The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXVI: ”The Eminence of a Free Mind, which is Acquired by Humble Prayer Rather than with Much Reading” (third entry)
The disciple begs Christ to preserve him from worldly desires and glories and from the devil’s temptations (in another translation: let not “the devil trip me by his craftiness”). He goes on to ask the Lord in the next sentence: “Give me strength to resist, patience to suffer, and constancy to persevere.”
|Today’s first reading: Mt 13:18-23
Here the evangelist explains the Parable of the Sower to His disciples. Seed scattered on the path is the Word heard but not understood. Seed sown on rocky ground is the Word happily received but, with no root (overcome by worldly trials and tribulations), quickly withers. Seed that falls among thorns is the Word choked (by riches and anxieties). Finally, seed embedded in rich soil is the Word cultivated (that is. heard, understood, and taken to heart) yielding a great harvest.
The allure of the world can be enticing. The anxieties of the world can be consuming. This is why we should have frequent recourse to the Word of God. Keep the Bible handy! Dip into it often! Read it from cover to cover or go back again and again to a favorite book. Read the familiar scenes and stories with a fresh eye. Do not overlook even what seem to be the most inconsequential details. Find good Catholic commentaries to help with understanding.
The world need not choke us off from Jesus, the Eternal Word. He knows us better than we know ourselves; and He knows what we are experiencing because He lived with us for thirty-odd years experiencing the joys and sorrows, pleasures and sufferings of life. On top of that, He took the full brunt of every sin ever committed upon Himself. He knows. Thus, we have the gift of Him in Word and Sacrament until the end of time. Have recourse to Jesus often.