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THE IMITATION OF CHRIST

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BOOK THREE
INTERNAL CONSOLATION

Liber Tertius
De interna consolatine.

Chapter 42
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 pure. 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.

Cap. 42.
Quod pax non est ponenda
in hominibus.

1. Fili, si ponis pacem tuam cum aliqua persona propter tuum sentire vel convivere, instabilis eris et implacatus. Sed si recursum habes ad semper viventem et manentem veritatem, non contristabit te amicus recedens aut moriens. In me debet amici dilectio stare, et propter me diligendus est quisquis tibi bonus visus est, et multum carus in hac vita. Sine me non valet, nec durabit amicitia; nec est verba et munda dilectio, quam ego non copulo. Ita mortuus esse debes talibus affectionibus dilectorum hominum, ut quantum ad te pertinet sine humano optes esse consortio. Tanto homo magis Deo appropinquat, quanto ab omni solatio terreno longius recedit. Tanto etiam altius ascendit ad Deum, quanto profundius in se descendit, et plus sibi ipsi vilescit.

 

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.   2. Qui autem aliquid boni sibi attribuit, gratiam Dei in se invenire impedit: quia gratia Spiritus sancti cor humile quśrit semper. Si scires te perfecte annihilare, atque ab omni creato amore evacurare, tunc deberem in te cum magna gratia emanare. Quando tu respicis ad creaturas, subtrahitur tibi aspectus Creatoris. Disce te in omnibus propter Creatoriem vincere: tunc ad divinam valebis cognitionem pertingere. Quantumcumque modicum sit, si quid inordinate diligitur et respicitur, retardat a summo bono, et vitiat.
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