The Imitation of Christ
by Thomas a Kempis
Of the oblation of Christ upon the cross, and of resignation of self
The Voice of the Beloved
As I of my own will offered myself unto God the Father on the Cross for thy sins with outstretched hands and naked body, so that nothing remained in Me that did not become altogether a sacrifice for the Divine propitiation; so also oughtest thou every day to offer thyself willingly unto Me for a pure and holy oblation with all thy strength and affections, even to the utmost powers of thine heart. What more do I require of thee than thou study to resign thyself altogether unto Me? Whatsoever thou givest besides thyself, I nothing care for, for I ask not thy gift, but thee.
2. As it would not be sufficient for thee if thou hadst all things except Me, even so whatsoever thou shalt give Me, if thou give Me not thyself, it cannot please Me. Offer thyself to Me, and give thyself altogether for God, so shall thy offering be accepted. Behold I offered Myself altogether to the Father for thee, I give also My whole body and blood for food, that thou mightest remain altogether Mine and I thine. But if thou stand in thyself, and offer not thyself freely to My will, thy offering is not perfect, neither shall the union betwixt us be complete. Therefore ought the freewill offering of thyself into the hands of God to go before all thy works, if thou wilt attain liberty and grace. For this is the cause that so few are inwardly enlightened and made free, that they know not how to deny themselves entirely. My word standeth sure, Except a man forsake all, he cannot be My disciple.(1) Thou therefore, if thou wilt be My disciple, offer thyself to Me with all thy affections.
(1) Luke xiv. 33.
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