Monday, September 1, 2014

Of the knowing of ourselves. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 2, Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Of the knowing of ourselves
We cannot place too little confidence in ourselves, because grace
and understanding are often lacking to us. Little light is there
within us, and what we have we quickly lose by negligence.
Oftentimes we perceive not how great is our inward blindness. We
often do ill and excuse it worse. Sometimes we are moved by
passion and count it zeal; we blame little faults in others and
pass over great faults in ourselves. Quickly enough we feel and
reckon up what we bear at the hands of others, but we reflect not
how much others are bearing from us. He who would weigh well and
rightly his own doings would not be the man to judge severely of
The spiritually minded man putteth care of himself before all
cares; and he who diligently attendeth to himself easily keepeth
silence concerning others. Thou wilt never be spiritually minded
and godly unless thou art silent concerning other men’s matters
and take full heed to thyself. If thou think wholly upon thyself
and upon God, what thou seest out of doors shall move thee
little. Where art thou when thou art not present to thyself? and
when thou hast overrun all things, what hath it profited thee,
thyself being neglected? If thou wouldst have peace and true
unity, thou must put aside all other things, and gaze only upon
Then thou shalt make great progress if thou keep thyself free
from all temporal care. Thou shalt lamentably fall away if thou
set a value upon any worldly thing. Let nothing be great,
nothing high, nothing pleasing, nothing acceptable unto thee,
save God Himself or the things of God. Reckon as altogether vain
whatsoever consolation comes to thee from a creature. The soul
that loveth God looketh not to anything that is beneath God. God
alone is eternal and incomprehensible, filling all things, the
solace of the soul, and the true joy of the heart.

Recommended edition: 

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