Could you imagine an army commander, being advised by his scouts, that the enemy is on the move to his position and will soon be attacking – and the commander turns away, puts up his hands and says, “I don’t want to know.” Ignorance is certainly NOT blissful. Ignorance is an action on our part to deny what we know is true. To actively seek out ways to hide from anything that would cause us to know the truth. And since God is truth, ignorance is our active effort to remove God from our lives.
Do not ever be afraid of the truth, of facing the truth, especially about yourself. Of course you are sinner – we are all sinners. Can we deny our own sins so that we may judge others? Then what can we expect from God for ourselves. Truth is our salvation. Are you to approach the pearly gates of Heaven, to be greeted by Saint Peter who does not allow you to enter until you remove that monkey on your back. You look left and right and say “What monkey?”. The habit of denying your own faults has led you to be blinded so much so that you could stare right at what everybody else sees, and not see.”Hypocrit! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye“
The harshness of this statement is to clearly point out the importance of self-examination without guilt or shame. Expose to yourself what God already clearly sees. For by recognizing these faults, may we confess them, repent, then build anew. For the whole purpose of this exercise is to achieve a closer unity with God. But each unconfessed sin, unrecognized fault becomes a barrier between you and God.
“Humble self-knowledge should be preferred to all other kinds of knowledge.” Pray to God that He will open your eyes to your own faults. To shine light on them and expose them that they may be cleared from your holy temple, which is your body. For just as we cherish the holy altar of the church, we must cherish the holy body that is yours to guard. Examine yourself. And when you sin, do not beat yourself excessively, but recognize that you did sin and examine why. What was it that lead you to do that sin? This examination is between you and God only. No one need know. Even when you confess to a priest, the priest is there on God’s behalf – not to judge but to help you overcome these sins. To guide, to teach and above all – to love. Do not be ignorant of the beasts that lay hidden in your heart, mind or body. Call it out and defeat it.
There is another reason for this important self-examination, for in this journey we partake together, you will begin to grow in a more spiritual level. Achieving wonderful progress in body, mind and heart. Yet, the Devil sees that unrepented thorn that still remains. And, without warning, he will cause the thorn to tear at all your progress and you will fall hard. And sadly, many may be unwilling to start over again and are lost. No my blessed brother of Christ, it is better to start now, to examine deep into your thoughts and deeds and (knowing that we are all sinners) cast out those elements of dead-living that will hinder your progress ever Godward. For a deep knowledge of ourselves “is more worthy of praise that the capture of many fortresses, or the defeat of powerful and well-equipped armies; more even than the power to perform miracles and to raise the dead.“