Friday, January 9, 2015

Wherein firm peace of heart and true profit consist. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 25


Chapter 25: Wherein firm peace of heart and true profit consist.

“My Son, I have said, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give
unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you. [John 14:27] All men
desire peace, but all do not care for the things which belong
unto true peace. My peace is with the humble and lowly in heart.
Thy peace shall be in much patience. If thou heardest Me, and
didst follow My voice, thou shouldest enjoy much peace.”
What then shall I do, Lord?
“In everything take heed to thyself what thou doest, and what
thou sayest; and direct all thy purpose to this, that thou please
Me alone, and desire or seek nothing apart from Me. But,
moreover, judge nothing rashly concerning the words or deeds of
others, nor meddle with matters which are not committed to thee;
and it may be that thou shalt be disturbed little or rarely. Yet
never to feel any disquiet, nor to suffer any pain of heart or
body, this belongeth not to the present life, but is the state of
eternal rest. Therefore count not thyself to have found true
peace, if thou hast felt no grief; nor that then all is well if
thou hast no adversary; nor that this is perfect if all things
fall out according to thy desire. Nor then reckon thyself to be
anything great, or think that thou art specially beloved, if thou
art in a state of great fervour and sweetness of spirit; for not
by these things is the true lover of virtue known, nor in them
doth the profit and perfection of man consist.”
In what then, Lord?
“In offering thyself with all thy heart to the Divine Will, in
not seeking the things which are thine own, whether great or
small, whether temporal or eternal; so that thou remain with the
same steady countenance in giving of thanks between prosperity
and adversity, weighing all things in an equal balance. If thou
be so brave and long-suffering in hope that when inward comfort
is taken from thee, thou even prepare thy heart for the more
endurance, and justify not thyself, as though thou oughtest not
to suffer these heavy things, but dost justify Me in all things
that I appoint, and dost bless My Holy Name, then dost thou walk
in the true and right way of peace, and shalt have a sure hope
that thou shalt again behold My face with joy. For if thou come
to an utter contempt of thyself, know that then thou shalt enjoy
abundance of peace, as much as is possible where thou art but a
wayfaring man.”

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