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The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis


The Fortieth Chapter

Man Has No Good in Himself and Can Glory in Nothing

The Disciple

LORD, what is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You
visit him? What has man deserved that You should give him Your grace? What
cause have I, Lord, to complain if You desert me, or what objection can I
have if You do not do what I ask? This I may think and say in all truth:
“Lord, I am nothing, of myself I have nothing that is good; I am lacking in
all things, and I am ever tending toward nothing. And unless I have Your
help and am inwardly strengthened by You, I become quite lukewarm and

But You, Lord, are always the same. You remain forever, always good, just,
and holy; doing all things rightly, justly, and holily, disposing them
wisely. I, however, who am more ready to go backward than forward, do not
remain always in one state, for I change with the seasons. Yet my condition
quickly improves when it pleases You and when You reach forth Your helping
hand. For You alone, without human aid, can help me and strengthen me so
greatly that my heart shall no more change but be converted and rest solely
in You. Hence, if I knew well how to cast aside all earthly consolation,
either to attain devotion or because of the necessity which, in the absence
of human solace, compels me to seek You alone, then I could deservedly hope
for Your grace and rejoice in the gift of new consolation.

Thanks be to You from Whom all things come, whenever it is well with me. In
Your sight I am vanity and nothingness, a weak, unstable man. In what,
therefore, can I glory, and how can I wish to be highly regarded? Is it
because I am nothing? This, too, is utterly vain. Indeed, the greatest
vanity is the evil plague of empty self-glory, because it draws one away
from true glory and robs one of heavenly grace. For when a man is pleased
with himself he displeases You, when he pants after human praise he is
deprived of true virtue. But it is true glory and holy exultation to glory
in You and not in self, to rejoice in Your name rather than in one’s own
virtue, and not to delight in any creature except for Your sake.

Let Your name, not mine, be praised. Let Your work, not mine, be magnified.
Let Your holy name be blessed, but let no human praise be given to me. You
are my glory. You are the joy of my heart. In You I will glory and rejoice
all the day, and for myself I will glory in nothing but my infirmities.

Let the Jews seek the glory that comes from another. I will seek that which
comes from God alone. All human glory, all temporal honor, all worldly
position is truly vanity and foolishness compared to Your everlasting glory.
O my Truth, my Mercy, my God, O Blessed Trinity, to You alone be praise and
honor, power and glory, throughout all the endless ages of ages.


The Forty-First Chapter

Contempt for All Earthly Honor

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, do not take it to heart if you see others honored and advanced,
while you yourself are despised and humbled. Lift up your heart to Me in
heaven and the contempt of men on earth will not grieve you.

The Disciple

Lord, we are blinded and quickly misled by vanity. If I examine myself
rightly, no injury has ever been done me by any creature; hence I have
nothing for which to make just complaint to You. But I have sinned often and
gravely against You; therefore is every creature in arms against me.
Confusion and contempt should in justice come upon me, but to You due
praise, honor, and glory. And unless I prepare myself to be willingly
despised and forsaken by every creature, to be considered absolutely
nothing, I cannot have interior peace and strength, nor can I be enlightened
spiritually or completely united with You.


The Forty-Second Chapter

Peace is Not to Be Placed in Men

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, if you place your peace in any creature because of your own
feeling or for the sake of his company, you will be unsettled and entangled.
But if you have recourse to the ever-living and abiding Truth, you will not
grieve if a friend should die or forsake you. Your love for your friend
should be grounded in Me, and for My sake you should love whoever seems to
be good and is very dear to you in this life. Without Me friendship has no
strength and cannot endure. Love which I do not bind is neither true nor

You ought, therefore, to be so dead to such human affections as to wish as
far as lies within you to be without the fellowship of men. Man draws nearer
to God in proportion as he withdraws farther from all earthly comfort. And
he ascends higher to God as he descends lower into himself and grows more
vile in his own eyes. He who attributes any good to himself hinders God’s
grace from coming into his heart, for the grace of the Holy Spirit seeks
always the humble heart.

If you knew how to annihilate yourself completely and empty yourself of all
created love, then I should overflow in you with great grace. When you look
to creatures, the sight of the Creator is taken from you. Learn, therefore,
to conquer yourself in all things for the sake of your Maker. Then will you
be able to attain to divine knowledge. But anything, no matter how small,
that is loved and regarded inordinately keeps you back from the highest good
and corrupts the soul.


The Forty-Third Chapter

Beware Vain and Worldly Knowledge

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, do not let the fine-sounding and subtle words of men deceive you.
For the kingdom of heaven consists not in talk but in virtue. Attend,
rather, to My words which enkindle the heart and enlighten the mind, which
excite contrition and abound in manifold consolations. Never read them for
the purpose of appearing more learned or more wise. Apply yourself to
mortifying your vices, for this will benefit you more than your
understanding of many difficult questions.

Though you shall have read and learned many things, it will always be
necessary for you to return to this one principle: I am He who teaches man
knowledge, and to the little ones I give a clearer understanding than can be
taught by man. He to whom I speak will soon be wise and his soul will
profit. But woe to those who inquire of men about many curious things, and
care very little about the way they serve Me.

The time will come when Christ, the Teacher of teachers, the Lord of angels,
will appear to hear the lessons of all—that is, to examine the conscience of
everyone. Then He will search Jerusalem with lamps and the hidden things of
darkness will be brought to light and the arguings of men’s tongues be

I am He Who in one moment so enlightens the humble mind that it comprehends
more of eternal truth than could be learned by ten years in the schools. I
teach without noise of words or clash of opinions, without ambition for
honor or confusion of argument.

I am He Who teaches man to despise earthly possessions and to loathe present
things, to ask after the eternal, to hunger for heaven, to fly honors and to
bear with scandals, to place all hope in Me, to desire nothing apart from
Me, and to love Me ardently above all things. For a certain man by loving Me
intimately learned divine truths and spoke wonders. He profited more by
leaving all things than by studying subtle questions.

To some I speak of common things, to others of special matters. To some I
appear with sweetness in signs and figures, and to others I appear in great
light and reveal mysteries. The voice of books is but a single voice, yet it
does not teach all men alike, because I within them am the Teacher and the
Truth, the Examiner of hearts, the Understander of thoughts, the Promoter of
acts, distributing to each as I see fit.


The Forty-Fourth Chapter

Do Not Be Concerned About Outward Things

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, there are many matters of which it is well for you to be ignorant,
and to consider yourself as one who is dead upon the earth and to whom the
whole world is crucified. There are many things, too, which it is well to
pass by with a deaf ear, thinking, instead, of what is more to your peace.
It is more profitable to turn away from things which displease you and to
leave to every man his own opinion than to take part in quarrelsome talk. If
you stand well with God and look to His judgment, you will more easily bear
being worsted.

The Disciple

To what have we come, Lord? Behold, we bewail a temporal loss. We labor and
fret for a small gain, while loss of the soul is forgotten and scarcely ever
returns to mind. That which is of little or no value claims our attention,
whereas that which is of highest necessity is neglected—all because man
gives himself wholly to outward things. And unless he withdraws himself
quickly, he willingly lies immersed in externals.


The Forty-Fifth Chapter

All Men Are Not to Be Believed, for It Is Easy to Err in Speech

The Disciple

GRANT me help in my needs, O Lord, for the aid of man is useless. How often
have I failed to find faithfulness in places where I thought I possessed it!
And how many times I have found it where I least expected it! Vain,
therefore, is hope in men, but the salvation of the just is in You, O God.
Blessed be Your name, O Lord my God, in everything that befalls us.

We are weak and unstable, quickly deceived and changed. Who is the man that
is able to guard himself with such caution and care as not sometimes to fall
into deception or perplexity? He who confides in You, O Lord, and seeks You
with a simple heart does not fall so easily. And if some trouble should come
upon him, no matter how entangled in it he may be, he will be more quickly
delivered and comforted by You. For You will not forsake him who trusts in
You to the very end.

Rare is the friend who remains faithful through all his friend’s distress.
But You, Lord, and You alone, are entirely faithful in all things; other
than You, there is none so faithful.

Oh, how wise is that holy soul [40] who said: “My mind is firmly settled and
founded in Christ.” If that were true of me, human fear would not so easily
cause me anxiety, nor would the darts of words disturb. But who can foresee
all things and provide against all evils? And if things foreseen have often
hurt, can those which are unlooked for do otherwise than wound us gravely?
Why, indeed, have I not provided better for my wretched self? Why, too, have
I so easily kept faith in others? We are but men, however, nothing more than
weak men, although we are thought by many to be, and are called, angels.

In whom shall I put my faith, Lord? In whom but You? You are the truth which
does not deceive and cannot be deceived. Every man, on the other hand, is a
liar, weak, unstable, and likely to err, especially in words, so that one
ought not to be too quick to believe even that which seems, on the face of
it, to sound true. How wise was Your warning to beware of men; that a man’s
enemies are those of his own household; that we should not believe if anyone
says: “Behold he is here, or behold he is there.”

I have been taught to my own cost, and I hope it has given me greater
caution, not greater folly. “Beware,” they say, “beware and keep to yourself
what I tell you!” Then while I keep silent, believing that the matter is
secret, he who asks me to be silent cannot remain silent himself, but
immediately betrays both me and himself, and goes his way. From tales of
this kind and from such careless men protect me, O Lord, lest I fall into
their hands and into their ways. Put in my mouth words that are true and
steadfast and keep far from me the crafty tongue, because what I am not
willing to suffer I ought by all means to shun.

Oh, how good and how peaceful it is to be silent about others, not to
believe without discrimination all that is said, not easily to report it
further, to reveal oneself to few, always to seek You as the discerner of
hearts, and not to be blown away by every wind of words, but to wish that
all things, within and beyond us, be done according to the pleasure of Thy

How conducive it is for the keeping of heavenly grace to fly the gaze of
men, not to seek abroad things which seem to cause admiration, but to follow
with utmost diligence those which give fervor and amendment of life! How
many have been harmed by having their virtue known and praised too hastily!
And how truly profitable it has been when grace remained hidden during this
frail life, which is all temptation and warfare!


[40] St. Agatha.


The Forty-Sixth Chapter

Trust in God Against Slander

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, stand firm and trust in Me. For what are words but words? They fly
through the air but hurt not a stone. If you are guilty, consider how you
would gladly amend. If you are not conscious of any fault, think that you
wish to bear this for the sake of God. It is little enough for you
occasionally to endure words, since you are not yet strong enough to bear
hard blows.

And why do such small matters pierce you to the heart, unless because you
are still carnal and pay more heed to men than you ought? You do not wish to
be reproved for your faults and you seek shelter in excuses because you are
afraid of being despised. But look into yourself more thoroughly and you
will learn that the world is still alive in you, in a vain desire to please
men. For when you shrink from being abased and confounded for your failings,
it is plain indeed that you are not truly humble or truly dead to the world,
and that the world is not crucified in you.

Listen to My word, and you will not value ten thousand words of men. Behold,
if every malicious thing that could possibly be invented were uttered
against you, what harm could it do if you ignored it all and gave it no more
thought than you would a blade of grass? Could it so much as pluck one hair
from your head?

He who does not keep his heart within him, and who does not have God before
his eyes is easily moved by a word of disparagement. He who trusts in Me, on
the other hand, and who has no desire to stand by his own judgment, will be
free from the fear of men. For I am the judge and discerner of all secrets.
I know how all things happen. I know who causes injury and who suffers it.
From Me that word proceeded, and with My permission it happened, that out of
many hearts thoughts may be revealed. I shall judge the guilty and the
innocent; but I have wished beforehand to try them both by secret judgment.

The testimony of man is often deceiving, but My judgment is true—it will
stand and not be overthrown. It is hidden from many and made known to but a
few. Yet it is never mistaken and cannot be mistaken even though it does not
seem right in the eyes of the unwise.

To Me, therefore, you ought to come in every decision, not depending on your
own judgment. For the just man will not be disturbed, no matter what may
befall him from God. Even if an unjust charge be made against him he will
not be much troubled. Neither will he exult vainly if through others he is
justly acquitted. He considers that it is I Who search the hearts and inmost
thoughts of men, that I do not judge according to the face of things or
human appearances. For what the judgment of men considers praiseworthy is
often worthy of blame in My sight.

The Disciple

O Lord God, just Judge, strong and patient, You Who know the weakness and
depravity of men, be my strength and all my confidence, for my own
conscience is not sufficient for me. You know what I do not know, and,
therefore, I ought to humble myself whenever I am accused and bear it
meekly. Forgive me, then, in Your mercy for my every failure in this regard,
and give me once more the grace of greater endurance. Better to me is Your
abundant mercy in obtaining pardon than the justice which I imagine in
defending the secrets of my conscience. And though I am not conscious to
myself of any fault, yet I cannot thereby justify myself, because without
Your mercy no man living will be justified in Your sight.


The Forty-Seventh Chapter

Every Trial Must Be Borne for the Sake of Eternal Life

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, do not let the labors which you have taken up for My sake break
you, and do not let troubles, from whatever source, cast you down; but in
everything let My promise strengthen and console you. I am able to reward
you beyond all means and measure.

You will not labor here long, nor will you always be oppressed by sorrows.
Wait a little while and you will see a speedy end of evils. The hour will
come when all labor and trouble shall be no more. All that passes away with
time is trivial.

What you do, do well. Work faithfully in My vineyard. I will be your reward.
Write, read, sing, mourn, keep silence, pray, and bear hardships like a man.
Eternal life is worth all these and greater battles. Peace will come on a
day which is known to the Lord, and then there shall be no day or night as
at present but perpetual light, infinite brightness, lasting peace, and safe
repose. Then you will not say: “Who shall deliver me from the body of this
death?” nor will you cry: “Woe is me, because my sojourn is prolonged.” For
then death will be banished, and there will be health unfailing. There will
be no anxiety then, but blessed joy and sweet, noble companionship.

If you could see the everlasting crowns of the saints in heaven, and the
great glory wherein they now rejoice—they who were once considered
contemptible in this world and, as it were, unworthy of life itself—you
would certainly humble yourself at once to the very earth, and seek to be
subject to all rather than to command even one. Nor would you desire the
pleasant days of this life, but rather be glad to suffer for God,
considering it your greatest gain to be counted as nothing among men.

Oh, if these things appealed to you and penetrated deeply into your heart,
how could you dare to complain even once? Ought not all trials be borne for
the sake of everlasting life? In truth, the loss or gain of God’s kingdom is
no small matter.

Lift up your countenance to heaven, then. Behold Me, and with Me all My
saints. They had great trials in this life, but now they rejoice. They are
consoled. Now they are safe and at rest. And they shall abide with Me for
all eternity in the kingdom of My Father.


The Forty-Eighth Chapter

The Day of Eternity and the Distresses of This Life

The Disciple

O MOST happy mansion of the city above! O most bright day of eternity, which
night does not darken, but which the highest truth ever enlightens! O day,
ever joyful and ever secure, which never changes its state to the opposite!
Oh, that this day shine forth, that all these temporal things come to an
end! It envelops the saints all resplendent with heavenly brightness, but it
appears far off as through a glass to us wanderers on the earth. The
citizens of heaven know how joyful that day is, but the exiled sons of Eve
mourn that this one is bitter and tedious.

The days of this life are short and evil, full of grief and distress. Here
man is defiled by many sins, ensnared in many passions, enslaved by many
fears, and burdened with many cares. He is distracted by many curiosities
and entangled in many vanities, surrounded by many errors and worn by many
labors, oppressed by temptations, weakened by pleasures, and tortured by

Oh, when will these evils end? When shall I be freed from the miserable
slavery of vice? When, Lord, shall I think of You alone? When shall I fully
rejoice in You? When shall I be without hindrance, in true liberty, free
from every grievance of mind and body? When will there be solid peace,
undisturbed and secure, inward peace and outward peace, peace secured on
every side? O good Jesus, when shall I stand to gaze upon You? When shall I
contemplate the glory of Your kingdom? When will You be all in all to me?
Oh, when shall I be with You in that kingdom of Yours, which You have
prepared for Your beloved from all eternity?

I am left poor and exiled in a hostile land, where every day sees wars and
very great misfortunes. Console my banishment, assuage my sorrow. My whole
desire is for You. Whatever solace this world offers is a burden to me. I
desire to enjoy You intimately, but I cannot attain to it. I wish to cling
fast to heavenly things, but temporal affairs and unmortified passions bear
me down. I wish in mind to be above all things, but I am forced by the flesh
to be unwillingly subject to them. Thus, I fight with myself, unhappy that I
am, and am become a burden to myself, while my spirit seeks to rise upward
and my flesh to sink downward. Oh, what inward suffering I undergo when I
consider heavenly things; when I pray, a multitude of carnal thoughts rush
upon me!

O my God, do not remove Yourself far from me, and depart not in anger from
Your servant. Dart forth Your lightning and disperse them; send forth Your
arrows and let the phantoms of the enemy be put to flight. Draw my senses
toward You and make me forget all worldly things. Grant me the grace to cast
away quickly all vicious imaginings and to scorn them. Aid me, O heavenly
Truth, that no vanity may move me. Come, heavenly Sweetness, and let all
impurity fly from before Your face.

Pardon me also, and deal mercifully with me, as often as I think of anything
besides You in prayer. For I confess truly that I am accustomed to be very
much distracted. Very often I am not where bodily I stand or sit; rather, I
am where my thoughts carry me. Where my thoughts are, there am I; and
frequently my thoughts are where my love is. That which naturally delights,
or is by habit pleasing, comes to me quickly. Hence You Who are Truth
itself, have plainly said: “For where your treasure is, there is your heart
also.” If I love heaven, I think willingly of heavenly things. If I love the
world, I rejoice at the happiness of the world and grieve at its troubles.
If I love the flesh, I often imagine things that are carnal. If I love the
spirit, I delight in thinking of spiritual matters. For whatever I love, I
am willing to speak and hear about.

Blessed is the man who for Your sake, O Lord, dismisses all creatures, does
violence to nature, crucifies the desires of the flesh in fervor of spirit,
so that with serene conscience he can offer You a pure prayer and, having
excluded all earthly things inwardly and outwardly, becomes worthy to enter
into the heavenly choirs.


The Forty-Ninth Chapter

The Desire of Eternal Life; the Great Rewards Promised to Those Who Struggle

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, when you feel the desire for everlasting happiness poured out upon
you from above, and when you long to depart out of the tabernacle of the
body that you may contemplate My glory without threat of change, open wide
your heart and receive this holy inspiration with all eagerness. Give
deepest thanks to the heavenly Goodness which deals with you so
understandingly, visits you so mercifully, stirs you so fervently, and
sustains you so powerfully lest under your own weight you sink down to
earthly things. For you obtain this not by your own thought or effort, but
simply by the condescension of heavenly grace and divine regard. And the
purpose of it is that you may advance in virtue and in greater humility,
that you may prepare yourself for future trials, that you may strive to
cling to Me with all the affection of your heart, and may serve Me with a
fervent will.

My child, often, when the fire is burning the flame does not ascend without
smoke. Likewise, the desires of some burn toward heavenly things, and yet
they are not free from temptations of carnal affection. Therefore, it is not
altogether for the pure honor of God that they act when they petition Him so
earnestly. Such, too, is often your desire which you profess to be so
strong. For that which is alloyed with self-interest is not pure and

Ask, therefore, not for what is pleasing and convenient to yourself, but for
what is acceptable to Me and is for My honor, because if you judge rightly,
you ought to prefer and follow My will, not your own desire or whatever
things you wish.

I know your longings and I have heard your frequent sighs. Already you wish
to be in the liberty of the glory of the sons of God. Already you desire the
delights of the eternal home, the heavenly land that is full of joy. But
that hour is not yet come. There remains yet another hour, a time of war, of
labor, and of trial. You long to be filled with the highest good, but you
cannot attain it now. I am that sovereign Good. Await Me, until the kingdom
of God shall come.

You must still be tried on earth, and exercised in many things. Consolation
will sometimes be given you, but the complete fullness of it is not granted.
Take courage, therefore, and be strong both to do and to suffer what is
contrary to nature.

You must put on the new man. You must be changed into another man. You must
often do the things you do not wish to do and forego those you do wish. What
pleases others will succeed; what pleases you will not. The words of others
will be heard; what you say will be accounted as nothing. Others will ask
and receive; you will ask and not receive. Others will gain great fame among
men; about you nothing will be said. To others the doing of this or that
will be entrusted; you will be judged useless. At all this nature will
sometimes be sad, and it will be a great thing if you bear this sadness in
silence. For in these and many similar ways the faithful servant of the Lord
is wont to be tried, to see how far he can deny himself and break himself in
all things.

There is scarcely anything in which you so need to die to self as in seeing
and suffering things that are against your will, especially when things that
are commanded seem inconvenient or useless. Then, because you are under
authority, and dare not resist the higher power, it seems hard to submit to
the will of another and give up your own opinion entirely.

But consider, my child, the fruit of these labors, how soon they will end
and how greatly they will be rewarded, and you will not be saddened by them,
but your patience will receive the strongest consolation. For instead of the
little will that you now readily give up, you shall always have your will in
heaven. There, indeed, you shall find all that you could desire. There you
shall have possession of every good without fear of losing it. There shall
your will be forever one with Mine. It shall desire nothing outside of Me
and nothing for itself. There no one shall oppose you, no one shall complain
of you, no one hinder you, and nothing stand in your way. All that you
desire will be present there, replenishing your affection and satisfying it
to the full. There I shall render you glory for the reproach you have
suffered here; for your sorrow I shall give you a garment of praise, and for
the lowest place a seat of power forever. There the fruit of glory will
appear, the labor of penance rejoice, and humble subjection be gloriously

Bow humbly, therefore, under the will of all, and do not heed who said this
or commanded that. But let it be your special care when something is
commanded, or even hinted at, whether by a superior or an inferior or an
equal, that you take it in good part and try honestly to perform it. Let one
person seek one thing and another something else. Let one glory in this,
another in that, and both be praised a thousand times over. But as for you,
rejoice neither in one or the other, but only in contempt of yourself and in
My pleasure and honor. Let this be your wish: That whether in life or in
death God may be glorified in you.


The Fiftieth Chapter

How a Desolate Person Ought to Commit Himself Into the Hands of God

The Disciple

LORD God, Holy Father, may You be blessed now and in eternity. For as You
will, so is it done; and what You do is good. Let Your servant rejoice in
You—not in himself or in any other, for You alone are true joy. You are my
hope and my crown. You, O Lord, are my joy and my honor.

What does Your servant possess that he has not received from You, and that
without any merit of his own? Yours are all the things which You have given,
all the things which You have made.

I am poor and in labors since my youth, and my soul is sorrowful sometimes
even to the point of tears. At times, also, my spirit is troubled because of
impending sufferings. I long for the joy of peace. Earnestly I beg for the
peace of Your children who are fed by You in the light of consolation. If
You give peace, if You infuse holy joy, the soul of Your servant shall be
filled with holy song and be devout in praising You. But if You withdraw
Yourself, as You so very often do, he will not be able to follow the way of
Your commandments, but will rather be obliged to strike his breast and bend
the knee, because his today is different from yesterday and the day before
when Your light shone upon his head and he was protected in the shadow of
Your wings from the temptations rushing upon him.

Just Father, ever to be praised, the hour is come for Your servant to be
tried. Beloved Father, it is right that in this hour Your servant should
suffer something for You. O Father, forever to be honored, the hour which
You knew from all eternity is at hand, when for a short time Your servant
should be outwardly oppressed, but inwardly should ever live with You.

Let him be a little slighted, let him be humbled, let him fail in the sight
of men, let him be afflicted with sufferings and pains, so that he may rise
again with You in the dawn of the new light and be glorified in heaven.

Holy Father, You have so appointed and wished it. What has happened is what
You commanded. For this is a favor to Your friend, to suffer and be troubled
in the world for Your love, no matter how often and by whom You permit it to
happen to him.

Nothing happens in the world without Your design and providence, and without
cause. It is well for me, O Lord, that You have humbled me, that I may learn
the justice of Your judgments and cast away all presumption and haughtiness
of heart. It is profitable for me that shame has covered my face that I may
look to You rather than to men for consolation. Hereby I have learned also
to fear Your inscrutable judgment falling alike upon the just and unjust yet
not without equity and justice.

Thanks to You that You have not spared me evils but have bruised me with
bitter blows, inflicting sorrows, sending distress without and within. Under
heaven there is none to console me except You, my Lord God, the heavenly
Physician of souls, Who wound and heal, Who cast down to hell and raise up
again. Your discipline is upon me and Your very rod shall instruct me.

Behold, beloved Father, I am in Your hands. I bow myself under Your
correcting chastisement. Strike my back and my neck, that I may bend my
crookedness to Your will. Make of me a pious and humble follower, as in Your
goodness You are wont to do, that I may walk according to Your every nod.
Myself and all that is mine I commit to You to be corrected, for it is
better to be punished here than hereafter.

You know all things without exception, and nothing in man’s conscience is
hidden from You. Coming events You know before they happen, and there is no
need for anyone to teach or admonish You of what is being done on earth. You
know what will promote my progress, and how much tribulation will serve to
cleanse away the rust of vice. Deal with me according to Your good pleasure
and do not despise my sinful life, which is known to none so well or so
clearly as to You alone.

Grant me, O Lord, the grace to know what should be known, to praise what is
most pleasing to You, to esteem that which appears most precious to You, and
to abhor what is unclean in Your sight.

Do not allow me to judge according to the light of my bodily eyes, nor to
give sentence according to the hearing of ignorant men’s ears. But let me
distinguish with true judgment between things visible and spiritual, and
always seek above all things Your good pleasure. The senses of men often err
in their judgments, and the lovers of this world also err in loving only
visible things. How is a man the better for being thought greater by men?
The deceiver deceives the deceitful, the vain man deceives the vain, the
blind deceives the blind, the weak deceives the weak as often as he extols
them, and in truth his foolish praise shames them the more. For, as the
humble St. Francis says, whatever anyone is in Your sight, that he is and
nothing more.


The Fifty-First Chapter

When We Cannot Attain to the Highest, We Must Practice the Humble Works

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, you cannot always continue in the more fervent desire of virtue,
or remain in the higher stage of contemplation, but because of humanity’s
sin you must sometimes descend to lower things and bear the burden of this
corruptible life, albeit unwillingly and wearily. As long as you wear a
mortal body you will suffer weariness and heaviness of heart. You ought,
therefore, to bewail in the flesh the burden of the flesh which keeps you
from giving yourself unceasingly to spiritual exercises and divine

In such condition, it is well for you to apply yourself to humble, outward
works and to refresh yourself in good deeds, to await with unshaken
confidence My heavenly visitation, patiently to bear your exile and dryness
of mind until you are again visited by Me and freed of all anxieties. For I
will cause you to forget your labors and to enjoy inward quiet. I will
spread before you the open fields of the Scriptures, so that with an open
heart you may begin to advance in the way of My commandments. And you will
say: the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the
future glory which shall be revealed to us.


The Fifty-Second Chapter

A Man Ought Not to Consider Himself Worthy of Consolation, But Rather
Deserving of Chastisement

The Disciple

LORD, I am not worthy of Your consolation or of any spiritual visitation.
Therefore, You treat me justly when You leave me poor and desolate. For
though I could shed a sea of tears, yet I should not be worthy of Your
consolation. Hence, I deserve only to be scourged and punished because I
have offended You often and grievously, and have sinned greatly in many
things. In all justice, therefore, I am not worthy of any consolation.

But You, O gracious and merciful God, Who do not will that Your works should
perish, deign to console Your servant beyond all his merit and above human
measure, to show the riches of Your goodness toward the vessels of mercy.
For Your consolations are not like the words of men.

What have I done, Lord, that You should confer on me any heavenly comfort? I
remember that I have done nothing good, but that I have always been prone to
sin and slow to amend. That is true. I cannot deny it. If I said otherwise
You would stand against me, and there would be no one to defend me. What
have I deserved for my sins except hell and everlasting fire?

In truth, I confess that I am deserving of all scorn and contempt. Neither
is it fitting that I should be remembered among Your devoted servants. And
although it is hard for me to hear this, yet for truth’s sake I will allege
my sins against myself, so that I may more easily deserve to beg Your mercy.
What shall I say, guilty as I am and full of all confusion? My tongue can
say nothing but this alone: “I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned; have
mercy on me and pardon me. Suffer me a little that I may pour out my grief,
before I go to that dark land that is covered with the shadow of death.”

What do you especially demand of a guilty and wretched sinner, except that
he be contrite and humble himself for his sins? In true sorrow and humility
of heart hope of forgiveness is born, the troubled conscience is reconciled,
grace is found, man is preserved from the wrath to come, and God and the
penitent meet with a holy kiss.

To You, O Lord, humble sorrow for sins is an acceptable sacrifice, a
sacrifice far sweeter than the perfume of incense. This is also the pleasing
ointment which You would have poured upon Your sacred feet, for a contrite
and humble heart You have never despised. Here is a place of refuge from the
force of the enemy’s anger. Here is amended and washed away whatever
defilement has been contracted elsewhere.


The Fifty-Third Chapter

God’s Grace Is Not Given to the Earthly Minded

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, my grace is precious. It does not allow itself to be mixed with
external things or with earthly consolations. Cast away all obstacles to
grace, therefore, if you wish to receive its infusion.

Seek to retire within yourself. Love to dwell alone with yourself. Seek no
man’s conversation, but rather pour forth devout prayer to God that you may
keep your mind contrite and your heart pure.

Consider the whole world as nothing. Prefer attendance upon God to all
outward occupation, for you cannot attend upon Me and at the same time take
delight in external things. You must remove yourself from acquaintances and
from dear friends, and keep your mind free of all temporal consolation. Thus
the blessed Apostle St. Peter begs the faithful of Christ to keep themselves
as strangers and pilgrims in the world. [41]

What great confidence at the hour of death shall be his who is not attached
to this world by any affection. But the sickly soul does not know what it is
to have a heart thus separated from all things, nor does the natural man
know the liberty of the spiritual man. Yet, if he truly wishes to be
spiritual, he must renounce both strangers and friends, and must beware of
no one more than himself.

If you completely conquer yourself, you will more easily subdue all other
things. The perfect victory is to triumph over self. For he who holds
himself in such subjection that sensuality obeys reason and reason obeys Me
in all matters, is truly his own conqueror and master of the world.

Now, if you wish to climb to this high position you must begin like a man,
and lay the ax to the root, in order to tear out and destroy any hidden
unruly love of self or of earthly goods. From this vice of too much
self-love comes almost every other vice that must be uprooted. And when this
evil is vanquished, and brought under control, great peace and quiet will
follow at once.

But because few labor to die entirely to self, or tend completely away from
self, therefore they remain entangled in self, and cannot be lifted in
spirit above themselves. But he who desires to walk freely with Me must
mortify all his low and inordinate affections, and must not cling with
selfish love or desire to any creature.


[41] 1 Peter 2:11.


The Fifty-Fourth Chapter

The Different Motions of Nature and Grace

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, pay careful attention to the movements of nature and of grace, for
they move in very contrary and subtle ways, and can scarcely be
distinguished by anyone except a man who is spiritual and inwardly
enlightened. All men, indeed, desire what is good, and strive for what is
good in their words and deeds. For this reason the appearance of good
deceives many.

Nature is crafty and attracts many, ensnaring and deceiving them while ever
seeking itself. But grace walks in simplicity, turns away from all
appearance of evil, offers no deceits, and does all purely for God in whom
she rests as her last end.

Nature is not willing to die, or to be kept down, or to be overcome. Nor
will it subdue itself or be made subject. Grace, on the contrary, strives
for mortification of self. She resists sensuality, seeks to be in
subjection, longs to be conquered, has no wish to use her own liberty, loves
to be held under discipline, and does not desire to rule over anyone, but
wishes rather to live, to stand, and to be always under God for Whose sake
she is willing to bow humbly to every human creature.

Nature works for its own interest and looks to the profit it can reap from
another. Grace does not consider what is useful and advantageous to herself,
but rather what is profitable to many. Nature likes to receive honor and
reverence, but grace faithfully attributes all honor and glory to God.
Nature fears shame and contempt, but grace is happy to suffer reproach for
the name of Jesus. Nature loves ease and physical rest. Grace, however,
cannot bear to be idle and embraces labor willingly. Nature seeks to possess
what is rare and beautiful, abhorring things that are cheap and coarse.
Grace, on the contrary, delights in simple, humble things, not despising
those that are rough, nor refusing to be clothed in old garments.

Nature has regard for temporal wealth and rejoices in earthly gains. It is
sad over a loss and irritated by a slight, injurious word. But grace looks
to eternal things and does not cling to those which are temporal, being
neither disturbed at loss nor angered by hard words, because she has placed
her treasure and joy in heaven where nothing is lost.

Nature is covetous, and receives more willingly than it gives. It loves to
have its own private possessions. Grace, however, is kind and openhearted.
Grace shuns private interest, is contented with little, and judges it more
blessed to give than to receive.

Nature is inclined toward creatures, toward its own flesh, toward vanities,
and toward running about. But grace draws near to God and to virtue,
renounces creatures, hates the desires of the flesh, restrains her
wanderings and blushes at being seen in public.

Nature likes to have some external comfort in which it can take sensual
delight, but grace seeks consolation only in God, to find her delight in the
highest Good, above all visible things.

Nature does everything for its own gain and interest. It can do nothing
without pay and hopes for its good deeds to receive their equal or better,
or else praise and favor. It is very desirous of having its deeds and gifts
highly regarded. Grace, however, seeks nothing temporal, nor does she ask
any recompense but God alone. Of temporal necessities she asks no more than
will serve to obtain eternity.

Nature rejoices in many friends and kinsfolk, glories in noble position and
birth, fawns on the powerful, flatters the rich, and applauds those who are
like itself. But grace loves even her enemies and is not puffed up at having
many friends. She does not think highly of either position or birth unless
there is also virtue there. She favors the poor in preference to the rich.
She sympathizes with the innocent rather than with the powerful. She
rejoices with the true man rather than with the deceitful, and is always
exhorting the good to strive for better gifts, to become like the Son of God
by practicing the virtues.

Nature is quick to complain of need and trouble; grace is stanch in
suffering want.

Nature turns all things back to self. It fights and argues for self. Grace
brings all things back to God in Whom they have their source. To herself she
ascribes no good, nor is she arrogant or presumptuous. She is not
contentious. She does not prefer her own opinion to the opinion of others,
but in every matter of sense and thought submits herself to eternal wisdom
and the divine judgment.

Nature has a relish for knowing secrets and hearing news. It wishes to
appear abroad and to have many sense experiences. It wishes to be known and
to do things for which it will be praised and admired. But grace does not
care to hear news or curious matters, because all this arises from the old
corruption of man, since there is nothing new, nothing lasting on earth.
Grace teaches, therefore, restraint of the senses, avoidance of vain
self-satisfaction and show, the humble hiding of deeds worthy of praise and
admiration, and the seeking in every thing and in every knowledge the fruit
of usefulness, the praise and honor of God. She will not have herself or
hers exalted, but desires that God Who bestows all simply out of love should
be blessed in His gifts.

This grace is a supernatural light, a certain special gift of God, the
proper mark of the elect and the pledge of everlasting salvation. It raises
man up from earthly things to love the things of heaven. It makes a
spiritual man of a carnal one.

The more, then, nature is held in check and conquered, the more grace is
given. Every day the interior man is reformed by new visitations according
to the image of God.


The Fifty-Fifth Chapter

The Corruption of Nature and the Efficacy of Divine Grace

The Disciple

O LORD, my God, Who created me to Your own image and likeness, grant me this
grace which You have shown to be so great and necessary for salvation, that
I may overcome my very evil nature that is drawing me to sin and perdition.
For I feel in my flesh the law of sin contradicting the law of my mind and
leading me captive to serve sensuality in many things. I cannot resist the
passions thereof unless Your most holy grace warmly infused into my heart
assist me.

There is need of Your grace, and of great grace, in order to overcome a
nature prone to evil from youth. For through the first man, Adam, nature is
fallen and weakened by sin, and the punishment of that stain has fallen upon
all mankind. Thus nature itself, which You created good and right, is
considered a symbol of vice and the weakness of corrupted nature, because
when left to itself it tends toward evil and to baser things. The little
strength remaining in it is like a spark hidden in ashes. That strength is
natural reason which, surrounded by thick darkness, still has the power of
judging good and evil, of seeing the difference between true and false,
though it is not able to fulfill all that it approves and does not enjoy the
full light of truth or soundness of affection.

Hence it is, my God, that according to the inward man I delight in Your law,
knowing that Your command is good, just, and holy, and that it proves the
necessity of shunning all evil and sin. But in the flesh I keep the law of
sin, obeying sensuality rather than reason. Hence, also, it is that the will
to good is present in me, but how to accomplish it I know not. Hence, too, I
often propose many good things, but because the grace to help my weakness is
lacking, I recoil and give up at the slightest resistance. Thus it is that I
know the way of perfection and see clearly enough how I ought to act, but
because I am pressed down by the weight of my own corruption I do not rise
to more perfect things.

How extremely necessary to me, O Lord, Your grace is to begin any good deed,
to carry it on and bring it to completion! For without grace I can do
nothing, but with its strength I can do all things in You. O Grace truly
heavenly, without which our merits are nothing and no gifts of nature are to
be esteemed!

Before You, O Lord, no arts or riches, no beauty or strength, no wit or
intelligence avail without grace. For the gifts of nature are common to good
and bad alike, but the peculiar gift of Your elect is grace or love, and
those who are signed with it are held worthy of everlasting life. So
excellent is this grace that without it no gift of prophecy or of miracles,
no meditation be it ever so exalted, can be considered anything. Not even
faith or hope or other virtues are acceptable to You without charity and

O most blessed grace, which makes the poor in spirit rich in virtues, which
renders him who is rich in many good things humble of heart, come, descend
upon me, fill me quickly with your consolation lest my soul faint with
weariness and dryness of mind.

Let me find grace in Your sight, I beg, Lord, for Your grace is enough for
me, even though I obtain none of the things which nature desires. If I am
tempted and afflicted with many tribulations, I will fear no evils while
Your grace is with me. This is my strength. This will give me counsel and
help. This is more powerful than all my enemies and wiser than all the wise.
This is the mistress of truth, the teacher of discipline, the light of the
heart, the consoler in anguish, the banisher of sorrow, the expeller of
fear, the nourisher of devotion, the producer of tears. What am I without
grace, but dead wood, a useless branch, fit only to be cast away?

Let Your grace, therefore, go before me and follow me, O Lord, and make me
always intent upon good works, through Jesus Christ, Your Son.


The Fifty-Sixth Chapter

We Ought to Deny Ourselves and Imitate Christ Through Bearing the Cross

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, the more you depart from yourself, the more you will be able to
enter into Me. As the giving up of exterior things brings interior peace, so
the forsaking of self unites you to God. I will have you learn perfect
surrender to My will, without contradiction or complaint.

Follow Me. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Without the Way, there is
no going. Without the Truth, there is no knowing. Without the Life, there is
no living. I am the Way which you must follow, the Truth which you must
believe, the Life for which you must hope. I am the inviolable Way, the
infallible Truth, the unending Life. I am the Way that is straight, the
supreme Truth, the Life that is true, the blessed, the uncreated Life. If
you abide in My Way you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you
free, and you shall attain life everlasting.

If you wish to enter into life, keep My commandments. If you will know the
truth, believe in Me. If you will be perfect, sell all. If you will be My
disciple, deny yourself. If you will possess the blessed life, despise this
present life. If you will be exalted in heaven, humble yourself on earth. If
you wish to reign with Me, carry the Cross with Me. For only the servants of
the Cross find the life of blessedness and of true light.

The Disciple

Lord Jesus, because Your way is narrow and despised by the world, grant that
I may despise the world and imitate You. For the servant is not greater than
his Lord, nor the disciple above the Master. Let Your servant be trained in
Your life, for there is my salvation and true holiness. Whatever else I read
or hear does not fully refresh or delight me.

The Voice of Christ

My child, now that you know these things and have read them all, happy will
you be if you do them. He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is
that loves Me. And I will love him and will show Myself to him, and will
bring it about that he will sit down with Me in My Father’s Kingdom.

The Disciple

Lord Jesus, as You have said, so be it, and what You have promised, let it
be my lot to win. I have received the cross, from Your hand I have received
it. I will carry it, carry it even unto death as You have laid it upon me.
Truly, the life of a good religious man is a cross, but it leads to
paradise. We have begun—we may not go back, nor may we leave off.

Take courage, brethren, let us go forward together and Jesus will be with
us. For Jesus’ sake we have taken this cross. For Jesus’ sake let us
persevere with it. He will be our help as He is also our leader and guide.
Behold, our King goes before us and will fight for us. Let us follow like
men. Let no man fear any terrors. Let us be prepared to meet death valiantly
in battle. Let us not suffer our glory to be blemished by fleeing from the


The Fifty-Seventh Chapter

A Man Should Not Be Too Downcast When He Falls Into Defects

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, patience and humility in adversity are more pleasing to Me than
much consolation and devotion when things are going well.

Why are you saddened by some little thing said against you? Even if it had
been more you ought not to have been affected. But now let it pass. It is
not the first, nor is it anything new, and if you live long it will not be
the last.

You are manly enough so long as you meet no opposition. You give good advice
to others, and you know how to strengthen them with words, but when
unexpected tribulation comes to your door, you fail both in counsel and in
strength. Consider your great weakness, then, which you experience so often
in small matters. Yet when these and like trials happen, they happen for
your good.

Put it out of your heart as best you know how, and if it has touched you,
still do not let it cast you down or confuse you for long. Bear it patiently
at least, if you cannot bear it cheerfully. Even though you bear it
unwillingly, and are indignant at it, restrain yourself and let no
ill-ordered words pass your lips at which the weak might be scandalized. The
storm that is now aroused will soon be quieted and your inward grief will be
sweetened by returning grace. “I yet live,” says the Lord, “ready to help
you and to console you more and more, if you trust in Me and call devoutly
upon Me.”

Remain tranquil and prepare to bear still greater trials. All is not lost
even though you be troubled oftener or tempted more grievously. You are a
man, not God. You are flesh, not an angel. How can you possibly expect to
remain always in the same state of virtue when the angels in heaven and the
first man in paradise failed to do so? I am He Who rescues the afflicted and
brings to My divinity those who know their own weakness.

The Disciple

Blessed be Your words, O Lord, sweeter to my mouth than honey and the
honeycomb. What would I do in such great trials and anxieties, if You did
not strengthen me with Your holy words? If I may but attain to the haven of
salvation, what does it matter what or how much I suffer? Grant me a good
end. Grant me a happy passage out of this world. Remember me, my God, and
lead me by the right way into Your kingdom.


The Fifty-Eighth Chapter

High Matters and the Hidden Judgments of God Are Not to Be Scrutinized

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, beware of discussing high matters and God’s hidden judgments—why
this person is so forsaken and why that one is favored with so great a
grace, or why one man is so afflicted and another so highly exalted. Such
things are beyond all human understanding and no reason or disputation can
fathom the judgments of God.

When the enemy puts such suggestions in your mind, therefore, or when some
curious persons raise questions about them, answer with the prophet: “Thou
art just, O Lord, and righteous are Thy judgments”; [42] and this: “The
judgments of the Lord are true and wholly righteous.” [43] My judgments are
to be feared, not discussed, because they are incomprehensible to the
understanding of men.

In like manner, do not inquire or dispute about the merits of the saints, as
to which is more holy, or which shall be greater in the kingdom of heaven.
Such things often breed strife and useless contentions. They nourish pride
and vainglory, whence arise envy and quarrels, when one proudly tries to
exalt one saint and the other another. A desire to know and pry into such
matters brings forth no fruit. On the contrary, it displeases the saints,
because I am the God, not of dissension, but of peace—of that peace which
consists in true humility rather than in self-exaltation.

Some are drawn by the ardor of their love with greater affection to these
saints or to those, but this affection is human and not divine. I am He who
made all the saints. I gave them grace: I brought them to glory. I know the
merits of each of them. I came before them in the blessings of My sweetness.
I knew My beloved ones before the ages. I chose them out of the world—they
did not choose Me. I called them by grace, I drew them on by mercy. I led
them safely through various temptations. I poured into them glorious
consolations. I gave them perseverance and I crowned their patience. I know
the first and the last. I embrace them all with love inestimable. I am to be
praised in all My saints. I am to be blessed above all things, and honored
in each of those whom I have exalted and predestined so gloriously without
any previous merits of their own.

He who despises one of the least of mine, therefore, does no honor to the
greatest, for both the small and the great I made. And he who disparages one
of the saints disparages Me also and all others in the kingdom of heaven.
They are all one through the bond of charity. They have the same thought and
the same will, and they mutually love one another; but, what is a much
greater thing, they love Me more than themselves or their own merits. Rapt
above themselves, and drawn beyond love of self, they are entirely absorbed
in love of Me, in Whom they rest. There is nothing that can draw them away
or depress them, for they who are filled with eternal truth burn with the
fire of unquenchable love.

Therefore, let carnal and sensual men, who know only how to love their own
selfish joys, forbear to dispute about the state of God’s saints. Such men
take away and add according to their own inclinations and not as it pleases
the Eternal Truth. In many this is sheer ignorance, especially in those who
are but little enlightened and can rarely love anyone with a purely
spiritual love. They are still strongly drawn by natural affection and human
friendship to one person or another, and on their behavior in such things
here below are based their imaginings of heavenly things. But there is an
incomparable distance between the things which the imperfect imagine and
those which enlightened men contemplate through revelation from above.

Be careful, then, My child, of treating matters beyond your knowledge out of
curiosity. Let it rather be your business and aim to be found, even though
the least, in the kingdom of God. For though one were to know who is more
holy than another, or who is greater in the kingdom of heaven, of what value
would this knowledge be to him unless out of it he should humble himself
before Me and should rise up in greater praise of My name?

The man who thinks of the greatness of his own sins and the littleness of
his virtues, and of the distance between himself and the perfection of the
saints, acts much more acceptably to God than the one who argues about who
is greater or who is less. It is better to invoke the saints with devout
prayers and tears, and with a humble mind to beg their glorious aid, than to
search with vain inquisitiveness into their secrets.

The saints are well and perfectly contented if men know how to content
themselves and cease their useless discussions. They do not glory in their
own merits, for they attribute no good to themselves but all to Me, because
out of My infinite charity I gave all to them. They are filled with such
love of God and with such overflowing joy, that no glory is wanting to them
and they can lack no happiness. All the saints are so much higher in glory
as they are more humble in themselves; nearer to Me, and more beloved by Me.
Therefore, you find it written that they cast their crowns before God, and
fell down upon their faces before the Lamb, and adored Him Who lives

Many ask who is the greater in the kingdom of heaven when they do not know
whether they themselves shall be worthy of being numbered among its least.
It is a great thing to be even the least in heaven where all are great
because all shall be called, and shall be, the children of God. The least
shall be as a thousand, and the sinner of a hundred years shall die. For
when the disciples asked who should be greater in the kingdom of heaven they
heard this response: “Unless you be converted and become as little children,
you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whosoever shall
humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of
heaven.” [44]

Woe to those, therefore, who disdain to humble themselves willingly with the
little children, for the low gate of the heavenly kingdom will not permit
them to enter. Woe also to the rich who have their consolations here, for
when the poor enter into God’s kingdom, they will stand outside lamenting.
Rejoice, you humble, and exult, you poor, for the kingdom of God is yours,
if only you walk in the truth.


[42] Ps. 118:137.

[43] Ps. 18:10.

[44] Matt. 18:3, 4.


The Fifty-Ninth Chapter

All Hope and Trust Are to Be Fixed In God Alone

The Disciple

WHAT, Lord, is the trust which I have in this life, or what is my greatest
comfort among all the things that appear under heaven? Is it not You, O
Lord, my God, Whose mercies are without number? Where have I ever fared well
but for You? Or how could things go badly when You were present? I had
rather be poor for Your sake than rich without You. I prefer rather to
wander on the earth with You than to possess heaven without You. Where You
are there is heaven, and where You are not are death and hell. You are my
desire and therefore I must cry after You and sigh and pray. In none can I
fully trust to help me in my necessities, but in You alone, my God. You are
my hope. You are my confidence. You are my consoler, most faithful in every

All seek their own interests. You, however, place my salvation and my profit
first, and turn all things to my good. Even though exposing me to various
temptations and hardships, You Who are accustomed to prove Your loved ones
in a thousand ways, order all this for my good. You ought not to be loved or
praised less in this trial than if You had filled me with heavenly

In You, therefore, O Lord God, I place all my hope and my refuge. On You I
cast all my troubles and anguish, because whatever I have outside of You I
find to be weak and unstable. It will not serve me to have many friends, nor
will powerful helpers be able to assist me, nor prudent advisers to give
useful answers, nor the books of learned men to console, nor any precious
substance to win my freedom, nor any place, secret and beautiful though it
be, to shelter me, if You Yourself do not assist, comfort, console,
instruct, and guard me. For all things which seem to be for our peace and
happiness are nothing when You are absent, and truly confer no happiness.

You, indeed, are the fountain of all good, the height of life, the depth of
all that can be spoken. To trust in You above all things is the strongest
comfort of Your servants.

My God, the Father of mercies, to You I look, in You I trust. Bless and
sanctify my soul with heavenly benediction, so that it may become Your holy
dwelling and the seat of Your eternal glory. And in this temple of Your
dignity let nothing be found that might offend Your majesty. In Your great
goodness, and in the multitude of Your mercies, look upon me and listen to
the prayer of Your poor servant exiled from You in the region of the shadow
of death. Protect and preserve the soul of Your poor servant among the many
dangers of this corruptible life, and direct him by Your accompanying grace,
through the ways of peace, to the land of everlasting light.



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