Friday, April 24, 2015

That a man must not be too much cast down when he falleth into some faults. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis. Book 3, Chapter 57


Chapter 57: That a man must not be too much cast down when he falleth into some faults.

“My Son, patience and humility in adversities are more pleasing
to Me than much comfort and devotion in prosperity. Why doth a
little thing spoken against thee make thee sad? If it had been
more, thou still oughtest not to be moved. But now suffer it to
go by; it is not the first, it is not new, and it will not be the
last, if thou live long. Thou art brave enough, so long as no
adversity meeteth thee. Thou givest good counsel also, and
knowest how to strengthen others with thy words; but when
tribulation suddenly knocketh at thine own door, thy counsel and
strength fail. Consider thy great frailty, which thou dost so
often experience in trifling matters nevertheless, for thy soul’s
health these things are done when they and such like happen unto
“Put them away from thy heart as well as thou canst, and if
tribulation hath touched thee, yet let it not cast thee down nor
entangle thee long. At the least, bear patiently, if thou canst
not joyfully. And although thou be very unwilling to hear it,
and feel indignation, yet check thyself, and suffer no unadvised
word to come forth from thy lips, whereby the little ones may be
offended. Soon the storm which hath been raised shall be
stilled, and inward grief shall be sweetened by returning grace.
I yet live, saith the Lord, ready to help thee, and to give thee
more than wonted consolation if thou put thy trust in Me, and
call devoutly upon Me.
“Be thou more calm of spirit, and gird thyself for greater
endurance. All is not frustrated, though thou find thyself very
often afflicted or grievously tempted. Thou art man, not God;
thou art flesh, not an angel. How shouldst thou be able to
remain alway in the same state of virtue, when an angel in heaven
fell, and the first man in paradise? I am He who lifteth up the
mourners to deliverance, and those who know their own infirmity I
raise up to my own nature.”
O Lord, blessed be Thy word, sweeter to my mouth than honey
and the honeycomb. What should I do in my so great tribulations
and anxieties, unless Thou didst comfort me with Thy holy words?
If only I may attain unto the haven of salvation, what matter is
it what things or how many I suffer? Give me a good end, give me
a happy passage out of this world. Remember me, O my God, and
lead me by the right way unto Thy Kingdom. Amen.

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