You must learn to break down your own self in many things if you will have peace and concord with others (Gal. 6:1). It is no small matter to dwell in religious communities or in a congregation, to converse therein without complaint, and to preserve therein faithfully unto death (Luke 16:10). Blessed is he who has lived well there and ended happily.
If you will stand fast as you ought, and grow in grace, esteem yourself as an exile and a stranger upon earth (1 Peter 2:11). You must be made a fool for Christ’s sake (1 Cor. 4:10) if you desire to lead a Christian life.
He who seeks anything else but merely God and the welfare of his own soul, shall find nothing but tribulations and sorrow (Ecc. 1:17-18). Neither can he stand long in peace who labors not to be the least and subject unto all.
You came to serve, not to rule (Matt. 20:26). Know that you were called to suffer and to labor, not to be idle, and spend your time in talk. Here therefore men are proved as gold in the furnace. Here no man can stand, unless he be willing to humble himself with his whole heart for the love of God.
Excerpt taken from Of the Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. This excerpt can be found in Chapter 17. Public domain.