Thursday, September 18, 2014

How we must walk in truth and humility before God. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 4

Chapter 4: How we must walk in truth and humility before God

“My Son! walk before Me in truth, and in the simplicity of thy
heart seek Me continually. He who walketh before Me in the truth
shall be safe from evil assaults, and the truth shall deliver him
from the wiles and slanders of the wicked. If the truth shall
make thee free, thou shalt be free indeed, and shalt not care for
the vain words of men.”
Lord, it is true as Thou sayest; let it, I pray Thee, be so
with me; let Thy truth teach me, let it keep me and preserve me
safe unto the end. Let it free me from all evil and inordinate
affection, and I will walk before Thee in great freedom of heart.
“I will teach thee,” saith the Truth, “the things which are
right and pleasing before Me. Think upon thy sins with great
displeasure and sorrow, and never think thyself anything because
of thy good works. Verily thou art a sinner, liable to many
passions, yea, tied and bound with them. Of thyself thou always
tendest unto nothing, thou wilt quickly fall, quickly be
conquered, quickly disturbed, quickly undone. Thou hast nought
whereof to glory, but many reasons why thou shouldest reckon
thyself vile, for thou art far weaker than thou art able to
“Let, therefore, nothing which thou doest seem to thee great;
let nothing be grand, nothing of value or beauty, nothing worthy
of honour, nothing lofty, nothing praiseworthy or desirable,
save what is eternal. Let the eternal truth please thee above
all things, let thine own great vileness displease thee
continually. Fear, denounce, flee nothing so much as thine own
faults and sins, which ought to be more displeasing to thee than
any loss whatsoever of goods. There are some who walk not
sincerely before me, but being led by curiosity and pride, they
desire to know my secret things and to understand the deep things
of God, whilst they neglect themselves and their salvation.
These often fall into great temptations and sins because of their
pride and curiosity, for I am against them.
“Fear thou the judgments of God, fear greatly the wrath of the
Almighty. Shrink from debating upon the works of the Most High,
but search narrowly thine own iniquities into what great sins
thou hast fallen, and how many good things thou hast neglected.
There are some who carry their devotion only in books, some in
pictures, some in outward signs and figures; some have Me in
their mouths, but little in their hearts. Others there are who,
being enlightened in their understanding and purged in their
affections, continually long after eternal things, hear of
earthly things with unwillingness, obey the necessities of nature
with sorrow. And these understand what the Spirit of truth
speaketh in them; for He teacheth them to despise earthly things
and to love heavenly; to neglect the world and to desire heaven
all the day and night.”

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