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Posts Tagged ‘Self-knowledge’

“Don’t be afraid to know your real self”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/01/09 at 12:00 AM
I have no need of miracles: there are more than enough for me in the Gospel. But I do need to see you fulfilling your duty and responding to grace. (The Way, 362)

Let us say again, in word and in action: “Lord, I trust in you; your ordinary providence, your help each day, is all I need.” We do not have to ask God to perform great miracles. Rather, we have to beg him to increase our faith, to enlighten our intellect and strengthen our will. Jesus always stays by our side and is always himself.

Ever since I began to preach, I have warned people against a certain mistaken sense of holiness. Don’t be afraid to know your real self. That’s right, you are made of clay. Don’t be worried. For you and I are sons of God — and that is the right way of being made divine. We are chosen by a divine calling from all eternity: “The Father chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” We belong especially to God, we are his instruments in spite of our great personal shortcomings. And we will be effective if we do not lose this awareness of our own weakness. Our temptations give us the measure of our own weakness.

If you feel depressed when you experience, perhaps in a very vivid way, your own pettiness, then is the time to abandon yourself completely and obediently into God’s hands. There is a story about a beggar meeting Alexander the Great and asking him for alms. Alexander stopped and instructed that the man be given the government of five cities. The beggar, totally confused and taken aback, exclaimed: “I didn’t ask for that much.” And Alexander replied: “You asked like the man you are: I give like the man I am.” (Christ is passing by, 160)

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“Christ tells you and me that he needs us”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2013/12/16 at 12:00 AM
Christmas devotion.–I don’t smile when I see you making cardboard mountains around the crib and placing simple clay figures near the manger.–You have never seemed more a man to me than now, when you seem to be a child. (The Way, 557)

Every time Christmas comes around, I love to look at representations of the child Jesus. Statues and pictures which show a God who lowered himself remind me that God is calling us. The Almighty wants us to know that he is defenseless, that he needs men’s help. From the cradle at Bethlehem, Christ tells you and me that he needs us. He urges us to live a christian life to the full — a life of self‑sacrifice, work and joy.

We will never have genuine joy if we do not really try to imitate Jesus. Like him we must be humble. I repeat: do you see where God’s greatness is hidden? In a manger, in swaddling clothes, in a stable. The redemptive power of our lives can only work through humility. We must stop thinking about ourselves and feel the responsibility to help others.

It can sometimes happen that even well‑intentioned people create personal problems — really serious worries — which have no objective basis whatsoever. These problems arise in persons whose lack of self‑knowledge leads to pride and a desire to be the centre of attention, to be favoured by everyone. They want to appear always in a good light, to be personally secure. They are not content simply to do good and disappear. And so, many who could enjoy a wonderful peace of soul and great happiness become, through pride and presumption, unhappy and unfruitful.

Christ was humble of heart. Throughout his life he looked for no special consideration or privilege. (Christ is passing by, 18)

“Don’t be afraid to know your real self”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/07/18 at 9:11 AM
I have no need of miracles: there are more than enough for me in the Gospel. But I do need to see you fulfilling your duty and responding to grace. (The Way, 362)

Let us say again, in word and in action: “Lord, I trust in you; your ordinary providence, your help each day, is all I need.” We do not have to ask God to perform great miracles. Rather, we have to beg him to increase our faith, to enlighten our intellect and strengthen our will. Jesus always stays by our side and is always himself.

Ever since I began to preach, I have warned people against a certain mistaken sense of holiness. Don’t be afraid to know your real self. That’s right, you are made of clay. Don’t be worried. For you and I are sons of God — and that is the right way of being made divine. We are chosen by a divine calling from all eternity: “The Father chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” We belong especially to God, we are his instruments in spite of our great personal shortcomings. And we will be effective if we do not lose this awareness of our own weakness. Our temptations give us the measure of our own weakness.

If you feel depressed when you experience, perhaps in a very vivid way, your own pettiness, then is the time to abandon yourself completely and obediently into God’s hands. There is a story about a beggar meeting Alexander the Great and asking him for alms. Alexander stopped and instructed that the man be given the government of five cities. The beggar, totally confused and taken aback, exclaimed: “I didn’t ask for that much.” And Alexander replied: “You asked like the man you are: I give like the man I am.” (Christ is passing by, 160)