"In the desert, Paul realized that this perfection is revealed to us in Jesus Christ-he, the faithful 'image of the unseen God' (Col.1:15). Then, in those enigmatic words uttered on the Damascus road, he discovered the dazzling marvel of our unity with Christ, prefacing the revelation of God's plan for man, which came to him soon afterwards: God only accepts us in his Only Son in so far as we belong to him or are like him:
'Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence, determining that we should become his adopted sons through Jesus Christ (Eph.1:4,5).'
Progressively he identified those links intimately attaching us to the Incarnate Word, Head of the Mystical Body, of which Paul and we have become members (1 Corinth 12:27), by baptism (1 Corinth 12:13), quickened by his Spirit, living by his life, and so able and obliged in a certain sense to identify ourselves with him:
'I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20).'
It then seemed to him as though he had passed into another world, the world to come, and that, dead to sin and risen with Christ, he ought to live that eschatological life which was to inspire the first Christians and generations of ascetics after them:
'For us, our homeland is in heaven (Phil.3:20).'
'You are fellow-citizens with the saints (Eph.2:19).'
'From the moment you are brought back to life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is. . . For you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:1-3).'
His sole aspiration was to model himself on Christ. The Holy Spirit drew his attention especially to the mystery of the Cross, which had won him-as us-the right to pursue this vocation (Eph. 2:1-7). His programme was the same as the hermit's is:
'The life I now live in this body I live in faith; faith in the Son of God who loved me and who sacrificed himself for my sake (Gal.2:20).'" pg.38,39