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Who Are You, O Lord, and Who Am I?

Who am You, O Lord, and who am I? That question seemed to both dominate and guide St. Francis during his lifetime. And strangely enough--at least to me--the more he became aware of the vast difference between himself and the God he loved and served, the more his life seemed to reflect the goodness and the love of God.

I remember learning and memorizing catechism questions and answers in grade school. While I might have forgotten the majority of the answers (word for word), there are two of the most basic that are still clear in my mind. Who made you? God made me. Why did God make you? God made me to know him, to live him, and to serve him in this world and to be happy with him in the next.

That was always crystal clear in my mind--there was and is a personal relationship between my God and me. And anytime I might begin to doubt my worth, my abilities, I can simply think back to those early days and those seemingly simple catechism questions. Then I remember who I am. I can smile at my God and say, "You told me who I am...I am yours!"

I tried to capture in poetry the differences implied in the questions "Who are you, O God? and Who am I." The result obviously doesn't capture the reality but then who of us can totally capture the reality of God! The video below also deals with the same question. How would you answer it? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

Who Are You, O God?
Who are you, oh God?
And who am I?
Now you, oh God,
I have no trouble claiming
Who and What you are!
Ruler of all that is,
All Powerful,
All Knowing,
All Loving. 

But who am I?
Not much
Not ruler—
Nor do I care to be!
Powerful?
Power is—
By all accounts—
A burden hard to bear,
A weight that wearies hearts
And worries minds
All knowing?
Ah, Love,
If I already knew,
Where would spring the joy
As I discover—
Bit by bit—
The wonder of the world
That is your gift!
All loving?
Now that is gift
That I might crave—
To love as you love,
To love who you love,
To love what you love,
To see your love in all that is,
To share your love with all that is
To be your love with all my being! 

                                                                 Ann Marie Slavin, OSF




This post first appeared on Franciscan Life, please read the originial post: here

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