Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Utility of Adversity

1. It is good for us to have sometimes troubles and adversities: for they make a man enter into himself, that he may know that he is in a state of banishment, and may not place his hopes in anything of this world. It is good that we sometimes suffer contradictions and that men have an evil or imperfect opinion of us when we do and intend well. These things are often helps to humility and defend us from vainglory. For then we better run to God, our inward witness, when outwardly we are despised by men and little credit is given to us.

2. Therefore should a man so establish himself in God as to have no need of seeking many comforts from men. When a man of good will is troubled, or tempted, or afflicted with evil thoughts, then he better understands what need he has of God, "without whom he finds he can do no good" - John 15:5 Then also he laments, he sights, and prays, by reason of the miseries which he suffers. Then he is weary of living longer, and he wishes death to come that he may be "dissolved and be with Christ" - Phil 1:23. Then also he will perceive that perfect security and full cannot be found in this world.

After Thomas a Kempis "Imitation of Christ"