Sunday, March 22, 2015

what we have done, not what we have read

"Once a man is integrated, once his inner life becomes simplified, all of a piece, he begins to attain a richer and deeper knowledge -- quite effortlessly, because the intellectual light he receives comes from above. Freedom of heart is his, and simplicity of intention, and fixity of resolve, and he finds that he is no longer distracted by a variety of occupations; he acts, now only for God's glory, and does his best to get rid of all self-seeking. There is no worse enemy to your freedom and your peace of mind than the undisciplined affections of your own heart. Really good and holy people plan out beforehand in their minds how they are  to behave in given circumstances...

But always what we should prize most is a clear conscience, and holiness of life. How is it that there are so many people who put knowledge first, instead of conduct? ... After all, when the day of judgment comes, we shall be examined about what we have done, not about what we have read; whether we have lived conscientiously, not whether we have turned fine phrases."

[from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis]

No comments: