Thursday, January 22, 2015

That to him who loveth, God is sweet above all things and in all things. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 34


Chapter 34: That to him who loveth, God is sweet above all things and in all things.

Behold, God is mine, and all things are mine! What will I more,
and what more happy thing can I desire? O delightsome and sweet
world! that is, to him that loveth the Word, not the world,
neither the things that are in the world. My God, my all! To
him that understandeth, that word sufficeth, and to repeat it
often is pleasing to him that loveth it. When Thou art present
all things are pleasant; when Thou art absent, all things are
wearisome. Thou makest the heart to be at rest, givest it deep
peace and festal joy. Thou makest it to think rightly in every
matter, and in every matter to give Thee praise; neither can
anything please long without Thee; but if it would be pleasant and
of sweet savour, Thy grace must be there, and it is Thy wisdom
which must give unto it a sweet savour.
To him who tasteth Thee, what can be distasteful? And to him
who tasteth Thee not, what is there which can make him joyous?
But the worldly wise, and they who enjoy the flesh, these fail in
Thy wisdom; for in the wisdom of the world is found utter vanity,
and to be carnally minded is death. But they who follow after
Thee through contempt of worldly things, and mortification of the
flesh, are found to be truly wise because they are carried from
vanity to verity, from the flesh to the spirit. They taste that
the Lord is good, and whatsoever good they find in creatures,
they count it all unto the praise of the Creator. Unlike, yea,
very unlike is the enjoyment of the Creator to enjoyment of the
Creature, the enjoyment of eternity and of time, of light
uncreated and of light reflected.
O Light everlasting, surpassing all created lights, dart down
Thy ray from on high which shall pierce the inmost depths of my
heart. Give purity, joy, clearness, life to my spirit that with
all its powers it may cleave unto Thee with rapture passing man’s
understanding. Oh when shall that blessed and longed-for time
come when Thou shalt satisfy me with Thy presence, and be unto me
All in all? So long as this is delayed, my joy shall not be
full. Still, ah me! the old man liveth in me: he is not yet all
crucified, not yet quite dead; still he lusteth fiercely against
the spirit, wageth inward wars, nor suffereth the soul’s kingdom
to be in peace.
But Thou who rulest the raging of the sea, and stillest the
waves thereof when they arise, rise up and help me. Scatter the
people that delight in war. Destroy them by Thy power. Show
forth, I beseech Thee, Thy might, and let Thy right hand be
glorified, for I have no hope, no refuge, save in Thee, O Lord my

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