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CHRISTE ELEISON.



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A SHORT OFFICE OF / 9' 9 /

MEDITATION AND PRAYER FOR EVERY DAY IN LENT.



WITH SELECTIONS FROM THE " IMITATICJN,: (J)t'_ CilklST,;
BY THOMAS A. KEMPIS.






As dying, and behold we live."
2 Cor. VI.



BY



L. C. SK£y,



AUTHOR OF "comforted OF GOD," "THE PERFECT DAY," ETC.



Dedicated by permission to

H. P. LIDDON. D.D,



JAMES POTT &



Co., 14 & 16, ASTOR PLACE.



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PUBLIC LUiP .^^

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'•yiLO'^N FO



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TO THE REV.



HENRY PARRY LIDDON, D.D., • >/\



O^ •» JO J 3

J , > J ) , '



CANON OF S. PAUL S CATHEDRAL,



I HAVE BEEN PERMITTED TO INSCRIBE THIS BOOK



IN TOKEN OF MY REVERENCE FOR HIM



AND FOR THE



WORK HE IS DOING IN THE CHURCH OF GOD.



fiiitrotjuctorg (ffijaptev



My desire in compiling this book is to try to give some help to
those who wish to spend their Lent with Jesus.

The forty days fast, if we pass it as much as possible in the
seclusion of the desert, alone with Jesus, must indeed be a time
of strengthening to our souls, fortifying them to encounter their
great spiritual foe, and preparing them to join at Easter in the
Lamb's High Festival. We may be very sure that if, with the dear
Master, we deny ourselves, and fast and pray, to us, too, an angel
will come to feed us with the Bread of Heaven, and to give us to
drink of the Chalice of Salvation.

" Christe Eleison," shall be our antiphon this Lent. The cry
for mercy shall be ever on our lips and in our hearts. Then I hope
we may find in this book some words each day which may give
new force to the daily prayer, and may touch the innermost needs
of every heart.

The chapters are intended to be used as a short office to be said
at any time during the day, but perhaps especially in the morning
hours, because it is hoped that at least the words of Jesus, which
form a part of it, may remain in the minds of those who read them
through the day.

It is also hoped that possibly the book may be found useful for
services in mission or school rooms. It will, I hope, endear to us
all the marvellous beauty of the words of the " Imitation of
Christ."



Should this book succeed in making anyone love and study the
"Imitation" more than they have hitherto done, it will not have
been written in vain.

The suffrages and the " Lord's Prayer," placed at the commence-
ment of the first chapter, are intended to be said before each day's
meditation, but it was not thought advisable to print so many
repetitions of the words.

The Litanies will be found in the People's Hymnal, except the
Litany of Patience, which has been translated expressly for this
book from the French, and will be found in the Appendix.

It is earnestly desired that the short Psalm and Lesson for each
day should be read after the meditation, as the office will be in-
complete without them.

I make my apology for undertaking so great a task in the words
of a Saint, who lived in the sixteenth century: — "In the same
manner as it would delight a king to see a shepherd on whom he
had bestowed some favour, expressing astonishment on viewing his
embroidered robe, and pondering how it was made, and what it was,
so we women are not to be so hindered from enjoying the riches of
our Lord, and from speaking of them, as to conceal them entirely,
thinking that thereby we do well. We should rather first show our
writings to learned men ; and if they approve them, then communi-
cate them to others."

May the mercy of Christ our Lord rest on all those who draw
near to Him in the sacred hours of His Fasting and Temptation,
His Agony and Sweat of Blood, His Cross and Passion, and His
most precious Death and Burial, and may His children so mourn
with Him now, that they may enjoy the Benediction of His Glorious
Presence at the Feast of His Resurrection.

Of your charity, pray for the Blessing of God on my work.



Note. — By a mistake, whiclj it was too late to correct, Thomas a Kempis
has been spoken of as " S, Thomas," though he has not been canonized.



INDEX.



PART I.



ISging ®nto ^in



Chapter I. Ash Wednesday — Humiliation

II. First Thursday in Lent — Compunction

III. First Friday in Lent — Suffering for Sin

IV. First Saturday in Lent — Purity of Intention
V. First Sunday in Lent — Fervour

VI. First Monday in Lent — Want of Comfort in

Religion

VII. First Tuesday in Lent — Patience towards ourselves

VIII. Second Wednesday in Lent — Patience towards our

Brethren

IX. Second Thursday in L^;/^— Patience towards God

X. Second Friday in Lent — Suffering in Body

XI. Second Saturday in Lent — Quietness of Mind

XII. Second Sunday in Lent — Interior Consolations

XIII, Second Monday in Lent — Difficulties in the \Vay

XiV. Second Tuesday in Lent — Faults of the Saints

XV. Third Wednesday in Lent — Warfare

XVI. Third Thursday in Lent — Foes Within . .

XVII. Third Friday in Lent — Suffering in Mind

XVIII. Third Saturday in Lent — Obedience

XIX. Third Sunday in Lent — Light . .

XX. Third Monday in Lent — What holds us back ?

XXI. Third Tuesday in Lent — Self-will

XXII. Fourth Wednesday in Leni—SeU-love ..



PAGE
2



13
15

17
19
21

23

26
28
30

33

35
37
39
41
43
45
47



PAGE

Chapter XXIII. Fourth Thursday in Lent — Self-indulgence , . 49

XXIV. Fourth Friday in Lent — Faithfulness of God 51

,, XXV. Fourth Saturday in Lent — Fear . . "53



PART II.



iLibing ®nto Otftrisst.



Chapter XXVI.
XXVII.
XXVIII.
XXIX.
XXX.

XXXI.

XXXII.
XXXIII.
XXXIV.

XXXV.

XXXVI.

XXXVII.

XXXVIII.

XXXIX.

XL.

XLI.

XLII.

XLIII.

XLIV.

XLV.

XLVI.



Fourth Sunday in Lent — Refreshment
Fourth Monday in Lent — Simplicity
Fourth Tuesday in Lent — Receptivity
Fifth Wednesday in Lent — Discipleship
Fifth Thursday in Lent — Friendship with

Jesus
Fifth Friday in L^«^— Fellowship in Suffering
Fifth Saturday in Lent — Readiness. .
Fifth Sunday in Lent— The Law of Sacrifice
Fifth Monday in Lent — Sacrifice of Love . .
Fifth Tuesday in Letit— Sacrifice of Thanks-
giving
Sixth Wednesday in Lent—Sacrifice of Obedi-
ence
Sixth Thursday in Lent — Sacrifice of Praise. .
Sixth Friday in Lent— Joy of Sacrifice
Sixth Saturday in Lent — Crown of Sacrifice
Sunday next before Easter — Rejoicing in the

Lord
Monday before Easter — The Man of Sorrows
Tuesday before Easter— Betrayed . .
Wednesday before Easter — Despised
Thursday before Easter— Carry ing His Cross
Good Friday — Glorious in His Apparel
Easter Eve — Resting from His Labours



58
60
62

65

68
71
73
76

78



83
85
88
90

92
95
97
100
103
105
107



PART I.



Horlr, Ijabc mcicp.
Cf)rist, Ijabc merc|).
Horlr, !)abe mercD,



OUR FATHER, WHICH ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME.
THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH, AS IT IS IN
HEAVEN. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD. AND FORGIVE US OUR
TRESPASSES, AS WE FORGIVE THEM THAT TRESPASS AGAINST US. AND
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION ; BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL : FOR
THINE IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOR EVER AND
EVER. AMEN.



// is suggested that the above prayers be used before the meditation for
each day.



asf) fflKetinegtrag.



HUMILIATION.



"I AM BROUGHT INTO SO GREAT TROUBLE AND MISERY, THAT I GO
MOURNING ALL THE DAY LONG."— PSALM XXXVIII. 6.

"DUST THOU ART, AND UNTO DUST SHALT THOU RETURN." —
GEN. III. 19.

" In silence and in quiet the devout soul goes foi'ward and learns the
secret of the Scriptures. There she finds floods of tears with which she
may wash and cleanse herself e-bery night, that she may become so much
the more familiar with her Maker, by how much the farther she lives from
all worldly tumult^ S. THOMAS A KEMPIS.

We will begin our Lent by trying to humble ourselves
before our God, in calling to mind the many and grievous
sins which we have committed against Him.

We must fall down before Him as those who are dead
and lie in the grave, for the stillness and silence of the grave
is the last and deepest humiliation that human nature can
know, as it is also the profoundest act of homage to the
majesty of God.

We must remember our sins this day, and repent in dust
and ashes, that so being dead unto sin, we may rise to
newness of hfe in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Those who die have ceased to care for the pleasures and
allurements of this world. They have passed away, and left



^^ ^imctnit^ag.



all earthly treasures behind them. So should it be with
us, who are dying to sin. We are passing away from it, so
that we shall no longer hear its music, or see its alluring
brightness. All must be left behind, in the city from which
we are departing.

The grave is very silent and very still, so should our
penitential acts be done in quietness and stillness before
God. It is not by a "tumult" of religious efforts we can
best please God, and learn His Will. The secret of the
Lord is with them who possess their souls in patience, and
who bow down themselves in His Presence, and keep
silence before Him, that they may Ksten to His Voice when
He speaks to their souls. Deep waters are still, it is the
shallow stream which babbles as it flows.

Those who lie in the grave are unseen by men, and
are " out of remembrance," so will we be content, during
our Lenten fast, to be alone, and to hide ourselves in the
wilderness, that in the deep seclusion of the desert we
may fmd our Blessed Lord, and ask Him to teach us how
we may encounter, and defeat, the great enemy of our souls.

Those who are in the grave are in a state of expecta-
tion, they are waiting for the coming of the Lord. So from
the deep abyss of sorrow and contrition in which we lie, we
must keep our longing eyes fixed on the Eastern sky, in
patient expectation till the dawn of Easter shall break, and
the Day Star shall arise and make our darkness to be light.

So shall the evening shadows of the first day of Lent
close on us, and leave us in the silence and stillness of our
deep humiliation before God.



C^itstc i^lti^an.



"Jesus, Lord of dead and living,
Let Thy mercy rest on me,
Grant me, too, when life is finished,
Rest in Paradise with Thee."

^^jJtl-Htiail.
'''•Have mercy upon 7ne, Thou Son of David"

Bot'rr of grsiis".

" COME UNTO ME ALL YE THAT LABOUR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN.
Read Psalm xxx. Lesson, Book of j^onah iu

Litany of Penitence.



jFirgt Eiluijatrai) m iLrnt.



COMPUNCTION.



"I ACKNOWLEDGE MY FAULTS, AND MY SIN IS EVER BEFORE ME." —
PSALM LI. 3.

"JESUS SAID, ONE OF YOU WHICH EATETH WITH ME SHALL BETRAY
ME. AND THEY BEGAN TO BE VERY SORROWFUL, AND TO SAY TO HIM
ONE BY ONE, IS IT I ? AND ANOTHER SAID, IS IT I ? "— S. MARK

XIV. 18, 19.

" This is the highest and most profitable lesson, truly to know and to
despise ourselves. To have no opiriion of ourselves, and to think well and
commendably of others, is great wisdom and high perfection.

" If thou shouldst see another openly sin, or commit some heinous critne,
yet thou oughts t not to esteem thyself better : because thou knowest not how
long thou mayest remain in a good state. We are all frail ; but see thou
think no one more frail than thyself S. THOMAS A K EM PIS.

If our Lenten meditations are to be blessed to us, we must
take them home to our hearts, and apply them individually
to our own souls.



dftrst (OjurstJat) in Entt.



A general lament over our sinfulness, and over the
wickedness of the world, will not help us so to die to sin,
that we may rise to newness of life.

We must apply ourselves to search out, each his own
peculiar sins, and occasions of falling, and mark them
before God, even as we believe them to be recorded in
His Book of Remembrance, against us.

When the voice of Jesus says so mournfully, " One of
you shall betray Me," let every Christian soul ask Him,
" Lord, is it I ? "

We must not imagine that it is impossible for us to
commit so great a sin. Alas ! we do not know to what
depths of iniquity we may fall, unless the ^race of God
sustain us. We have loved self and money too well ; we
have been grasping and covetous, and failed in our duty to
the poor ; were the temptation but a Httie stronger, might
we not be led to betray our Lord and Master, and to put
Him to an open shame ?

Let this be our attitude before our Crucified Lord this
day ; let it be to us a day of remembrance, a day on which
we accuse ourselves, and excuse our neighbours, a day on
which our hearts are ever asking, in fear and trembling,
" Dear Lord, is it I ? "

So may we never hear the terrible sentence pronounced
upon us by the voice of Judgment, " Thou art the man."

" I saw One hanging on a Tree,
In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His Cross I stood.



€W^tt mti^an.



" My conscience felt and owned my guilt,
And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His Blood had spilt.
And helped to nail Him there."

^gptrattDH.

^^ God be ?nerciful to me a sinner.^'
^0tCC 0f 3C£lUS.
HIM THAT COMETH UNTO ME I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT.

Read Psalm li. Lesson, 2 Sam. xii.



Litany of Penite?ice.



jFast Jfntrai) in a.ntt.



SUFFERING FOR SIN.



" THY HAND IS HEAVY UPON ME DAY AND NIGHT." — PSALM XXXII. 4.

"THERE IS NO HEALTH IN MY FLESH BECAUSE OF THY DISPLEASURE,
NEITHER IS THERE ANY REST IN MY BONES BY REASON OF MY SIN." —
PSALM XXXVIII. 3.

" AND JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, SUPPOSE YE THAT THESE GALILEANS
WERE SINNERS ABOVE ALL THE GALILEANS, BECAUSE THEY SUFFERED
SUCH THINGS ? I TELL YOU NAY."

" Son, see thou dispute ?iot of high matters, nor of the hidden judgments of
God ; why this man is left thus, and this other is raised to so great a grace,
or why this person is so much afflicted, and that other is so highly exalted.

" These things are above the reach of man, neither can any reason or
discourse be able to peneti-ate into the judgments of God. When, therefore^
the enemy suggests to thee such things as these, or thou hearest curious
men enquiring into them, let thy answer be, ' Thou art just, O Lord, and
Thy judgment is right.'

" Thy judgments are to be feared, ?iot to be searched into, for they are incom-
prehensible to human misunderstanding.'" S. THOMAS A KEMPIS.



dTtriSt dTritiai) tn Ecnt.



All the Fridays in the year are, in the mind of the Church,
hallowed by the shadow of the Cross, therefore, on the Fridays
in Lent, we will meditate on the deep mystery of suffering.

We must be careful, in the first place, not to consider the
word suffering as synonymous with punishment. When we
are punished, of course we suffer, but suffering is by no
means to be considered always as punishment. It is rather
the loving and reassuring touch of the Hand of God laid
upon us, to convince us of our sonship to Him, and
of our union with our Blessed Lord in His Adorable
Passion.

This it is to "suffer according to the will of God," but
there is another kind of suffering, which is more bitter, the
pain caused us by our si.is. This is of two kinds — the
suffering which the sins themselves bring on us, and the
penitential pain which the remembrance of our sins causes
us, when the grace of God has called us to repentance.

But all suffering of whatever kimi, is intended to purify,
and raise us higher, in our Christian life. Even the pain
brought on us by sin, has a good work to do in us ; a work
of humiliation, cleansing, and making us patient. Therefore,
we see that even the lowest form of suffering bears with it the
Benediction of God to the faithful soul, even as the curse on
Eve's transgression carried to a sin-struck world, the highest
of all blessings, in the glorious promise of the Incarnation
of the Son of God.

And now let us take to ourselves a warning, never to judge
our neighbour because we see that he suffers. We cannot
tell in what manner the Hand of God is resting on him.



€ffn^tt mti^an.



therefore let us give him our pity and our prayers, and then
turn our thoughts to ourselves, and pray that the judgment
of God may lead us to repentance.

" O, is it not wonderful, servant of God,

That He should have honoured us so with His love,
That the sorrows of life should but shorten the road
That leads to Himself, and the mansions above ?

That God hath once whispered a word in thine ear,
Or sent thee from Heaven one sorrow for sin,

Is enough for a life, to banish all fear,

And to turn into peace all the troubles within."

^5'jpiratton.

'^Lord, save me"

^otff of Sj^s'us".

" WHOSOEVER WILL COME AFTER ME, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, AND
TAKE UP HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW ME."

Read Psalm xxii. Lesson, Job xxiii.
Litany of the Passion.



^\x%X ^^tavDa]) in Enit.



PURITY OF INTENTION.



"an OFFERING OF A FREE HEART WILL I GIVE THEE, AND PRAISE
THY NAME O LORD, BECAUSE IT IS SO COMFORTABLE," — PSALM LIV. 6.

" IF ANY MAN COME TO ME, AND KATE NOT HIS FATHER, AND MOTHER,
AND WIFE, AND CHILDREN, AND BRETHREN, AND SISTERS, YEA, AND
HIS OWN LIFE ALSO, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE." — S. LUKE XV. 26.

" With two wings a man is lifted tip above earthly thirigs, that is
simplicity and purity. Simplicity must be in the intention ; purity in the



dfir^t ^attirtraj) tn ILoit.



affection. No good action will hi?ider thee if thou be free from individual
affections.

" If thou intendest and seekest nothing else but tlie will of God, and the
■profit of thy neighbour., thou shall enjoy internal liberty.

" If thy /leart were right, theji every creature would be to tliee a looking-
glass of life, and a book of holy doctrine.

" There is ?io creature so little and contemptible, as not to manifest the
good7iess of God." S. THOMAS A KEMPIS.

God has given man a free will, in order that he may have
the blessedness of making his choice of God. We are not
forced to serve Him ; indeed, He will accept no compulsory
service, at our hands.

Convinced of our own unworthiness and helplessness, and
of His love towards us. as manifested in the Life and Death
of our Blessed Lord, and penetrated with deep thankfulness
to Him, we must offer Him the best gift we have to bestow,
the offering of a free heart, full of love and praise.

A free heart is a heart unbound from the trammels of
society and conventionality. Not that we should study to
be remarked for singularity, far from it, but that w^e should
refuse to obey those social laws which are opposed to
the simple rules of life, laid down for us by our Divine
Master.

A free heart is a simple heart. It believes the Truth of
God " as a little child," and serves Him with an unquestion-
ing obedience. It does not exercise itself in matters which
are too high for it, and is untroubled by doubts about the
Faith.

A free heart is a pure heart. It is free from all inordinate
affections for the things of earth, and can therefore rise to



10 Cijrtstc eicisffliT.



greater heights of love for Him Whom now we see not,
but in Whom we can rejoice with joy unspeakable. The
utterance of the pure heart is this — "Whom have I in Heaven
but Thee, and what is there upon earth that I desire in
comparison of Thee ? "

We do not realize what a tremendous thing it is to
choose Christ. Our Loving Master would not make our
way more hard than necessary, yet His words are almost
terrible in their solemn call to renounce all that is dear to self.

Let us this day consider her, to whom old custom
dedicated the Saturday in every week, the Virgin Mother
of God. Like her, may we answer the Divine call out of
a pure heart and love unfeigned, " Behold the handmaid
of the Lord, be it unto me according to Thy word."

" O, for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free ;
A heart that's sprinkled with the blood
So freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,

My dear Redeemer's throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,

Where Jesus reigns alone."

^^ptration.

"/ will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest."

?Fotcc of SfJ^its.

"BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART, FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD."

Read the Magnificat, Lesson, i Samuel ii. i to 12.
Litany of the Holy Ghost.



dfirst ^uttlrau in JLtnU 11



.iFitist 3«HtiaB in Hent.



FERVOUR,



"AS FOR ME, I WILL CALL UPON GOD, AND THE LORD SHALL SAVE
ME."~PSALM LV. 17.

"behold, NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME : BEHOLD, NOW IS THE DAY
OF SALVATION." — 2 COR. VI. 2.

''Always remember thine end, and that time once lost never returns.

" If thou beginnest to grow lukewarm, thou wilt begin to be uneasy.

" But if thou givest thyself to fervour, thou shall find great peace : and
the grace of God, and love of virtue, will make thee feel less labour.

''He that does not shun small defects by little and little, falls into
greater.

" Thoti wilt always rejoice in the evening, if thou spend the day
profitably.

" Watch over thyself stir up thyself, admonish thyself

" The greater violence thou offerest to thyself, tlie greater progress thou
wilt make." S. THOMAS A KEMPIS.

People are greatly mistaken who imagine that salvation is
a thing only of the future, which will not affect us until
after our death.

Surely if we do not reach a state of salvation while we
live, we shall not attain to it when we die.

Our Blessed Lord lived on earth for more than thirty
years, that He might set before us the pattern of a Perfect
Life, and yet men talk and live, as if the Death of Jesus was
the only gift He gave His children. If in our death we
hope to share the blessings which His Passion has purchased
for us, we must follow Him day by day through life.



12 Clyvi^tt eici^an.



From the time that He calls us, we must leave His side
never more.

True, the loving Master's Arms are stretched wide to
receive all who come to Him. The sinner who comes at
his last moment, shall find admission there, if, even then
at the eleventh hour, he heeds the call of God, but how can
we expect the like mercy, who have neglected it from our
youth up ? Those last moments, to which we are looking
to make our peace with God, may never come.

The present moment, the all-important now, is all we
can call our own.

Let us give it to God, and He will save us.

" Why, O Blessed Jesus Christ
Should I not love Thee well,
Not for the sake of winning Heaven,
Or of escaping hell ?

Not with the hope of gaining aught,

Not seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast loved me,

O, ever-loving Lord ;

Even so 1 love Thee, and will love,

And in Thy praise will sing,
Because Thou art my Lord and God,

And my eternal King."

^^IJtratton.

" Lord tell us when shall these things be ?"

2Fatte of %i^\\^.

"WATCH, THEREFORE; FOR YE KNOW NEITHER THE DAY NOR THE
HOUR WHEREIN THE SON OF MAN COMETH."

Read Psalm cxxxii. Lesson, Hab. ii., to v. 14.
Litany of on?- Lord Jesus Christ.



dTtrst MaixtiKv in ?lcut. 13



Jfixm IfiloniiaB in ILrnt.



JVANT OF COMFORT IN RELIGION.



"MINE EYES LONG SORE FOR THY WORD: SAYING, O WHEN WILT
THOU COMFORT ME."— PSALM CXIX, 82.

"I SAY THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, I LIE NOT, MY CONSCIENCE ALSO
BEARING ME WITNESS IN THE HOLY GHOST."

"THAT I HAVE GREAT HEAVINESS AND CONTINUAL SORROW IN MY
HEART."

"FOR I COULD WISH THAT MYSELF WERE ACCURSED FROM CHRIST
FOR MY BRETHREN." — ROMANS IX. I, 2, 3.

'■'' Itis much, very fnuch, to be able to want all co?nfort, both human and
divine, and to be willijig to bear this interior banishment for God's honour,
and to seek oneself in nothings nor to think of one's own merit; therefore
when God gives spiritual comfort receive it with thanksgiving, and know
that it is the bounty of God. When comforts shall be taken away from thee,
do not presently despair, but wait with humility and patience for the
heavenly visits for God is able to restore thee a greater consolation.

" This is no new thing, nor strange, to those who have experienced the
ways of God.'' S. THOMAS A KEMPIS.

God has not promised us that in this world we shall
always find comfort in our religion, in so far as comfort
means soothing, consolation, satisfaction. " In the world,"
our dear Master tells us, we " shall have tribulation." It is
only when, this life being ended, we wake up in the likeness
of Christ, that our souls shall be " satisfied."

But the word comfort implies also the idea of strength, of
fortitude, and thus, often when we are unconscious of it,
God is comforting us, by giving us strength to endure.

To seek for comfort in the service of God is to seek for



14 €f^xiStt (Sltiimx*


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