On humility and peace

From the Imitation of Christ of Thomas a Kempis

On humility and peace

Do not care much who is with you and who is against you; but make it your greatest care that God is with you in everything you do. Have a good conscience, and God will defend you securely; no one can hurt you if God wishes to help you.

If you know how to suffer in silence, you will surely receive God’s help. Since he knows best the time and the way to set you free, resign yourself to him, for God helps you and frees you from all confusion.

It is often good for us, and helps us to remain humble, if others know our weaknesses and confront us with them.

When a man humbles himself for his faults, he more easily pleases others and mollifies those he has angered.

God protects and frees a humble man; he loves and consoles a humble man; he favors a humble man; he showers him with graces; then, after his suffering, God raises him up to glory.

He reveals his secrets to a humble man and in his kindness invitingly draws that man to himself. When a humble man is brought to confusion, he experiences peace, because he stands firm in God and not in this world. Do not think that you have made any progress unless you feel that you are the lowest of all men.

Above all things, keep peace within yourself, then you will be able to create peace among others. It is better to be peaceful than learned. The passionate man often thinks evil of a good man and easily believes the worst; a good and peaceful man turns all things to good.

A man who lives at peace suspects no one. But a man who is tense and agitated by evil is troubled with all kinds of suspicions; he is never at peace with himself, nor does he permit others to be at peace. He often speaks when he should be silent, and he fails to say what would be truly useful. He is well aware of the obligations of others but neglects his own.

So be zealous first of all with yourself, and then you will be more justified in expressing zeal for your neighbor. You are good at excusing and justifying you own deeds, and yet you will not listen to the excuses of others. It would be more just to accuse yourself and to excuse your brother. If you wish others to put up with you, first put up with them.

Via divineoffice.org

The Bridegroom Will Be Coming

Behold the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night,
and blest is he whose loins are girt, whose lamp is burning bright;
but woe to that dull servant, whom the Master shall surprise
with lamp untrimmed, unburning, and with slumber in his eyes.

Do thou, my soul, beware, beware, lest thou in sleep sink down,
lest thou be given o’er to death, and lose the golden crown;
but see that thou be sober, with a watchful eye, and thus
cry–“Holy, holy, holy God, have mercy upon us.”

That day, the day of fear, shall come; my soul, slack not thy toil,
but light thy lamp, and feed it well, and make it bright with oil;
who knowest not how soon may sound the cry at eventide,
“Behold the Bridegroom comes! Arise! Go forth to meet the bride.”

Beware, my soul; beware, beware, lest thou in slumber lie,
and, like the Five, remain without, and knock, and vainly cry;
but watch, and bear thy lamp undimmed, and Christ shall gird thee on
his own bright wedding-robe of light–the glory of the Son.

via divineoffice.org


Words: Greek, ca. eighth century; trans. Gerard Moultrie (1829-1885), 1864; Music: Second Mode Melody (Thomas Tallis, ca. 1505-1585)
The Bridegroom Will Be Coming by The Schola Cantorum of St. Peter’s in the Loop is available from Amazon.com