Above all things, and in all things, do thou, my soul, rest always in the Lord, for He is the eternal rest of the saints.
Give me, O most sweet and loving Jesus, to repose in Thee above all things created; above all health and beauty, above all glory and honor, above all power and dignity, above all knowledge and subtlety, above all riches and arts, above all joy and gladness, above all fame and praise, above all sweetness and consolation, above all hope and promise, above all merit and desire.
Above all the gifts and presents that Thou canst give and infuse, above all the joy and jubilation that the mind can contain and experience.
In fine, above angels and archangels, and all the hosts of heaven, above all things visible and invisible, and above all that which is less than Thee, my God!
For Thou, O Lord, my God! Art the best above all things. Thou alone most high; Thou alone most powerful; Thou alone most sufficient and most full; Thou alone most sweet and most comforting.
Thou alone most beautiful and most loving; Thou alone most noble and most glorious above all things; in whom all things are found together in all their perfection, and always have been and always will be.
And, therefore, whatever Thou bestowest upon me that is not Thyself, or whatever Thou revealest to me concerning Thyself, or promisest, as long as I see Thee not, nor fully enjoy Thee, is too little and insufficient.
Because, indeed, my heart cannot truly rest, nor be entirely contented, till it rest in Thee, and rise above all Thy gifts and all things created.
O my most beloved spouse, Christ Jesus, most pure lover, Lord of the whole creation, who will give me the wings of true liberty to fly and repose in Thee? – PS. LIV. 7.
Oh, when shall it be fully granted me to attend at leisure, and see how sweet Thou art, O Lord, my God? – PS. XXXIII. 9
When shall I fully recollect myself in Thee, that through the love of Thee I may not feel myself, but Thee alone, above all feeling and measure in a manner not know at all?
But now I often sigh and bear my misfortune with grief.
Because I meet with many evils in this vale of miseries, which frequently disturb me, afflict me, and cast a cloud over me; often hinder and distract me, allure and entangle me, so that I cannot have free access to Thee, nor enjoy Thy sweet embraces, which are ever enjoyed by blessed spirits.
Let my sighs move Thee, and this manifold desolation under which I labor upon earth.
O Jesus! The brightness of eternal glory, the comfort of a soul in its pilgrimage, my tongue cannot express the sentiments of my heart, but my silence itself speaks to Thee.
How long doth my Lord delay to come?
Let Him come to me, His poor servant, and make me joyful; let Him stretch forth His hand, and deliver me, a wretch, from all anguish. – PS. CXXXVII. 7.
Oh come, oh come – APOC. XXII. 20, for without Thee I can never have one joyful day, nor hour, for Thou art my joy, and without Thee my table is empty.
I am miserable, and in a manner imprisoned, and loaded with fetters, till Thou comfort me with the light of Thy presence, and restore me to liberty and show me a favorable countenance.
Let others seek instead of Thee, whatever else pleases them; nothing else doth please me or shall please me, but Thou my God, my hope, my eternal salvation.
I will not hold my peace, nor cease to pray, till Thy grace returns and Thou speak to me interiorly.
Behold here I am, behold I come to thee, because thou has called upon Me. Thy tears and the desire of thy soul, thy humiliation and contrition of heart have inclined and brought Me to thee. – IS. XXXVIII. 5.
This article is taken from a chapter in My Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis which is available from TAN Books.