Monday, July 7, 2014

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 1, Chapter 8: That much familiarity is to be fled

That much familiarity is to be fled

Open not thine heart to every man, but deal with one who is wise
and feareth God. Be seldom with the young and with strangers.  Be
not a flatterer of the rich; nor willingly seek the society of
the great.  Let thy company be the humble and the simple, the
devout and the gentle, and let thy discourse be concerning things
which edify.  Be not familiar with any woman, but commend all good
women alike unto God.  Choose for thy companions God and His
Angels only, and flee from the notice of men.
We must love all men, but not make close companions of all.
It sometimes falleth out that one who is unknown to us is highly
regarded through good report of him, whose actual person is
nevertheless unpleasing to those who behold it.  We sometimes
think to please others by our intimacy, and forthwith displease
them the more by the faultiness of character which they perceive
in us.

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