How Self-Love Hinders our Search for God
CHRIST. My son, you must give all for All, and keep back nothing of yourself from Me. Know that self-love does you more harm than anything else in the world. All things hold your heart a prisoner in greater or less degree, in proportion to the love and regard that you bear them. If your love is pure, simple,(Matt.6:22) and controlled, you will not become the slave of these things. Do not hanker after things that you may not rightly have, and possess nothing that may hinder your spiritual progress, or rob you of inward freedom. It is strange that you are not willing to trust yourself to Me with all your heart, together with all that you may desire or enjoy.
Why exhaust yourself in useless grief? Why burden yourself with needless anxieties? Trust in My goodwill towards you, and you will suffer no hurt. If you want this thing or that, or to be here or there in order to satisfy your convenience and pleasure, you will never be at rest, nor free from care. There will always be something that does not please you, and everywhere you will find someone who opposes your wishes.
Our advantage does not consist in winning or increasing possessions; it lies rather in being indifferent to such things, and eradicating the desire for them from our hearts. These harmful desires include not only love of riches, but also ambition for honours and vain praise. Remember that all these things pass away with the world. It matters little where we live and work, if we lack fervour, nor can any peace be lasting that is sought in external affairs. Unless your life is built on firm foundations, and unless you stand firm in My strength, you will hardly be able to amend your life. So when opportunity for self-surrender arises, seize it. You will discover the secret in what you had hitherto tried to avoid; indeed, you will find even more.
A Prayer for a Pure Heart and Heavenly Wisdom
Strengthen me, 0 Lord God, by the grace of Your Holy Spirit.(Ps. 51:12) Grant me inward power and strength(Eph.3:16) and empty my heart of all profitless anxiety and care.(Matt.5:34) Let me never be drawn away from You by desire for anything else, whether noble or base, but help me to realize that all things are passing, and myself with them. Nothing in this world is lasting, and everything in this life is uncertain, troubling to the spirit (Eccles.1:14; 2:11) How wise is the man who knows these truths! Grant me heavenly wisdom, 0 Lord, that above all else I may learn to search for and discover You; to know and love You; and to see all things as they really are and as You in Your wisdom have ordered them. May I prudently avoid those who flatter me, and deal patiently with those who oppose me. True wisdom cannot be swayed by every wordy argument,(Eph.4:14) and pays no regard to the cunning flatteries of evil men. Only thus shall we go forward steadily on the road on which we have set out.
Chapter 63 Table of Contents Chapter 65