On the Small Number of the Lovers of the Cross
1. Jesus has many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few cross-bearers. Many desire His consolation, but few His tribulation. Many will sit down with Him at table, but few will share His fast. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few will suffer for Him.
Many will follow Him in the breaking of the bread, but few will drink the bitter cup of His Passion. Many revere His miracles, but few follow the shame of His cross. Many love Jesus when all goes well with them, and praise Him when He does them a favor; but if Jesus conceals Himself and leaves them for a little while, they fall to complaining or become depressed.
2. They who love Jesus purely for Himself and not for their own sake bless Him in all trouble and anguish as well as in time of consolation. Even if He never sent them consolation, they would still praise Him and give thanks.
3. Oh how powerful is the pure love of Jesus, when not mixed with self-interest or self-love! Are not they to be called hirelings who always look for comforts? And they who think only of their own advantage, do they not show themselves to be lovers of self rather than of Christ? Where will a person be found ready to serve God without looking for a reward?
(from) The Imitation of Christ. Book 2: Considerations for the Interior Life