|Imitation of Christ|
Thomas á Kempis (Excerpt)
If too in every event thou stand not in outward seeming, nor with a carnal eye survey things seen or heard, but presently in every affair dost enter with Moses into the Tabernacle to ask counsel of the Lord, thou shalt sometimes hear the Divine Oracle, and shalt return instructed concerning many things, both present and to come. For Moses always had recourse to the Tabernacle for the dissolving of doubts and questions, and fled to the help of prayer, for support under dangers and the iniquity of men. So oughtest thou in like manner to take refuge within the closet of thine heart, very earnestly craving the divine favour. For we read, that for this cause Joshua and the children of Israel were deceived by the Gibeonites, because they asked not beforehand at the mouth of the Lord, but trusting too easily to sweet words, by feigned piety were deluded.
O Lord, most cheerfully do I commit all unto Thee, for my thinking can little avail. Would that I did not so much dwell on future events, but gave myself up without reluctance to Thy good pleasure.
My son, oftentimes a man vehemently struggleth for somewhat he desireth, but when he hath attained unto it, he beginneth to be of another mind; for the affections remain not firmly around the same thing, but rather drive us from one thing to another. It is no very small thing for a man to forsake himself even in things that are very small.
The true profiting of a man is the denying of himself; and a man that hath denied himself is exceeding free and secure. But the old Enemy, who always setteth himself against all that are good, ceaseth at no time from tempting, but day and night plotteth grievous lyings-in-wait to cast the unwary, if he can, headlong into the snare of deceit. Watch ye, and pray, saith the Lord, that ye enter not into temptation.
Imitation of Christ, Thomas á Kempis, 1900.
To read the entire work, visit Wheaton College. They have an excellent collection of Christian philosophy online.