BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 25: IN WHAT FIRM PEACE OF THE HEART
AND TRUE PROGRESS DOTH CONSIST
SON, I have said: Peace I leave to you. My peace I give to you; not as the world giveth do I give to you.
Peace all desire; but all care not for those things which appertain to true peace.
My peace is with the humble and meek of heart: thy peace shall be in much patience.
If thou wilt hear Me, and follow My voice, thou mayst enjoy much peace.
2. What, then, shall I do, Lord?
3. In everything attend to thyself, what thou art doing, and what thou art saying; and direct thy whole attention to this, that thou mayst please Me alone, and neither desire nor seek anything out of Me.
And as for the sayings or doings of others, judge nothing rashly, neither busy thyself with things not committed to thy care; and thus may it be brought about, that thou shalt be little or seldom disturbed.
But never to feel any grief at all, nor to suffer any trouble of heart or body, is not the state of this present life, but of everlasting rest.
Think not, therefore, that thou hast found true peace, if thou feel no burden; nor that then all is well, if thou have no adversary; nor that thou hast attained to perfection, if all things be done according to thine inclination.
Neither do thou conceive a great notion of thyself, or imagine thyself to be especially beloved, if thou experience great devotion and sweetness; for it is not in such things as these that a true lover of virtue is known; nor doth the progress and perfection of a man consist in these things.
4. In what, then, O Lord?
5. In offering thyself with thy whole heart to the Divine will; not seeking the things that are thine, either in little or great, either in time or in eternity.
So that with the same equal countenance thou continue giving thanks both in prosperity and adversity, weighing all things in an equal balance.
If thou come to be so valiant and long-suffering in hope, that when interior comfort is withdrawn, thou canst prepare thy heart to suffer still more; and dost not justify thyself, as if thou oughtest not to suffer such and so great things, but acknowledgest Me to be just in all My appointments, and praisest My holy Name; then thou walkest in the true and right way of peace, and mayst entertain an undoubting hope to see My face again with great joy.
And if thou arrive at an entire contempt of thyself, know that then thou shalt enjoy an abundance of peace, as much as is possible in this thy earthly sojourn.
WE should sacrifice ourselves entirely to the will of God, and meet with equanimity whatever He decrees for us; that is, we should, first, desire nothing which is not the will of God; secondly, we should not refuse any of the adversities He sends us; thirdly, we should bring ourselves to a state of perfect self-contempt, so as to receive humiliations and contradictions as our due; fourthly, we should remain firm, constant, and faithful to what God desires of us, although we experience neither consolation, nor delight, nor security; fifthly, we should, in a word, make our delight the delight of God's own heart-----that is, we should accomplish His holy will.
YES, O Jesus, in all things I resign myself entirely to Thy dominion, I will confide in Thee, and abandon myself wholly to Thee, persuaded that my salvation can never be more secure than when entrusted to Thee, my Savior.
Grant, therefore, that I may live under Thine eyes and in Thy hand, in a reverential and continual remembrance of Thy presence, and an exact dependence upon Thy holy will, being assured that Thou wilt promote my salvation in proportion as I endeavor to please and love Thee and to mortify and hate myself. Amen.