Be not solicitous for the shadow of a great name; neither seek to be familiarly acquainted with many, nor to be particularly loved by men. For these things beget distractions and great darkness in the heart.
-Bk. III, ch. xxiv.
Nature rejoices in a multitude of friends and kindred; she glories in the nobility of her stock and descent: she fawns on them that are in power, flatters the rich and applauds such as are like herself.
But grace loves even her enemies, and is not puffed up with having a great many friends, nor has any value for family or birth, unless when joined with greater virtue.
-Bk. III, ch. liv.
Celine and I found ourselves in the midst of Society people, who made up the bulk of the pilgrimage, but we were not in the least dazzled by their titles. I understood the reference in the Imitation to the shadow of a great name, and that greatness is not to be found in a name, but in the soul. Isaias says that: The Lord God shall call his servants by another name (Is. lxv, 15), and we read in the Apocalypse: To him that overcometh I will give a white counter, and in the counter a new name written, which no man knoweth but he that receiveth it
(Apoc. ii, 17). It is only when we reach Heaven that we shall learn what are our titles of nobility, for then shall every man have praise from God (I Cor. iv, 5). He who chose to be poor and unknown on earth for the love of Christ will then be the first, the richest, and the most noble.
-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.