Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Know Thyself

Today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. There probably is no better saint to say that he "became who God meant for him to be and hence he set the world on fire." In fact, he continues to set the world on fire more than eight hundred years later!

In order to know if what we most enjoy doing is truly our call, we must practice and practice some more. St. Francis sought glory in his life. He thought that serving in the military was what he was meant to do but he quickly realized that God had other plans to show His glory through Francis. God was calling Francis to a radical life of serving the poor and the Church. Soon enough, Francis was given many opportunities to practice both compassion and evangelization. We all know the story, right? If not, see video below.

So what makes you feel fully alive? Is it music? Art? A particular business venture? Serving the poor? Whatever your hunch may be, pursue it. Practice! Practice! If it's serving the poor, then serve more. If it is singing, sing more. Take up lessons or join a local group. There are always opportunities to practice our gifts and talents.

With practice comes perfection and with perfection comes a greater knowledge of self and God. The more we use our talents and practice them for a greater good, the more we get to know who we are.

Socrates would often mention the inscription in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi "Know Thyself". He would admit that he knew nothing as he still did not know himself. This was Socrates! Ok? "Care first about the greatest perfection of the soul. What I want to discover at present,” said Socrates, “is the art which devotes its attention to precision, exactness, and the fullest truth.” 

It is in knowing better our talents and soon enough our weaknesses (comes with the territory) that can lead us well on our way to the perfection we long for. No, I'm not talking about the bodily perfection, nor the perfection of the said talents you practice. What I am speaking of is perfection of the soul; of a virtuous life. Until we know ourselves through and through, our strengths and our weaknesses, it's as if we always have an unclear vision of the future. 

To perfect our soul is to seek what is true, good and beautiful. In essence, it is to seek God. To know oneself as one goes about, let's say realizing what his/her talents are, is one way in achieving that self knowledge.

Practice makes perfect and the journey to perfection makes way to purpose.

Why are we here?

What have we been put on this earth for?

So what are you practicing these days?

Happy Feast of St. Francis. St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!

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