Skip to comments.Imitation of Christ: 1, 21, Sorrow of Heart [Devotional]
Posted on 09/26/2007 9:12:19 AM PDT by Salvation
Sorrow of Heart
IF YOU wish to make progress in virtue, live in the fear of the Lord, do not look for too much freedom, discipline your senses, and shun inane silliness. Sorrow opens the door to many a blessing which dissoluteness usually destroys.
It is a wonder that any man who considers and meditates on his exiled state and the many dangers to his soul, can ever be perfectly happy in this life. Lighthearted and heedless of our defects, we do not feel the real sorrows of our souls, but often indulge in empty laughter when we have good reason to weep. No liberty is true and no joy is genuine unless it is founded in the fear of the Lord and a good conscience.
Happy is the man who can throw off the weight of every care and recollect himself in holy contrition. Happy is the man who casts from him all that can stain or burden his conscience.
Fight like a man. Habit is overcome by habit. If you leave men alone, they will leave you alone to do what you have to do. Do not busy yourself about the affairs of others and do not become entangled in the business of your superiors. Keep an eye primarily on yourself and admonish yourself instead of your friends.
If you do not enjoy the favor of men, do not let it sadden you; but consider it a serious matter if you do not conduct yourself as well or as carefully as is becoming for a servant of God and a devout religious.
It is often better and safer for us to have few consolations in this life, especially comforts of the body. Yet if we do not have divine consolation or experience it rarely, it is our own fault because we seek no sorrow of heart and do not forsake vain outward satisfaction.
Consider yourself unworthy of divine solace and deserving rather of much tribulation. When a man is perfectly contrite, the whole world is bitter and wearisome to him.
A good man always finds enough over which to mourn and weep; whether he thinks of himself or of his neighbor he knows that no one lives here without suffering, and the closer he examines himself the more he grieves.
The sins and vices in which we are so entangled that we can rarely apply ourselves to the contemplation of heaven are matters for just sorrow and inner remorse.
I do not doubt that you would correct yourself more earnestly if you would think more of an early death than of a long life. And if you pondered in your heart the future pains of hell or of purgatory, I believe you would willingly endure labor and trouble and would fear no hardship. But since these thoughts never pierce the heart and since we are enamored of flattering pleasure, we remain very cold and indifferent. Our wretched body complains so easily because our soul is altogether too lifeless.
Pray humbly to the Lord, therefore, that He may give you the spirit of contrition and say with the Prophet: "Feed me, Lord, with the bread of mourning and give me to drink of tears in full measure." [Ps. 79:6]
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I can attest from personal experience (Salvation's) that reading from Imitation of Christ daily will almost certainly change - not one's faith - but one's perspective of his/her own faith, and open up new vistas in your spiritual life. If - when - this happens to a reader of these threads, and they choose to share what has happened within them - we are treading on hallowed ground. Be respectful.
- Religion Moderator
THE IMITATION OF CHRIST
A very powerful spiritual guidance for the soul who seeks to imitate Jesus Christ.
Learn from me, because I am meek and humble of heart. Mat. 11:29
**Pray humbly to the Lord, therefore, that He may give you the spirit of contrition and say with the Prophet: “Feed me, Lord, with the bread of mourning and give me to drink of tears in full measure.” [Ps. 79:6]**
Is this what Chritianity should look like? (Pulling a title from another thread!)
Great advice. This has been a tough one for me, working where I do. I’ve really been struggling lately. This was a shot in the arm. Thanks
**No liberty is true and no joy is genuine unless it is founded in the fear of the Lord and a good conscience.
Happy is the man who can throw off the weight of every care and recollect himself in holy contrition. Happy is the man who casts from him all that can stain or burden his conscience.**
Yes, some great advice!
Let’s see; no “idle talk” and no “inane silliness”. I might as well just give it all up and become an engineer.
These devotionals have been speaking to my heart, they are just what I need to hear right now, apparently. Thank you!
Thanks for stopping by!
Uah! Just called to holiness in WHAT we do!
“Sorrow works in two ways: it is like water because it quenches all the fire of passion with tears and washes the soul clean of stains, and it is like a fire which gives life by the presence of the Holy Spirit. It kindles, blazes up, and warms the heart, and inflames it with love and desire for God.”
+Symeon the New Theologian
I really like your quote about sorrow working in two ways.
First the cleansing of the heart; then the lighting of the heart for good, love and action.
Imitation of Christ: 1, 7, Avoiding False Hope and Pride [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 8, Shunning Over- Familiarity [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 9, Obedience and Subjection [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 10, Avoiding Idle Talk [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 11, Acquiring Peace and Zeal for Perfection [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 12, The Value of Adversity [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 13, Resisting Temptation [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1. 14, Avoiding Rash Judgment [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 15, Works Done in Charity [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 16, Bearing With the Faults of Others [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1. 17, Monastic Life [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 18, The Example Set Us by the Holy Fathers [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 19, The Practices of a Good Religious [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 20, The Love of Solitude and Silence [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 21, Sorrow of Heart [Devotional]
The apostle Paul was one of the few who actively sought after "the fellowship of his sufferings", not as a means of attaining a false righteousness, but so he could also experience the "power" of the ressurrection of the Lord. I want that too, as well as all the fellowship with him that I can get.
I'm not a Catholic, but I admire the tradition within the Catholic Church that is willing to look deeply into this particular aspect of our walk with and imitation of Christ.
Thanks for the post. I am a long-time devotee of Imitation of Christ. I keep a copy on my desk and refer to it often. It seems every line I read convicts me of something.
** As the song goes, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”**
At least, die to self and self-pride. Gets me all the time.
I have a copy by my couch and choose to read it when I mute commercials. Just the right enough amount of time for most of them!
I’m thinking of getting a copy to put in my purse to have in the car and read at railroad stops, locked in traffic, etc.
It is excellent for those times. Several years ago, we gave our son a copy on cassette (I said it was several years ago!) for use in the car. Of course, it’s available on CD now. I think, apart from Holy scripture, The Imitation of Christ is the greatest book written for spiritual guidance.