Leave off that excessive desire of knowing; because there is found therein much distraction and deceit. They who are learned are desirous to appear and to be ca1led wise. There are many things, the knowledge of which is of little or no profit to the soul. And he is very unwise who attends to other things than what may serve to his salvation.
-Bk. I, ch. ii.
I had always loved what was noble and beautiful, and about this time I felt a great desire for knowledge. What my mistress taught me was not enough, and so I took up various subjects and studied them myself, learning far more in a few months than I had done in several years at school. And yet all this zeal was but vanity and affliction of spirit (Eccles. i, 14). For one of my ardent nature, I had reached a dangerous period in my life, but Our Lord did for me as is written in the Prophet Ezechiel: I passed by thee, and saw thee: and behold thy time was the time of lovers...I entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God: and thou becamest mine...Thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil, and wast made exceeding beautiful: and wast advanced to be a queen (Ezech. xvi, 8, 13).
For some time past my spiritual life had been fed on the fine flour of the Imitation. It was the only book that was any help to me, for I had not as yet discovered the hidden treasures in the Gospel. I was never without my little volume of the Imitation, which was a source of much amusement to the family. My aunt would often open it at random and ask me to recite a chapter by heart.
-The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Âme)
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Adapted from Just For Today(©1943 Burns & Oates)
Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Phillips, S.T.L.,Censor deputatus
Imprimatur: Edwardus Myers, Vic. Cap.