Today’s post comes from the archives — a valuable word for this time!
Our human freedom depends on knowing ourselves! Those who know themselves are truly free because they are able to maintain well-balanced relationships with others and with reality, and because they are able to discover reasons to hope and trust in the future.
We need to take a step back from our daily life that threatens to numb us with its repetitiveness or overwhelm us with its frantic pace…. Knowing ourselves requires attention and inner vigilance, which is the ability to concentrate and to listen to silence that, with the help of solitude, helps us rediscover what is essential. Self-knowledge also means recognizing our limitations and what is negative and incomplete in us—in other words, the aspects of ourselves we usually tend to repress so that we will not have to confront them. Our knowledge of our poverty, together with our knowledge of God, can then become an experience of God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. What we previously knew because we had been told about it now becomes a personal experience. For this to happen, we need to remember never to separate these two aspects of the spiritual itinerary: knowing ourselves and knowing God. Knowing ourselves without knowing God leads to desperation, and knowing God without knowing ourselves produces arrogance. —Enzo Bianchi, Echoes of the Word