It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos,
no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.
So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling
Always remember your end and do not forget that lost time never returns. Without care and diligence you will never acquire virtue. When you begin to grow lukewarm, you are falling into the beginning of evil; but if you give yourself to fervor, you will find peace and will experience less hardship because of God’s grace and the love of virtue.
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter XXIV
How To Find Great Spiritual Benefits from The Opposition of Other People
The Gospel connects prayer for enemies with spiritual perfection and imitation of God the Father: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father… So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt. 5:43ff). In his spiritual classic, The Imitation of Christ, Thomas á Kempis shows how patiently suffering the opposition of others can be great training for us in holiness:
The Value of Adversity: It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men. When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by evil thoughts, he realizes clearly that his greatest need is God, without Whom he can do no good…Then he fully understands that perfect security and complete peace cannot be found on earth.
Bearing with the Faults of Others: Until God ordains otherwise, a man ought to bear patiently whatever he cannot correct in himself and in others… If, after being admonished once or twice, a person does not amend, do not argue with him but commit the whole matter to God that His will and honor may be furthered in all His servants, for God knows well how to turn evil to good. Try to bear patiently with the defects and infirmities of others, whatever they may be, because you also have many a fault which others must endure… We want them to be perfect, yet we do not correct our own faults. We wish them to be severely corrected, yet we will not correct ourselves. Their great liberty displeases us, yet we would not be denied what we ask. We would have them bound by laws, yet we will allow ourselves to be restrained in nothing. Hence, it is clear how seldom we think of others as we do of ourselves… But God has so ordained, that we may learn to bear with one another’s burdens, for there is no man without fault, no man without burden, no man sufficient to himself nor wise enough. Hence we must support one another, console one another, mutually help, counsel, and advise, for the measure of every man’s virtue is best revealed in time of adversity—adversity that does not weaken a man but rather shows what he is.
Meditation: …If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds. If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men, and you will easily bear their slanderous talk. When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.
Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer; for love of Him makes a man despise himself. He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things… He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behavior of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals. If all were well with you, therefore, and if you were purified from all sin, everything would tend to your good and be to your profit. But because you are as yet neither entirely dead to self nor free from all earthly affection, there is much that often displeases and disturbs you. Nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things. But if you refuse external consolation, you will be able to contemplate heavenly things and often to experience interior joy.
True Patience in Suffering: What are you saying, My child? Think of Christ’s suffering and that of the saints, and cease complaining. “You have not yet resisted to the shedding of blood.” What you suffer is very little compared with the great things they suffered who were so strongly tempted, so severely troubled, so tried and tormented in many ways… For the truly patient man does not consider from whom the suffering comes, whether from a superior, an equal, or an inferior, whether from a good and holy person or from a perverse and unworthy one; but no matter how great an adversity befalls him, no matter how often it comes or from whom it comes, he accepts it gratefully from the hand of God, and counts it a great gain. For with God nothing that is suffered for His sake, no matter how small, can pass without reward. Be prepared for the fight, then, if you wish to gain the victory. Without struggle you cannot obtain the crown of patience, and if you refuse to suffer you are refusing the crown…
A Christian, then, is a copy of Christ. His inner and outer man are to be copies of Christ. It is Christ’s footsteps he is to walk in. It is Christ’s image that he is to reflect. It is not Paul, nor Peter, no Luther, nor Calvin, nor Rutherford that he is to copy, but Christ Himself. Other models may illustrate this, and so help in the imitation of Christ; but only as doing this are they useful; otherwise they are dangerous.
rules: tag up to 20 ppl Name: Justin Nickname: I have a few Zodiac: Leo. I don’t believe in astrology, but my favorite star in Leo the Lion is Regulus A. Ht: 6′1′’ Orientation: Straight Ethnicity: German, Irish, some English Fav fruit: Strawberry Fav book: The only one I read every day is the Bible. I really like The Last Superstition by Edward Feser, The Banished Heart (forgot author), The Imitation of Christ, and quite a few more. Fav scent: The incense used at Mass Fav flower: Don’t really have one Avg sleep hours: 6 ½ hours Cat or dog: Dog (I’ll forever love Goldendoodles) Blanket #: 4, if you count the sheet. Dream Trip: I don’t have anywhere that I dream of going that I haven’t been yet (there are places I’d be happy to go to, but it’s not on the bucket list or anything). So far my favorite trip has been Bamberg, Germany, or stateside, just a relaxing week in the Florida Keys. Created blog: November 2014, I think # of followers. 582… probably a few porn blogs, sadly, as I haven’t pruned my list recently I tag whoever wants to do this because I don’t feel like calling anyone out.