BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 6: OF INORDINATE AFFECTIONS
WHENEVER a man desireth anything inordinately, straightway he is disquieted within himself. The proud and the covetous are never at rest; the poor and humble in spirit pass their life in abundance of peace.
The man who is not yet perfectly dead to self is soon tempted and overcome in little and paltry things.
He that is weak in spirit, and in a certain manner as yet carnal, and inclined to things of sense, cannot without difficulty sever himself wholly from earthly desires.
And therefore he is often sad when he does withdraw himself; and besides, he is easily moved to anger if anyone thwarts him.
2. And, if he has pursued his inclination, forthwith he is burdened with remorse of conscience for having gone after his passion, which helpeth him not at all to the peace he looked for.
It is by resisting the passions therefore, and not by serving them, that true peace of heart is to be found.
Peace, therefore, is not in the heart of the carnal man, nor in the man who is devoted to outward things, but in the fervent and spiritual man.
THE peace of the soul, next to the grace of God, is the greatest of blessings, and we should spare no pains to maintain it within us. But we can neither obtain nor preserve this peace of the soul but by resisting our passions and irregular desires; for the more we endeavor to satisfy them, the more restless do they make us; the more we fight against them, the less trouble do they give us; the more we resist them, the more do they leave us in peace.
GIVE us, O Lord, this interior peace, this repose of conscience, this tranquillity which raises our confidence in Thy goodness, and makes us faithful in corresponding with it: this peace of God which surpasseth all understanding, which keeps our minds and our hearts in Thy love, and which Thou alone canst give. Calm the storms and emotions of our passions, by giving us courage to overcome them: grant that our desires may become submissive to reason, our reason to faith, and the whole man to God. Amen.