My child, you cannot have perfect liberty unless you completely deny yourself.1
Those who only seek their own interests and are lovers of themselves are in chains – they are coveteous, curious, wanderers who always seek things that appeal to them and not the things of Jesus Christ, and often devise and plan things that will not succeed.
For all that is not of God will fail.
Keep this short and perfect word: “Give up everything and you will find everything.”2 Give up every immoderate desire and you will find rest.
Consider this well, and when you have put it into practice you will understand all things.
O Lord, this is not the work of one day or the sport of children – indeed, in that short sentence is all the perfection of spiritual people.
1 Matthew 16:24-25
2 Matthew 19:27-29
Kempis, Thomas A. “Book III: Internal Consolation.” The Imitation of Christ. Trans. Harold J. Chadwick. New Jersey: Bridge-Logos, 1999. 174. Print.