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Full Version: "My Imitation of Christ": Inordinate Affections and Superfluity of Words
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I find this chapter to be particularly edifying:
Chapter 6: Inordinate Affections Wrote:1. Whensoever a man desires anything inordinately he is presently disquieted within himself.

The proud and covetous are never easy.

The poor and humble of spirit live in much peace.

The man that is not yet perfectly dead to himself is soon tempted and overcome with small and trifling things.

He that is weak in spirit, and in a manner yet carnal and inclined to sensible things, can hardly withdraw himself wholly from earthly desires.

And therefore he is often sad when he withdraws himself from them and is easily moved to anger if any one thwarts him.

2. And if he has pursued his inclination he is immediately tormented with the guilt of his conscience, because he has followed his passion, which helps him not at all toward the peace he sought for.

It is then by resisting our passions that we are to find true peace of heart, and not by being slaved to them.

There is no peace, therefore, in the heart of a carnal man, nor in a man that is addicted to outward things; but only in a fervent spiritual man.

We would all do well to heed this advice:
Chapter 10: Avoiding Superfluity of Words Wrote:1. Fly the tumult of men as much as thou canst; for treating of worldly affairs hinders very much although they be discoursed of with a simple intention.

For we are quickly defiled and ensnared with vanity.

I wish I had oftener been silent and that I had not been in company.

But why are we so willing to talk and discourse with one another, since we seldom return to silence without prejudice to our conscience.

The reason why we are so willing to talk is, because by discoursing together we seek comfort from one another; and would gladly ease the heart, wearied by various thoughts.

And we very willingly talk and think of such things as we most love and desire, or which we imagine contrary to us.

2. But, alas! it is often in vain and to no purpose: for this outward consolation is no small hindrance to interior and divine comfort.

Therefore we must watch and pray--MATT. XXVI. 41--that our time may not pass away without fruit.

If it is lawful and expedient to speak, speak those things which may edify.

A bad custom, and the neglect of our spiritual advancement, are a great cause of our keeping so little guard upon our mouth.

But devout conferences concerning spiritual things help very much to spiritual progress, especially where persons of the same mind and spirit are associated together in God.