Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quotes to Help Us Spiritually

The following are excerpts from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a' Kempis.

On Charity as the Motive of Our Actions:

"Whereas true charity, charity that goes the whole way, leaves no room for self-seeking; it is God's glory that must have, everywhere, the preference. A man who has charity of that kind does not envy other people..." 

- Chapter 15 of Book I

On Putting up with Other People's Faults:

"If you have spoken to a man once and again without bringing him to a better mind, it is a mistake to go on nagging at him; leave it all in God's hands; let His will be done, His name be glorified, in the lives of all His servants-- He knows how to bring good out of evil...

...We like to have everybody around us quite perfect, but our own faults-- we never seem to correct them...

...there is no better test of a man's quality than when he cannot have things his own way. The occasions of sin do not overpower us, they only prove our worth"

- Chapter 16 of Book I

On the example set us by our Holy Fathers:

"...the holy fathers in the desert--how sever that life was, how full of self-renunciation! The long periods of searching trial, the devil's constant assaults; prayer offered to God so frequently and so fervently, and stern fasts kept; all that burning ambition to rise higher in the spiritual life, that gallant campaign to overcome their faults; the clear eyes, the true wills, that aspired towards God! After a day of hard work, they must still be long over their praying-- as if work itself had meant rest, for a moment, from mental prayer!

- Chapter 18 of Book I

On the Pious Practices (meant for monks but also applicable to the laity)

"As each new day comes, we ought to renew our good resolutions, re-kindle the fires of our devotion, as if today were the first day of our coming back to God. 'Help me, Lord God,' we ought to say to Him, 'in carrying out my good resolutions, in this holy business of serving you. Help me, today, to make an effective start; so far, I have really nothing to show for it."

- Chapter 19 of Book I

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