At the beginning then, bow thee entirely to thy Lord JESUS Christ. That turning to JESUS is naught else but turning from all the covetousness and the liking and the occupations and business of worldly things and of fleshly lust and of vain love: so that thy thought, that was ever downward, burrowing in the earth, whilst thou wert in the world, now should be aye upward like fire; seeking the highest place in heaven, right to thy Spouse, where He sits in His bliss. To Him thou art turned, when His grace illumines thine heart; and forsakes all vices, and conforms it to virtues and good manners, and to all manner of compliance and debonairness. And that thou mayst last and grow in the goodness that thou hast begun without slowness, and sorriness, and irking of thy life; four things shalt thou have in thy thought, till thou beest in perfect love. For when thou art come thereto, thy joy and desire will aye be burning in Christ. One is: the measure of thy life here, that it is so short that scarcely is it anything
. For we live but in a point -- that is the least thing that may be. And soothly, our life is less than a point, if we liken it to the life that lasts aye. Another is: uncertainty of our ending
. For we wot never when we shall die, nor where we shall die, nor how we shall die, nor whither we shall go when we are dead; and that GOD wills that this be uncertain to us, for He wills that we be aye ready to die. The third is: that we shall answer before the righteous Judge
, for all the time that we have been here, how we have lived, what our occupation has been and why, and what good we might have done when we have been idle. Therefore said the prophet: |He has called thee times again,| that is every day He has lent us here for to spend in good use, and in penance, and in GOD'S service. If we waste it in earthly love and in vanities, full grievously must we be condemned and punished; for that is one of the greatest sorrows that may be: unless we try manfully in the love of GOD, and do good to all that we may, while our short time lasts. And every time that we think not on God we may count it as the thing that we have lost. The fourth is: that we think how great the joy is that they have who last in GOD'S love to their ending
. For they shall be brethren and fellows with angels and holy men, loving and thanking, praising and seeing the King of Joy in the beauty and in the shining of His majesty. The which sight shall be reward and food, and all delights that any creature may think, and more than any can tell, to all His lovers, without end. It is much easier to come to that bliss than to describe it. Also think what pain and what sorrow and tormenting they shall have
who love not GOD above all things that one sees in this world, but defile their body in the pleasures and lusts of this life, in pride and greed and other sins; they shall burn in the fire of hell with the devil whom they served, as long as GOD is in heaven with His servants, that is evermore.