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Know Thy Self

Posted on June 9, 2023

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

Who do you think you are?  For many of us, our first association with this question might not be a pleasant one, having heard it as a sarcastic comment directed at us or another person.  But, another way to hear this question is as an inquisitive invitation to know, understand, and explore who you are.   

Knowing ourselves is a lifetime journey and a process of self-reflection and self-awareness. Our fascination with understanding ourselves and others is evidenced by the popularity of such personality assessment tools as the Enneagram Personality Test and Myers Briggs Type Indicator.   We are curious to know how we and others “live, move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) We have a great longing to get to the bottom of who we and others are, to understand all that we see and hear around us.  We want to make sense of our feelings, thoughts, and experiences.  We want to know what our strengths and growth edges are, why we do things a certain way, what motivates and influences us, what challenges us, what our social preferences are, and the list goes on.  Are we introverts or extroverts?  Do we like structure or spontaneity?  Are we motivated by achievement, belonging, power, or adventure?  Do we prefer social outings or quiet environments?    

When we know and accept who we are, we are better able to fulfill who we are meant to be and not who we think we should be.  Knowing ourselves makes it easier to embrace and value our gifts and the gifts of others, and what we bring to the table to share with others. When we feel secure in knowing ourselves, we are also better able to accept and appreciate the gifts of others. By knowing ourselves, we can also gain clarity in how we are called to “live, move and have our being.”  

We invite you to take some time to get to know yourself better.  Spend time in whatever way the Divine best speaks to you and is present to you—in nature, prayer, quiet contemplation, journal writing, music.  Be open to whatever emerges as you reflect on the stirrings in your heart.  Follow your own path and as the psalmist proclaims, “to thine own self be true.” (Psalm 23:3) 

As you reflect on who you are and wonder if God is calling you to become a religious sister,  we invite you to contact us. Together, we can listen and discern how God is calling you to live, move, and be in this world.  Be gentle with yourself and remember, “Who we are is God’s gift to us.  Who we become is our gift to God,” a modified quote from Eleanor Torrey Powell. 

We are offering a FREE Come and See weekend, Called by Name: A Discernment Retreat, at our Motherhouse in St. Catharine, Kentucky, September 8-10, 2023. Give yourself the gift of time to reflect on who you are and how you are called to be by joining us in the hills of Kentucky.  For more information, click here or contact Sr. Mai-dung Nguyen. Click here to register. 

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