The Imitation of Christ

The Imitation of Christ

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Publisher: Dover
Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Pages: 139
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This classic of Christian devotional literature has brought understanding and comfort to millions for centuries. Both Protestants and Catholics — as well as mystics and historians of religious thought — have studied these meditations on the life and teachings of Jesus, finding in them a path to prayer and spiritual guidance. Written in a candid and conversational style, The Imitation of Christ discusses liberation from worldly inclinations, recollection as a preparation for prayer, the consolations of prayer, and the place of eucharistic communion in a devout life. With its simple, readable text, this translation will appeal to new readers as well as to those already familiar with this religious classic.

A humble farmer who serves God is more acceptable to Him than an inquisitive philosopher who, considering the constellations of heaven, willingly forgets himself.

If you see any person sin or commit any great crime openly before you, do not judge yourself to be better than he, for you know not how long you shall perservere in goodness. We are all frail, but you shall judge no man more frail than yourself.

When a man desires anything inordinately, he is at once unquiet in himself. The proud and covetous man never has rest, but the humble man and poor in spirit lives in great abundances of rest and peace.

If you have any goodness or virtue, believe firmly that there is much more goodness and virtue in others, so that you may always keep yourself in humility. No harm comes if you hold yourself worse than any other, though it may not in truth be so, but much harm results if you prefer yourself above any other, even if he is ever so great a sinner.

We might have much peace if we would not meddle with other men's sayings and doings that do not concern us. How can he long live in peace who willfully meddles with other men's business and who seeks occasions for it straightway in the world and seldom or never gathers himself together in God? Blessed be the true, simple, and humble people, for they shall have a great plentitude of a peace.

Always have a good eye to yourself, and be careful not to judge other men too easily. In judging others a man often labors in vain, often errs, and carelessly offends God, but in judging himself and his own deeds he always labors fruitfully and to his spiritual profit. We often judge according to our own heart and affections, and not according to the truth.

Study always to be patient in bearing other men's defects, for you have many in yourself that others suffer from you, and if you cannot make yourself be as you would, how may you then look to have another regulated in all things to suit your will?

We would gladly have others perfect, yet we will not amend our own faults. We desire others to be strictly corrected for their offenses, yet we will not be corrected. We dislike it that others have liberty, yet we will not be denied what we ask. We desire that others should be restrained according to the laws, yet we will in no way be restrained. And so it appears evident that we seldom judge our neighbors as we do ourselves.

If I love the world, I soon rejoice at worldly happiness and soon sorrow at adversity. If I love the flesh, I imagine often what pleases the flesh, and if I love my soul, I delight much to speak and to hear of things that are for my soul's health. And so, whatever I love, I gladly hear and speak of it, and bear the thoughts of it often in my mind.

God walks with simple people, He shows himself to humble persons, He gives understanding to those who are poor in spirit, He opens wisdom to pure, clean minds, but He hides His grace from inquisitive and proud men. Man's reason is humble and weak and soon deceived, but faith is firm and true and cannot be deceived.

When a man desire a thing too much, he at once becomes ill at ease. A proud and avaricious man never rest, whereas, he who is poor and humble of heart lives in a world of peace.

Thomas a Kempis:
Thomas a Kempis

Thomas a Kempis was a German who became a canon regular of the late medieval period in the Netherlands, and the author of The Imitation of Christ, one of the most popular and best known Christian books on devotion.

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A Must-Read Classic
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Amazing classic, but intended for monastics
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Timeless Wisdom
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