From: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
1. Son you can not possess perfect liberty unless you wholly deny yourself. (Matt. 16: 24). All self-seekers and self-lovers are bound in fetters, full of desires, full of cares, unsettled, and seeking always their own ease, and not the things of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3: 21), but often times devising and framing that which will not stand.
For all shall come to nothing that proceeds not from God.
Take this short and perfect word: Forsake all and you shall find all, leave desires and you shall find rest. (Matt. 11: 29).
Consider this as well, and when you shall put it in practice you shall understand all things.
2. Lord, this is no one day’s work, no child’s play; indeed, in this short sentence is included the whole perfection of a religious man.
3. Son, you must not be turned back, not presently cast down, when you hear what the way of the perfect is; but rather be incited thereby to undertake great things, or at least to sigh after them with an earnest desire.
I would it were so with you and that you would come so far that you would be no longer a lover of yourself, but simply await my bidding, and his whom I have appointed father over you; then would you exceedingly please Me, and all your life would pass in joy and peace.
You have yet many things to forsake which unless you give up to Me without reserve, you will not attain to that which you demand.
I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be made rich. (Rev. 3: 8), that is heavenly wisdom which treads under foot all things below.
Set aside earthly wisdom, all human and self-complacency.
4 I have said that you should exchange all things that are high and of great esteem with men for those which are esteemed contemptible.
For true heavenly wisdom seems very mean and contemptible, and is scarcely thought of by men; that wisdom, which thinks not highly of self nor seeks glory on earth; which many praise in words, but in their life are far from it; yet this same is that precious pearl (Matt. 13: 46), which is hidden from many.