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Imitation of Christ

In order to correct yourself and become a true Christian, that is Christ's, set the holy life of Christ before your eyes and imitate its example. And even though your heart, corrupt as it is, does not wish it, force and convince yourself to imitate the beautiful virtues of Christ.

You look into a mirror so that you may know what is in your face, whether there are any blemishes in it, and having seen blemishes, you cleanse them. Let the immaculate life of Christ be a mirror to your soul, look into it often and know what is in your soul. Does it desire the same things that Christ desires? And does it do what Christ did when He lived on earth? And in it you will see what is contrary to the life of Christ, and you will cleanse it all like blemishes with repentance and contrition of heart. Christ the Lord despised honor, glory, and riches in this world, though He was able to have everything as the Master of all. Do you not seek honor, riches, and glory in this world?

Christ lived on earth in humility. Do you not live in pride and pomp? Christ was loving and compassionate. Do you not hate and harbor malice against men like yourselves? Christ being reproached no one. Do you not reproach anyone that in any way reproaches you; and worse than that, do you not reproach him, who in no way reproaches you? "You are a so and so," "You are a swindler," "You are a spendthrift," "You are a thief," and so on.

Christ was meek to all His revilers. Do you not revile those that revile you? Christ got revenge against no one, though He was able to destroy all His enemies in the wink of an eye. Do you not get revenge for any offense against you? Christ endured all things. Do you not complain and curse in any misfortune and suffering that comes your way?

So compare your soul with the life of Christ; and as you set your face before a mirror, set your soul before the mirror of the immaculate life of Christ, and take every care to correct and go after whatever you may see that is opposed to it. If you do so, then I assure you, that day by day you will become better, for it is impossible for him who looks often into that immaculate mirror not to correct himself.

Whoever truly wishes to be with Christ must follow after Him. Whoever wishes to be like Christ in glory must be like Christ in the present life. Not in vain did Christ say, "I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" (Jn. 13:15). "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me" (Mt. 10:38).

Consider these words carefully, and you will know and acknowledge to yourself that whoever wishes to be saved and enter into Christ's Heavenly Kingdom must follow Him. Whoever wishes to follow Christ into eternal life must follow Him with faith and love, in this life, and whoever wishes to come into Christ's eternal Kingdom must go by way of Christ ó there is no other way there. Note what Christ says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life" (Jn. 10:27-28).

The sheep here signify true Christians that obey His holy teaching and live as He taught and that follow Him with faith, humility, love and patience, and so He shall lead them that follow Him into eternal life.

Consequently, they that do not hear His voice or His holy teaching and do not follow Him are not the sheep of Christ. And consequently, they shall not follow after Him into eternal life. This is a fearful thing, O Christian, but true. Consider these words of Christ for yourself and you will admit that it is so.

Beloved Christian! You must go by the safe way if you wish to enter surely into eternal life. What is the safe way? Live in this world according the example of the life of Christ. Then live thus, and you shall be saved. 

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