More and more, this Catholic hermit comes across beneficial information in its spiritual reading of the classics by saints and mystics. This it was with great joy yet with serious reflection, that the hermit found much good in discovering what Thomas a Kempis reminded about the hermit vocation, in The Imitation of Christ.
Now to present it, verbatim. Who can improve upon a holy man's writings, especially if read as the result of a scholarly and gifted translator's efforts? Yes, it is well to research a bit to make sure that we select to read in spiritual classics, that which has been translated by an excellent translator.
[From The Imitation of Christ Thomas, à Kempis, Chapter 18, "The Example Set Us by the Holy Fathers," formatted]
- How strict and detached were the lives the holy hermits led in the desert! What long and grave temptations they suffered! How often were they beset by the enemy!
- What frequent and ardent prayers they offered to God!
- What rigorous fasts they observed!
- How great their zeal and their love for spiritual perfection!
- How brave the fight they waged to master their evil habits!
- What pure and straightforward purpose they showed toward God!
- By day they labored and by night they spent themselves in long prayers.
- Even at work they did not cease from mental prayer.
- They used all their time profitably; every hour seemed too short for serving God, and in the great sweetness of contemplation, they forgot even their bodily needs.
- They renounced all riches, dignities, honors, friends, and associates.
- They desired nothing of the world.
- They scarcely allowed themselves the necessities of life, and the service of the body, even when necessary, was irksome to them.
- They were poor in earthly things but rich in grace and virtue.
- Outwardly destitute, inwardly they were full of grace and divine consolation.
- Strangers to the world, they were close and intimate friends of God.
- To themselves they seemed as nothing, and they were despised by the world, but in the eyes of God they were precious and beloved.
- They lived in true humility and simple obedience; they walked in charity and patience, making progress daily on the pathway of spiritual life and obtaining great favor with God.
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love one another! Remain in His Love!