Am I who I am?

Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.
― St. Thérèse de Lisieux

Along the same lines as little Thérèse, a confessor once shared with me at the end of my confession a life-changing idea (paraphrased in my own words):

On the Last Day, God will ask you an important question: “Were you Tom?” In other words, were you the man God created you to be? Did you embrace your personal vocation in all its particularity? It’s that singular concoction of strengths and weaknesses, painted with suffering and joy, all funneled through your own stamp of personality and style that etch an absolutely unique instance of God’s likeness into His creation. Without your life lived well, divine glory is dimmer. Even the sins you confessed today, having been repented of and nailed to the Cross, will now contribute to that lovely, unfolding etching. So today allow God’s merciful and provident love to give you new joy and make you smile. St. Philip Neri would try to get a penitent to laugh at himself in the confessional, especially if he thought too highly of himself, by calling to mind the fact that it is God alone who weaves the good and the bad, the absurdities and the idiocies of one’s life into beautiful work of art, transforming human tragedy into divine comedy. So now, go in peace and make of your life the Tom-God-wills.

5 comments on “Am I who I am?

  1. DZSJ-AMDG says:

    Thanks Tom, this is the second time today that I am reminded of God’s humor…:-) Perhaps there is a Spirit-led message therein for me.
    I like how you emphasize that living life to the fullest in the capacity that God gave to each unique one of us matters. Yet, I think knowing oneself is a parallel path to knowing God. On my commute, I often listen to Catholic radio, especially the call-in shows . Often, people call in perplexed about the behavior or decisions of others in their lives. The host-expert often says this wisely:” I cannot judge the heart of another person, I have trouble enough understanding my own heart.” This is a saying that resonates with me, comforts me and inspires me. It is hard to fully understand and know oneself – so much changes and shifts over time. I sense that the answer to knowing oneself comes from knowing God – less introspection and more theo-spection? God’s Spirit will illuminate who we are and who we are called to be – and it is that same Spirit that empowers us to live that vision of self out to the fullest.
    Blessings- DZSJ-AMDG

    • Eloquently said, DZSJ-AMDG. It is indeed so freeing to embrace this view, as it allows us, as you say, to live to the fullest all of who we are under God’s merciful and luminous Spirit! Thanks for the smile. 🙂

  2. Tim Roach says:

    Am I me?…Finally after almost 62 years, I can honestly answer, “yes”. What a relief!!!!!!

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