Thursday, May 14, 2015

That all hope and trust is to be fixed in God alone. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 59


Chapter 59: That all hope and trust is to be fixed in God alone.

O Lord, what is my trust which I have in this life, or what is my
greatest comfort of all the things which are seen under Heaven?
Is it not Thou, O Lord my God, whose mercies are without number?
Where hath it been well with me without Thee? Or when could it
be evil whilst Thou wert near? I had rather be poor for Thy
sake, than rich without Thee. I choose rather to be a pilgrim
upon the earth with Thee than without Thee to possess heaven.
Where Thou art, there is heaven; and where Thou are not, behold
there death and hell. Thou art all my desire, and therefore must
I groan and cry and earnestly pray after Thee. In short I can
confide fully in none to give me ready help in necessities, save
in Thee alone, O my God. Thou art my hope, Thou art my trust,
Thou art my Comforter, and most faithful in all things.
All men seek their own; Thou settest forward only my
salvation and my profit, and turnest all things unto my good.
Even though Thou dost expose me to divers temptations and
adversities, Thou ordainest all this unto my advantage, for Thou
are wont to prove Thy beloved ones in a thousand ways. In which
proving Thou oughtest no less to be loved and praised, than if
Thou wert filling me full of heavenly consolations.
In Thee, therefore, O Lord God, I put all my hope and my
refuge, on Thee I lay all my tribulation and anguish; because I
find all to be weak and unstable whatsoever I behold out of Thee.
For many friends shall not profit, nor strong helpers be able to
succour, nor prudent counsellors to give a useful answer, nor the
books of the learned to console, nor any precious substance to
deliver, nor any secret and beautiful place to give shelter, if
Thou Thyself do not assist, help, strengthen, comfort, instruct,
keep in safety.
For all things which seem to belong to the attainment of peace
and felicity are nothing when Thou art absent, and bring no
felicity at all in reality. Therefore art Thou the end of all
good, and the fullness of Life, and the soul of eloquence; and to
hope in Thee above all things is the strongest solace of Thy
servants. Mine eyes look unto Thee, in Thee is my trust, O my
God, Father of mercies.
Bless and sanctify my soul with heavenly blessing that it may
become Thy holy habitation, and the seat of Thy eternal glory;
and let nothing be found in the Temple of Thy divinity which may
offend the eyes of Thy majesty. According to the greatness of
Thy goodness and the multitude of Thy mercies look upon me, and
hear the prayer of Thy poor servant, far exiled from Thee in the
land of the shadow of death. Protect and preserve the soul of
Thy least servant amid so many dangers of corruptible life, and
by Thy grace accompanying me, direct it by the way of peace unto
its home of perpetual light. Amen.

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