Nothing, I am nothing

Big And Bright Sun by Alison Breskin

Lord, you wanted it, here I am on the ground.
I don’t even dare to rise, I don’t even dare look at you.
Nothing, I am nothing, I know it now.
Your light is terrible, Lord, and I’d like to escape it.
Since I have accepted you, you have bared my dwelling.
Every day, mercilessly, your light uncovers it,
And I see what I had never seen before.

I see the forest of my sins behind the tree that hid them.
I see innumerable roots, impossible to grasp,
I see that everything in me is an obstacle to you,
  as the smallest particle of matter blocks the sunlight
  and brings on the night.
I see the devil attacking the key-points of the fortress
  that I thought impregnable,
  and I find myself tottering and ready to fall.
I see my helplessness,
  I who thought that I could make myself of value to you.
I see that everything in me is mixed,
  and that not one of my actions is pure.
I see the infinite depth of each fault
  in the face of your infinite love.
I feel incapable of reaching a single soul,
  through the noise of my words and the wind on my gestures.
I see the Spirit blow where I haven’t toiled,
  and the grain take root where I haven’t sown.

Nothing, I am nothing, I accomplish nothing,
  I know it now.
Your light is hard, merciless, Lord.
No corner of my life and soul remain in the shadow.
Turn as I may, your light is everywhere,
And I stand naked and full of fear.

Formerly, I admitted that I was a sinner,
  that I was unworthy,
And I believed it, Lord, but didn’t know it.
In your presence I looked for some faults
  but produced only laboured and feeble confessions.
Lord, it’s my whole being that kneels now
  It’s the sin that I am that asks forgiveness.

Lord, thank you for your light – I would never have known.
But, Lord, enough.  I assure you I’ve understood.
I am nothing
And you are all.

Michel Quoist, 1918 – 1997, French Catholic priest and writer


I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.

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