Who Am I?

Who Am I LogoWho am I? Who do I want to become? Who has God made me to be? – These are some of the of the deepest questions we can ask, yet all God calls us to is to be more ourselves, our true selves.

Our tradition has tended to be preoccupied with sin and judgement, where our identity is determined by the sum of our moral triumphs and failings. Yet the tradition that originates in the scriptures tells a different story. “I do not condemn you,” Jesus tells the adulterous woman. Instead, he calls her to greater wholeness.

This meditation will help us ask three key questions about our potential for wholeness: Where have I been? What are the tensions of my being? And, What within me am I being called to develop? The me we identify with changes and develops over the course of our lives. Our virtues, interests, and the way we make choices changes. Who I was and the way I lived was a bit different ten years ago than who I am now.

  • First, I consider those virtues and qualities within me that got me to where I am now—in my faith and beliefs, my work, my relationships, my state of life. In other words, Who was the me that led me to where I am?

True selfhood is about the interior things, not about our clothing style or our haircut. As Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but the inside is dirty.” God has given me gifts, abilities, and talents that draw me to goodness and to God. Yet I also have weaknesses within me that draw me further from who I desire to be. Being whole means engaging with my unique gifts so that I’m drawn toward God and the kind person I desire to be.

  • What are those interior tensions that contribute to or take away from my potential for wholeness?

God accepts me as I am, with those tensions, gifts, and weaknesses. There’s the gospel story of Zachaeus, who climbs a tree to see Jesus from above the crowds. Jesus calls him down from the tree and invites himself to Zachaeus’ house for dinner. Now Zachaeus is a tax collector who is despised by the crowds. They wonder why Jesus would want to be friends with such a sinner who has taken from people more money than he should. Now Jesus doesn’t condone Zachaeus’ actions, but he never once condemns him. Jesus loves Zachaeus for who he is and calls him to be more Zachaeus, who he is in God, who God made him to be.

God is not about condemnation, but about calling people to a deeper sense of self, to foster our gifts. In Ignatian terms this is the magis. It means striving for the more, the greater, the deeper. When you and I strive for the magis we are striving to become more you and me. We’re not asked to be someone else. Rather, we’re asked to become more ourselves.

  • Who is that true self in me trying to emerge? What kind person do I wish to grow into? What are those virtues I wish to foster or continue fostering?

God is calling you to this one day at a time, calling you to be more whole, more you. Answering the question Who am I? is more about our personal development than about condemning ourselves or trying to be a different person. As Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” perhaps we ought to ask God about ourselves, “Who do you say that I am? Who do you desire for me to become?”

Let us end with a prayer for wholeness:

God who made me, you accept me as I am.
You love me as me.
You call me to be me.
My whole self is past, present, and future in your eyes.

The things I have, the abilities I have, the strengths I have, are mine.
The things I lack, the abilities I lack, the strengths I lack, are also who I am.
Call me to wholeness, to a deeper sense of myself, so what I lack can be can be filled by you.

I choose my true self.
I choose to bear the fruit of my being.
I choose the magis, with your encouragement,

Music by Kevin MacLeod and Audionautix.com

14 replies

  1. I find these meditations extremely valuable. However I find some of the music very distracting to the extent that it breaks the flow of the meditation for me. Is it possible to release the same meditations with no music, just Andys voice?? I think that once people reach a certain age eliminating too much background ‘noise’ is helpful. Thank you

  2. Thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately I cannot change old audio meditations but I can certainly create a musicless version of any future meditations. I am planning on creating some new audio examens and will be sure to include a voice-only option.

  3. Believe in a small but momentary feeling of the Spirit – sometimes lasting only but a few seconds. When you experience this moment and you’ve been awakened with His consolation, and feel relieved, and recognize that the Spirit of God and your dilemma, condition, (you as a unique person and your situation) are being understood and recognized by Him, you will be in a truthful
    moment of His reality. You will know it and you won’t doubt it. Hmmm, (maybe) later that night you ask yourself again about that moment and want to doubt. When and if this happens, I encourage you to believe in that moment and have FAITH.

  4. “God is not about condemnation” – I want to believe that, but what about the things Jesus said to the religious leaders? what about the overturning of the tables in the temple?

  5. Dorothy: Those people who had their tables overturned in the Temple were taking advantage of those who were under feelings of self-condemnation. They were going to the temple to offer sacrifices and the money-changers knew that, preying on their guilty feelings much like today’s televangelists prey on the guilty, guilty people give more money, is their thinking as they flash the pictures of starving children….

  6. Dear Andy, I am so so thankful to yourself and your team for these beautiful audio meditations and the examen…I listen almost daily to one or another of them – and have done for probably about a year. I can’t tell you how much God has used these grace-filled empowering inspiring gentle and truthful podcasts and meditations… especially in tricky times in my year. Having something to listen to/having truths spoken over me and questions to ponder, has been invaluable. God is awesome in how He uses us to bless one another. Thank you for creating and sharing them. May God bless you and your families bigtime 🙂 ‘Elizabeth in Bristol, England’

  7. Elizabeth – Thank you so much for the kind comments. I’m so pleased the audio meditations have been helpful for your spiritual life. Many blessings to you!

  8. Thank you I needed to hear this “Who am I” audio meditation was very helpful.

  9. Thank you so much for the world you gave to us and I know that it will help us in our lives thank you once again

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