Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Three Things From Margery Kempe, Ancress of Lynn

This week we were catching up on our O.T. readings, and yesterday I was in Deuteronomy 6 and read,
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes." Deuteronomy 6:4-8

The first great commandment seems to be the one that seems to give people the most trouble. How can we keep God in our hearts all the time when we are constantly drawn away by the distractions of the world? Isn't it like patting your head and rubbing your belly while at the same time singing the National Anthem? Impossible as it may seem, Jesus makes it one of our highest obligations,

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:36-40 King James Version (KJV)

It is a tall order, and one of the things that makes it more difficult is that "Why should I love God?" is often a question in people's hearts, souls, and minds, and it is this question that gets in the way of following the first commandment. I found something the other day in the rare book section of the www that  may be of some help to those who are struggling with this problem.
"Daughter, if thou knew how sweet thy love is to Me, thou wouldest never do other thing but love Me with all thine heart.

"Daughter, if thou wilt be high with Me in heaven, keep Me alway in thy mind as much as thou mayst, and forget not Me at thy meat; but think alway that I sit in thine heart and know every thought that is therein, both good and bad.

"Daughter, I have suffered many pains for thy love; therefore thou hast great cause to love Me right well, for I have bought thy love full dear."

From the Book of Margery Kempe, Ancress of Lynn (d. 1438 or afterward)

(Christian Ethereal Classics Library)
I hope it helps you like it helped me!

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