As I see it, we shall never succeed in knowing ourselves unless we seek to know God: let us think of His greatness and then come back to our own baseness; by looking at His purity we shall see our foulness; by meditating upon His humility, we shall see how far we are from being humble. (Teresa of Avila: First Mansions, Book Two)
Teresa says, “we shall never succeed in knowing ourselves unless we seek to know God”. Our spiritual journey thrives in self-knowledge but is distorted by self-preoccupation. The goal is to be a student of self and know God. The better we know God, the better we know our self.
Four ways to know God better:
Study the life of Jesus: Jesus is the full revelation of God. Jesus is also the full revelation of what it means to be human.
Read Scripture as Revelation: How you read the Bible matters. “The Bible cannot be read unbiblically”. (Karl Barth)
Personal Revelation: God reveals himself to us through mystical prayer.
Other People: God created humankind “in the image of God”. If we want to know God better, get to know our family, friends, and co-workers better.*
- Exodus 33: “No one shall see me and live.”
- John 1: “No one has ever seen God.” Jesus “has made him known.”
- I John 4: “No one has ever seen God . . . God lives in us”. (We make him known.)