Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Of four things which bring great peace. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 33


Chapter 33: Of four things which bring great peace.

“My Son, now will I teach thee the way of peace and of true
2. Do, O my Lord, as Thou sayest, for this is pleasing unto me to
3. “Strive, My Son, to do another’s will rather than thine own.
Choose always to have less rather than more. Seek always after
the lowest place, and to be subject to all. Wish always and pray
that the will of God be fulfilled in thee. Behold, such a man as
this entereth into the inheritance of peace and quietness.”
4. O my Lord, this Thy short discourse hath in itself much of
perfectness. It is short in words but full of meaning, and
abundant in fruit. For if it were possible that I should fully
keep it, disturbance would not so easily arise within me. For as
often as I feel myself disquieted and weighed down, I find myself
to have gone back from this teaching. But Thou, Who art
Almighty, and always lovest progress in the soul, vouchsafe more
grace, that I may be enabled to fulfil Thy exhortation, and work
out my salvation.
5. O Lord my God, be not Thou far from me, my God, haste Thee to
help me,(1) for many thoughts and great fears have risen up
against me, afflicting my soul. How shall I pass through them
unhurt? how shall I break through them?
6. “I,” saith He, “will go before thee, and make the crooked
places straight.”(2) I will open the prison doors, and reveal to
thee the secret places.
7. Do, Lord, as Thou sayest; and let all evil thoughts fly away
before Thy face. This is my hope and my only comfort, to fly
unto Thee in all tribulation, to hope in Thee, to call upon Thee
from my heart and patiently wait for Thy loving kindness.
8. Enlighten me, Blessed Jesus, with the brightness of Thy inner
light, and cast forth all darkness from the habitation of my
heart. Restrain my many wandering thoughts, and carry away the
temptations which strive to do me hurt. Fight Thou mightily for
me, and drive forth the evil beasts, so call I alluring lusts,
that peace may be within Thy walls and plenteousness of praise
within Thy palaces,(3) even in my pure conscience. Command Thou
the winds and the storms, say unto the sea, “Be still,” say unto
the stormy wind, “Hold thy peace,” so shall there be a great
9. Oh send forth Thy light and Thy truth,(4) that they may shine
upon the earth; for I am but earth without form and void until
Thou give me light. Pour forth Thy grace from above; water my
heart with the dew of heaven; give the waters of devotion to
water the face of the earth, and cause it to bring forth good and
perfect fruit. Lift up my mind which is oppressed with the
weight of sins, and raise my whole desire to heavenly things;
that having tasted the sweetness of the happiness which is from
above, it may take no pleasure in thinking of things of earth.
10. Draw me and deliver me from every unstable comfort of
creatures, for no created thing is able to satisfy my desire and
to give me comfort. Join me to Thyself by the inseparable bond
of love, for Thou alone art sufficient to him that loveth Thee,
and without Thee all things are vain toys.
(1) Psalm lxxi. 12. (2) Isaiah xlv. 2. (3) Psalm cxxii. 7.
(4) Psalm xliii. 3.

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