BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 41: OF THE CONTEMPT OF ALL TEMPORAL HONORS
MY Son, take it not to heart, if thou seest others honored and advanced, and thyself despised and debased.
Lift up thy heart to Me in Heaven, and the contempt of men on earth shall not grieve thee.
2. Lord, we are in blindness, and by vanity are quickly seduced.
If I look well unto myself, never was any injury done me by any creature, and therefore I can have no just complaint against Thee.
But since I have often and grievously sinned against Thee, every creature is deservedly armed against me.
To me, therefore, is justly due confusion and contempt; but to Thee, praise, honor, and glory.
And unless I put myself in this disposition, to be willing to be despised and forsaken by all creatures, and to be esteemed altogether nothing, I can neither be interiorly at peace, and stand firm, nor be spiritually enlightened, nor fully united to Thee.
THE eye of God being always upon us, should impress us with a profound respect for Him, and the sight of Him in our souls should inspire us with a perfect confidence in Him. God beholds me: when I think of this, how can I offend Him? I behold God: how then can I be discouraged? God exists: that suffices to console the true Christian in all his disappointments; because he loves God more for His infinite perfections than for the favors he receives from Him. But God is my Father: what more can I have to allay all my uneasiness? And is it not sufficient to reflect that He is goodness itself, to induce me to confide with certainty in Him, and to feel secure of His care and protection? He knows, conducts, and disposes all for my salvation; and where can I be so secure as under the wings of my beloved Savior?
IN Thy loving embraces, O Jesus, I desire to live, in them I wish to die; into the
abyss of Thy mercies I cast all my miseries, there to obtain forgiveness for my sins, though enormous, by sincerely renouncing them. Yes, for Thy Name's sake O Lord,
my Savior and Father, Thou wilt pardon me my sins because they are great and because cause the more enormous they are, the more wilt Thou display the magnitude of Thy mercy in their forgiveness. Be propitious, therefore, to me, a miserable sinner, who desire no longer to remain so; and grant that I may love Thee the more as my fears yield to the reflection that though Thou hast power to destroy me, Thou desirest to save me. Amen.