Friday, July 4, 2014

13 ways of looking at my guru. #6: The Prelate

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 1, Chapter 9:  Of meek subjection and obedience, and that we shall gladly follow the counsel of others

It is verily a great thing to live in obedience, to be under
authority, and not to be at our own disposal.  Far safer is it to
live in subjection than in a place of authority.  Many are in
obedience from necessity rather than from love; these take it
amiss, and repine for small cause.  Nor will they gain freedom of
spirit, unless with all their heart they submit themselves for
the love of God.  Though thou run hither and thither, thou wilt
not find peace, save in humble subjection to the authority of him
who is set over thee.  Fancies about places and change of them
have deceived many.
True it is that every man willingly followeth his own bent,
and is the more inclined to those who agree with him.  But if
Christ is amongst us, then it is necessary that we sometimes
yield up our own opinion for the sake of peace.  Who is so wise
as to have perfect knowledge of all things?  Therefore trust not
too much to thine own opinion, but be ready also to hear the
opinions of others.  Though thine own opinion be good, yet if for
the love of God thou foregoest it, and followest that of another,
thou shalt the more profit thereby.
Ofttimes I have heard that it is safer to hearken and to
receive counsel than to give it.  It may also come to pass that
each opinion may be good; but to refuse to hearken to others when
reason or occasion requireth it, is a mark of pride or wilfulness.

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