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A Meditation On The Incarnation Of Christ, Sermons On The Life And
Passion Of Our Lord And Of Hearing And Speaking Good Words. -Thomas A Kempis

HE that loveth his life: shall lose it. These words speaketh the most loving Jesus: desirous to part thee from the cares and pleasures of the world. Lo, love and loss. The eternal Word of the Father declares it: He does not deceive thee, but He looks to thy salvation. The love of the world is the loss: the love of Jesus, the redemption of the soul. The love of the flesh is folly: the love of Jesus, wisdom. The love of the creature lessens the love of the Creator: the love of the Creator gives leave to all creatures to go their way. For they do not savour the same: nor rightly agree. Self-love is full of fear and anguish: self-denial, ineffable freedom. Self-love is an interior malady: which is seldom cured, unless God be loved perfectly. Self-contempt is a sign of salvation; and he who commences with self-contempt: will be made perfect in the love of Jesus. Self-love darkens the heart, begets strife, and destroys progress. But who denies himself for the sake of. Jesus: he is free and at peace. The love of Jesus is safe and strong: it knows not the soft and self-seekers. The love of Jesus gives all that it is and has: nor seeks save what it knows to be pleasing to God. If thou wilt be fully cleansed and enlightened in spirit: despise thyself and all things for Jesus’ sake. Let every great thing in the world be nothing to thee, every pleasant thing bitter: that God alone and sweet Jesus may be sweet to thee above all things. What is in truth the love of Jesus, if not contempt of thyself and all things for the sake of His love? And this it is that finds itself, and every good in God. Thou wilt save thy soul: despise now the present life. If now thou wilt hold on to the rough way: thou shalt go into eternal life. The word of denial, and of the loss of the present life seems hard to the carnal and worldly; but to the lovers of Christ it savours sweeter than the honey and the honeycomb: because true self-denial for God’s sake makes ready an everlasting kingdom. The love of Jesus can bear present evils: and is strong to break from temporal ease. It fears not to be held in small esteem: and desires not honours. It can hold its peace in face of insults: nor thinks of returning the like to them that injure it. The love of Jesus possesses an invisible consolation: it awaits a fruit that will never wither. “I,” He saith, “have chosen you from the world, calling by My grace: that you should go out from yourselves, abandoning your own will: and bring forth the fruit of charity, loving Me above all things: and that your fruit should remain, reigning with Me in eternal blessedness.” But the fruit of the flesh is death: which the worm that dieth not follows and everlasting fire. From which may He protect us, Who has taught us to despise the world, and overcome the flesh: Christ Jesus, our love and our redemption. Amen.

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