Saint Nazarius of Valaam on Knowing Oneself

St. Nazarius of Valaam

Self-knowledge is needful; this is the knowledge of oneself and especially of the limitations of one’s talents, one’s failings, and lack of skill. From this it should result that we consider ourselves unworthy of any kind of position, and therefore that we do not desire any special positions, but rather accept what is placed upon us with fear and humility. He who knows himself pays no heed to the sins of others, but looks at his own and is always repenting over them; he reflects concerning himself, and condemns himself, and does not interfere in anything apart from his own position. He who is exercising himself in self-knowledge and has faith, does not trust his faith, does not cease to test it, in order to acquire a great and more perfect one, heeding the word of the Apostle: Examine yourself, whether ye be in the faith (II Cor. 13:5).

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