Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How almighty God speaks inwardly to our soul without sound of words. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 2

Chapter 2: How almighty God speaks inwardly to our soul without sound of words
Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. I am Thy servant; O give
me understanding that I may know Thy testimonies. Incline my
heart unto the words of Thy mouth. Let thy speech distill as
the dew. The children of Israel spake in old time to Moses:
Speak thou unto us and we will hear, but let not the Lord speak
unto us lest we die.[Exodus 20:19] Not thus, O Lord, not thus do I pray,
but rather with Samuel the prophet, I beseech Thee humbly and
earnestly, Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth. Let not Moses
speak to me, nor any prophet, but rather speak Thou, O Lord, who
didst inspire and illuminate all the prophets; for Thou alone
without them canst perfectly fill me with knowledge, whilst they
without Thee shall profit nothing.
They can indeed utter words, but they give not the spirit.
They speak with exceeding beauty, but when Thou art silent they
kindle not the heart. They give us scriptures, but Thou makest
known the sense thereof. They bring us mysteries, but Thou
revealest the things which are signified. They utter
commandments, but Thou helpest to the fulfilling of them. They
show the way, but Thou givest strength for the journey. They act
only outwardly, but Thou dost instruct and enlighten the heart.
They water, but Thou givest the increase. They cry with words,
but Thou givest understanding to the hearer.
Therefore let not Moses speak to me, but Thou, O Lord my God,
Eternal Truth; lest I die and bring forth no fruit, being
outwardly admonished, but not enkindled within; lest the word
heard but not followed, known but not loved, believed but not
obeyed, rise up against me in the judgment. Speak, Lord, for Thy
servant heareth; Thou hast the words of eternal life. Speak
unto me for some consolation unto my soul, for the amendment of
my whole life, and for the praise and glory and eternal honour of
Thy Name.

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