BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 8: OF THE OBLATION OF
CHRIST ON THE CROSS,
AND THE RESIGNATION OF OURSELVES
The Voice of the Beloved.
As I willingly offered Myself to God the Father for thy sins,
with My hands stretched out upon the Cross and My Body naked, so that
nothing remained in Me which was not completely turned into a sacrifice
to appease the Divine wrath; even so oughtest thou willingly to offer
thyself to Me daily in the Mass, as intimately as thou canst, with thy
whole energies and affections, for a pure and holy oblation.
What more do I require of thee, than that thou endeavor anew to resign
thyself to Me?
Whatsoever thou givest except thyself, I regard not; for I seek not thy
gift, but thyself.
2. As it would not suffice thee, if thou hadst all things except
Myself, so neither can it please Me, whatever thou givest, unless thou
offer Me thyself.
Offer thyself to Me, and give thy whole self for God, and thine
offering shall be accepted.
Behold, I offered My whole Self to the Father for thee; I have given My
whole Body and Blood for thy food, that I might be all thine, and thou
mightest be always Mine.
But if thou wilt stand upon self, and not offer thyself freely to My
will thy offering is not complete, nor will there be an entire union
A spontaneous oblation of thyself into the hands of God ought to
precede all thy works, if thou wouldst obtain liberty and grace.
For, therefore, it is that so few become illuminated and internally
free, because they know not how entirely to renounce themselves. My
sentence standeth sure: Unless a man renounce all that he possesseth,
he cannot be My disciple.
Thou, therefore, if thou desirest to be My disciple, offer up thyself
to Me with all thine affections.
BE not of the number of those who, when they communicate, give
themselves entirely to God, and immediately after, return to
themselves; whose lives being a constant succession of good desires and
frail relapses, are never firmly established either in the fear or love
of God. It is of such souls, who are thus mean and ungenerous towards a
God Who is so prodigal of Himself towards them, that the Prophet
speaks, when he says: "On
account of the iniquity of his covetousness, I was angry, and I struck
him; I hid My face from thee, and was angry; and he went away
wandering, in the way of his own heart." (Isaias, lvii, 17)
YES, O Lord, Thou art now the God of my heart, for Thou comest
to take possession of it, and to give me Thyself to repose within it.
Mayst Thou be such in all things and forever; mayst Thou alone be the
God of my soul in time, that Thou mayst be my portion for eternity.
Unite me to Thyself, by making me like to Thee: meek, humble, patient
and charitable. Suffer not the union with which I am now honored to
remain ineffective, like that of a dry branch with the sap of the vine,
or languid, like that of a paralyzed arm with a vigorous body; but
grant that it may become lively, vivifying and perpetual, like that of
food with the body which it nourishes. Amen.