Interior likeness

Daily Reading for October 25

Wretched men and women are they who, neglecting the care of their interior, show only exteriorly a form and likeness of holiness, in habit or clothing, in speech and outward carriage and works, casting their eyes upon other men’s deeds, and judging their defects, esteeming themselves to be something, when indeed they are just nothing, and so deceive themselves. Do not do so yourself; but together with your body turn principally your heart to God, and frame your interior to his likeness, by humility and charity and other spiritual virtues, and then you are truly turned to him. I say not that you may early on the first day be turned to him in your soul in perfection of virtues as you may with your body be enclosed in a house; but my meaning is, that you should know that the end of your bodily enclosure is that you might thereby the better come to a spiritual enclosure; and even as your body is enclosed from bodily converse with men, even so your heart might be enclosed from the inordinate loves and fears of all earthly things.

From The Scale (or Ladder) of Pefection by Walter Hilton, chapter 1

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