Withdraw thy heart from the love of visible things…

“Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity” (Eccles. 1:2), besides loving God and serving Him alone.

This is the highest wisdom, by despising the world to tend to heavenly kingdoms.

It is vanity, therefore, to seeks after riches which must perish, and to trust in them.

It is vanity also to be ambitious of honors, and to raise one’s self to a high station.

It is vanity to follow the lusts of the flesh, and to desire that for which thou must afterwards be grievously punished.

It is vanity to wish for a long life, and to take little care of leading a good life.

It is vanity also to mind this present life , and not to look forward into those things which are to come.

It is vanity to love that which passeth with all speed, and not to hasten thither where everlasting joy remaineth.

Often remember that proverb: “The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing.” (Eccles. 1:8).

Study, therefore, to withdraw thy heart from the love of visible things, and turn thyself to things invisible.  For they that follow their sensuality, defile their conscience, and lose the grace of God.

Thomas á Kempis, The Imitation of Christ


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