Thomas à Kempis on following Jesus in love to participate in his sufferings

Jesus today has many who love his heavenly kingdom, but few who carry his cross; many who yearn for comfort, few who long for distress. Plenty of people he finds to share his banquet, few to share his fast. Everyone desires to take part in his rejoicing, but few are willing to suffer anything for his sake. There are many that follow Jesus as far as the breaking of bread, few as far as drinking the cup of suffering; many that revere his morality, few that follow him in the indignity of his cross; many that love Jesus as long as nothing runs counter to them; many that praise and bless him, as long as they receive comfort from him; but should Jesus hide from them and leave them for awhile, they fall to complaining or becoming deeply depressed.

Those who love Jesus for his own sake, not for the sake of their own comfort, bless him in time of trouble and heartache as much as when they are full of consolation.

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, trans Ronald Knox and Michael Oakley (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1959) 2.9, 76-77 quoted by David E. Garland, Mark (The NIV Application Commentary), 338.

prayer for the week

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer