Today, we are going old school, in fact some six hundred years back in time, to glean the wisdom of a humble soul, and one whose singular desire was to become more like Jesus.
I am certain most of you have this book somewhere in your libraries, since it continues to be, after such a long time, a very sobering read.
I am referring to the book entitled 'The Imitation of Christ', by none other than Thomas a Kempis, born Thomas Hammerken in 1380, passing on in 1471 at ninety-one years of age. It always amazes me how actual and true old writings can continue to be, how we can go back to a book that was penned three hundred, five hundred, or even six hundred years ago, and find gems of wisdom and truth that would challenge us and compel us to seek a closer intimacy with Christ our Savior and Lord. I have read this book many times, the copy I possess being highlighted on many a page. I have chosen some of the passages that spoke to my heart, and I pray they speak to yours as well.
"Surely profound words do not make a man holy and just; but a virtuous life makes him dear to God. I would rather feel contrition than know the definition thereof."
"Every man naturally desires to know, but what does knowledge avail without the fear of God? Better, surely, is a humble laborer ho serves God than a proud philosopher who neglecting himself, studies the course of the heavens."
"True peace of heart therefore is found by resisting our passions, not by obeying them. There is then no peace in the heart of a carnal man, nor in him who is given up to outward things, but in the fervent and spiritual man."
"Be not ashamed to serve others for the love of Jesus Christ, nor to be esteemed poor in this world."
"Glory not in wealth if you have it, nor in friends because they are powerful, but in God who gives all things, and above all desires to give you Himself."
"If there be any good in you, believe better things of others, that you may preserve humility. It does not hurt to see yourself lower than all men, but it hurts exceedingly if you set yourself before even one man. Continual peace is with the humble, but in the heart of the proud there is envy and frequent indignation."
"Many are under obedience, rather for necessity than for love; such are disconnected and easily murmur. Neither can they attain to freedom of mind, unless with their whole heart they put themselves under obedience for the love of God."
"If we esteem our progress in religious life to consist only in some outward observances, our devotion will quickly have an end."
"He who desires true and everlasting glory cares not for that which is temporal. And he who seeks temporal glory, or removes it not from his soul, shows that he little loves the glory of Heaven."
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.