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36 Famous Quotes by Thomas à Kempis

Trust not thy feeling, for whatever it be now, it will quickly be changed.

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Commemoration of Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1089 Jesus hath many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. He hath many seekers of comfort, but few of tribulation. He findeth many companions of His table, but few of His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to undergo anything for His sake. Many follow Jesus that they may eat of His loaves, but few that they may drink of the cup of His passion. Many are astonished at His miracles, few follow after the shame of His Cross. Many love Jesus so long as no adversities happen to them. Many praise Him and bless Him, so long as they receive any comforts from Him. But if Jesus hide Himself and withdraw a little while, they fall either into complaining or into too great dejection of mind.

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Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from grace.

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Feast of Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr Count not thyself to have found true peace, if thou hast felt no grief; nor that then all is well if thou hast no adversary; nor that this is perfect, if all things fall out according to thy desire.

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Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471 Truth, not eloquence, is to be sought for in Holy Scripture. Each part of the Scripture is to be read with the same Spirit wherewith it was written. We should rather search after profit in Scriptures, than subtilty of speech. We ought to read plain and devout books as willingly as high and profound. Let not the authority of the writer offend thee, whether he be of great or small learning; but let the love of pure truth draw thee to read. Search not who spoke this or that, but mark what is spoken. Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord remaineth forever.

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For a small reward, a man will hurry away on a long journey; while for eternal life, many will hardly take a single step.

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Continuing a series on the person of Jesus: 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 tests 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.

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Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471 It is no great matter to associate with the good and gentle; for this is a naturally pleasing to all, and everyone willingly enjoyeth peace, and loveth those best that agree with him. But to be able to live peaceably with hard and perverse persons, or with the disorderly, or with such as go contrary to us, is a great grace, and a most commendable thing.

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Faith is required of thee, and a sincere life, not loftiness of intellect, nor deepness in the mysteries of God. If thou understandest not... the things which are beneath thee, how shalt thou comprehend those which are above thee? Submit thyself unto God, and humble thy sense to faith, and the light of knowledge shall be given thee, as shall be profitable and necessary unto thee.

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Feast of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher, 1153 Commemoration of William & Catherine Booth, Founders of the Salvation Army, 1912 & 1890 Why do we talk and gossip so continually, seeing that we so rarely resume our silence without some hurt done to our conscience? ... Devout conversation on spiritual things helpeth not a little to spiritual progress, most of all where those of kindred mind and spirit find their ground of fellowship in God.

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In judging others a man laboureth in vain; he often erreth, and easily falleth into sin; but in judging and examining himself he always laboureth to good purpose.

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Feast of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680 Commemoration of Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231 Commemoration of Mechtild, Bèguine of Magdeburg, Mystic, Prophet, 1280 Our own curiosity often hindereth us in the reading of holy writings, when we seek to understand and discuss, where we should pass simply on. If thou wouldst profit by thy reading, read humbly, simply, honestly, and not desiring to win a character [i.e., reputation] for learning.

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Commemoration of Charles de Foucauld, Hermit, Servant of the Poor, 1916 Whoever loves much, does much.

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Thou wilt never be spiritually minded and godly unless thou art silent concerning other men's matters and take full heed to thyself.

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Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253 Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752 If indeed there had been anything better and more profitable to the health of men than to suffer, Christ would surely have shown it by word and example.

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Commemoration of Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, 1373 "In pastures green"? Not always; sometimes He, Who knoweth best, in kindness leadeth me In weary ways, where heavy shadows be. And "by still waters" ? No, not always so; Ofttimes the heavy tempests round me blow, And o'er my soul the waves and billows go. But when the storm beats loudest, and I cry Aloud for help, the Master standeth by, And whispers to my soul, "Lo, it is I." So, where He leads me, I can safely go, And in the blest hereafter I shall know Why, in His wisdom, He hath led me so. ... Anonymous July 24, 1998 Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471 If thou shalt remain faithful and zealous in labour, doubt not that God shall be faithful and bountiful in rewarding thee. It is thy duty to have a good hope that thou wilt attain the victory: but thou must not fall into security lest thou become slothful or lifted up.

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Feast of the Holy Cross When you hear someone saying unworthy and hard words of you, then it is given to you to drink medicine for your soul from the cup of the Lord.

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He who loveth God with all his heart feareth not death, nor punishment, nor judgment, nor hell, because perfect love giveth sure access to God. But he who still delighteth in sin, no marvel if he is afraid of death and judgment.

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At the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done.

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It is Truth which we must look for in Holy Writ, not cunning of words. All Scripture ought to be read in the spirit in which it was written. We must rather seek for what is profitable in Scripture, than for what ministereth to subtlety in discourse.

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The more a man hath unity and simplicity in himself, the more things and the deeper things he understandeth; and that without labour, because he receiveth the light of understanding from above. The spirit which is pure, sincere and steadfast, is not distracted though it hath many works to do, because it doth all things to the honour of God, and striveth to be free from all thoughts of self-seeking.

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Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461 If we would put some slight stress on ourselves at the beginning, then afterwards we should be able to do all things with ease and joy. It is a hard thing to break through a habit, and a yet harder thing to go contrary to our own will. Yet, if thou overcome not slight and easy obstacles, how wilt thou overcome greater ones? Withstand thy will at the beginning, and unlearn an evil habit, lest it lead thee little by little into worse difficulties. Oh, if thou knewest what peace to thyself thy holy life should bring, ... and what joy to others, methinketh thou wouldst be more zealous for spiritual profit.

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Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471 Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.

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Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord True it is that every man willingly followeth his own bent, and is the more inclined to those who agree with him. But if Christ is amongst us, then it is necessary that we sometimes yield up our own opinion for the sake of peace. Who is so wise as to have a perfect knowledge of all things? Therefore trust not too much to thine own opinion, but be ready also to hear the opinion of others. Though thine own opinion be good, yet if for the love of God thou foregoest it, and followest that of another, thou shalt the more profit thereby.

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No man safely goeth abroad who loveth not to rest at home. No man safely talketh but he who loveth to hold his peace. No man safely ruleth but he who loveth to be subject. No man safely commandeth but he who loveth to obey.

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