Monday, June 11, 2007

Knowing God and Knowing Ourselves

Inscription on grave marker of author
Eugenia Price
Christ Church, Frederica
Photo by Linda McCloud+

Today over at The Rev. Frank Logue asks, "Who Am I?" and goes on to talk about the identity crisis that many people experience.

Here is what Henri J.M. Nouwen, priest and spiritual writer, had to say on that subject in his Letters to Marc about Jesus:

The mystery of the spiritual life is that Jesus desires to meet us in the seclusion of our own heart, to make his love known to us there, to free us from our fears, and to make our own deepest self known to us. In the privacy of our heart, therefore, we can learn not only to know Jesus, but through Jesus to know ourselves as well.

If you reflect on this a bit more you will see an interaction between God's love revealing itself to you and a constant growth in self-knowledge. Each time you let the love of God penetrate deeper into your heart, you lose a bit of your anxiety; and every time you shed a bit of your anxiety, you learn to know yourself better and long all the more to be known by your loving God.

Thus the more you learn to love God, the more you learn to know and to cherish yourself. Self-knowledge and self-love are the fruit of knowing and loving God. You can better know what is intended by the great commandment to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

Laying our hearts totally open to God leads to a love of ourselves that enables us to give whole-hearted love to our fellow human beings. In the seclusion of our hearts we learn to know the hidden presence of God; and with that spirtual knowledge we can lead a loving life.

In Peace,

Pastor Linda
The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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