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Imitation of Christ: 3, 54 (91) The Different Motions of Nature and Grace [Devotional] ^ | 1441 | Thomas aKempis

Posted on 12/17/2007 8:41:40 AM PST by Salvation

Imitation of Jesus Christ - The Different Motions of Nature and Grace  The Different Motions of Nature and Grace

MY CHILD, pay careful attention to the movements of nature and of grace, for they move in very contrary and subtle ways, and can scarcely be distinguished by anyone except a man who is spiritual and inwardly enlightened. All men, indeed, desire what is good, and strive for what is good in their words and deeds. For this reason the appearance of good deceives many.
Nature is crafty and attracts many, ensnaring and deceiving them while ever seeking itself. But grace walks in simplicity, turns away from all appearance of evil, offers no deceits, and does all purely for God in whom she rests as her last end.
Nature is not willing to die, or to be kept down, or to be overcome. Nor will it subdue itself or be made subject. Grace, on the contrary, strives for mortification of self. She resists sensuality, seeks to be in subjection, longs to be conquered, has no wish to use her own liberty, loves to be held under discipline, and does not desire to rule over anyone, but wishes rather to live, to stand, and to be always under God for Whose sake she is willing to bow humbly to every human creature.
Nature works for its own interest and looks to the profit it can reap from another. Grace does not consider what is useful and advantageous to herself, but rather what is profitable to many. Nature likes to receive honor and reverence, but grace faithfully attributes all honor and glory to God. Nature fears shame and contempt, but grace is happy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. Nature loves ease and physical rest. Grace, however, cannot bear to be idle and embraces labor willingly. Nature seeks to possess what is rare and beautiful, abhorring things that are cheap and coarse. Grace, on the contrary, delights in simple, humble things, not despising those that are rough, nor refusing to be clothed in old garments.
Nature has regard for temporal wealth and rejoices in earthly gains. It is sad over a loss and irritated by a slight, injurious word. But grace looks to eternal things and does not cling to those which are temporal, being neither disturbed at loss nor angered by hard words, because she has placed her treasure and joy in heaven where nothing is lost.
Nature is covetous, and receives more willingly than it gives. It loves to have its own private possessions. Grace, however, is kind and openhearted. Grace shuns private interest, is contented with little, and judges it more blessed to give than to receive.
Nature is inclined toward creatures, toward its own flesh, toward vanities, and toward running about. But grace draws near to God and to virtue, renounces creatures, hates the desires of the flesh, restrains her wanderings and blushes at being seen in public.
Nature likes to have some external comfort in which it can take sensual delight, but grace seeks consolation only in God, to find her delight in the highest Good, above all visible things.
Nature does everything for its own gain and interest. It can do nothing without pay and hopes for its good deeds to receive their equal or better, or else praise and favor. It is very desirous of having its deeds and gifts highly regarded. Grace, however, seeks nothing temporal, nor does she ask any recompense but God alone. Of temporal necessities she asks no more than will serve to obtain eternity.
Nature rejoices in many friends and kinsfolk, glories in noble position and birth, fawns on the powerful, flatters the rich, and applauds those who are like itself. But grace loves even her enemies and is not puffed up at having many friends. She does not think highly of either position or birth unless there is also virtue there. She favors the poor in preference to the rich. She sympathizes with the innocent rather than with the powerful. She rejoices with the true man rather than with the deceitful, and is always exhorting the good to strive for better gifts, to become like the Son of God by practicing the virtues.
Nature is quick to complain of need and trouble; grace is stanch in suffering want. Nature turns all things back to self. It fights and argues for self. Grace brings all things back to God in Whom they have their source. To herself she ascribes no good, nor is she arrogant or presumptuous. She is not contentious. She does not prefer her own opinion to the opinion of others, but in every matter of sense and thought submits herself to eternal wisdom and the divine judgment.
Nature has a relish for knowing secrets and hearing news. It wishes to appear abroad and to have many sense experiences. It wishes to be known and to do things for which it will be praised and admired. But grace does not care to hear news or curious matters, because all this arises from the old corruption of man, since there is nothing new, nothing lasting on earth. Grace teaches, therefore, restraint of the senses, avoidance of vain self-satisfaction and show, the humble hiding of deeds worthy of praise and admiration, and the seeking in every thing and in every knowledge the fruit of usefulness, the praise and honor of God. She will not have herself or hers exalted, but desires that God Who bestows all simply out of love should be blessed in His gifts.
This grace is a supernatural light, a certain special gift of God, the proper mark of the elect and the pledge of everlasting salvation. It raises man up from earthly things to love the things of heaven. It makes a spiritual man of a carnal one. The more, then, nature is held in check and conquered, the more grace is given. Every day the interior man is reformed by new visitations according to the image of God.
Imitation of Jesus Christ - The Different Motions of Nature and Grace

TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Prayer; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; values; virtues
For your thoughtful and prayerful meditation and response.
1 posted on 12/17/2007 8:41:42 AM PST by Salvation
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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.

2 posted on 12/17/2007 8:42:47 AM 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

3 posted on 12/17/2007 8:43:51 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
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

4 posted on 12/17/2007 8:44:45 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
All men, indeed, desire what is good, and strive for what is good in their words and deeds. For this reason the appearance of good deceives many.


5 posted on 12/17/2007 8:58:01 AM PST by Greg F (Duncan Hunter is a good man.)
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To: Greg F

And many choose to be deceived and not believe, don’t they?

6 posted on 12/17/2007 9:04:43 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

They call out to others rather than to God. No answer may be better in that circumstance than an answer not of God. Scripture says that if they call out to God he will answer. I think the choice they make is to not even ask in a serious way for God to act; to reject the order apparent in the world around them, the actions of the Spirit in the lives of those around them, and to not call out to God.

7 posted on 12/17/2007 9:27:11 AM PST by Greg F (Duncan Hunter is a good man.)
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To: Salvation
Faith-sharing bump.
8 posted on 12/17/2007 9:45:36 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Greg F

What you are saying would totally describe the atheistss then, wouldn’t it?

Refusing to acknowledge, let alone, ask for help from God.

In my way of thinking, we need to pray for them.

9 posted on 12/17/2007 6:47:46 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
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]

10 posted on 12/17/2007 6:49:24 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]

11 posted on 12/17/2007 6:50:31 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
In my way of thinking, we need to pray for them.

I didn't know how many people were praying for me UNTIL I became a Christian.

12 posted on 12/18/2007 5:46:51 AM PST by Greg F (Duncan Hunter is a good man.)
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