"You are my friends if you do the things that I command you. I will not now call you servants; for the servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends: because all the things I have heard from my Father I have made known to you".
- John 15:14-15
(Listen to Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring)
O Jesus! You are my true Friend, my only Friend. You take a part in all my misfortunes, You take them on Yourself; You know how to change them into blessings. You listen to me with the greatest kindness when I relate my troubles to You, and You have always balm to pour on my wounds. I find You everywhere, You never go away! if I have to change my dwelling, I find You there wherever I go.
You are never weary of listening to me, You are never tired of doing me good. I am certain of being beloved by You if I love You; my goods are nothing to You, and by bestowing Yours on me You never grow poor; however miserable I may be, no one more noble or holier can come between You and men and deprive me of Your friendship; and Death, which tears us away from all other friends, will unite me for ever to You. All the humiliations attached to old age, or to the loss of honour, will never detach You from me; on the contrary, I shall never enjoy You more fully, and You will never be closer to me than when everything seems to conspire against me, to overwhelm me, and to cast me down.
You bear with all my faults with extreme patience, and even my want of fidelity and my ingratitude do not wound You to such a degree as to make You unwilling to receive me back when I return to You, or to come to me when I call on You. O Jesus! grant that I may die praising You, that I may die for the love of You. Amen.
When Jesus is present, all goes well and nothing seems difficult for love of Him; but when Jesus is absent, everything is hard. When Jesus does not speak within the soul, all other consolation is worthless; but if Jesus speaks only one word, we feel great comfort.
Did not Mary...arise immediately from where she sat weeping when Martha told her: "The Rabbi is here, and calls for you" (John 11:28)? Happy the hour when Jesus calls us from tears to spiritual joy!
How dry and hard of heart you are without Jesus! How foolish and vain to desire anything besides Jesus! This is a greater loss than if you should use the whole world (Luke 9:25).
What could the world ever profit you without Jesus?
To be without Jesus is a tortuous hell, and to be with Jesus is a sweet paradise. If Jesus is with you no enemy can harm you (Romans 8:31).
Whoever finds Jesus finds the pearl of great price, a good above all goods. But whoever loses Jesus loses much - more than if one lost the entire world! Whoever lives without Jesus is wretchedly poor, but one who lives with Jesus is exceedingly rich.
Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, II:8:1-2
The Jesus gif on the top of this page is a reproduction of a mural in Sacred Heart Cathedral in Malaysia. I thank them, particularly Greg Matanjun for letting me use that beautiful image.
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