Men only see your face, but it is God who sees your heart. It would be difficult to overstate the impact this book has had on me. Hence, we talk and think quite fondly of things we like very much or of things we dislike intensely. Many times in the text, this point crescendos to suffering for the sake of suffering, rather than for any particular religious goal. Kempis' Christianity resounds with joylessness; and as one member of our book group commented, he comes across as the kind likely to be disappointed by heaven.
Therefore we must watch and pray lest time pass idly. Let the learned be still, let all creatures be silent before You; You alone speak to me. Jesus says that very few turn to God and spirituality, since they are more eager to listen to the world and desires of their flesh than to God. In retropsect, the mile stones in this journey became marked by a reading list that grew ever wider from the boundaries of my Protestant upbringing and education. Saint believed in the physical as well as the spiritual imitation of Christ, and advocated a path of poverty and preaching like Jesus who was poor at birth in the manger and died naked on the cross. We ought not to be swayed by the authority of the writer, whether he be a great literary light or an insignificant person, but by the love of simple truth. Turn you with your whole heart unto the Lord, and forsake this miserable world, and your soul shall find rest.
We ought not to ask who is speaking, but mark what is said. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, read a chapter a day from it and regularly gave away copies as gifts. That is not entirely correct. It is vanity to wish for long life and to care little about a well-spent life. Do not fawn upon the rich, and do not be fond of mingling with the great.
Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God. Again and again, scripture resounds with the reminder that we cannot exist outside of community. Otherwise, Thomas spent his time between devotional exercises, composition, and copying. The Imitation of Christ was an early influence on the spirituality of Saint , who used it in her prayer life, distilled its message and used it in her own writings which then influenced Catholic spirituality as a whole. I guess it depends on you. Thoughts Helpful in the Life of the Soul 1. Kempis writes that by ourselves we cannot bear the cross, but if we put our trust in the Lord, He will send us strength from heaven.
That is not entirely correct. Such become discontented and dejected on the slightest pretext; they will never gain peace of mind unless they subject themselves wholeheartedly for the love of God. Each of these is further subdivided into anywhere from twelve to fifty-six mini-reflections on related topics. Here, then, is the dividing line, the hinge upon which all else in the Christian life swings, and the core principle that informs our vision to amplify this simple and most fundamental aspect of the Gospel message. The man loved God and he pours out his heart on the pages. This is very deep and high.
During this time, Thomas was sent to Arnhem to care for his ailing brother. This is also good material for reflection, meditation, or any religious exercise to deepen your spiritual experience. Reading Kempis' guide to communion preparation reminds the spirit of what a contrite posture feels like, and helps one bend into that impossible pose. The venerable authors of these Spiritual Classics are expert guides--may we follow their directions home. The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. This book is in the form of a dialogue between Jesus and the disciple.
He focuses so much on his own worthlessness which is true , nevertheless he seems to revel in his worthlessness, taking pride in his worthlessness, instead of rejoicing in the fact of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. I hope to return to this book someday. The adaptation of Christian devotional literature in his Islamic work was likely the result of his being obligated to attend missionary sermons after of Muslims in Spain , and a lack of access to actual Islamic literature. A Kempis wrote this in the early 1400s! Each of these is further subdivided into anywhere from twelve to fifty-six mini-reflections on related topics. I will never claim that I am religious and that I always doubt that if I die now, I will go straight to heaven. Yes, it's really, really Catholic. For a long time after I kept a copy of Imitation close at hand and read the parts I liked constantly.
In this way, even the idea of the imitation of Christ does not become the dominant perspective. They took their spirituality seriously back then. I read bits and parts of it as I needed. On the day of judgment, surely, we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done; not how well we have spoken but how well we have lived. Author Biography Thomas a Kempis was born near Dusseldorf in 1380. The only man who can safely appear in public is the one who wishes he were at home. You need to do that yourself.