Sunday, August 31, 2014

Of a pure mind and simple intention. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 2, Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Of a pure mind and simple intention

By two wings is man lifted above earthly things, even by
simplicity and purity. Simplicity ought to be in the intention,
purity in the affection. Simplicity reacheth towards God, purity
apprehendeth Him and tasteth Him. No good action will be
distasteful to thee if thou be free within from inordinate
affection. If thou reachest after and seekest nothing but the
will of God and the benefit of thy neighbour, thou wilt entirely
enjoy inward liberty. If thine heart were right, then should
every creature be a mirror of life and a book of holy doctrine.
There is no creature so small and vile but that it showeth us the
goodness of God.
If thou wert good and pure within, then wouldst thou look upon
all things without hurt and understand them aright. A pure heart
seeth the very depths of heaven and hell. Such as each one is
inwardly, so judgeth he outwardly. If there is any joy in the
world surely the man of pure heart possesseth it, and if there is
anywhere tribulation and anguish, the evil conscience knoweth it
best. As iron cast into the fire loseth rust and is made
altogether glowing, so the man who turneth himself altogether
unto God is freed from slothfulness and changed into a new man.
When a man beginneth to grow lukewarm, then he feareth a
little labour, and willingly accepteth outward consolation; but
when he beginneth perfectly to conquer himself and to walk
manfully in the way of God, then he counteth as nothing those
things which aforetime seemed to be so grievous unto him.

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