Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 1, Chapter 6: Of inordinate affections

Of inordinate affections

Whensoever a man desireth aught above measure, immediately he
becometh restless.  The proud and the avaricious man are never
at rest; while the poor and lowly of heart abide in the
multitude of peace.  The man who is not yet wholly dead to self,
is soon tempted, and is overcome in small and trifling matters.
It is hard for him who is weak in spirit, and still in part
carnal and inclined to the pleasures of sense, to withdraw
himself altogether from earthly desires.  And therefore, when he
withdraweth himself from these, he is often sad, and easily
angered too if any oppose his will.
But if, on the other hand, he yield to his inclination,
immediately he is weighed down by the condemnation of his
conscience; for that he hath followed his own desire, and yet in
no way attained the peace which he hoped for.  For true peace of
heart is to be found in resisting passion, not in yielding to it.
And therefore there is no peace in the heart of a man who is
carnal, nor in him who is given up to the things that are without
him, but only in him who is fervent towards God and living the
life of the Spirit.

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