BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 59: THAT ALL HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IS
TO BE FIXED IN GOD ALONE
LORD, what is my confidence which I have in this life, or what is my greatest solace amongst all the things that appear under Heaven?
Is it not Thou, my Lord God, of Whose mercies there is no number?
Where was it ever well to me without Thee, or when was it ever ill with me when Thou wast present?
I had rather be poor for Thy sake, than rich without Thee.
I prefer rather to sojourn upon earth with Thee, than to possess Heaven without Thee.
Where Thou art, there is Heaven; and there is death and Hell, where Thou art not.
Thou art all my desire, and therefore I must needs sigh after Thee, and cry and pray.
In short, I cannot fully confide in anyone to bring me seasonable help in my necessities, save only in Thee, my God.
Thou art my hope, my confidence, my comforter, and in all things most faithful.
2. All seek the things that are their own; Thou designest only my salvation and profit, and turnest all things to my good.
And although Thou expose me to various temptations and adversities, yet all this Thou ordainest for my good, who art wont to prove Thy beloved servants a thousand ways.
Under which probation Thou oughtest not less to be loved and praised, than if Thou didst replenish me with heavenly consolations.
3. In Thee, therefore, O Lord God, do I place all my hope and refuge; on Thee I cast all my tribulation and anguish; for I find all to be weak and inconstant whatever I behold out of Thee.
For neither will many friends be of service to me, nor can powerful auxiliaries assist me, nor wise counselors give me a profitable reply, nor the books of the learned give me consolation, nor any precious substance ransom me, nor any secret place secure me, if Thou Thyself do not assist, help, strengthen, comfort. instruct, and guard me.
4. For all things which seem to be for our peace and for our happiness, when Thou art absent are nothing, and contribute nothing to our felicity.
Thou, therefore, art the fountain of all good, the height of life, and the depth of wisdom; and to trust in Thee above all things is the strongest comfort of Thy servants.
Unto Thee do I lift up my eyes; in Thee, O my God, Father of mercies, I put my trust.
Bless and sanctify my soul with heavenly benediction, that it may be made Thy holy habitation and the seat of Thine eternal glory: and let nothing be found in the temple of Thy Divinity that may offend the eyes of Thy majesty.
According to the greatness of Thy goodness and the multitude of Thy tender mercies, look down upon me, and give ear to the prayer of Thy poor servant, a far distant exile in the region of the shadow of death.
Protect and preserve the soul of Thy poor servant amid so many dangers of this corruptible life, and direct him by Thine accompanying grace, along the path of peace, to the land of perpetual light. Amen.
WHEN afflicted and loaded with interior troubles, or exterior trials and contradictions, or with all these at the same time, let us confidently have recourse to God, Who alone can aid and assist us, and let us say to Him: Lord, Thou knowest the designs of our enemies against our souls; how shall we be able to escape them if Thou assist us not? We raise up our eyes and our hearts towards Thee, Who alone art able to protect us; Thou art our God engaged to help us; Thou art our Redeemer, and wilt deliver us; Thou art our Father, and with Thine assistance we shall not yield nor be in danger of perishing.
THOU hast said, O Lord, that to become Thy disciples we must deny ourselves, and take up our cross and follow Thee. Thou knowest our extreme repugnance to both one and the other. Suffer not our faith on this point to condemn us for not practicing what we believe to be necessary for salvation, but grant that as we believe so may we ever live as becometh Christians. Amen.