USEFUL ADMONITIONS FOR A SPIRITUAL LIFE.

OF THE IMITATION OF CHRIST, AND THE CONTEMPT OF ALL THE VANITIES OF THE WORLD:

      "HE WHO FOLLOWS ME, DOES NOT WALK IN DARKNESS," SAYS OUR LORD.

      THESE ARE THE WORDS OF CHRIST, BY WHICH WE ARE WARNED, THAT WE MUST IMITATE HIS LIFE AND MANNERS, IF WE WOULD BE TRULY ENLIGHTENED AND DELIVERED FROM ALL BLINDNESS OF HEART.

      LET IT THEN BE OUR CHIEF STUDY TO MEDITATE ON THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.

2. THE DOCTRINE OF CHIRST SURPASSES ALL THE DOCTRINES OF THE SAINTS; AND HE WHO HAS THE SPIRIT WILL FIND THEREIN A HIDDEN MANNA.

      BUT IT HAPPENS THAT MANY, BY FREQUENT HEARING OF THE GOSPEL, ARE VERY LITTLE AFFECTED, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

(Do you have the Spirit of CHRIST FULLY MANIFEST in your seeking him continually as only holy men and women know how to do? Saint Thomas Kempis is not speaking of your receiving Christ as your Saviour. He is talking about your building "the new man" in Christ into a fully anointed person directed by the holy Ghost, ready to die for the gospel of Jesus Christ.)

      BUT HE WHO WOULD FULLY AND WITH JOY UNDERSTAND THE WORDS OF CHRIST, MUST STUDY TO MAKE HIS WHOLE LIFE CONFORMABLE TO THAT OF CHRIST."

3. WHAT DOES IT AVAIL YOU TO ARGUE PROFOUNDLY OF THE TRINITY IF YOU BE VOID OF HUMILITY, AND CONSEQUENTLY BE DISPLEASING TO THE TRINITY?

      IN TRUTH, SUBLIME WORDS DO NOT MAKE A MAN HOLY AND JUST: BUT A VIRTUOUS LIFE MAKES HIM DEAR TO GOD.

      I WOULD RATHER FEEL COMPUNCTION THAN KNOW ITS DEFINITION.

      IF YOU KNEW THE WHOLE BIBLE BY HEART, AND THE SAYINGS OF ALL THE PHILOSOPHERS, WHAT WOULD IT ALL PROFIT YOU WITHOUT THE LOVE AND GRACE OF GOD?

      "VANITY OF VANITIES, AND ALL IS VANITY," EXCEPT LOVING GOD AND SERVING HIM ALONE.

      THIS IS THE HIGHEST WISDOM: TO DESPISE THE WORLD AND TO ASPIRE TO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

4. IT IS VANITY, THEREFORE, TO SEEK RICHES WHICH MUST PERISH, AND TO TRUST IN THEM.

      IT IS VANITY ALSO TO BE AMBITIOUS OF HONORS, AND TO RAISE ONESELF TO A HIGH STATION.

      IT IS VANITY TO FOLLOW THE DESIRES OF THE FLESH, AND TO DESIRE THAT FOR WHICH YOU MUST AFTERWARDS BE GRIEVOUSLY PUNISHED.

      IT IS VANITY TO WISH FOR A LONG LIFE, AND TO TAKE LITTLE CARE OF LEADING A GOOD LIFE.

      IT IS VANITY ALSO TO ATTEND ONLY TO THIS PRESENT LIFE, AND NOT TO LOOK FORWARD TO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE TO COME.

      IT IS VANITY TO LOVE THAT WHICH PASSES WITH ALL SPEED, AND NOT TO HASTEN THITHER WHERE EVERLASTING JOY IS.

Saint Thomas is not talking about our hastening thither to the world to come but is advising us to "hasten thither" into the anointing of Christ's divine Presence "where everlasting joy is." Many are unmindful there is any such thing as the anointing of Christ to be entered in to by "dying daily." But that is what Saint Paul, our Apostle, meant when he said: "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ."

5. OFTEN REMEMBER THAT PROVERB: "THE EYE IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SEEING, NOR IS THE EAR FILLED WITH HEARING."

      STUDY, THEREFORE, TO WITHDRAW YOUR HEART FROM THE LOVE OF VISIBLE THINGS, AND TO TURN YOURSELF TO THINGS INVISIBLE. FOR THEY WHO FOLLOW SENSUALITY, DEFILE THEIR CONSCIENCE, AND LOSE THE GRACE OF GOD.





REFLECTION:

      THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST WILL ARRIVE AT A KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH ONLY THROUGH LOVE AND HUMBLE FAITH. ONLY BY FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF THE DIVINE MASTER, AND BY IMITATING AND PRACTICING HIS LESSONS WILL WE BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND HIS DOCTRINE. IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS NOT THE ARTS AND SCIENCES WHICH RENDER US JUST AND THE FRIENDS OF GOD, BUT CHARITY AND THE CHRISTIAN VIRTUES. A SIMPLE MAN, WHO IS CONTRITE AND HUMBLE OF HEART, IS MORE PLEASING TO GOD THAN THE GREATEST PHILOSOPHER WHO IS FULL OF PRIDE AND THINKS HIMSELF GREAT. THE GREATEST WISDOM LIES IN ASPIRING TO GAIN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. ALL THE REST IS VANITY.

PRAYER:

      MY JESUS, I ASK OF YOU THE GRACE TO KNOW AND DO ALL THAT YOU HAVE TAUGHT ME TO GAIN MY SALVATION. MAY I IMITATE YOUR VIRTUES AND PROFIT FROM YOUR LESSONS. THIS IS THE GRACE WHICH I HUMBLY BEG OF YOU, MY DEAR SAVIOUR. AND I HOPE TO OBTAIN IT THROUGH YOUR INFINITE MERCY. AMEN.