During a retreat St. Faustina wrote of seeing a reflection of her soul like a pool of clear water, where every part was transparent. She could see her own sin as well as the goodness of God at work in her, which grounded her and gave her strength: “In this profound silence, I am better able to judge the condition of my soul. My soul is like clear water in which I can see everything: both my misery and the vastness of God’s graces. And owing to this true knowledge of itself, my spirit is strengthened in deep humility.” (Diary, Notebook 5)
Sometimes it hurts to know the truth about ourselves. But to see ourselves clearly is to have self-knowledge, which is a powerful weapon in the fight for sanctity. It is when we know ourselves that we can be on our guard against temptations and understand how God sustains us. For example if we know that we tend to want to please others too much, we can take steps to combat that attitude by being firm in trying to put God first. Or if we find that we talk too much about ourselves, we can make the effort to ask more about others.
Self-knowledge grounds us in humility, and that is when God can work through us. St. Jose María Escrivá wrote: “If you are convinced of your ‘poor quality’ – if you know yourself –you will react to events supernaturally. Joy and peace will take a firmer root in your soul in the face of humiliations, being despised, calumnies…” (Furrow) Like St. Faustina, may we be as a crystalline pool before God and before ourselves.
St. Maria Faustina, pray for us!