From The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, New York, 1989, pp. 172-3.
Originally written around 1427:
My son, says our Lord. . . Continue therefore as you are doing. Labor busily and faithfully in My vineyard and I will shortly be your reward. Write, read, sing, mourn, be quiet and pray, and suffer adversity gladly, for the kingdom of heaven is worth more than all of these things, and is much greater than they. Peace that is known to Me will come one day, and that will not be a day of this life, but a day everlasting with infinite clarity, steadfast peace, and secure rest without end. And then you will not say: Who is to deliver me from the body of this death; nor will you need to cry: Woe to me that my coming to the kingdom of heaven is thus prolonged, for death will then be destroyed, and health of body and soul will be without end, insomuch that there will be no manner of restlessness, but blessed joy and sweetest and most fair company.
Oh, if you saw the everlasting crowns of My saints in heaven, if you saw in how great joy and glory they are who sometimes seemed to be despised in the world, you would soon humble yourself low to the ground, and you would rather to be subject to all men than to have authority over one person. You would not desire to have happiness and pleasure in this world, but rather to bear with tribulation and pain, and you would account it a great gain to be considered as nothing among the people. Oh, if these things tasted sweet to you and deeply pierced your heart, you would not dare once to complain of any manner of trouble that should befall you. Are not all painful things and grievous labors gladly to be endured for joy everlasting? Yes, truly. It is no little thing to win or lose the kingdom of heaven.
Lift up your face, therefore, to heaven, and behold how I and all My saints there with Me had great struggle and conflict in this world, yet now they rejoice with Me and are comforted in Me and are sure to abide in Me and to dwell with Me in the kingdom of My Father without end.