Remain Open to the Mystery that You Are

Don’t waste your time and energy hunting for a predetermined idea of who you are; don’t waste your life hunting for an ideal, an image or a name, because it really is irrelevant what you call yourself. You are not the name you call yourself by; you are the content of your being. Before Christ, Who sees the depths of our being, the only thing that matters is your content, not the name we sometimes fight our whole lives for.

Do not hunt for an image, but for a content.

Do not assume you know who you are; do not assume you know who you are meant to become. Do not pre-determine where you want to get to by the end of your life, because that is a sure recipe for disaster: you will be constantly in doubt, permanently wondering, always questioning, painfully looking back and reimagining other paths you could have taken.

Remain in the here-and-now. Love God and love people. Stay away from evil and do good, and always remain open to the mystery that you are. Accept yourself as an unfinished being, and keep yourself open and ready to receive the revelation of your true name – that name which corresponds to your true content.

The person you were created to become is unknown to you. Your own self is unknown to you. You are a mystery to yourself, and you must remain open to accept your self before anything and anyone else. Do not enslave yourself to a particular image or expectation, because that will only corrupt and deform you. Remain open and tolerant and ready to embrace your own self. Remain open for a Revelation, because that is how your true self will be given to you.

17 responses

  • Sometimes I wonder if you’re reading my unwritten memos to myself. But then I remember that the Holy Spirit does funny things like that.

    • Dear John, this is particularly useful (and funny) to hear, considering that I’m always convinced what I want to write will benefit no one. What makes it even worse for me is that, most times, I end up writing on a topic that has nothing to do with my initial intention. I start with a thought and, by the time it’s all done, the end post is about something entirely different.

  • Dearest Father, Your blessing. Thank you for a very inspired blog entry. I follow your blog very closely and I am always pleasantly surprised by your entries, feeling that they were written specifically for me I would really love to meet you in person and get your blessing. May the Holy Spirit inspire and comfort you in your struggles.

    • Thank you so much for your nice words. I’m sure one day we shall meet; we’ll just have to trust that God knows better when is the right time. Please pray for me and the monastery.

  • That is absolutely beautiful, understanding that concept shows that you are are truly prayerful,what beautiful words and understanding of how God wishes us to be,sincerely Rosalie.xx

    • Dear Rosalie, please pray for me and the monastery. If I’ve understood anything is that I need to follow Christ’s lead and let myself be carried where ever He takes me – and this is not restricted to a geographical journey, but also applies to a deeper, spiritual one. Thank you for your kind comment.

  • Father as ever you have given us a reminder of the truly radical nature of the Gospel and the Church. To live genuinely to ourselves as we know ourselves and seeking to know our-self more, resisting the pressure form family, society and the world in general to fit into boxes is hard work.

    It is hard to come to know ourselves even with the help of our Lord and our Spiritual Father. Though it also helps to be in a Church which seeks this and live with others who are seeking their true selves as well, or we end up using masks to defend ourselves and losing what we know of ourselves.

    • Dear Phoebe, truth be told, the greatest pressure does not come from society or family; we, ourselves, are the ones who do more harm to ourselves. Pride, ambition, a sense of competition and so on – these are our greatest enemies, and they do not come from the world outside, they all come from the world within.

      In any case, it is safer to think like this, because it protects you from the temptation to dislike people and to blame others for your own faults.

    • That is all, but how difficult it is to even try to do it. I’m often ashamed for writing these posts, because I am so far away from actually doing anything of the things I describe. If anything, I discover, as I write, that I know all I need to know, but I do nothing I need to do. Even more painful is the awareness that this is, in fact, the reality concerning most people.

      Thank you for summing this post up so beautifully, father. Please, do continue to pray for me and the monastery.

  • Blessings to all on this Feast Day of St. Columba of Iona just a bit west of Mull.

  • Thank you for saying what most people are afraid of.
    Too many are not happy to dwell in the mystery.
    God bless you Father.
    Pray for us.

    • Thank you for your kind comment, dear Catrina. Saying things is much easier than doing them. I know monastics who never say anything, but they do all we waste our time talking about. It’s their prayers we should be asking for. Until then, if I pray for you, and you all pray for the monastery, it will all be all right for God’s mercy.

  • Dear Fr. Serafim, Thank you! It seems so trite for what your words have given me today. I thought I needed labels to define me. “Wife” “Mom”
    “Yia Yia”, or “artist.” I have never seemed to “fit in”, truly anywhere. But after reading and listening and looking into my heart, the only label I need is to be a Christian. A Christ follower, a child of the Father of Lights. I am indeed a mystery to myself. My hope is, to feel the stone in my palm and hear my Lord call me by true and only name. I want my content to be: love. So that my content, can mirror His content. Today I have asked the Lord to help me. God bless you and have mercy on you. Thank you.

    • May God bless you to find what you are looking for. Just keep in mind that Christ’s love is always connected with His cross. Love without a cross cannot come from Christ – not here, not on this earth. By definition, anything and anyone who is Christ-like in this life will be crucified. Please pray for me and the monastery, too.

  • Thank you for the reminder about sharing the Cross of Christ. You are so right! One of my favorite reminders also is; “The door of Heaven is opened by the hand of trials and suffering.” Attributed to Saint Isaac The Sirian. Let me know if that’s incorrect. You and the monastery are in my prayers.

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