Thursday, December 18, 2014

Of bearing injuries, and who shall be approved as truly patient. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 19


Chapter 19: Of bearing injuries, and who shall be approved as truly patient.

“What sayest thou, My Son? Cease to complain; consider My
suffering and that of My saints. Thou hast not yet resisted unto
blood. It is little which thou sufferest in comparison with
those who have suffered so many things, have been so strongly
tempted, so grievously troubled, so manywise proved and tried.
Thou oughtest therefore to call to mind the more grievous
sufferings of others that thou mightest bear thy lesser ones more
easily, and if they seem not to thee little, see that it is not
thy impatience which is the cause of this. But whether they be
little or whether they be great, study to bear them all with
“So far as thou settest thyself to bear patiently, so far thou
dost wisely and art deserving of the more merit; thou shalt also
bear the more easily if thy mind and habit are carefully trained
hereunto. And say not ‘I cannot bear these things from such a
man, nor are things of this kind to be borne by me, for he hath
done me grievous harm and imputeth to me what I had never
thought: but from another I will suffer patiently, such things as
I see I ought to suffer.’ Foolish is such a thought as this,
for it considereth not the virtue of patience, nor by whom that
virtue is to be crowned, but it rather weigheth persons and
offences against self.
“He is not truly patient who will only suffer as far as
seemeth right to himself and from whom he pleaseth. But the
truly patient man considereth not by what man he is tried,
whether by one above him, or by an equal or inferior, whether by
a good and holy man, or a perverse and unworthy; but
indifferently from every creature, whatsoever or how often soever
adversity happeneth to him, he gratefully accepteth all from the
hand of God and counteth it great gain: for with God nothing
which is borne for His sake, however small, shall lose its
“Be thou therefore ready for the fight if thou wilt have the
victory. Without striving thou canst not win the crown of
patience; if thou wilt not suffer thou refusest to be crowned.
But if thou desirest to be crowned, strive manfully, endure
patiently. Without labour thou drawest not near to rest, nor
without fighting comest thou to victory.”
Make possible to me, O Lord, by grace what seemeth impossible
to me by nature. Thou knowest how little I am able to bear, and
how quickly I am cast down when a like adversity riseth up
against me. Whatsoever trial of tribulation may come to me, may
it become unto me pleasing and acceptable, for to suffer and be
vexed for Thy sake is exceeding healthful to the soul.

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