Who Are You?

Saturday 26 July 2008

Baby Scops Owl
Originally uploaded by BrianScott
"When we see that the world is enchanted, we see the revelation of God in each individual as individual. Then our job is not to be Mother Teresa, our job is not to be St Francis - it's to do what is ours to do. That, by the way, was Francis's word as he lay dying. He said, 'I have done what was mine to do; now you must do what is yours to do.' We must find out what part of the mystery it is ours to reflect. That's the only true meaning of heroism as far as I can see. In this ego-comparison game, we have had centuries of Christians comparing themselves to the Mother Teresas of each age, saying that she was the only name for holiness. Thank God we have such images of holiness, but sometimes we don't do God or the Gospel a service by spending our life comparing ourselves to others' gifts and calls. All I can give back to God is what God has given to me - nothign more and no less!

"Our first job is to see correctly who we are, and then to act on it. That will probably take more courage than to be Mother Teresa. To be really faithful to that truth is utterly difficult and takes immense courage and humility. We have neglected the more basic and universal biblical theme of 'personal calling' in favor of priestly and religious vocations. The most courageous thing we will ever do is to bear humbly the mystery of our own reality. That is everybody's greatest cross."

- Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs


  1. Wow. Yes. I am finding that out...

  2. Hey! Thanks for sharing this. Comparisons do suck. Discovering who we are meant to be and just being that is an immense challenge, especially with the baggage we have to shed. Acceptance of our whole person, warts, wounds, regrets and all, really takes an act of God. That's what He's working on our behalf. There is grieving in the process. Really embracing him will help each of us be "me." Surprisingly enough, he's embracing us all along.
    I do struggle so much with comparison at times (and feeling crummy about myself). God is pruning me, disciplining me and for that I'm greatful. There is a definate skin-shedding, gut-shedding process in healing. (I'm in a messy part right now) Keep me in your prayers, I will keep you in mine. I may start a private blog (invite only) to talk more about my wounds/abuse from the past, etc. and invite others to share, sort of like group-online therapy. It's just an idea right now...

  3. i myself have found most people thinking they should be Paul, and it is especially rampant among church pastors and as long as we look at Paul and what he did, we will always be seeking after the next thing to accomplish and never paying attention to the here and now, and more importantly, to those in our lives here and now.

    Awesome post :)

  4. Sue, as you know Richard has been one of the most influential voices in my life over the past couple years and this post is a perfect example. We all are so uniquely special in who we are and what we have to offer. The comparison game regardless as to whether it is wanting the neighbors life because they look like they are having more fun or wanting to be like some successful man or women of God totally negates who we are created to be in all our unique wonder.

  5. no longer will I compare myself to Rick Warren, Joyce Myer (but then I'm male and she's not) - but be about stuff God has called me to do!!! LOVE these thoughts, let's get rid of the superstars and just be humbly about our business.

  6. thanks for sharing these thoughts from Rohr

    being who we're called to be, is the best and hardest thing we can do

    if there were more people willing to bare their uniqueness - their xfacta ;) originality, so to speakm - perhaps we would more easily learn to let go of the intense desire to become replicas of someone else

    someone who is known
    has a name
    a persona
    someone who is not us

  7. words I need to hear again and again and again... thanks for sharing them, sue.

  8. this reminds me of one of those old tales that speaks of the man who arrives at heaven's gate and wasn't asked "why weren't you mother theresa?", but rather "why werent' you YOU?"

    in truth, it (ourself) really is all we can be, isn't it?

    i'm with barbara. it is a reminder i need to hear again and again. thanks!

  9. Glad this resonated so much with you all the way it did with me. Just wondering, why do you guys think it is so hard to be ourselves? Is it that silly thing we do of looking at others and thinking they have it better than us, that they don't look like they haven't got it all together, or they don't look like they've got ugly dark crap to deal with? That isn't really something I've been prone to do but other wounds of mine keep me quiet (or try to, and succeed, at times - like now :)

  10. I think it cones down, in large part, to something my sis & I were talking about today - defining ourselves by what other people think of us to the point that we loose sight of who we really are.

    Add to that what you said, Sue - the thinking others (the ones we care about what they think) have their shit together - and knowing we don't... recipe for mental meltdown. ;-)

  11. Was just emailing my friend about this book she is reading by a friend of hers, Its called the trouble with paris I think, and how we live vertically and horizontally. We spend alot of time comparing ourselves horizontally, rather than living the horizontal in light of the vertical. Which I guess is what father Rohr is on about here, just in a more convoluted way:)

  12. Katherine - yes

    Monk - yes

    :) (few words this evening :)

  13. One could go back to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God asked them "Who told you that you were naked?" Our egos are not content to be who we were created to be, but rather prefer being gods ourselves. God loves us as we are and we bring pain on ourselves by comparisons and self-hatred.

  14. Sue,
    This reminded me of a parishioner who was finding it difficult to find the right words. She offered me an apology, adding "I'm not very good at expressing myself". I assured her that, not only was she good at expressing herself, she was the only person who could ever do so. Each of us has our own truth which only we can express. Or so it seems to me.
    Thanks for your truth.

  15. Wonderful - thank you, Sue! I've only just found this - but I've taken the liberty of posting it whole, minus the owl. He should remain your owl, I think...



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