In a day when we talk all around a subject and can probe Google ad nauseum, we need someone to force us into the central, the most important, the sine qua non of the Christian life. There are times that I utter, "Stop the world I want to get off!!" Do you ever feel that way? Meditate instead on love to Jesus Christ? If you have this, you'll have all else. Without this, having all else, you will lack everything. No exaggeration!! Did I say, DON'T SKIP THIS? . . .
WHEN Jesus is near, all is well and nothing seems difficult. When He is absent, all is hard. When Jesus does not speak within, all other comfort is empty, but if He says only a word, it brings great consolation.
Did not Mary rise at once from her weeping when Martha said to her: “The Master is come, and calleth for thee”? [John 11:28] Happy is the hour when Jesus calls one from tears to joy of spirit.
How dry and hard you are without Jesus! How foolish and vain if you desire anything but Him! Is it not a greater loss than losing the whole world? For what, without Jesus, can the world give you? Life without Him is a relentless hell, but living with Him is a sweet paradise. If Jesus be with you, no enemy can harm you.
He who finds Jesus finds a rare treasure, indeed, a good above every good, whereas he who loses Him loses more than the whole world. The man who lives without Jesus is the poorest of the poor, whereas no one is so rich as the man who lives in His grace.
It is a great art to know how to converse with Jesus, and great wisdom to know how to keep Him. Be humble and peaceful, and Jesus will be with you. Be devout and calm, and He will remain with you. You may quickly drive Him away and lose His grace, if you turn back to the outside world. And, if you drive Him away and lose Him, to whom will you go and whom will you then seek as a friend? You cannot live well without a friend, and if Jesus be not your friend above all else, you will be very sad and desolate. Thus, you are acting foolishly if you trust or rejoice in any other. Choose the opposition of the whole world rather than offend Jesus. Of all those who are dear to you, let Him be your special love. Let all things be loved for the sake of Jesus, but Jesus for His own sake.
Thomas à Kempis. (1996). The imitation of Christ (76). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.
To this I would add Jesus' comment to the religious of his day . . .“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; [and one may find eternal life there, if . . .] and it is they that bear witness about me, [what you should be looking for] yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” [the crux of the matter, always!] (John 5:39–40). Really. How many who call themselves "Christian" today come to Jesus? Or are we expert (at best) in knowing things pertaining to him? I do not exclude myself from this questioning; not at all! In fact, I relish the reminder for therein lies the greatest joy, and I frankly don't want to miss it!