Good Morning Ladies! Today is Book Club Day! Remember we are reading through The Imitation of Christ together through the end of this year.
We are finishing up Book II and I’m starting in Chapter IX.
Um, hello last week’s discussion on friendship…
“So also do thou learn to part even with a near and dear friend for the love of God. Nor do thou think it hard when thou art deserted by a friend, knowing that we all at last must be separated one from another.”
Here’s the deal, if my friendships do not bring me closer to God…they are taking me away from God. Simple-Period-End of Story.
I am affected by what or whom I live and breathe around. For example, I am allergic to cigarette smoke–If I am around a smoker, I get sick. My soul is ‘allergic’ to negativity, gossip, meanness, and discontentment. If I make the choice to be around people who make the choice to live spiritually separated from God the Father because they can’t get control of the words they spew out of their mouth (which incidentially reflects the state of their heart)–I get sick. So do you my dear sisters in Christ…so do you.
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
This inspired Word does not say, “Well, um, I’d like for you to stop speaking so badly about others, if you don’t mind.”
No, it says you must put away that kind of talk; that kind of lifestyle. Because it does become a lifestyle choice.
? Do you entertain friendships that could become an occasion of sin for your mouth?
? If you’re among a group of people and the words start flying, what can you or what do you do?
“God doeth well for us in giving the grace of consolation; but man doeth ill in not returning all again unto God with thanksgiving. And therefore the gifts of grace cannot flow in us, because we are unthankful to the Giver and return them not wholly to the source and fountain. “
“Be therefore thankful for the least gift; so shalt thou be meet to receive greater.”
? How can we remember to count it all joy?
I must have been walking through something years ago when I drew big red stars next to these passages:
“And the higher a person hath advanced in spirit; so much the heavier crosses he oftentimes findeth; because the grief of his banishment increaseth with his love.”
“If indeed there had been anything better, and more profitable to man’s salvation than suffering, surely Christ would have shown it by word and example.”
This is such a contrary life we live or at least strive for. I have those days where I just want to be left alone…by everybody…including God…because it hurts. And I’m not the first to notice…“If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so many enemies.” ― Teresa of Ávila But wait! I don’t want God to leave me alone because without Him I can do nothing but with Him…well, sometimes…I struggle.
? How do you view suffering in light of the example of Christ’s suffering?
Next week, let’s discuss Chapter 1-4 of the Third Book, Concerning the Holy Communion.