The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXXVII: “Of a Pure and Entire Resignation of Ourselves to Obtain Freedom of Heart” (second entry)
Kempis’s Christ goes on to say that doing this leads to the elimination of slavery to sin, darkness, vain imaginations, evil disturbances, immoderate fear, and inordinate love. Staying close to God naturally entails keeping far from anything that could ultimately trouble us.
|Today’s first reading: 2 Thess 2:1-3a, 14-17
Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, encourages them not to be disturbed by false teachers who claim Jesus’ return is imminent. Rather, they are to fall back on the solid teachings of Paul from his visit and his writings. He prays that they will be encouraged and strengthened by God to be faithful to the truth conveyed by the Apostle to the Gentiles, that is, himself.
The words above from the Imitation of Christ most certainly were exemplified by St. Paul. He quite possibly was unmatched in confidence as a Jewish persecutor of Christians, and I believe more so as a Christian apostle, first to his fellow Jews, and then to Gentiles. He knew that his teaching was solid, the Word of God, and conveyed faithfully. He was undoubtedly annoyed when others, claiming to have a better idea than himself about Christ, distorted the truth and disturbed those whom he had evangelized. Certainly, Paul fired off this letter in short order after learning of trouble in Thessalonica.
We are to imitate Paul. With full confidence in Christ and His word (after all, He is the Word), we can be entirely confident that we are on the right path if we embrace it all with no consideration for anything that will diminish its power or deter us from achieving union with God.