IMITATION OF CHRIST.

USEFUL ADMONITIONS FOR A SPIRITUAL LIFE.

OF INORDINATE AFFECTIONS:

      WHENEVER A MAN DESIRES ANYTHING INORDINATELY, HE IS IMMEDIATELY DISQUIETED WITHIN HIMSELF.

WHY SHOULD YOU WANT ANYTHING IF IT IS GOING TO BECOME A VEXATION FOR YOU TO GET IT? A MAN BAITED BY HIS OWN LUSTS THINKS HE CAN TAKE WHAT HE WANTS WITH LITTLE PROBLEM. MEN ARE TAKEN CAPTIVE BY THEIR OWN SINS. THE GREATER THE ENTANGLEMENT, THE GREATER THE VEXATIONS ACCOMPANYING IT. IT IS A GENERAL RULE. CUT DOWN ON ENTANGLEMENTS AND INCREASE YOUR OPPORTUNITY AT THE SPIRITUAL LIFE.

      THE PROUD AND COVETOUS ARE NEVER EASY: THE POOR AND HUMBLE OF SPIRIT LIVE IN MUCH PEACE.

HOW CAN YOU BE EASY WHEN THE ALL KNOWING, ALL POWERFUL, ALL PERVADING GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU TO HAVE WHAT YOU SET YOUR LUST ON? GOD WILL NOT HELP YOU GET WHAT YOU LUST FOR WHEN HE DOES NOT THINK IT GOOD FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH.

      THE MAN THAT IS NOT YET PERFECTLY DEAD TO HIMSELF IS SOON TEMPTED AND OVERCOME IN SMALL AND TRIFLING THINGS.

      HE THAT IS SICK IN SPIRIT, AND IN MANNER YET CARNAL, AND INCLINED TO SENSUAL THINGS, CANNOT WITHOUT DIFFICULTY WITHDRAW HIMSELF WHOLLY FROM EARTHLY DESIRES.

      AND THEREFORE HE IS OFTEN SAD WHEN HE WITHDRAWS HIMSELF FROM THEM, AND IS EASILY MOVED TO ANGER IF ANYONE THWARTS HIM.

2. AND, IF HE HAS PURSUED HIS INCLINATION, HE IS IMMEDIATELY TORMENTED WITH REMORSE OF CONSCIENCE, BECAUSE HE HAS FOLLOWED HIS PASSION, WHICH HELPS HIM NOT AT ALL TO THE PEACE HE SOUGHT FOR.

      IT IS ONLY BY RESISTING OUR PASSIONS, NOT BY BEING SLAVES TO THEM, THAT WE WILL FIND TRUE PEACE OF HEART.

      THERE IS NO PEACE, THEREFORE, IN THE HEART OF A CARNAL MAN, NOR IN A MAN WHO IS DEVOTED TO EXTERIOR THINGS; BUT ONLY IN THE FERVENT AND SPIRITUAL MAN.



REFLECTION:

      AFTER GOD'S GRACE, PEACEOF HEART IS THE GREATEST OF ALL GOODS. WE MUST DO ALL IN OUR POWER TO FIND THIS PEACE OF HEART AND TO CONSERVE IT. BUT WE CANNOT FIND OR KEEP IT WITHOUT MORTIFYING OUR PASSIONS, OUR DISORDERLY DESIRES. ONLY BY OVERCOMING OUR PASSSIONS AND DESIRES, ONLY BY GOING AGAINST THEM, WILL WE EASILY OBTAIN AND CONSERVE PEACE OF HEART.



PRAYER:

      GIVE ME, O JESUS, THAT INTERIOR PEACE, WHICH IS FULL OF HOPE, WHICH RENDERS US SURE OF YOUR GRACES AND FAITHFUL IN CORRESPONDING TO THEM. THAT PEACE WHOSE COMPANIONS ARE THE SPIRIT OF POVERTY, HUMILITY OF HEART AND FREEDOM FROM ALL EARTHLY ATTACHMENTS. GRANT THAT MY PASSIONS BE SUBJECT TO REASON, MY REASON TO FAITH, AND I TO GOD. AMEN.