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In the 44th chapter of his book, My Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis responds to Christ’s admonition to turn our focus away from the things of this world with the following prayer:


“To what have we come, Lord? Behold, we bewail a temporal loss. We labor and fret for a small gain, while loss of the soul is forgotten and scarcely ever returns to mind. That which is of little or no value claims our attention, whereas that which is of highest necessity is neglected -- all because man gives himself wholly to outward things. And unless he withdraws himself quickly, he willingly lies immersed in externals.”