BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
35: THAT THERE IS NO BEING SECURE FROM TEMPTATION IN THIS LIFE
SON, thou art never secure in this life; but as long as thou livest
spiritual weapons are always necessary for thee.
Thou art in the midst of enemies, and art assaulted on the right hand
and on the left.
If, therefore, thou dost not make use of the buckler of patience on
every occasion, thou wilt not be long without a wound.
Moreover, if thou dost not set thy heart fixedly on Me, with a sincere
will of suffering all things for My sake, thou canst neither sustain
the heat of this warfare, nor attain to the palm of the blessed.
It behooveth thee, therefore, to go through all manfully, and to use a
strong hand against whatsoever withstandeth thee.
For to him that overcometh is given manna, and to the sluggard is left
2. If, in this life, thou seekest rest, how then wilt thou come to the
Set not thyself for much rest, but for great patience.
Seek true peace not upon earth, but in Heaven; not in men nor in other
creatures, but in God alone.
Thou must be willing, for the love of God, to suffer all things-----
labors and sorrows, temptations, vexations, anxieties, necessities,
infirmities, injuries, detractions, reprehensions, humiliations,
confusions, corrections, and contempts.
These help to virtue, these prove the novice of Christ, these things
weave a celestial crown.
I will give thee back for this short labor a reward eternal, and for
transitory confusion glory that is infinite.
3. Dost thou think always to have spiritual consolations when thou
My Saints had not so; but they met with many troubles, and various
temptations, and great desolations.
But they patiently supported themselves in all contingencies, and
confided more in God than in themselves; knowing that the sufferings of
this life are not worthy to merit the glory that is to come.
Wouldst thou have that immediately which others, after many tears and
great labors, have hardly obtained?
Expect the Lord, do manfully and be of good heart; do not despond, do
not fall off, but offer with constancy both soul and body for the glory
I will reward thee most abundantly; I will be with thee in all thy
"PREPARE thy soul for temptation," says the Wise Man-----
is, first, let not thy happiness consist in being free from sufferings,
but in bearing them patiently; secondly, expose not thyself voluntarily
to temptation, nor to the occasions of sin, but if thou shouldst be
attacked by the one or engaged in the other, resist, fight, fly, and
have recourse to God with all confidence; thirdly, watch, pray, humble
thyself before God, and be penetrated with a reverential fear in His
presence, a holy diffidence In thyself, and a firm confidence in Him
Who will support thee against all the attacks of thy spiritual enemies.
A truly Christian soul should dwell upon Calvary, in the wounds of
Jesus, and there suffer with patience, fortitude, and fidelity,
whatever He is pleased to appoint. For to be true Christians, and to
fulfill the duties of our state, we must be ever resolved to suffer and
to die for God; since, as St. Cyprian remarks, Christians are the
heirs of a crucified Jesus.
THOU knowest, O God, that nothing is so contrary to our natural
inclinations as to suffer and to die: but, to accomplish this, Thou
canst and wilt assist us. Give us, therefore, courage to conquer our
unwillingness to suffer ills and contradictions, and our repugnance to
the discharge of our duties; and grant that neither the delight of
pleasure, nor the fear of pain, may ever induce us to become wanting in
fidelity or submission to Thee. Amen.