Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Of meditation upon the hidden judgments of God, that we may not be lifted up because of our well-doing. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 14


Chapter 14: Of meditation upon the hidden judgments of God, that we may not be lifted up because of our well-doing.

Thou sendest forth Thy judgments against me, O Lord, and shakest
all my bones with fear and trembling, and my soul trembleth
exceedingly. I stand astonished, and remember that the heavens
are not clean in thy sight. If Thou chargest Thine angels
with folly, and didst spare them not, how shall it be unto me?
Stars have fallen from heaven, and what shall I dare who am
but dust? They whose works seemed to be praiseworthy, fell into
the lowest depths, and they who did eat Angels’ food, them have I
seen delighted with the husks that the swine do eat.
There is therefore no holiness, if Thou O Lord, withdraw Thine
hand. No wisdom profiteth, if Thou leave off to guide the helm.
No strength availeth, if Thou cease to preserve. No purity is
secure, if Thou protect it not. No self-keeping availeth, if Thy
holy watching be not there. For when we are left alone we are
swallowed up and perish, but when we are visited, we are raised
up, and we live. For indeed we are unstable, but are made strong
through Thee; we grow cold, but are rekindled by Thee.
Oh, how humbly and abjectly must I reckon of myself, how must
I weigh it as nothing, if I seem to have nothing good! Oh, how
profoundly ought I to submit myself to Thy unfathomable
judgments, O Lord, when I find myself nothing else save nothing,
and again nothing! Oh weight unmeasurable, oh ocean which cannot
be crossed over, where I find nothing of myself save nothing
altogether! Where, then, is the hiding-place of glory, where the
confidence begotten of virtue? All vain-glory is swallowed up in
the depths of Thy judgments against me.
What is all flesh in Thy sight? For how shall the clay boast
against Him that fashioned it? How can he be lifted up in
vain speech whose heart is subjected in truth to God? The whole
world shall not lift him up whom Truth hath subdued; nor shall he
be moved by the mouth of all who praise him, who hath placed all
his hope in God. For they themselves who speak, behold, they
are all nothing; for they shall cease with the sound of their
words, but the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.

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