Skip to comments.Imitation of Christ: 1,2, Having A Humble Opinion of Self [Devotional]
Posted on 09/04/2007 6:58:49 AM PDT by Salvation
Having A Humble Opinion of Self - Imitation of Christ
EVERY man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars. He who knows himself well becomes mean in his own eyes and is not happy when praised by men.
If I knew all things in the world and had not charity, what would it profit me before God Who will judge me by my deeds?
Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise.
Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God.
The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you. If you think you know many things and understand them well enough, realize at the same time that there is much you do not know. Hence, do not affect wisdom, but admit your ignorance. Why prefer yourself to anyone else when many are more learned, more cultured than you?
If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself.
THE IMITATION OF CHRIST
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
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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.
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Thanks for posting the Imitation of Christ readings.
My pleasure. It sets me to thinking in a positive mindset for the rest of the day.
Do you have the book? It’s available in simple (paperback) or fancy (hardback). Worth the investment!
**Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise.**
I’m afraid I fall into this category here on FR as well as other places.
Don’t have it yet but will get it soon.
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The Authority of Humility
Luke 4: 31-37
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, open my heart and mind to your word, that I may know and love your will in my life. I believe that you are always with me, and I trust in your love to guide and strengthen me. Help me to love you above all things.
1. The Authority of Holiness Wherever Jesus preaches, the gospels tell us that those who hear him are astonished or amazed: when he was lost in the Temple at age twelve; when he preached in Nazareth; when the guards were sent to take him prisoner in the Temple and were so amazed they left him alone. What was it that so impressed them? Although he must have been a good rhetorician, there were plenty of other skilled public speakers around. What distinguished him was his authority. Authority in speaking is characterized by intimate knowledge of the subject about which one is speaking, by coherence between ones life and ones words, and by confidence. Knowledge of God, living Gods will, and absolute confidence in God are signs of holiness, and that was the source of Jesus authority. He is Holiness in Person. Can we speak of God and the things of God with authority?
2. Choosing Our Master With that same divine authority he is able to cast out demons, in a simple way, without fanfare. God commands demons irresistibly; their freedom is permanently corrupted by sin. However, he respects human freedom until the end of ones earthly life. He transforms hearts from within by challenging us to love and strengthening us to do good. He wants willing obedience. He exercises his authority over us through service, using force only for our good. The devil aims at domination by force to satisfy his pride, preying on our weakness through our passions and pressure from our peers and society. He breaks us down to make us slaves, while God builds us up to make us his children. Its easier to let ourselves be broken down than to rise to the challenge of love, but which kind of master do we want?
3. The Power of Humility As paradoxical as it may seem, then, Jesus has shown us that true authority is inextricably linked to the virtue of humility. He taught us: Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart (Matthew 11:29). Humility is the path to holiness. For us, this means submitting ourselves to Gods will, recognizing our own weakness, and leading through love. True humility is our greatest defense against the devil. We can do nothing for God, and hence nothing lastingly good for others, unless we acquire this virtue with the help of his grace particularly in the sacraments. Pride, on the contrary, leads to violence and hate, which makes us like the devil and eventually grants us a share in his fate: eternal separation from God. Right now, on which side of the divide do we stand?
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, grant me true humility. Help me willingly and lovingly accept your authority in my life. I desire to bring your word and your strength to others by living in a way consistent with the truths of my faith.
Resolution: I will go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, recognizing my weakness and seeking Gods pardon and grace to make me more like him, especially in humility.
|O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
So how many times have you read it?
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