Lectio et Oratio
Episode 54 — Imitation of Christ III.16 — True Comfort Should Be in God Alone

Episode 54 — Imitation of Christ III.16 — True Comfort Should Be in God Alone

May 19, 2022

Where should we seek our true comfort amidst the trials on this life?

In God. Thomas a Kempis has warned us against seeking comforts in this life apart from the will of God. He was warned us about loving the things of this world only insofar as they lead us to our true happiness in the Lord Jesus. When we follow His will, we begin to taste in this life the fruits of the Holy Spirit, especially, love, joy, peace, and patience. There are true comforts in this life, comforts that arise from the Lord Himself. In today"s reading, we will hear about how to seek the comforts of the Lord.

Episode 53 — Imitation of Christ III.15 — On How We Ought to Prayer and Act In Regard to Our Desires

Episode 53 — Imitation of Christ III.15 — On How We Ought to Prayer and Act In Regard to Our Desires

May 18, 2022

We read about the need to be careful about our desires. Due to original sin, not all of our desires are from the Holy Spirit. Not all the sudden inspirations are from above. We have to sift through our desires. We have to consult the Lord as to whether He really wants this or that activity from us. His food was to do the will of His Father in Heaven. Our food must be to do the will of the Lord Jesus. Through Him, we are brought to the Father in the Holy Spirit.

Episode 52 — Imitation of Christ III.14 — On the Need to Consider the Secret Judgements of God

Episode 52 — Imitation of Christ III.14 — On the Need to Consider the Secret Judgements of God

May 16, 2022

In trying to understand ourselves, what must we keep in mind?

God's assessment of things. In this reading, Thomas a Kempis puts before God's perspective on our good qualities. Instead of being our own judges, let us ponder what God in all his infinite wisdom will say about us. The Lord does give us gifts of grace that transform us. Christ enables us to cooperate in our own salvation and those of others. But as we reflect on any good qualities the Lord had given us, we have to remember all the ways we constantly depend on God lest we over estimate our own excellence and want to manifest our own excellence to others.

Episode 51 — Imitation of Christ III.13 — On Humble Obedience after Example of Christ

Episode 51 — Imitation of Christ III.13 — On Humble Obedience after Example of Christ

May 15, 2022

We read about the need to obey. Thomas a Kempis makes the case for obedience in light of Christ himself. If He submitted himself to human persons, we can do so too. We should not try to ponder humility and obedience apart from Christ. Christ shows us what God can do in the hearts of those who seek Him.

Episode 50 — Imitation of Christ III.12 — On Acquiring Patience and Resisting Evil Desires

Episode 50 — Imitation of Christ III.12 — On Acquiring Patience and Resisting Evil Desires

May 14, 2022

Will there ever be a time in our spiritual lives when all trials and sufferings will end?

Not really, not in this life. Thomas a Kempis puts before us the importance of the virtue of patience. But he wants to make sure that we realize that the patience the Lord wants from us is consistent with trials and pains. In fact, he insists that we should never think that we will ever fully escape such situations. The patience He wills us to have is a patience in the midst of trials. No human person, even persons totally given to pleasures in this life, is without trials. But the Lord stands by us.

Episode 49 — Imitation of Christ III.11 — On the Need to Sift and Govern the Human Heart

Episode 49 — Imitation of Christ III.11 — On the Need to Sift and Govern the Human Heart

May 13, 2022

We read about the need to sift and govern our our hearts. Thomas a Kempis insists that our desires need to be held back, kept in check. Because of original sin, we have a tendency to desire things more than we should and at times that are bad. We cannot live purely by our own likes and dislikes. We must seek to bring our desires in line with God"s will. And then there are times when we absolutely have to deny ourselves certain desires of the body. The body is not evil. Pleasure is not evil. But there are moments in our lives when we a choice for God and our vocation must be made. Such moments are moments of grace, moments when the Lord protects us and strengthens us.

Episode 48 — Imitation of Christ III.10 — Finding Joy in the Lord’s Service

Episode 48 — Imitation of Christ III.10 — Finding Joy in the Lord’s Service

May 11, 2022

What does Our Lord promise us even in this life?

Joy. In this reading, Thomas a Kempis explains why there is joy in the Lord's service. I came, Christ said, that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. The labours and service we offer Christ is not drudgery. There is a spiritual joy, a resting in the good, that he promises his friends.

Episode 47 — Imitation of Christ III.9 — Seeing All Things in Relation to Christ

Episode 47 — Imitation of Christ III.9 — Seeing All Things in Relation to Christ

May 10, 2022

What is the origin and end of all things?

The Lord God. In this reading, Christ speaks to us about the secret to true happiness: Himself. In so far as all things were created through Him, all things find their meaning in relation to Christ Jesus, the eternal Word. Not only is Christ as God the origin of all things, He is also the end, the goal. All things were made for Him. All things find their fulfillment in Him.

Episode 46 — Imitation of Christ III.8 — Humility before the Lord

Episode 46 — Imitation of Christ III.8 — Humility before the Lord

May 9, 2022

What should we do when we discover how little humility is in our hearts?

Ask the Lord to turn us back to Himself. In tonight"s reading, Thomas a Kempis proposes various considerations for understanding true humility. He shows how love for God and humility are interrelated. He also offers suggestions for growing in humility.

Episode 45 — Imitation of Christ III.7 — On Concealing Grace and Making Humility Its Guardian

Episode 45 — Imitation of Christ III.7 — On Concealing Grace and Making Humility Its Guardian

May 8, 2022

We read about what to do when the flame of devotion seems to be going out. How should we react when our spiritual lives do not match our expectations? How should we respond to our own lack of determination? Patience, humility, resignation.

Episode 44 — Imitation of Christ III.6 — On the Testing of a True Lover

Episode 44 — Imitation of Christ III.6 — On the Testing of a True Lover

May 7, 2022

We read about the various tests that God allows those who love him to undergo. Thomas a Kempis calls these the tests of true lovers. The Lord wants us to love Him with a pure love. These tests can take on many different forms. Let us not be surprised. Let us look to the example of the saints.

Episode 43 — Imitation of Christ III.5 — Effects of Divine Love

Episode 43 — Imitation of Christ III.5 — Effects of Divine Love

May 6, 2022

Will the love of God change our lives?

We read about the effects of divine love in our lives. When we begin to love Christ, such love overflows into many aspects of our lives. Being in love with God changes the way we look at everything. Life only truly begins when loving Christ becomes the most important aspect of our life. In the evening of life, a saint has said, we will be judged by our love. The goal of our lives is to become loving persons, sharing in God’s own way of loving.

Episode 42 — Imitation of Christ III.4 — Walking Humbly Before the Lord

Episode 42 — Imitation of Christ III.4 — Walking Humbly Before the Lord

May 5, 2022

Besides our regular time alone with the Lord, what else is necessary for a deep life of prayer?

Living humbly before Him. In this reading, Thomas a Kempis stresses the need to live in the right way. We pray as we live and we live as we pray. We cannot expect the Lord to give Himself to us and to speak words of consolation in prayer if we fail to honour Him during the day.

Episode 41 — Imitation of Christ III.3 — We Should Listen Humbly to God’s Words; Many People Fail to Appreciate them Properly

Episode 41 — Imitation of Christ III.3 — We Should Listen Humbly to God’s Words; Many People Fail to Appreciate them Properly

May 4, 2022

We read about the importance of asking Christ for things. Even in his lifetime, Our Lord heard and answered prayers made to him. Our Lord spent much time listening and talking to people. Book III teaches us, in the way it is written, that living in conversation, dialogue, with the Lord is absolutely necessary.

Episode 40 — Imitation of Christ III.2 — Truth Speaks Within Us Without the Outward Sound of Words

Episode 40 — Imitation of Christ III.2 — Truth Speaks Within Us Without the Outward Sound of Words

May 4, 2022

Is the human heart content only to hear the prophets speak?

No. Our hearts long to hear God speak to us. Our hearts long to hear the Word of the Lord in the flesh. Thomas a Kempis distinguishes the effects of the words of Moses and the other prophets from the effects of Christ Himself. He alone gives the strength to follow the path of God. Our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.

Episode 39 — Imitation of Christ III.1 — On Hearing Christ Speak Inwardly

Episode 39 — Imitation of Christ III.1 — On Hearing Christ Speak Inwardly

May 2, 2022

We begin book III of the Imitation of Christ. We read about the way Christ speaks inwardly in the heart. As we grow in his friendship, we learn to discern the still small voice of the Lord as he speaks through the conscience, the peaceful ideas in our minds, and the gentle movements of our hearts. We begin to know the signs of his peace and joy. All of our self-denial, all of our efforts to deny ourselves, and all our willingness to pick up the Cross have a goal: closer union with Christ. We say No to ourselves in order to say Yes to Christ. His friendship is the great Attraction.

Episode 38 — Imitation of Christ II.12.2 — The Royal Road of the Cross (Necessity)

Episode 38 — Imitation of Christ II.12.2 — The Royal Road of the Cross (Necessity)

May 1, 2022

Why is the Cross a Royal road?

Christ walked this road. In this reading, Thomas a Kempis explains why our carrying our own cross is a royal road. A road is royal that a King walks. To walk a royal road is to follow the steps of the king. Christ has shown us the path that leads to his Father in heaven. We must not be afraid to carry our Cross. There is no other road that Christ walked. There is no other road that leads to heaven.

Episode 37 — Imitation of Christ II.12.1 — On the Royal Road of the Cross (Ourselves)

Episode 37 — Imitation of Christ II.12.1 — On the Royal Road of the Cross (Ourselves)

April 30, 2022

What is the true path to heaven and holiness?

Carrying our Cross. In this final chapter of book II, Thomas a Kempis places before us all the advantages that come from carrying our crosses. He wants us to understand the true glory of sharing in Christ's cross. He wants us to understand that the power of Christ's own Cross enters our lives through the crosses we have to carry.

Episode 36 — Imitation of Christ II.11 — On the Fewness of Those who Love the Cross of Christ

Episode 36 — Imitation of Christ II.11 — On the Fewness of Those who Love the Cross of Christ

April 29, 2022

We read about the fewness of those who actually want to carry the Cross. In particular, Thomas a Kempis points us to the main reason we try to avoid the Cross: our bad self-love. We tend to love ourselves, not with true self-love, not as God loves us, that is, in relation to Christ. But we tend to love ourselves as isolated from Christ.

Episode 35 — Imitation of Christ II.10 — On Being Thankful for God’s Grace

Episode 35 — Imitation of Christ II.10 — On Being Thankful for God’s Grace

April 28, 2022

We read about the importance of gratitude, thanksgiving. The more grateful we are, the more disposed we are to receive more graces from God. Being ungrateful renders us unable to receive graces from God. God wants us to recognize what he has done for us. He wants us to make a response of love for his gifts of love. How? By joining ourselves to the human models of gratitude, Jesus and Mary.

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