Monday, March 15, 2010

knowledge through love, true virtue and power

The Imitation of Christ, chapter 34 of book III – Against Useless and Worldly Learning
The Voice of Christ -- (knowledge or love . . . true virtue and power)
MY CHILD, do not let the fine-sounding and subtle words of men deceive you. For the kingdom of heaven consists not in talk but in virtue. (1 Cor. 4:20) Attend, rather, to My words which enkindle the heart and enlighten the mind, which excite contrition and abound in manifold consolations. Never read them for the purpose of appearing more learned or more wise. Apply yourself to mortifying your vices, for this will benefit you more than your understanding of many difficult questions.
Though you shall have read and learned many things, it will always be necessary for you to return to this one principle: I am He who teaches man knowledge, (Psalm 94:10) and to the little ones I give a clearer understanding than can be taught by man. (Psalm 119:130) He to whom I speak will soon be wise and his soul will profit. But woe to those who inquire of men about many curious things, and care very little about the way they serve Me.
The time will come when Christ, the Teacher of teachers, the Lord of angels, will appear to hear the lessons of all—that is, to examine the conscience of everyone. Then He will search Jerusalem with lamps and the hidden things of darkness will be brought to light and the arguings of men’s tongues be silenced. (Zeph. 1:12, 1 Cor. 4:5)
I am He Who in one moment so enlightens the humble mind that it comprehends more of eternal truth than could be learned by ten years in the schools. I teach without noise of words or clash of opinions, without ambition for honor or confusion of argument.
I am He Who teaches man to despise earthly possessions and to loathe present things, to ask after the eternal, to hunger for heaven, to fly honors and to bear with scandals, to place all hope in Me, to desire nothing apart from Me, and to love Me ardently above all things. For a certain man by loving Me intimately learned divine truths and spoke wonders. He profited more by leaving all things than by studying subtle questions.
To some I speak of common things, to others of special matters. To some I appear with sweetness in signs and figures, and to others I appear in great light and reveal mysteries. The voice of books is but a single voice, yet it does not teach all men alike, because I within them am the Teacher and the Truth, the Examiner of hearts, the Understander of thoughts, the Promoter of acts, distributing to each as I see fit. (1 Cor. 12:11)
“My people will be always listening but never hearing,” says the Lord. “They ignore my prophets, so I will speak to them in a foreign language, and they will be lost.” [inspiration from the book of Isaiah, chapter 28]

Men often seek titles and degrees for vain purposes, pursuit of knowledge for knowledge sake. But there are no universities that award PhD’s in love. Only Christ “awards” that character, and it can’t be taught or learned in seminary or university, it must be lived in Him.

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