BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 37: OF A PURE AND ENTIRE RESIGNATION
OF OURSELVES FOR THE OBTAINING FREEDOM OF HEART
SON, relinquish thyself, and thou shalt find Me.
Stand without choice or any self-seeking, and thou shalt always gain.
For greater grace shall be added to thee as soon as thou hast given up thyself, and dost not take thyself back.
2. Lord, how often shall I resign myself, and in what things shall I relinquish myself?
3. Always and at all times; as in little, so also in great; I make no
exception, but will have thee to be found in all things divested of
Otherwise, how canst thou be Mine and I thine, unless thou be both interiorly and exteriorly stripped of thine own will?
The sooner thou effectest this, the better will it be with thee; and
the more fully and sincerely thou dost it, the more wilt thou please
Me, and the more shalt thou gain.
4. Some there are that resign themselves, but it is with some
exception; for they do not wholly trust in God, and therefore are busy
in providing for themselves.
Some also at first offer all; but afterwards, being assailed by
temptation, they return again to what they had left, and therefore make
no progress in virtue.
These shall neither attain to the true liberty of a pure heart, nor to
the grace of a delightful familiarity with Me, unless they first
entirely resign themselves up, and offer themselves a daily sacrifice
to Me: without which, union of fruition neither is nor shall subsist.
5. I have often said to thee, and I repeat it now again: Forsake
thyself, resign thyself, and thou shalt enjoy a great inward peace.
Give all for all; seek nothing; call for nothing back; stand purely and
with a full confidence before Me, and thou shalt possess Me.
Thou shalt be free in heart, and the darkness shall not weigh thee down.
Aim at this, pray for this, desire this, that thou mayst be divested of
all self-seeking; and thus naked, follow Jesus naked, that thou mayst
die to thyself, and eternally live to Me.
Then all vain imaginations shall vanish-----
all evil disturbances and superfluous cares.
Then also immoderate fear shall forsake thee, and inordinate love shall die.
WHAT is it to quit, to renounce, to abandon ourselves entirely
to God, without any reserve? It is, first, to act only from the
influence of His grace, and an actual desire to please Him-----
desire which should be kept up and oftentimes renewed; secondly, it is
to yield to Him on all occasions, and to prefer His pleasure to our
own; thirdly, it is to renounce our own will in all things and to
follow only the will of God; fourthly, it is to make our pleasure
consist in pleasing Him, and to have no other interest than His glory;
fifthly, to be docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and the
impressions of His love. But, alas! who is there that lives after this
manner? Who is there that thus renounces himself and abandons himself
unreservedly to God? We renounce ourselves on some occasions, and on
others we adhere to self-love; we quit ourselves for a time, and then
again we seek ourselves. "The Spirit of the Lord,
" says the royal Prophet, "only
passes by certain souls, but does not stay; and when He returns He
knoweth His place no more; He finds them given more to themselves than
to their God.
HOW am I wearied, O Lord, with being so much given to myself,
and so little devoted to Thee; with seeking myself so often and Thee so
seldom! Alas! it is because I am vehemently alive to self, and but very
little sensible of Thee. O my God! take Thou place of self within me,
and make Thy love reign in place of my self-love. When shall I become
free and disengaged from myself, and seek only to love to please Thee?
Give me, in this respect, what Thou commandest, and command what Thou
pleasest. I desire that from this moment Thou mayst be the God of my
heart, that Thou mayst be my portion forever. Amen.