BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 8: OF TOO MUCH INTIMACY
OPEN not thy heart to every man, but discuss thy business with one that is wise and feareth God. Be rarely with young people and strangers.
Fawn not upon the rich, and be not fond of appearing in the presence of the great.
Keep company with the humble and the simple, with the devout and well-ordered, and converse of such things as are edifying.
Be not an intimate of any woman; but in general commend all good women unto God.
Desire to be intimate only with God and His holy Angels; and shun the acquaintance of men.
We should have charity towards all men; but intimacy is not expedient.
It happeneth sometimes that a person while unknown shineth highly in good report; but whose presence offendeth the eyes of them that see him.
Sometimes we think to please others with our company; and we begin rather to be displeasing to them from the bad qualities they discover in us.
AVOID worldly company, useless conversations, and those overflowings and attachments of the heart which are neither regulated nor governed by the love of God. For all these things dissipate the soul, withdraw it from God, hinder it from being recollected, and deprive it of that interior spirit which is so necessary for salvation; they expose it to many dangers, and insensibly subvert all interior discipline. Let your friends be persons of piety, whose lives are regular and irreproachable, that their good example may withdraw you from sin, and lead you to virtue. Happy the Christian who is attached only to Jesus Christ, to his duties, and to his salvation; who lives in God and for God, and thus commences in time that which shall be his continual occupation for eternity!
GRANT, O Jesus, that I may love Thee more than parents, relations, or friends, more than I love myself. Grant that I may earnestly endeavor to know Thee, to love Thee, and to follow Thee, that so, having been accustomed and conformed to Thee, I may not be exposed, as many Christians are, to the danger of appearing, after my departure hence, before a God Whom I know not, Whom I have never loved; for not to love Thee in time, is not to love Thee for eternity; whereas, if I endeavor to love Thee now, I shall have reason to hope that I shall love Thee forever. O most amiable God! O most loving God! grant that I may love Thee with my whole heart, with my whole soul, with all my strength, and with all my mind. Amen.