I pray everyday that who I am, and what I want is always to be found in doing God’s will—(more about this later)–and by doing that, I gradually through prayer and meditation learn about God’s will for my life. God truly becomes my light and my source of guidance.
A life model that best fits all living organisms in this universe and which all living organisms possess are these five characteristics: identity, autonomy, competency, interrelatedness with other living organisms and the ability to replicate themselves. All living organisms have these common and same universal characteristics.
Why is this relevant now? First of all, we all experience having an identity –that is, we have a genus and are part of a particular species as humans belong to the rational animal species. As a rational organisim we can make rational choices so we are the sub species. Our own name and by belonging to a particular human family gives us an identity.

The next characteristic is that we experience a personal autonomy – – this means that we are a stand-alone being–no batteries needed–we can operate by ourselves–we are not connected to another physically–excepting at birth by an umbilical cord.

The next characteristic is that we all have a certain competency –namely, we are able to think rationally–at least on most days. We all have talents and special gifts. Take our fingerprints for instance — we are so unique that our fingerprints separate us from any other human being in this immense universe. We are the only ones in the universe that have these unique set of prints. The unique and particular swirl of the fingerprint makes us unique and unlike any other rational being.
Competency is a big issue in relationships as to who I am, what I want to do and who my God is. If I feel worthless and valueless, unacceptable to myself and others then of course it follows, that I will not possess any sense of real competencies in my personal life.

The final piece that goes to make up this mosaic of who we are is that all living organisms are related to all other living organisms. We are interconnected with every other living being on this earth and what we do affects other living creatures. Case in point: In our world today with its emphasis on climate change and how everyone is in the same boat we believe that everyone needs to grab an oar and work collaboratively to see how we can all assure our common survival here on this planet earth. Pope Francis recently points out in his letter to all the people of the earth, that we all share a responsibility for our ” common home.”
It is said that if the small plankton at the bottom of the ocean would disappear, then all life that feed on the plankton, and depends on it for its own survival, they would die and the organisims that depended on the next layer of life would then die and so up the chain of living organisms that make up the vibrant life of the sea. Interesting how we all our dependent on the Plankton?
So, to determine who I am, what I want and who is my God is very much dependent on who I say I am, who I think I am with my own identity, autonomy, my own sense of competency and my ability to relate to those in my environment.
Tomorrow we will discuss these five characteristics of interrealtedness of all living organisms and compare them to what is our real self as compared to what we want to be, our ideal self.

SOURCE: Shining a light on the dark night of the soul retreat. (1999) DAP. Louisville. Page 4.

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