The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XLII: “Peace is not to be Placed in Men” (second entry)
Kempis’s nearly continuous call to self-abasement continues here. We need to empty ourselves to worldly attachments so that grace can find more room to abide in us.
|Today’s Gospel reading: Lk 6:20-26
Today we are given Luke’s version of Jesus’ proclaiming of the Beatitudes, with blessings to those who are poor, hungry, weeping, hated, excluded, insulted, and denounced, but woes to the rich, satiated, mirthful, and exalted.
Matthew’s Beatitudes say “poor in spirit” in his version of the Beatitudes at the beginning of the Sermon on the mount (chapters 5 through 7), meaning those who are detached from earthly things. This interpretation fits here, as well, it seems. A quite wealthy person may use his riches for good and may not be attached at all to material things. A person in dire financial straits may be extraordinarily greedy and holding closely even his meager possessions while coveting more.
Our spirit must desire God in all circumstances, never letting the world become a hindrance. With such obstacles out of the way, we open up ourselves to taking advantage of the graces with which the Lord so happily desires to ravish us.
May our disposition always be one of openness to God’s gift. The ultimate reward is fit for a king.