Thursday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time
"The kingdom of God is within you,"
The Imitation of Christ, spiritual treatise of the 15th century
Book II, §1 (trans. Robert Dudley)
Christ will come to you
"The kingdom of God is within you," says the Lord. Turn to the Lord with all your heart; abandon this wretched world and your soul will find peace. Learn to despise the outward, submit to the inward; then you will see God's kingdom come within you. For the kingdom of God is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, a thing not given to the wicked.
Christ will come and you will see his consolation, if you prepare for him a worthy inner dwelling. All his beauty and splendour is inward, and there he delights to dwell. An inward man he will often visit, sweetly conversing, gratefully comforting, marvellous in homeliness, multiplying peace.
Up, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this bridegroom; that he may deign to come and dwell within you. For so he proclaimed: If any man loves me, he will keep my word; and we will come to him and take up our abode with him… The inward man is quickly recollected, for he never pours himself out. Outward work does him no damage, nor occasional necessary business; as things turn out, so he adapts himself to them. The man of inward harmony and wholeness is not perturbed at the miraculous perversity of men… If you refuse outward consolation, you will be capable of heavenly contemplation and repeated inward joy.