The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXXIII: “The Inconstancy of our Heart, and of Directing our Final Intention to God” (third entry)
Like the previous two posts, the word “intention” comes up once again. What are we intent upon? Is it passing worldly allures or, as is the case here, troubles, or do all these matters take a distant second place to our focus on God and eternal life? Keeping our intention “pure” means it has not accumulated the dross of consuming concerns that cause our way to be obscured.
|Today’s responsorial psalm: Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6
Although not an excerpt from the Book of Psalms, this short chapter from Isaiah, a song of thanksgiving, makes a worthy interlude in the day’s readings. Immediately before this chapter, Isaiah speaks of the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom through a faithful remnant. This is good news in the midst of the devastation of the conquering of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Isaiah lauds God that His anger will abate and that the people will once again acknowledge that the Lord is their salvation
In life we “pass through these different storms” many times in life. How do we weather these tempests, keep our head above water, avoid the lightning strike? By acknowledging God as savior.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?–Ps 127:1
I encourage you to read the rest of this psalm now and whenever trouble looms or envelops you. We can be “confident and unafraid” because our “strength and…courage is the LORD.” Whatever His will for us in this life, we know that ultimately He is the only one who can save us in the next life. The greater the difficulty, the more intense and intentional the prayer must be. Might it try our faith? Surely. But nothing gets stronger without being treated, molded, or exercised.
Let us pray in advance of the major trials of life for strength through grace to endure well whatever the Lord wills or permits to happen to us.