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VEDANTA MASS MEDIA The Imitation of Christ | Sorrow of Heart  

 

 

         

 

 


                   

     The Twenty-First Chapter

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

     IF YOU wish to make progress in virtue, live in the fear of the Lord, do not look for too much

freedom, discipline your senses, and shun inane silliness. Sorrow opens the door to many a blessing

which dissoluteness usually destroys.

 

     It is a wonder that any man who considers and meditates on his exiled state and the many

dangers to his soul, can ever be perfectly happy in this life. Lighthearted and heedless of our defects,

we do not feel the real sorrows of our souls, but often indulge in empty laughter when we have

good reason to weep. No liberty is true and no joy is genuine unless it is founded in the fear of the

Lord and a good conscience.

 

     Happy is the man who can throw off the weight of every care and recollect himself in holy

contrition. Happy is the man who casts from him all that can stain or burden his conscience.

Fight like a man. Habit is overcome by habit. If you leave men alone, they will leave you alone

to do what you have to do. Do not busy yourself about the affairs of others and do not become

entangled in the business of your superiors. Keep an eye primarily on yourself and admonish

yourself instead of your friends.

 

     If you do not enjoy the favor of men, do not let it sadden you; but consider it a serious matter

if you do not conduct yourself as well or as carefully as is becoming for a servant of God and a

devout religious.

 

     It is often better and safer for us to have few consolations in this life, especially comforts of

the body. Yet if we do not have divine consolation or experience it rarely, it is our own fault because

we seek no sorrow of heart and do not forsake vain outward satisfaction.

 

     

     Consider yourself unworthy of divine solace and deserving rather of much tribulation. When

a man is perfectly contrite, the whole world is bitter and wearisome to him.

 

     A good man always finds enough over which to mourn and weep; whether he thinks of himself

or of his neighbor he knows that no one lives here without suffering, and the closer he examines

himself the more he grieves.

 

     The sins and vices in which we are so entangled that we can rarely apply ourselves to the

contemplation of heaven are matters for just sorrow and inner remorse.

 

     I do not doubt that you would correct yourself more earnestly if you would think more of an

early death than of a long life. And if you pondered in your heart the future pains of hell or of

purgatory, I believe you would willingly endure labor and trouble and would fear no hardship. But

since these thoughts never pierce the heart and since we are enamored of flattering pleasure, we

remain very cold and indifferent. Our wretched body complains so easily because our soul is

altogether too lifeless.

 

     Pray humbly to the Lord, therefore, that He may give you the spirit of contrition and say with

the Prophet: "Feed me, Lord, with the bread of mourning and give me to drink of tears in full

measure." (6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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