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Thomas a’ Kempis, Gratitude for the Grace of God April 27, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, reading, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, The Imitation of Christ, Victory, Virtue.
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From Book II Chapter 10 of The Imitation of Christ, a reflection on having proper gratitude for the Grace we receive from God:

Why seekest thou rest, since thou art born to labor?

Dispose thyself to patience rather than consolation, and to bear the cross rather than to rejoice.

For who is there among worldly people that would not willingly receive comfort and spiritual joy, if he could always have it?

For spiritual consolation exceeds all the delights of the world and the pleasures of the flesh. [Would you agree?  It’s been a long time, but I have felt I experienced transports of joy associated with sublime spiritual moments. I would say this is a true statement.]

For all worldly delights are either vain or base; but spiritual delights alone are pleasant and honorable, springing from virtue, and infused by God into pure minds.

But those divine consolations no man can always enjoy when he will, because the time of temptation is not long absent.

But what very much opposes these heavenly visits is a false liberty of mind and a great confidence in one’s self.

God doth well in giving the grace of consolation, but man doth ill in not returning it all to God with thanksgiving.

And this is the reason why the gifts of grace cannot flow in us, because we are ungrateful to the giver, nor do we return all to the fountainhead.

For Grace will always be given to him that duly returns thanks, and what is wont to be given to the humble will be taken away from the proud.

I would not have any such consolation as would rob me of compunction, nor do I wish to have any such contemplation as leads to pride.

For all that is high is not holy; nor all that pleasant good; nor every desire pure; nor is everything that is dear to us pleasing to God.

I willingly accept of that Grace which always makes me more humble and fearful, and more ready to forsake myself.

He that has been taught by the gift of Grace, and been instructed by the scourge of its withdrawal, will not dare to attribute anything of good to himself, but rather acknowledge himself to be poor and naked.

Give to God what is His (Matt xxii:21), and take to thyself what is thine; that is, give tanks to God for His Grace; but as to thyself, be sensible that nothing is to be attributed to thee but sin and the punishment due to sin.  

Put thyself always in the lowest place, and the highest shall be given thee, for the highest stand snot without the lowest (Lk xiv:10).

The Saints that are highest in the sight of God are the least in their own eyes; and the more glorious they are the more humble they are in themselves.  

Being full of the truth and heavenly glory they are not desirous of vainglory.  

They that are grounded and establishes in God can by no means be proud.

And they that attribute to God whatsoever good they have received seek not glory from one another, but that glory which is from God alone (Jn v:44); they desire above all things that God may be praised in themselves, and in all the saints, and to this they always tend.  

Be grateful then for the least and thou shalt be worthy to receive greater things. 

Let the least be to thee as something very great, and the most contemptible as a special favor. [Am I the only one that has a very hard time with this?  Driving a longish commute in heavy traffic quickly reveals how little patience and charity I have.]

If thou considerest the dignity of the Giver, no gift will seem to thee little which is given by so great a God.

Yea, though he give punishment and stripes, it ought to be acceptable; for whatever He suffers to befall us, He always does it for our salvation (Dan iii:28).

He that desires to retain the Grace of God let him be thankful for Grace when it is given, and patient when it is withdrawn; let him pray that it may return; let him be cautious and humble, lest he lost it.

———–End Quote———–

It is painful when that very special grace, perhaps necessary early in conversion to help establish one in the Faith, is taken away.  Or no longer merited.  Many Saints experienced the same.  The Little Flower had years of incredible closeness to God, and then had it all taken away the last several years of her life, when her physical sufferings became immense and she needed it the most!  But that is the way of our Lord, he tempers our faith in the fires of suffering.  Truly, His ways are not our ways, and thank God for that.

 

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Comments

1. Baseballmomof8 - April 27, 2017

Love IOC. Gave several copies to my pastor to give to folks as he saw fit…. happy to see he has only one left 🙂

Tantumblogo - April 27, 2017

We’ve done that, too! But not given it to our pastor, but given it our ourselves.

Baseballmomof8 - April 27, 2017

Oh yes, I’ve done that’s too. I gave it to the pastor to give to parishioners who seemed hungry for Truth. So many Catholics cling to some silly stuff (not going to define “silly”) because they are in spiritual diabetic comas. They’ve been fed Twinkie theology for soooo many years that when some “visionary ” or other “spiritual leader” comes along they cling to it. So I gave him IOC to give to those kinds of folks 🙂

2. Margaret Costello - April 30, 2017

Good stuff! Love IOC too:+) Rich in wisdom, esp about humility:+) God bless~


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