Challoner’s Reflection on The Imitation of Christ1
BOOK THREE: INTERNAL CONSULTATION
CHAPTER X.: To Despise the World and Serve God is Sweet
The world is so enslaved by the passions, that it can understand nothing of the felicity of the children of God. Sometimes it pities them as the world knows how to pity, casting on them a look of contempt; sometimes it contemplates them with a kind of stupid astonishment. It has no idea of what takes place in the soul united to its Creator; no idea of the consolations and of the delicious calm which it enjoys. Saint Paul crying out: I exceedingly abound with joy in all our tribulation (2 Corinthians, 7:4), is an inexplicable mystery to it; it will never be able to conceive that pure joy, which is justice and peace in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). What then is the lot of the worldly man ? an immense discontent scattered over with a few pleasures; and, when God does not entirely abandon him, remorse. Search into his heart, and that is all you will find. Remorse is his justice, and discontent his peace.
Grant me thy grace, O my God, and if my affections, my desires, my love, and my fidelity, can never be worthy of Thee, may they all at least be devoted to thy service. Amen.
- Right Rev. R. Challoner, D.D., V.A., Imitation of Christ, Dublin: McGlashan and Gill, 1873 ↩