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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Imitation of Christ - A Good and Peaceable Man

The following text is taken from Chapter 3 of Thomas a' Kempis' Imitation of Christ :

Keep thyself first in peace and then thou wilt be able to bring others to peace. 
A peaceable man does more good than one that is very learned.
A passionate man turns every good to evil and easily believes evil. 
A good peaceable man turns all things to good. 
He that is in perfect peace suspect no man, but he that is discontented and disturbed is tossed about with various suspicions; he is neither quiet himself nor does he suffer others to be quiet. 
He often says that which he should not say, and omits that which would be better for him to do. 
He considers what others are obliged to do, and neglects that to which he himself is obliged. 
Have, therefore, a zeal in the first place over thyself, and then thou mayest justly exercise thy zeal towards thy neighbor. 

2. Thou knowest well enough how to excuse and color thine own doings, and thou wilt not take the excuses of others. 
It were more than just that thou shouldst accuse thyself and excuse thy brother. 
If thou wilt be borne with bear also with another.
See how far thou art yet from true charity and humility, which knows not how to be angry with anyone, or to have indignation against anyone but one's self. 
It is no great thing to be able to converse with them that are good and meek, for this is naturally pleasing to all. And everyone would willingly have peace and love those best that agree with them. 
But to live peaceably with those that are harsh and perverse, or disorderly, or such as oppose us, is a great grace, and highly commendable and manly. 

3. Some there are who keep themselves in peace and have peace also with others.
And there are some that are neither at peace within themselves, no suffer others to be in peace; they are troublesome to others, but always more troublesome to themselves. 
And some there are who keep themselves in peace and study to restore peace to others.
Yet all our peace in this miserable life is rather to be placed in humble sufferings than in not feeling adversities. He who knows how to suffer will enjoy much peace. 
Such a one is a conqueror of himself and lord of the world, a friend of Christ and an heir of Heaven.

Ouch. That's all I have to say about that.


Elizabeth Mahlou said...

It takes a lot of prayer to maintain that kind of peace. I don't think we can manage it without God's help!

Adoro said...

"In Him we live, and move, and have our being."