On Interior Conversation

Written By Thomas à Kempis

Meditation: Prepare thy heart for this thy Spouse, that he may…dwell in thee.

The kingdom of God is within you – LUKE XVII. 21, saith the Lord. Convert thyself with thy whole heart to the Lord – JOEL II. 12, and quit this miserable world, and thy soul shall find rest.

Learn to despise exterior things, and give thyself to the interior, and thou shalt see the kingdom of God will come into thee.

For the kingdom of God is peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, which is not given to the wicked. -ROM. XIV. 17.

Christ will come to thee, discovering to thee His consolation, if thou wilt prepare Him a fit dwelling within thee.

All His glory and beauty is in the interior – PS. XLIV. 14, and there He pleaseth Himself.

Frequently doth He visit the internal man, sweet in His communication with him, delightful His consolation, much peace, and a familiarity exceedingly to be admired.

O faithful soul, prepare thy heart for this thy Spouse, that He may vouchsafe to come to thee, and dwell in thee!

For so He saith: “If any man love me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and we will make our abode with him.” -JOHN XIV. 23.

Make room then for Christ within thee and deny entrance to all others.

When thou hast Christ thou art rich and He is sufficient for thee; He will provide for thee, and will be thy faithful procurator in all things, so that thou needest not trust to men.

For men quickly change and presently fail: but Christ remains forever, and stands by us firmly to the end.

There is no great confidence to be put in a frail mortal man, though he be profitable and beloved – PS. CXLV. 2; nor much grief to be taken if sometimes he be against thee and cross thee.

They that are with thee today may be against thee tomorrow; and on the other hand often changed like the wind.

Place thy whole confidence in God and let Him be thy fear and thy love; He will answer for thee and do for thee what is for the best. – JEREM. XVII. 7.

Thou has not here a lasting city and wherever thou art thou art a stranger and a pilgrim – 1 PETER 11. 11; nor wilt thou ever have a rest unless thou be interiorly united to Christ.

Why dost thou stand looking about thee here, since this is not thy resting place?

Thy dwelling must be in heaven and all things of the earth are only to be looked upon as passing by.

All things pass away and thou along with them. – WIS V. 9.

See that thou cleave not to them, lest thou be ensnared and be lost.

Let thy thought be with the Most High, and thy prayer directed to Christ without intermission.

If thou knowest not how to meditate on high and heavenly things, rest on the passion of Christ, and willingly dwell in His sacred wounds.

For if thou flee devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmas of Jesus, thou shalt feel great comfort in tribulation; neither wilt thou much regard being despised by men, but wilt easily bear up against detracting tongues.

Christ was also in this world despised by men, and in His greatest necessity forsaken by His acquaintance and friends in the midst of reproaches. 

Christ would suffer and be despised, and dost thou dare to complain of any one?

Christ had adversaries and backbiters, and wouldst thou have all to be thy friends and benefactors?

Whence shall thy patience be crowned if thou meet with no adversity?

If thou wilt suffer no opposition how wilt thou be a friend of Christ?

Suffer with Christ and for Christ if thou desirest to reign with Christ. -2 TIM. II. 12.

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

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) was a German-Dutch author and theologian of the late Medieval period.  He is best remembered for his classic on the devotional life known as The Imitation of Christ, available from TAN Books.