Challoner’s Reflection on The Imitation of Christ1
BOOK THREE: INTERNAL CONSULTATION
CHAPTER LT.: When We Cannot Attain to the Highest, We Must Practice the Humble Works
To contemplate God and to love Him, and still to contemplate and love Him; that is heaven. The soul, here below, sometimes receives a foretaste of it; it feels itself full of ardour and inebriated with joy; it says: It is good for us to be here (Matthew 17:4). But soon the time of trial arrives: we must descend from Tabor and walk in the way of the cross. Happy the soul which, in abandonment, dryness, and sufferings, remains in peace, without letting itself be cast down, and without murmuring; which, faithful to Jesus dying, follows Him courageously to Calvary; and, having partaken of the banquet of the bridegroom, ready to share his sacrifice, cries out like one of the Apostles: Let us also go, that we may die with Him (John, 11:16).
O my God, I languish at a distance from Thee; I am involved in darkness, in trouble and sorrow; I feel the whole weight of a mortal and corruptible body which oppresses my soul. Hasten, I beseech Thee, hasten thy return; dilate my heart by the joy which it will cause me, to the end that I may once more perceive the comfort resulting from walking steadily in the way of thy commandments. In fine, grant me, in order to support me amidst the sufferings of this life, a firm hope and a foretaste of the life to come. Amen.
- Right Rev. R. Challoner, D.D., V.A., Imitation of Christ, Dublin: McGlashan and Gill, 1873 ↩