Monday, March 23, 2015

That we ought to deny ourselves, and to imitate Christ by means of the Cross. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 56


Chapter 56: That we ought to deny ourselves, and to imitate Christ by means of the Cross.

My Son, so far as thou art able to go out of thyself, so far shalt
thou be able to enter into Me. As to desire no outward thing
worketh internal peace, so the forsaking of self inwardly joineth
unto God. I will that thou learn perfect self-denial, living in
My will without contradiction or complaint. Follow Me: I am the
way, the truth, and the life. Without the way thou canst not
go, without the truth thou canst not know, without the life thou
canst not live. I am the Way which thou oughtest to follow; the
Truth which thou oughtest to believe; the Life which thou oughtest
to hope for. I am the Way unchangeable; the Truth infallible;
the Life everlasting. I am the Way altogether straight, the
Truth supreme, the true Life, the blessed Life, the uncreated
Life. If thou remain in My way thou shalt know the Truth, and
the truth shall make thee free, and thou shalt lay hold on
eternal life.
“If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. If
thou wilt know the truth, believe in Me. If thou wilt be
perfect, sell all that thou hast. If thou wilt be My disciple,
deny thyself. If thou wouldst possess the blessed life, despise
the life which now is. If thou wilt be exalted in heaven, humble
thyself in the world. If thou wilt reign with Me, bear the cross
with Me; for only the servants of the cross find the way of
blessedness and of true light.”
O Lord Jesu, forasmuch as Thy life was straitened and despised
by the world, grant unto me to imitate Thee in despising the
world, for the servant is not greater than his lord, nor the
disciple above his master. Let Thy servant be exercised in
Thy life, because there is my salvation and true holiness.
Whatsoever I read or hear besides it, it refresheth me not, nor
giveth me delight.
“My son, because thou knowest these things and hast read them
all, blessed shalt thou be if thou doest them. He who hath My
commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me, and I
will love him, and will manifest Myself to him, and I will
make him to sit down with Me in My Father’s Kingdom.”
O Lord Jesu, as Thou hast said and promised, even so let it be
unto me, and grant me to prove worthy. I have received the cross
at Thy hand; I have carried it, and will carry it even unto
death, as Thou hast laid it upon me. Truly the life of a truly
devoted servant is a cross, but it leadeth to paradise. I have
begun; I may not return back nor leave it.
Come, my brothers, let us together go forward. Jesus shall be
with us. For Jesus’ sake have we taken up this cross, for Jesus’
sake let us persevere in the cross. He will be our helper, who
was our Captain and Forerunner. Behold our King entereth in
before us, and He will fight for us. Let us follow bravely, let
no man fear terrors; let us be prepared to die bravely in battle,
and let us not so stain our honour as to fly from the cross.

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