Monday, July 21, 2014

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 1, Chapter 17: What should be the life of a truly religious person

What should be the life of a truly religious person

It behooveth thee to learn to mortify thyself in many things, if
thou wilt live in amity and concord with other men.  It is no
small thing to dwell in a religious community or congregation,
and to live there without complaint, and therein to remain
faithful even unto death.  Blessed is he who hath lived a good
life in such a body, and brought it to a happy end.  If thou wilt
stand fast and wilt profit as thou oughtest, hold thyself as an
exile and a pilgrim upon the Earth.  Thou wilt have to be counted
as a fool for Christ, if thou wilt lead a religious life.
The clothing and outward appearance are of small account; it
is change of character and entire mortification of the affections
which make a truly religious man.  He who seeketh aught save God
and the health of his soul shall find only tribulation and
sorrow.  Nor can he stand long in peace who striveth not to be
least of all and servant of all.
Thou art called to endure and to labour, not to a life of ease
and trifling talk.  Here therefore are men tried as gold in the
furnace.  No man can stand, unless with all his heart he will
humble himself for God’s sake.

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