Saturday, August 30, 2014

How good it is to be peaceful. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 2, Chapter 3

Rudolf Steiner

Chapter 3: How good it is to be peaceful

First keep thyself in peace, and then shalt thou be able to be a
peacemaker towards others. A peaceable man doth more good than a
well-learned. A passionate man turneth even good into evil and
easily believeth evil; a good, peaceable man converteth all
things into good. He who dwelleth in peace is suspicious of
none, but he who is discontented and restless is tossed with many
suspicions, and is neither quiet himself nor suffereth others to
be quiet. He often saith what he ought not to say, and omitteth
what it were more expedient for him to do. He considereth to
what duties others are bound, and neglecteth those to which he is
bound himself. Therefore be zealous first over thyself, and then
mayest thou righteously be zealous concerning thy neighbour.
Thou knowest well how to excuse and to colour thine own deeds,
but thou wilt not accept the excuses of others. It would be more
just to accuse thyself and excuse thy brother. If thou wilt that
others bear with thee, bear thou with others. Behold how far
thou art as yet from the true charity and humility which knows
not how to be angry or indignant against any save self alone.
It is no great thing to mingle with the good and the meek, for
this is naturally pleasing to all, and every one of us willingly
enjoyeth peace and liketh best those who think with us: but to
be able to live peaceably with the hard and perverse, or with the
disorderly, or those who oppose us, this is a great grace and a
thing much to be commended and most worthy of a man.
There are who keep themselves in peace and keep peace also
with others, and there are who neither have peace nor suffer
others to have peace; they are troublesome to others, but always
more troublesome to themselves. And there are who hold
themselves in peace, and study to bring others unto peace;
nevertheless, all our peace in this sad life lieth in humble
suffering rather than in not feeling adversities. He who best
knoweth how to suffer shall possess the most peace; that man is
conqueror of himself and lord of the world, the friend of Christ,
and the inheritor of heaven.

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