Thoughts for Reflection from Benedictine & Monastic Authors

Day by Day

2013 August 16 - The Way to God Passes Through Self-Knowledge

The desert fathers teach us a spirituality from below. They show us that we have to begin with ourselves and our passions. The way to God, for the desert fathers, always passes through self-knowledge. Evagrius Ponticus puts it this way: “If you want to know God, learn to know yourself first!” Without self-knowledge we are always in danger of having our ideas of God turn into mere projections. There are also pious individuals who take flight from their own reality into religion. They aren’t transformed by their prayer and piety; they simply use it to lift themselves over others, to confirm their own infallibility. (page 18)

Heaven Begins Within You:  Wisdom from the Desert Fathers
by Anselm Gruen