GOLDEN BOOK OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Holiness is the key principle:
When we hear any mention of our mystical union with Christ, we should remember that holiness is the channel to do it.
Holiness is not a merit by which we can attain communion with God, but a gift of Christ, which enables us to cling to him, and to follow him. – 17
Unless we ardently and prayerfully devote ourselves to Christ’s righteousness we do not only faithlessly revolt from our Creator, but we also abjure him as our Savior. – 19
…since God has revealed himself as a Father, we would be guilty of the basest ingratitude if we did not behave as his children. – 19
External Christianity is not enough:
The apostle denies that anyone actually knows Christ, who has not learned to put off the old man, corrupt with deceitful lusts, and to put on Christ. – 20
Spiritual progress is necessary:
We should not insist on absolute perfection of the gospel in our fellow Christians, however we may strive for it ourselves.
It is not lawful for you to make a compromise with God: to try to fulfill part of your duties and to omit others at your own pleasure. – 22
No one in this earthly prison of the body has sufficient strength of his own to press forward with a due degree of watchfulness, and the great majority [of Christians] are kept down with such great weakness that they stagger and halt and even creep on the ground, and so make very slight advances. – 22
Let us not cease to do the utmost, that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair because of the smallness of our accomplishment. – 23
The one condition for spiritual progress is that we remain sincere and humble. – 23
It is a very important consideration that we are consecrated and dedicated to God; it means that we may think, speak, meditate, or do anything only with a view to his glory. – 26
Pagan philosophers set up reason as the sole guide of life, of wisdom and conduct; but Christian philosophy demands of us that we surrender our reason to the Holy Spirit; and this means that we no longer live for ourselves, but that Christ lives and reigns within us (Rom 12:1; Eph 4:23; Gal 2:20). – 27
Indeed, a Christian ought to be disposed and prepared to keep in mind that he has to reckon with God every moment of his life. – 28
The denial of ourselves which Christ has so diligently commanded his disciples from the beginning will at last dominate all the desires of our heart. – 28
There is deliverance in store only for the man who gives up his selfishness, and whose sole aim is to please the Lord and to do what is right in his sight. – 29
True humility means respect for others:
If God has bestowed on us any excellent gift, we imagine it to be our own achievement; and we swell and even burst with pride.
The vices of which we are full we carefully hide from others, and we flatter ourselves with the notion that they are small and trivial; we sometimes even embrace them as virtues.
Hatred grows into insolence when we desire to excel the rest of mankind and imagine we do not belong to the common lot; we even severely and haughtily despise others as our inferiors.
The poor yield to the rich, the common people to the upper ten, the servants to their masters, the ignorant to the scholars; but there is nobody who does not imagine that he is really better than others.
Everyone flatters himself and carries a kingdom in his breast.
We should never insult others on account of their faults, for it is our duty to show charity and respect to everyone. – 33