"My Imitation of Christ": Compunction of Heart
#1
Another useful admonition:

Chapter 21: Compunction of Heart Wrote:1. If thou wilt make any progress keep thyself in the fear of God—Prov. XXIII. 17, and be not too free, but restrain all thy sense under discipline, and give not thyself up to foolish mirth.

Give thyself to compunction of heart and thou shalt find devotion.

Compunction opens the way to much good, which distraction is wont quickly to lose.

It is wonderful that any man can heartily rejoice in this life who weighs and considers his banishment and the many dangers of his soul.

2. Through levity of heart and the little thought we have of our defects we feel not the sorrows of our soul, but often vainly laugh when in all reason we ought to weep. There is no true liberty, nor solid joy, but in the fear of God with a good conscience.

Happy is he who can cast away all impediments of distraction and recollect himself in holy compunction.

Happy is he who separates himself from all that may burden or defile his conscience.

Strive manfully; custom is overcome by custom.

If thou canst let men alone they will let thee do what thou hast to do.

3. Busy not thyself with other men’s affairs, nor entangle thyself with the causes of great people. Have always an eye upon thyself in the first place and take special care to admonish thyself preferably to all thy dearest friends.

If thou hast not the favor of men be not grieved thereat: but let thy concern be that thou dost not carry thyself so well and so circumspectly as it becomes a servant of God, and a devout religious man to demean himself.

It is oftentimes more profitable and more secure for a man not have many comforts in this life, especially according to the flesh.

Yet, that we have not divine comforts, or seldom experience them, is our own fault; because we do not seek compunction of heart, nor cast off altogether vain and outward satisfactions.

4. Acknowledge thyself unworthy of divine consolation, and rather worthy of much tribulation.

When a man has perfect compunction then the whole world is to him burdensome and distasteful.

A good man always finds subjects enough for mourning and weeping.

For whether he considers himself, or thinks of his neighbor, he knows that no man lives here without tribulation; and the more thoroughly he considers himself, the more he grieves.

The subjects for just grief and interior compunction are our vices and sin, in which we lie entangled in such a manner as seldom to be able to contemplate heavenly things.

5. If thou wouldst oftener think of thy death than of a long life, no doubt thou wouldst more fervently amend thyself.

And if thou didst seriously consider in thy heart the future punishment of hell or purgatory, I believe thou wouldst willingly endure labor and pain, and fear no kind of austerity.

But because these things reach not the heart, and we still love the things which flatter us, therefore we remain cold and very sluggish.

6. It is oftentimes a want of spirit which makes the wretched body so easily complain. Pray, therefore, humbly to Our Lord, that He may give thee the spirit of compunction, and say with the prophet, “Feed me, O Lord, with the bread of tears and give me drink of tears in measure.”—PS. LXXIX. 6.
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#2
Very good. Thanks for posting these. I have this book, but don't get around to it enough. Made me think of this from the Catholic Epistle of St. James.

Ch. 4 verses 1-5:
Quote:[1] From whence are wars and contentions among you? Are they not hence, from your concupiscences, which war in your members?

[2] You covet, and have not: you kill, and envy, and can not obtain. You contend and war, and you have not, because you ask not.

[3] You ask, and receive not; because you ask amiss: that you may consume it on your concupiscences.

[4] Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God.

[5] Or do you think that the scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the spirit covet which dwelleth in you?




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#3
(06-01-2011, 09:18 PM)Adam Wayne Wrote: Very good. Thanks for posting these. I have this book, but don't get around to it enough.

You're welcome. I hope they are as helpful for others as they have been for me. I will provide more when I can.

Quote: Made me think of this from the Catholic Epistle of St. James.

Ch. 4 verses 1-5:
Quote:[1] From whence are wars and contentions among you? Are they not hence, from your concupiscences, which war in your members?

[2] You covet, and have not: you kill, and envy, and can not obtain. You contend and war, and you have not, because you ask not.

[3] You ask, and receive not; because you ask amiss: that you may consume it on your concupiscences.

[4] Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God.

[5] Or do you think that the scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the spirit covet which dwelleth in you?

This is a great passage for meditation. Thank you!
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#4
I read Imitation of Christ for the first this past lent.  It was amazing!  It was if every day I received the particular admonition I needed.  I will be picking this up regularly.  Thanks for the post!
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#5
Thanks for posting this, Inpefess. I read a third of my copy of Imitation of Christ during Lent and need to finish it still.
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#6
This reminds me of a chapter in my book My Daily Bread or as I call it  "my little red book".  It makes me wonder if someone took the Imitation and made it easier to read.  I generally don't read the Imitation because I find it hard to follow ( at least previously) but INPEFESS's last posts have been making me rethink that.  I am getting more out of it now than before.

Thank you INP.

I will post my little section on compunction later.
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#7
(06-02-2011, 02:57 PM)MaterLaeta Wrote: This reminds me of a chapter in my book My Daily Bread or as I call it  "my little red book".  It makes me wonder if someone took the Imitation and made it easier to read.  I generally don't read the Imitation because I find it hard to follow ( at least previously) but INPEFESS's last posts have been making me rethink that.  I am getting more out of it now than before.

Thank you INP.

I will post my little section on compunction later.

You're welcome, MaterLaeta.

Yes, it can be a difficult read because of the rigorous translation, but I take it more seriously that way.  :)

I'll look forward to your post.
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#8
(06-01-2011, 10:41 PM)NorthernTrad Wrote: I read Imitation of Christ for the first this past lent.  It was amazing!  It was if every day I received the particular admonition I needed.  I will be picking this up regularly.  Thanks for the post!

(06-02-2011, 01:54 PM)vakarian Wrote: Thanks for posting this, Inpefess. I read a third of my copy of Imitation of Christ during Lent and need to finish it still.

You're both very welcome. I hope you find it useful!
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#9
I could type the entire chapter on Compunction from My Daily Bread, but I think I will just type out the pieces I found striking:


Quote:Compunction is a deep and lasting sorrow for your sins.  It is not a gloomy or depressing sorrow, but an intelligent admission of your sins and a sincere determination to do something about them.  Since compunction comes from a realization of how you have failed so good a God, it brings with it a readiness to accept anything from My hand.

Stylistic note:  This is written like God is directly talking to you.  I find that useful.

This is the first thing I noted and remembered.  I like how it gives me both 1) the definition of compunction so that I know what it is and is not and 2)Tells you what results you will see when you are given the gift of compunction.

Quote:When compunction fills your soul, the world will lose its magic attraction and will become more distasteful to you.

Gives another result of compunction.  I obviously have not reached this point yet. :(

Quote:Compunction is a great grace by which God helps me face the truth about my sins.  It also helps me to prove my sorrow for my faults.  By compunction, a man begins to attack his faults and to practice the opposite virtues.  I can be sure of my sincere sorrow only when I have begun to do something about my faults.  Compunction is a lasting sorrow because it is not an emotion, but rather an intelligent admission of facts. It shows me my faults, God's goodness, and my own need to change for the better.

I could go into great detail about each of the bolded sections.  There is a lot to unpack here and makes for a great meditation, which is how I use this book. :)

The next chapter (Chapter 23) is titled "Striving for Compunction" and talks about acquiring compunction.  Basically it says we must prepare ourself to receive the grace of compunction by getting away from distractions in solitude, reflecting on all of the gifts God has given us and how we misuse them so that we realize the wickedness of all sin.  It talks about meditating on Scripture to become more intimate with God.

Here is the best quote of the chapter:

Quote:Jesus said that certain devils  are driven out only by prayer and fasting.  This shows that some of God's gifts are given only if we do our part to prepare ourselves for them.  Compunction will be lasting and fruitful only if I make a sincere personal effort to receive it worthily and apply it wisely.  Through solitude, prayer, reading, and meditation, I will understand how I can best receive and use compunction in my daily life.

Hope this helps somebody. :)
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