Inward Liberty

By two wings is man lifted above earthly things, even by simplicity and purity. Simplicity ought to be in the intention, purity in the affection. Simplicity reacheth towards God, purity apprehendeth Him and tasteth Him. No good action will be distasteful to thee if thou be free within from inordinate affection. If thou reachest after and seekest, nothing but the will of God and the benefit of thy neighbour, thou wilt entirely enjoy inward liberty. If thine heart were right, then should every creature be a mirror of life and a book of holy doctrine. There is no creature so small and vile but that it showeth us the goodness of God. (The Imitation of Christ, II,4).

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2 thoughts on “Inward Liberty

  1. _The Imitation of Christ_ brought me on a long pilgrimage out of my initial explicitly Christian stage of life at 19, when I was Free-Church Protestant for like 6 months before reading him. I also read some Carthusian novice conferences, and Anthony DeMello’s (sp?) stuff. First it brought me to Anglo-Catholicism, and then, though I tried to be Catholic (I just can’t worship at modern Catholic services –most other Orthodox converts I ask about this say the same, that they went to their own roots first, and that they would have been Catholic had the worship been, well, worship, vi&., transporting– and, at the time, I couldn’t be part of a communion of Christians whose culture felt that regular daily prayers were not only non-normative, but weird)

    I’m glad to see a Kempis is still delightful, though now I see the contrast of his affect-driven theology with the earlier modes of patristic thought; one could probably write a dissertation contrasting the affect-driven theology of a Kempis, with the explicit backseat that the intellect takes here, and the role of affections in the soteriology of St. Bernard of Clairvaux & co.

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