Friday, July 13, 2012

Imitation of Christ

 Fili, utilius est tibi et securius devotionis gratiam abscondere nec in altum te efferre, nec multum inde loqui, neque multum ponderare, sed magi teipsum despicere, et tanquam indigno datam timere. Non est huic affectioni tenacius inhærendum, quæ citius potest mutari in contrarium. Cogita quam miser in gratia, et inops esse soles sine gratia. Nec est in eo tantum spiritualis vitæ profectus, cum consolationis habueris gratiam, sed cum humiliter, et abnegate patienterque tuleris ejus subtractionem. Ita quod tunc ab orationis studio non torpeas, nec reliqua opera tua ex usu facienda omnino dilabi permittas, sed sicut potueris melius et intellexeris, libenter quod est in te facias, nec propter ariditatem sive anxietatem mentis quam sentis te totaliter negligas.

My son, it is better and safer for you to hide the grace of devotion, and not to lift yourself up on high, nor to speak much thereof, nor to value it greatly; but rather to despise yourself, and to fear as though this grace were given to one unworthy thereof. Nor must you depend too much upon this feeling, for it can very quickly be turned into its opposite. Think when you are in a state of grace how miserable and poor you are without grace. Nor is there advance in spiritual life in this alone, that you have the grace of consolation, but that you
humbly and unselfishly and patiently take the withdrawal thereof; so that you cease not from the exercise of prayer, nor suffer your other common duties to be in anywise neglected; rather do your task more readily, as though you had gained more strength and knowledge; and do not altogether neglect yourself because of the dearth and anxiety of spirit which you feel.

Imitation of Christ, III, 7:1

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