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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas a Kempis’

Deny Thyself

I’ve been reading Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, and he has been rocking my world.

I’m being reminded, quite honestly, how selfish I am. Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m a pretty nice guy with an amiable personality. I get along well with others, but I’m selfish. My life includes frequent rationalizations for instant gratification and ruthless self indulgence.

This type of behavior is contrary to Jesus’ invitation to take up our cross. An invitation that often scares me. But Thomas, my new found 15th century friend, reminds me that while taking up this cross may be petrifying, it is so much better than the alternative. He says:

“Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of spirit… There is no salvation of soul nor hope of everlasting life but in the cross.

“Take up your cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and you shall enter eternal life. He Himself opened the way before you in carrying His cross, and upon it He died for you, that you, too, might take up your cross and long to die upon it. If you die with Him, you shall also live with Him, and if you share His suffering, you shall also share His glory.” – Thomas a Kempis

When we accept all of Christ for all that we need… When we walk away from our self-indulging desires… When our need for instant gratification dies… In those moments, we are truly alive!

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