IMITATION OF CHRIST.

USEFUL ADMONITIONS FOR A SPIRITUAL LIFE.

HOW TO READ THE HOLY SCRIPTURES:

      TRUTH IS TO BE SOUGHT FOR IN HOLY SCRIPTURE, NOT ELOQUENCE.

      ALL HOLY SCRIPTURE OUGHT TO BE READ WITH THAT SPIRIT WITH WHICH IT WAS WRITTEN.

ALTHOUGH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT YET "WHOLLY SANCTIFIED" AND FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE ANOINTING TO READ THE SCRIPTURES IN THE SPIRIT IN WHICH THEY ARE WRITTEN, NONETHELESS WE SHOULD BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD CAN BECOME SPIRIT FOR US IF WE FULLY LIVE IT DAY BY DAY MORE AND MORE AS WE GROW UP INTO CHRIST.

      WE SHOULD RATHER SEEK FOR PROFIT IN THE SCRIPTURES THAN FOR SUBTLETY OF SPEECH.

      WE OUGHT TO READ DEVOUT AND SIMPLE BOOKS AS WILLINGLY AS THOSE THAT ARE HIGH AND PROFOUND.

      LET NOT THE AUTHORITY OF THE WRITER MOVE YOU, BE HE OF LITTLE OR OF GREAT LEARNING; BUT LET THE LOVE OF PURE TRUTH LEAD YOU TO READ.

      INQUIRE NOT WHO SAID THIS; BUT ATTEND TO WHAT IS SAID.

2. MEN PASS AWAY; "BUT THE TRUTH OF THE LORD REMAINS FOREVER."

      GOD SPEAKS TO US IN MANY WAYS WITHOUT RESPECT TO PERSONS.

      OUR CURIOSITY OFTEN HINDERS US IN READING THE SCRIPTURES, WHEN WE ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND AND DISCUSS THOSE PASSAGES WHICH SHOULD BE SIMPLY PASSED OVER.

      IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE PROFIT, READ WITH HUMILITY, SIMPLICITY, AND FAITH; AND DO NOT SEEK AT ANY TIME THE FAME OF BEING LEARNED.

      WILLINGLY INQUIRE AFTER, AND LISTEN IN SILENCE TO THE WORDS OF THE SAINTS; AND BE PLEASED WITH THE PARABLES OF THE ANCIENTS, FOR THEY ARE NOT SPOKEN WITHOUT CAUSE.

YOU WILL FIND RELIGIOUS LEADERS OPPOSED TO THIS GOOD COUNSEL FROM SAINT THOMAS, YET IT IS LOGICAL; IF YOU WISH TO BE A SAINT, YOU OUGHT TO CONSULT A SAINT WHERE-EVER YOU KNOW THERE IS ONE. AND YOU CAN BE SURE YOU WILL HAVE TO BELIEVE BY FAITH, FOR A SAINT SHALL SPEAK OF THAT WHICH IS NOT AS THOUGH IT IS.




REFLECTION:

      GOD HIMSELF SPEAKS TO US IN THE SACRED SCRIPTURES. WE MUST READ THE SCRIPTURES WITH HUMILITY AND SIMIPLICITY, WITH FAITH AND SUBMISSION. IN READING THE SACRED SCRIPTURES WE MUST BE DOMINATED BY THE DESIRE TO ILLUMINATE OUR MINDS AND TO INFLAME OUR HEART. WE MUST NEVER LET CURIOSITY DOMINATE. AND WHENEVER WE ENCOUNTER SOME DIFFICULTY IN A PASSAGE OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, LET US ASK COUNSEL OF THE LEARNED AND OF SAINTLY PERSONS.



PRAYER:

      O LORD, YOU ALONE KNOW HOW TO SPEAK TO MY HEART AND CONVERT IT. GRANT THAT THE SACRED SCRIPTURES MAY TEACH ME YOUR WILL; THAT I MAY FOLLOW IT IN ALL; AND THAT IT MAY BE MY RULE OF LIFE. AMEN.