(Master Geert Grote (1384) -
Founder and guide of a lay monastic community better known as the Devotio
Moderna, and known to us as the community that produced the classic "The
Imitation of Christ" penned by Thomas a' Kempis.)
The members of his community
did not take vows as religious do but merely resolutions and intentions
based on the Commands of Christ and as explained by the Fathers of the
Church, particularly St. John Cassian.)
HOW TO ORDER MY LIFE TO THE GLORY, HONOR AND SERVICE OF GOD
AND THE SALVATION OF MY SOUL; TO PUT NO TEMPORAL GOOD OF BODY, POSITION,
FORTUNE, OR LEARNING AHEAD OF MY SOUL'S SALVATION..
I. Learning first what is
The first thing to do is to eliminate
the desire for greater income and, in the future, any desire for any temporal
gain; for the more I have, the more I would want.
The more worldly concerns I have the
more I would have to attend to worldly people. But this is to become
all the more burdened down, and that is contrary to liberty of spirit, which
is the principal good of the spiritual life. For the affections then
become bound to all sorts of worldly things and remain held in bondage to
them. Such affections infect the soul driving out peace of heart and
tranquility of mind; and the worldly cares that come with them pollute and
disturb the mind again and again. The hunger for more of the world
must be cut away.
If I wish to give generously, I just
ought to give what I have. I do not have to accumulate more to be able
to give more. It is pleasing to God if I give moderately from moderate
means or much from great. God considers the heart and not the
amount. The Lord preferred the widow's mite above the rich.
The things I already have bind me with
anxiety. How much more if more is added to it. Right now, I have
enough for the ordinary needs of life and dignity.
Never expose yourself to danger except
in the service of God. Serve no temporal lord in pursuit of gain.