We talked about the fundamental importance of self-knowledge for our lives and we have stated that it should take priority over everything else.
Besides, how can we live well if we do not know who we really are and what we really need?
For us believers there is also a need to know and better understand themselves, to be able to welcome the help and teaching that God wants to give us through his word and his grace.
I therefore address those who have decided to start an authentic path of knowledge.
Indeed, this existential decision is a prerequisite and an essential condition, and without an ardent and profound desire to know themselves you will not achieve significant results.
Perhaps it is unnecessary to remember, but what we have to know is our concrete subjectivity, our own individuality.
In fact, we are not at school and we are not doing an Experimental Psychology course.
How can we start to know ourselves?
Taking inspiration from a teaching of Jesus, I think we should start from the knowledge of our thoughts.
In fact, the awareness of what are our usual thoughts is critical because:

  • they determine the good and the evil that lies within us;

  • it is upon them that our peace or our anguish depends.

    We start therefore this work, counting on the meditation of a text of the Gospel, from which you can then begin examining what comes out of your heart and feeds your thoughts.
    14Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16] 17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) 20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mc 7,14-23)
    The last verse can also be translated in a more useful way:
    all these things make man unhappy and dissatisfied.

  • Observe your thoughts for a week, possibly spending fifteen minutes at the end of the day, before sleeping.

  • Go through your day and note what were the most recurrent thoughts.

  • Then, at the weekend, make a synthesis.

    I give you an advicebe simple, immediate and courageous.
    Good work!
    Fra Giuseppe Paparone


    Click to go to next post on the topic (Journey into self-knowledge – 3 – Arrogance (hubris))