To Know Jesus

(2 minute read)

To Know Jesus

When I was studying Italian in college, I came across an interesting fact that has stayed with me ever since. In Italian, there are two different words for the verb “to know.” Sapere means “to know a fact” and conoscere means “to know someone or something in a deep, intimate way.” 

For instance, I would use the word sapere to tell someone that I know the foods my sister is allergic to, or my husband’s favorite baseball team, or the route we take to my in-law’s house. 

But I would use the word conoscere to talk about the way that my sister and I “get” each other after doing life together for so many years, or the way that my husband’s virtues inspire me to pursue holiness myself, or how traveling across state lines with three small children is super challenging but totally worth it when I see them and their grandparents light up the moment we finally arrive. 

Both sapere and conoscere work together to point us to truth. On the one hand, we need to know the truth about the people we love in the form of facts. It certainly helps my relationships when I don’t serve my sister foods she can’t eat, when I cheer for the Mets even though I’m from Maryland, and when I don’t get lost on my way to Grandma’s house! 

But to enjoy the fruits of healthy and holy relationships, we also need to know the truth about our loved ones in a deep, personal, and intimate way. We need to spend time in their presence, listening to them carefully, building memories with each other, supporting them in their times of need, and ultimately pursuing Heaven together. 

The same is true of our relationship with Jesus. We can – and should – learn factual information about God and the Church. This information is useful and good! 

But knowing facts alone isn’t enough. More than facts about Jesus, we need to know Him in a deep, personal, intimate way. 

This knowledge takes time. Over months and years, through various encounters and responses, we can build a personal relationship with Jesus that is lasting and true. Jesus knows us in this deep, personal, intimate way. He sees our strengths and our weaknesses and doesn’t turn away. In fact, He desires for us to know Him, making Himself available and present to us every single day. How will we respond?

Written by Catherine Sullivan


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