BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 29: HOW WHEN TRIBULATION PRESSETH,
WE MUCH CALL UPON AND BLESS GOD
BLESSED, O Lord, be Thy Name forever, Who hast been pleased that this trial and tribulation should come upon me.
I cannot escape it, but must of necessity fly to Thee; that Thou mayst help me, and turn it to my good.
Lord, I am now in tribulation, and my heart is not at ease; but I am much afflicted with my present suffering.
And now, beloved Father, what shall I say? I am taken, Lord, in these straits; O save me from this hour.
But for this reason I came unto this hour, that Thou mightest be glorified, when I shall have been exceedingly humbled and delivered by Thee.
May it please Thee, O Lord, to deliver me; for, poor wretch that I am! what can I do and whither shall I go without Thee?
Give me patience, O Lord, even at this time.
Help me, O my God, and I will not fear, how much soever I may be distressed.
2. And now, in the midst of these things, what shall I say? Lord, Thy will be done: I have well deserved to be afflicted and distressed.
It behooves me to bear it; and would that it were with patience, till the storm pass over, and it grow better.
But Thine almighty hand is able to take away from me this temptation also, and to moderate its violence, that I sink not altogether under it; as Thou hast often done heretofore for me, O my God, my mercy!
And how much the more difficult this is to me, so much the easier to Thee is this change of the right hand of the Most High.
TEMPTATIONS must ever be resisted with firmness and constancy; and, that we may be able to overcome them, we must go with confidence to the throne of God. He often permits us to be so hard pressed, and so weighed down by the load of our miseries, as to leave us no other means of making resistance and maintaining our ground, but that of keeping ourselves closely united to Him, and relying upon Him for the assistance of His grace. The fewer resources we find within ourselves, the more should we be induced to seek for them in God, and when temptation has nearly overcome us, and we are in danger of yielding, cry out with the Apostles: "Lord, save us or we perish;" our eyes are raised up to Thee, Who art our Father and our God, able and willing to assist us, our Savior and Redeemer, engaged to rescue and to save us. The more I experience my own weakness and inability, the more do I hope for strength from Thee. It is Thy glory and Thy delight to defend me, for my soul is the work of Thy hands, and the price of Thy Precious Blood.
WE are sensible, O Lord, that without Thee, of ourselves, in the time of temptation, we should lose courage, yield to sin; and be vanquished: but we know also that Thou canst do all things, and art willing to assist and to save us. Penetrated with a sense of our own miseries, yet full of confidence in Thy mercy, we place ourselves in Thy hands, repose all our hopes in Thee, trust in Thy bounty, renounce whatever is displeasing to Thee, and desire only the accomplishment of Thy will. Grant us the grace of living and dying in those holy dispositions; and may they ever induce Thee to show us Thy mercy. Amen.