To Accurately Understand Things as They Truly Are

Strengthen me, O God, by the grace of your Holy Spirit. Give me discipline to be strengthened with power in my inner person. Free my heart from all care and trouble, so I may not be drawn away by various desires after anything with little value or great. But may I look on all things as passing away and myself as passing away with them, because there is no profit under the sun, and all is futile and troubling to your spirit. "But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless--like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere" (Ecclesiastes 2:11). Oh how wise are those who understand this!

Give me, Lord, heavenly wisdom, that I may learn to seek you above all things and to find you. Help me desire you above all things. May I love you. Grant me, according to your wisdom, to accurately understand things as they truly are. Help me to wisely avoid the flatterer and patiently to bear with the one who opposes me. It is great wisdom, not to be carried by every wind of words, nor to give ear to the wicked flattering seductress. With this mindset, we go safely on in your way, Lord. 

(from The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today's Language, by Thomas à Kempis, compiled and edited by James N. Watkins; photo by Caniceus via

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