’s infinite holiness, all that You have taught us I see incarnate in Your life, in Your acts. What an excellent Master You are, and how well You adapt Yourself to my weakness, which needs not only to understand, but also to see concretely what it should do! If I find it painful to humble myself, You show Yourself to me as a poor, helpless Babe, lying in a manger, in a poor stable; You also show me the long years You spent in the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth, and Your humiliations before the tribunals and on the Cross. Is obedience repugnant to me? I behold You, my God, obeying Mary and Joseph, Your creatures, and submitting, with the meekness of a lamb, to Your judges and executioners. When I find it hard to practice charity toward my neighbor, I have but to contemplate You, showing the most loving solicitude to hardened sinners and to Your bitterest enemies. I can find everything in You, O Jesus: life, teaching, and example. In You, I see and possess my God; You are the Mediator who brings me to the Father, my Master and my model of holiness.
O Jesus, in You alone I find my pleasure. You are all I desire; You alone can captivate me.
Grant, O Lord, that Your image may always be imprinted on my mind and in my heart, that my interior glance may always be directed toward You, so that I may be conformed in everything to You, my Master, my Model, my Way!
Note from Dan: This post “I Am the Way” is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art for this post “I Am the Way”: Christ of the Cornfield, Thomas Francis Dicksee, 1883, PD-US published in the U.S. prior to January 1, 1923, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.