Choose a topic from Part 2A:

37. Effects of Sorrow or Pain

1. Bodily pain is a hindrance to the mind in its efforts to study, whether to learn new things or to attend to what is already learned. Pain may be so intense as to draw the whole attention of the mind to itself, and this makes learning impossible. Yet a man deeply devoted to learning may continue to use his mind despite a considerable degree of bodily pain. As for mental distress, a mild sorrow may actually incline the mind to study, especially to study the things of God through whom man hopes to be freed from pain and sorrow.

2. Pain is a burden upon the soul; it is a cause of depression.

3. Therefore, sorrow weakens the activity of the soul. What is done in sorrow or pain is ordinarily not so well done as it would be done without a burdening influence upon the soul. But, unless sorrow be overwhelming, it may sometimes, indirectly, improve the work of the soul inasmuch as the soul is determined to shake it off and banish it by strict and careful attention to the work in hand.

4. Of all the passions, sorrow or pain is the most harmful to man's bodily being. It is a depressing and contractive influence, repugnant to the normal movements of life.

"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

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"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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