Here is this week's thought from one of our spiritual fathers or mothers...and the last from The Imitation of Christ. If you have any favourite classics from which you would like to see passages in future, then please let me know in the comments.

This Christian classic was most probably written by the Medieval monk Thomas à Kempis in the fifteenth century. It is a devotional book encouraging a holy and prayerful lifestyle. This translation comes from The Cyber Library.

The Imitation of Christ
Book Three - Internal Consolation

From Chapter 15
How One Should Feel and Speak on Every Desirable Thing


My child, this is the way you must speak on every occasion: "Lord, if it be pleasing to You, so be it. If it be to Your honor, Lord, be it done in Your name. Lord, if You see that it is expedient and profitable for me, then grant that I may use it to Your honor. But if You know that it will be harmful to me, and of no good benefit to the welfare of my soul, then take this desire away from me."

Not every desire is from the Holy Spirit, even though it may seem right and good. It is difficult to be certain whether it is a good spirit or a bad one that prompts one to this or that, and even to know whether you are being moved by your own spirit. Many who seemed at first to be led by a good spirit have been deceived in the end.

Whatever the mind sees as good, ask and desire in fear of God and humility of heart. Above all, commit the whole matter to Me with true resignation, and say: "Lord, You know what is better for me; let this be done or that be done as You please. Grant what You will, as much as You will, when You will. Do with me as You know best, as will most please You, and will be for Your greater honor. Place me where You will and deal with me freely in all things. I am in Your hand; turn me about whichever way You will. Behold, I am Your servant, ready to obey in all things. Not for myself do I desire to live, but for You -- would that I could do this worthily and perfectly!"

This particular passage reminds me of Ignatius' famous prayer and of the Methodist Covenant Prayer, both of which I have written about here. Both are beautiful and very challenging prayers. Members of the Methodist Church pray the Covenant Prayer at their Covenant Service each New Year. If you have never attended a Methodist Covenant Service you are missing something very special.

This is the fifth in a Sunday series from The Imitation of Christ.
Here are the others:
The Imitation of Christ - Book 1 Chapter 1
The Imitation of Christ - Book 1 Chapter 4
The Imitation of Christ - Book 1 Chapter 6
The Imitation of Christ - Book 2 Chapter 8