Of Avoiding Inordinate Affection

The Following of Christ

Whenever a man wants something he shouldn’t have, he becomes restless.

A proud and greedy person is never at rest. But a poor and humble person may live in great peace.

A person that has not died to himself is easily tempted and overcome, even in little things. He is weak in spirit and hankers after excitement, especially such as appeals to the senses. He just cannot turn completely away from it.

For this reason he feels miserable when he cannot have what he wants and easily gets angry when someone spoils his plans.

On the other hand, if he gets what he wants his conscience gives him no rest for having yielded to temptation again. That keeps him from finding the peace he so much desires.

Peace of heart comes only from resisting temptation, not by yielding to it. There is no peace for the one whose life revolves around outward material things, but for the earnestly spiritual person there is true peace.

Geert Groote, 1340-1384, Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life, Deventer, Netherlands

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