Saturday, January 17, 2015

Of seeking divine help, and the confidence of obtaining grace. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 30


Chapter 30: Of seeking divine help, and the confidence of obtaining grace.

“My Son, I the Lord am a stronghold in the day of trouble.
Come unto Me, when it is not well with thee.
“This it is which chiefly hindereth heavenly consolation, that
thou too slowly betakest thyself unto prayer. For before thou
earnestly seekest unto Me, thou dost first seek after many means
of comfort, and refresheth thyself in outward things: so it cometh
to pass that all things profit thee but little until thou learn
that it is I who deliver those who trust in Me; neither beside Me
is there any strong help, nor profitable counsel, nor enduring
remedy. But now, recovering courage after the tempest, grow thou
strong in the light of My mercies, for I am nigh, saith the Lord,
that I may restore all things not only as they were at the first,
but also abundantly and one upon another.
“For is anything too hard for Me, or shall I be like unto one
who saith and doeth not? Where is thy faith? Stand fast and
with perseverance. Be long-suffering and strong. Consolation
will come unto thee in its due season. Wait for Me; yea, wait; I
will come and heal thee. It is temptation which vexeth thee, and
a vain fear which terrifieth thee. What doth care about future
events bring thee, save sorrow upon sorrow? Sufficient for the
day is the evil thereof. It is vain and useless to be
disturbed or lifted up about future things which perhaps will
never come.
“But it is the nature of man to be deceived by fancies of this
sort, and it is a sign of a mind which is still weak to be so
easily drawn away at the suggestion of the enemy. For he careth
not whether he deceive and beguile by true means or false;
whether he throw thee down by the love of the present or fear of
the future. Therefore let not thy heart be troubled, neither let
it be afraid. Believe in Me, and put thy trust in My mercy.
When thou thinkest thyself far removed from Me, I am often the
nearer. When thou reckonest that almost all is lost, then often
is greater opportunity of gain at hand. All is not lost when
something goeth contrary to thy wishes. Thou oughtest not to
judge according to present feeling, nor so to take or give way to
any grief which befalleth thee, as if all hope of escape were
taken away.
“Think not thyself totally abandoned, although for the time I
have sent to thee some tribulation, or have even withdrawn some
cherished consolation; for this is the way to the Kingdom of
Heaven. And without doubt it is better for thee and for all My
other servants, that ye should be proved by adversities, than
that ye should have all things as ye would. I know thy hidden
thoughts: and that it is very needful for thy soul’s health that
sometimes thou be left without relish, lest perchance thou be
lifted up by prosperity, and desirous to please thyself in that
which thou art not. What I have given I am able to take away,
and to restore again at My good pleasure.
“When I shall have given, it is Mine; when I shall have taken
away, I have not taken what is thine; for every good gift and
every perfect gift is from me. If I shall have sent upon thee
grief or any vexation, be not angry, nor let thy heart be sad; I
am able quickly to lift thee up and to change every burden into
joy. But I am just and greatly to be praised, when I do thus
unto thee.
“If thou rightly consider, and look upon it with truth, thou
oughtest never to be so sadly cast down because of adversity, but
rather shouldst rejoice and give thanks; yea, verily to count it
the highest joy that I afflict thee with sorrows and spare thee
not. As My Father hath loved Me, so love I you; thus have I
spoken unto My beloved disciples: whom I sent forth not unto
worldly joys, but to great strivings; not unto honours, but unto
contempt; not unto ease, but to labours; not unto rest, but to
bring forth much fruit with patience. My son, remember these

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