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Imitation of Christ: 4, 1, (97) The Great Reverence With Which We Should Receive Christ [Devotional] ^ | 1441 | Thomas aKempis

Posted on 12/24/2007 9:43:36 PM PST by Salvation

Imitation of Jesus Christ - The Great Reverence With Which We Should Receive Christ  The Great Reverence With Which We Should Receive Christ

COME to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. [Matt. 11:28] The bread which I will give is My Flesh, for the life of the world. [John 6:52] Take you and eat: this is My Body, which shall be delivered for you. Do this for the commemoration of Me. [1 Cor. 11:24] He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. [John 6:57] The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."[John 6:64]

THESE are all Your words, O Jesus Christ, eternal Truth, though they were not all spoken at one time nor written together in one place. And because they are Yours and true, I must accept them all with faith and gratitude. They are Yours and You have spoken them; they are mine also because You have spoken them for my salvation. Gladly I accept them from Your lips that they may be the more deeply impressed in my heart.
Words of such tenderness, so full of sweetness and love, encourage me; but my sins frighten me and an unclean conscience thunders at me when approaching such great mysteries as these. The sweetness of Your words invites me, but the multitude of my vices oppresses me.
You command me to approach You confidently if I wish to have part with You, and to receive the food of immortality if I desire to obtain life and glory everlasting.
"Come to me," You say, "all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you." [Matt. 11:28]
Oh, how sweet and kind to the ear of the sinner is the word by which You, my Lord God, invite the poor and needy to receive Your most holy Body! Who am I, Lord, that I should presume to approach You? Behold, the heaven of heavens cannot contain You, and yet You say: "Come, all of you, to Me."
What means this most gracious honor and this friendly invitation? How shall I dare to come, I who am conscious of no good on which to presume? How shall I lead You into my house, I who have so often offended in Your most kindly sight? Angels and archangels revere You, the holy and the just fear You, and You say: "Come to Me: all of you!" If You, Lord, had not said it, who would have believed it to be true? And if You had not commanded, who would dare approach?
Behold, Noah, a just man, worked a hundred years building the ark that he and a few others might be saved; how, then, can I prepare myself in one hour to receive with reverence the Maker of the world?
Moses, Your great servant and special friend, made an ark of incorruptible wood which he covered with purest gold wherein to place the tables of Your law; shall I, a creature of corruption, dare so easily to receive You, the Maker of law and the Giver of life?
Solomon, the wisest of the kings of Israel, spent seven years building a magnificent temple in praise of Your name, and celebrated its dedication with a feast of eight days. He offered a thousand victims in Your honor and solemnly bore the Ark of the Covenant with trumpeting and jubilation to the place prepared for it; and I, unhappy and poorest of men, how shall I lead You into my house, I who scarcely can spend a half-hour devoutly -- would that I could spend even that as I ought!
O my God, how hard these men tried to please You! Alas, how little is all that I do! How short the time I spend in preparing for Communion! I am seldom wholly recollected, and very seldom, indeed, entirely free from distraction. Yet surely in the presence of Your life-giving Godhead no unbecoming thought should arise and no creature possess my heart, for I am about to receive as my guest, not an angel, but the very Lord of angels.
Very great, too, is the difference between the Ark of the Covenant with its treasures and Your most pure Body with its ineffable virtues, between these sacrifices of the law which were but figures of things to come and the true offering of Your Body which was the fulfillment of all ancient sacrifices.
Why, then, do I not long more ardently for Your adorable presence? Why do I not prepare myself with greater care to receive Your sacred gifts, since those holy patriarchs and prophets of old, as well as kings and princes with all their people, have shown such affectionate devotion for the worship of God?
The most devout King David danced before the ark of God with all his strength as he recalled the benefits once bestowed upon his fathers. He made musical instruments of many kinds. He composed psalms and ordered them sung with joy. He himself often played upon the harp when moved by the grace of the Holy Ghost. He taught the people of Israel to praise God with all their hearts and to raise their voices every day to bless and glorify Him. If such great devotion flourished in those days and such ceremony in praise of God before the Ark of the Covenant, what great devotion ought not I and all Christian people now show in the presence of this Sacrament; what reverence in receiving the most excellent Body of Jesus Christ!
Many people travel far to honor the relics of the saints, marveling at their wonderful deeds and at the building of magnificent shrines. They gaze upon and kiss the sacred relics encased in silk and gold; and behold, You are here present before me on the altar, my God, Saint of saints, Creator of men, and Lord of angels!
Often in looking at such things, men are moved by curiosity, by the novelty of the unseen, and they bear away little fruit for the amendment of their lives, especially when they go from place to place lightly and without true contrition. But here in the Sacrament of the altar You are wholly present, my God, the man Christ Jesus, whence is obtained the full realization of eternal salvation, as often as You are worthily and devoutly received. To this, indeed, we are not drawn by levity, or curiosity, or sensuality, but by firm faith, devout hope, and sincere love.
O God, hidden Creator of the world, how wonderfully You deal with us! How sweetly and graciously You dispose of things with Your elect to whom You offer Yourself to be received in this Sacrament! This, indeed, surpasses all understanding. This in a special manner attracts the hearts of the devout and inflames their love. Your truly faithful servants, who give their whole life to amendment, often receive in Holy Communion the great grace of devotion and love of virtue.
Oh, the wonderful and hidden grace of this Sacrament which only the faithful of Christ understand, which unbelievers and slaves of sin cannot experience! In it spiritual grace is conferred, lost virtue restored, and the beauty, marred by sin, repaired. At times, indeed, its grace is so great that, from the fullness of the devotion, not only the mind but also the frail body feels filled with greater strength.
Nevertheless, our neglect and coldness is much to be deplored and pitied, when we are not moved to receive with greater fervor Christ in Whom is the hope and merit of all who will be saved. He is our sanctification and redemption. He is our consolation in this life and the eternal joy of the blessed in heaven. This being true, it is lamentable that many pay so little heed to the salutary Mystery which fills the heavens with joy and maintains the whole universe in being.
Oh, the blindness and the hardness of the heart of man that does not show more regard for so wonderful a gift, but rather falls into carelessness from its daily use! If this most holy Sacrament were celebrated in only one place and consecrated by only one priest in the whole world, with what great desire, do you think, would men be attracted to that place, to that priest of God, in order to witness the celebration of the divine Mysteries! But now there are many priests and Mass is offered in many places, that God's grace and love for men may appear the more clearly as the Sacred Communion is spread more widely through the world.
Thanks be to You, Jesus, everlasting Good Shepherd, Who have seen fit to feed us poor exiled people with Your precious Body and Blood, and to invite us with words from Your own lips to partake of these sacred Mysteries: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you."
Imitation of Jesus Christ - The Great Reverence With Which We Should Receive Christ

TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Prayer; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; values; virtues
For your thoughtful and prayerful meditation and response.
1 posted on 12/24/2007 9:43:41 PM PST by Salvation
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To: All

Wow! What a great day to post this — Christmas Eve!

2 posted on 12/24/2007 9:44:13 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; ...
Imitation of Christ Devotional Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Imitation of Christ Devotional Ping List.

Also, many Protestants have asked me to put them on this ping list. I have gladly done so, and will add your name if you FReepmail me. I reassure you that you will not get all the Catholic pings.

3 posted on 12/24/2007 9:45:08 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
The Religion Moderator gave me permission to copy the rules from the Chambers' thread (with a few alterations) which I think are applicable. Thank you to the RM!

Come to these threads as you are; leave with what you have discovered.

Absolutely no flaming! These daily threads are intended to be devotional in nature. If a particular day's offering says nothing to you, please just go on and wait for the next day. Consider these threads a DMZ of sorts, a place where a perpetual truce is in effect and a place where all other arguments and disagreements from other times and places are left behind.

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

4 posted on 12/24/2007 9:45:53 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Christ In The Garden Of Gethsemane art print by Heinrich Hofmann 





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

5 posted on 12/24/2007 9:46:46 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Book One -- Thoughts Helpful in the Life of the Soul

Imitation of Christ -- Foreword [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ, 1,1 - Imitating Jesus Christ and Despising All Vanities on Earth [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1,2, Having A Humble Opinion of Self [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 3, The Doctrine of Truth [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 4, Prudence in Action [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ, 1, 5, Reading the Holy Scripture [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 6, Unbridled Affections [Devotional]

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]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 22, Thoughts on the Misery of Man [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 23, Thoughts on Death [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 24, Judgment and the Punishment of Sin [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 1, 25, Zeal in Amending Our Lives [Devotional]

Book Two -- The Interior Life

Imitation of Christ: 2, 1, (26), Meditation [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 2, (27) Humility [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 3, (28) Goodness and Peace in Man [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 4, (29) Purity of Mind and Unity of Purpose [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 5, (30) Ourselves [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 2, 6, (31) The Joy of a Good Conscience [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 7. (32) Loving Jesus Above All Things [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 8, (33) The Intimate Friendship of Jesus [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 9, (34) Wanting No Share in Comfort [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 10, (35) Appreciating God's Grace [Devcotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 11, (36) Few Love the Cross of Jesus [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 2, 12, (37) The Royal Road of the Holy Cross [Devotional]

6 posted on 12/24/2007 9:48:20 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Book Three -- Internal Consolation - Conversations with Christ

Imitation of Christ: 3,1, (38) The Inward Conversation of Christ with the Faithful Soul [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 2, (39) Truth Speaks Inwardly without the Sound of Words [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 3, (40) Listen Humbly to the Words of God. Many Do Not Heed Them[Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 4, (41) We Must Walk Before God in Humility and Truth [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 5, (42) The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 3, 6, (43) The Proving of a True Lover {Devotional}
Imitation of Christ: 3, 7, (44) Grace Must Be Hidden Under the Mantle of Humility [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 8, (45) Self-Abasement in the Sight of God [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 9, (46) All Things Should be Referred to God as their Last End [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 10 (47) To Despise the World and Serve God is Sweet [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 11 (48) The Longings of Our Hearts Must Be Examined & Moderated [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 3, 12, (49) Acquiring Patience in the Fight against Concupiscence [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,13,(50) The Obedience of One Humbly Subject to...Jesus Christ [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,14(51)Consider...Judgments of God Lest You Become Proud...Deeds [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 15 (52) How One Should Feel and Speak on Every Desirable Thing [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,16, (53) True Comfort is to be Sought in God Alone [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 17, (54) All Our Care is to be Placed in God [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ:3,18(55)Temporal Borne Patiently,..Example of Christ [Devotional}
Imitation of Christ: 3, 19, (56) True Patience in Suffering [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 20, (57) Confessing Our Weakness in the Miseries of Life [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 21 (58) Above All Goods and All Gifts We Must Rest in God [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,22 (59) Remember the Innumerable Gifts of God [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3 23, (60) Four Things Which Bring Great Peace [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 3, 24, (61) Avoiding Curious Inquiry About the Lives of Others [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 25 (62) The Basis of Firm Peace of Heart and True Progress [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,26,(63)The Excellence of a Free Mind, Gained Through Prayer ... [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 27, (64) Self-Love is the Greatest Hindrance to the Highest Good[Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 28, (65) Strength Against Slander [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,29(66)How We Must Call Upon ... the Lord When Trouble Presses [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 3, 30 (67) Quest of Divine Help and Confidence in Regaining Grace [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 31 (68) To Find the Creator, Forsake All Creatures [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 32, (69) Self-Denial and the Renunciation of Evil Appetites [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,33,(70)Restlessness of Soul:Directing Final Intention Toward God[Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 34, (71) God is ... in All Things to Those Who Love Him [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 35, (72) There is No Security from Temptation in This Life [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 3, 36, (73) The Vain Judgments of Men [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 37 (74) Pure...Resignation of Self to Obtain Freedom of Heart [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,38,(75)...Right Ordering of External Affairs; Recourse to God... [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,39, (76) A Man Should Not be Unduly Solicitous about his Affairs[Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 40 (77) Man Has No Good in Himself and Can Glory in Nothing [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 41, (78) Contempt for All Earthly Honor [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 3, 42 (79) Peace is not to be Placed in Men [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 43 (80) Beware Vain and Worldly Knowledge [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 44 (81) Do Not be Concerned About Outward Things [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 45 (82) ...Men...Not To Be Believed, ...Easy To Err in Speech [Devotional]
Imitation of Chirst: 3, 46, (83) Trust in God Against Slander [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 47, (84) Every Trial Must Be Borne for the Sake of Eternal Life [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 3, 48 (85) The Day of Eternity and the Distresses of this Life [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,49(86)...Desire of Eternal Life;...Rewards...Those Who Struggle [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 50 (87) How a Desolate Person... Commit...into the Hands of God [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3,51,(88)When We Cannot Attain...Highest,...Practice...Humble Works[Devotional]
Imitation of Christ:3,52(89)A Man Ought Not Consider Himself Worthy...Consolation, ...[Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 53, (90) God's Grace Is Not Given to the Earthly Minded [Devotional]

Imitation of Christ: 3, 54 (91) The Different Motions of Nature and Grace [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ:3,55 (92)The Corruption of Nature and the Efficacy of Divine Grace [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 56 (93) We...Deny Ourselves... Imitate Christ...Bearing Cross [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 57 (94) Man Should Not Be Too Downcast...Falls Into Defects [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 58 (95) High Matters...Hidden Judgments of God...Not...[Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 3, 59 (96) All Hope and Trust Are To Be Fixed in God Alone [Devotional]

7 posted on 12/24/2007 9:51:41 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Book Four -- An Invitation to the Holy Communion

Imitation of Christ: 4, 1, (97) The Great Reverence With Which We Should Receive Christ [Devotional]

8 posted on 12/24/2007 9:52:20 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Merry Christmas! May blessings reign down on you and your family.

What a fitting day to start book four.

9 posted on 12/25/2007 4:35:08 AM PST by twin2
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To: twin2

So wonderful. Right now, I am toying with the idea of not posting one on Christmas Day. No, I’ve made up my mind.

Today can be about the Birth of Christ.

No imitation to it. The REAL Birth of Christ! Think about it..............think about being there.

10 posted on 12/25/2007 5:59:13 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Bump for faith sharing.

11 posted on 12/25/2007 9:47:13 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz

How was your Christmas? Which Mass were you able to go to? Hope your weather has cleared up.

12 posted on 12/25/2007 10:13:57 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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