Familiar Friendship with Jesus

When Jesus is present all things go well, and nothing seems difficult; but when Jesus is absent everything is hard. When Jesus speaks not within, our comfort is worthless; but if Jesus speak but one word, we feel great consolation.

Did not Mary Magdalen immediately arise from the place where she wept when Martha said to her, “the Master is here, and calleth for thee?” – John 21:28.

Happy hour when Jesus calls from tears to joy of spirit! How hard and dry art thou without Jesus! How foolish and vain if thou desire anything apart from Jesus! Is not this a greater loss than if thou wert to lose the whole world? – Luke 9:25.

What can the world profit thee without Jesus? To be without Jesus is a grievous hell and to be with Jesus a sweet paradise. If Jesus be with thee no enemy can hurt thee. -Romans 8:31.

Whosoever finds Jesus finds a good treasure, yea, good above all goods. And he that loses Jesus loseth exceeding much, and more than if he lost the whole world. He is wretchedly poor who lives without Jesus, and he is exceedingly rich who is well with Jesus.

It is a great art to know how to converse with Jesus, and to know how to keep Jesus is great wisdom. Be humble and peaceful and Jesus will be with thee. Be devout and quiet and Jesus will stay with thee.

Thou mayest quickly drive away Jesus and lose His grace if thou dost turn aside to outward things. And if thou drive Him away from thee and lose Him to whom wilt thou fly, and whom then wilt thou seek for thy friend?

Without a friend thou canst not well live, and if Jesus be not thy friend above all, thou wilt be exceedingly sad and desolate. Thou actest then foolishly if thou put thy trust or rejoice in any other.

We ought rather choose to have the whole world against us than to offend Jesus. Of all, therefore, that are dear to thee let Jesus always be thy special beloved. Let all things be loved for Jesus’ sake, but Jesus for His own sake.

Jesus Christ alone is singularly to be loved, Who alone is found good and faithful above all friends. For His sake, and in Him, let both friends and enemies be dear to thee, and for all these thou must pray to Him that all may know and love Him.

Neither desire to be singularly praised nor beloved; for this belongs to God alone, Who has none like to Himself. Neither desire that any one’s heart should be set on thee; nor do thou let thyself be taken up with the love of any one, but let Jesus be in thee, and in every good man.

Be pure and free interiorly, without being entangled by any creature. Thou must be naked and carry a pure heart to God, if thou wilt attend at leisure, and see how sweet is the Lord. -Psalm 33:9.

And, indeed, thou wilt never attain to this, unless thou be prepared and draw by His grace, that so thou mayst all alone be united to Him alone, having cast out and dismissed all others.

For when the grace of God cometh to a man then he is strong and powerful for all things; and when it departs then he is poor and weak, left as it were only to scourgings.

In these he must not be dejected nor despair; but stand with an even mind, resigned to the will of God, and bear, for the glory of Jesus Christ, whatever shall befall him; because after winter comes summer; after the night the day returns; after a storm follows a great calm.

This article is taken from a chapter in My Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis which is available from TAN Books.



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