BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 15: HOW WE ARE TO BE DISPOSED, AND WHAT WE ARE TO SAY,
WHEN WE DESIRE ANYTHING
My son, say this on every occasion:
Lord, if it be pleasing to Thee, so let it be.
Lord, if it be to Thy honor, let this be done in Thy Name.
Lord, if Thou seest that this is expedient, and approvest it as profitable for me, then grant that I may use it to Thy honor.
But if Thou knowest that it will be hurtful to me, and not profitable for the salvation of my soul, take away from me such a desire.
For not every desire is from the Holy Ghost, though to man it seem right and good.
It is difficult to judge truly whether it be a good or evil spirit that impelleth thee to desire this or that, or whether thou art not moved to it by thine own spirit.
Many in the end have been deceived, who at first seemed to be led by a good spirit.
2. Whatsoever, therefore, occurreth to thy mind as worthy to be desired, it must be always with the fear of God and humility of heart that thou desire and ask for it.
And above all thou oughtest, with self-resignation, to commit all to Me, and to say:
Lord, Thou knowest what is best; let this or that be done as Thou wilt.
Give what Thou wilt, and as much as Thou wilt, and at what time Thou wilt.
Do with me as Thou knowest, and as best pleaseth Thee, and is most for Thy honor.
Put me where Thou wilt, and do with me in all things according to Thy will.
I am in Thy hand; turn me hither and thither as Thou choosest.
Lo, I am Thy servant, ready for all things; for I do not desire to live for myself, but for Thee; oh, that I could do so in a worthy and perfect manner!
A Prayer for fulfilling the will of God.
3. Grant me Thy grace, most merciful Jesus, that it may be with me, and labor with me, and continue with me unto the end.
Grant me always to will and desire that which is most acceptable to Thee, and which pleaseth Thee best.
Let Thy will be mine, and let my will always follow Thine, and agree perfectly with it.
Let me always will or not will the same with Thee; and let me not be able to will or not to will otherwise than as Thou willest or willest not.
4. Grant that I may die to all things that are in the world, and for Thy sake love to be despised, and to be unknown in this world.
Grant unto me, above all things to be desired, that I may rest in Thee, and that my heart may be at peace in Thee.
Thou art the true peace of the heart; Thou art its only rest; out of Thee all things are hard and restless.
In this peace, in the self-same, that is, in Thee, the one sovereign eternal Good, I will sleep and take my rest. Amen.
As it is God Who wills all that happens to us, and wills it for our good, for our salvation, so we ought in all things to resign ourselves to His holy appointments-----that is, we should, first, will only what God wills, and when He wills it; secondly, we should never separate our will from His by any voluntary transgression, and never say or do anything contrary to it; thirdly, we should never knowingly sin, or resist God in what He requires from us.
A firm and constant resolution to do, to renounce, and to suffer whatever He at present requires, or may in future demand of our fidelity, is all that is necessary to make us victims of His love and good pleasure, and to commence here upon earth what we hope to continue in Heaven. Wherefore let us often pray that the will of God may be accomplished in us in time, as it will be in eternity.
O MY God, Whose holy will is the rule and principle of all good, mayst Thou be the soul of all my actions, and the object of all the motions of my heart. Grant that in my whole conduct, and in all trials, I may seek only to do and to suffer whatever Thou wiliest, because it is Thy will, and as Thou pleasest; that I may renounce my own will in everything; that I may make Thee the sole master and proprietor of my heart, that in all things it may be submissive to Thy will, and never depart from it. Amen.