Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 29 May |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Paul VI
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Pope: Know thyself – and here’s how


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 10/10/22

This advice isn't just for the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, but also for our spiritual life.

Pope Francis is an advocate of the Ancient Greek aphorism, “Know thyself.”

“Almost complementary” to prayer in discerning God’s will isself-knowledge, he says.

As a tool in the process of self-knowledge, the pope recommends a hallmark of Jesuit spirituality: the examen prayer.

At the general audience of October 5, he shared some questions that might characterize this prayer:

~ What happened in my heart in this day? “Lots of things happened …” Which? Why? 

~ What traces did they leave in my heart? 

It is a “good habit of calmly rereading what happens in our day, learning to note in our evaluations and choices what we give most importance to, what we are looking for and why, and what we eventually find. Above all, learning to recognize what satiates the heart.”

~ What satiates my heart? 

For only the Lord can give us confirmation of what we are worth. He tells us this every day from the cross: He died for us, to show us how precious we are in his eyes. There is no obstacle or failure that can prevent his tender embrace. The examination of conscience helps a great deal, because in this way we see that our heart is not a road where everything passes without us knowing about it. No.

~ To see: What passed by today? 

~ What happened? 

~ What made me react? 

~ What made me sad? 

~ What made me joyful? 

~ What was bad, and did I harm others? 

Seeing the route our feelings took, the attractions in my heart during the day. Don’t forget! The other day we talked about prayer; today we are talking about self-awareness.

Prayer and self-knowledge enable us to grow in freedom. This is to grow in freedom! They are basic elements of Christian existence, precious elements for finding one’s place in life

Pope FrancisSpiritual Life
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.