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Tag Archives: Thomas a Kempis

KEEP ME, LORD, FROM THE CARES OF THIS LIFE

KEEP ME, LORD, FROM THE CARES OF THIS LIFE

THE EXCELLENCE OF A FREE MIND.

IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT OF THIS WORLD.

For what a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. (Ga 6:8)

It is the mark of a perfect man, Lord, never to let his mind relax in attention to heavenly things, and to pass through many cares as though he had none; not as an indolent man does, but having by the certain prerogative of a free mind no disorderly affection for any created being.

NO DISORDERLY AFFECTION FOR ANY CREATED BEING

Keep me, I beg You, most merciful God, from the cares of this life, lest I become too much entangled in them. Keep me from many necessities of the body, lest I be ensnared by pleasure. Keep me from all darkness of mind, lest I be broken by troubles and overcome.

I do not ask deliverance from those things which worldly vanity desires so eagerly, but from those miseries which, by the common curse of humankind, oppress the soul of Your servant in punishment and keep him from entering into the liberty of spirit as often as he would.

MY GOD, SWEETNESS BEYOND WORDS

My God, Sweetness beyond words, make bitter all the carnal comfort that draws me from love of the eternal and lures me to its evil self by the sight of some delightful good in the present. Let it not overcome me, my God.

Let not flesh and blood conquer me. Let not the world and its brief glory deceive me, nor the devil trip me up by his craftiness. Give me courage to resist, patience to endure, and constancy to persevere. Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit rather than all the consolations of the world, and in place of carnal love, infuse into me the love of Your name.

INSTEAD OF CARNAL LOVE, INFUSE INTO ME THE LOVE OF YOUR NAME, LORD

Behold, eating, drinking, clothing, and other necessities that sustain the body are burdensome to the fervent soul.

Grant me the grace to use such comforts temperately and not become entangled in too great a desire for them. It is not lawful to cast them aside completely for nature must be sustained, but Your holy law forbids us to demand superfluous things and things that are simply for pleasure, else the flesh would rebel against the spirit. In these matters, I beg, let Your hand guide and direct me, so that I may not overstep the law in any way.

– From: The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis [Catholic priest & monk], 1418

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WITHOUT FAITH, EVERY HUMAN LABOUR IS EMPTY

“Jesus says to his friends in the boat who were terrified at the storm, ‘How is it that you have no faith?’ Let us prayerfully reflect on what some holy people have written about faith:

• Faith is the ear of the soul. (St Clement of Alexandria)

• Just as the mere memory of fire does not warm the body, so also faith without love doesn’t produce the light of knowledge in the soul. (St Maximus the Confessor)

• Without faith, every human labour is empty. (St Fulgence of Ruspe)

• I may love by halves, I may obey by halves; I cannot believe by halves: either I have faith, or I have it not. (Blessed John Henry Newman)

• The spiritual quest is a continuous act of faith, a faith that spiritual experience is the most real thing in human life and that all other categories of experience are subordinate to the fact of God. (Martin Israel – priest and spiritual director)

• Faith is the union of God with the soul. (St John of the Cross)

• What is required of you is faith and a sincere life, not loftiness and intellect of deep knowledge of the mysteries of God. (Thomas a Kempis – spiritual writer)

• Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe. (St Augustine of Hippo)

• Faith is a beam radiating from the face of God. (St John Dudes)

• God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ increase us in faith and truth and gentleness. (Prayer of St Polycarp)”

– From: “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris” / June 2015

 

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“TAKE AWAY, O LORD, FROM OUR HEARTS ALL SUSPICIOUSNESS”

HAVE MERCY ON THOSE WHO SEEK YOUR MERCY:

Take away, O Lord,
from our hearts all suspiciousness,
indignation, anger and contention,
and whatever is calculated
to wound charity
and to lessen brotherly love.
Have mercy, O Lord,
have mercy on those
who seek your mercy;
give grace to the needy;
make us to live so that
we may be found worthy to enjoy
the fruition of your grace
and that we may attain eternal life.
Amen.
– Thomas a Kempis

 

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FROM THOMAS A KEMPIS’ “IMITATION OF CHRIST”: ON THE ROYAL ROAD OF THE CROSS

DENY THYSELF, TAKE UP THY CROSS AND FOLLOW ME (Mt 16:24).

“One of the most important and immortal pages of the ‘Imitation of Christ’, an ascetical text meditated upon by Saints and formators of Saints, is wholly centred upon the mystery of the Cross, the way of salvation that no man may exempt himself from travelling along, since – admonishes Thomas a Kempis – “only in the cross is there the salvation of the soul and hope of everlasting life.”

BY THOMAS A KEMPIS

IN THE CROSS IS SALVATION

“To many the saying, ‘Deny thyself, take up thy cross and follow Me’ (Mt 16:24; Lk 9:23) seems hard, but it will be much harder to hear that final word: ‘Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire’ (Mt 25:41). Those who hear the word of the cross and follow it willingly now, need not fear that they will hear of eternal damnation on the Day of Judgement. This sign of the cross will be in the heavens when the Lord comes to judge. Then all the servants of the cross, who during life made themselves one with the Crucified One, will draw near with great trust to Christ, the Judge.

IN THE CROSS IS INFUSION OF HEAVENLY SWEETNESS

Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of spirit, in the cross is highest virtue, in the cross is perfect holiness. There is no salvation of soul nor hope of everlasting life but in the cross. Take up your cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and you shall enter eternal life. He Himself opened the way before you in carrying His cross (Jn 19:17) and upon it He died for you, that you, too, might take up your cross and long to die upon it. If you die with Him, you shall also live with Him, and if you share His suffering, you shall also share His glory.

THERE IS NO WAY TO TRUE INWARD PEACE THAN THE CROSS

Behold, in the cross is everything, and upon your dying on the cross everything depends. There is no other way to life and to true inward peace than the way of the holy cross and daily mortification. Go where you will, seek what you will, you will not find a higher way, nor a less exalted but safer way, than the way of the holy cross. Arrange and order everything to suit your will and judgement, and you still will find that some suffering must always be borne, willingly or unwillingly, and thus you will always find the cross.

LIKE CHRIST HIMSELF

Either you will experience bodily pain or you will undergo tribulation of spirit in your soul. At times you will be forsaken by God, at times troubled by those about you and, what is worse, you will often grow weary of yourself. You cannot escape, you cannot be relieved by any remedy or comfort but must bear with it as long as God wills. For He wishes you to learn to bear trials without consolation, to submit yourself wholly to Him that you may become more humble through suffering. No one understands the passion of Christ so thoroughly or heartily as the man whose lot it is to suffer the like himself.

PATIENCE AND RESIGNATION IN ORDER TO GAIN PEACE AND ETERNAL CROWN

The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will – above, below, without, or within – you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown.

THERE IS NO POINT TRYING TO LOOK FOR ANOTHER WAY

If you carry the cross willingly, it will carry and lead you to the desired goal where indeed there shall be no more suffering, but here there shall be. If you carry it unwillingly, you create a burden for yourself and increase the load, though still you have to bear it. If you cast away one cross, you will find another and perhaps a heavier one.

Do you expect to escape what no mortal man can ever avoid? Which of the saints was without a cross or trial on this earth? Not even Jesus Christ, our Lord, Whose every hour on earth knew the pain of His passion. ‘It behooveth Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, … and so enter into his glory’ (Lk 24-26 and 46). How is it that you look for another way than this, the royal way of the holy cross?

THE WHOLE LIFE OF CHRIST WAS A CROSS

The whole life of Christ was a cross and a martyrdom, and do you seek rest and enjoyment for yourself? You deceive yourself, you are mistaken if you seek anything but to suffer, for this mortal life is full of miseries and marked with crosses on all sides. Indeed, the more spiritual progress a person makes, so much heavier will he frequently find the cross, because as his love increases, the pain of his exile also increases.”
– Published in “De Vita Contemplativa” Year VII – Number 9 September 2013

 
 

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A PRAYER TO DO GOD’S WILL

“LET THY WILL BE MINE”

Grant me, O most merciful Jesus, thy grace, that it may be with me, and labour with me, and abide with me even to the end.

Give me grace ever to desire and to will what is most acceptable to thee, and most pleasing in thy sight.

Let thy will be mine, and let my will ever follow thine, and fully accord with it.

Let there be between thee and me but one will, so that I may love what thou lovest, and abhor what thou hatest; and let me not be able to will anything which thou dost not will, nor to dislike anything which thou dost will.
– Thomas a Kempis

 
 

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