Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thoughtful Thomas a Kempis

For more information on Thomas a Kempis and the source of this image, go to Society of Saith Pius X in Canada.

Last year I purchased a copy of Thomas a Kempis's "The Imitation of Christ" for my husband as a Christmas present. The reprint I have of this text was originally published in 1418. In the introduction, Steven James explains Thomas's writing and life to be a catalyst for reader to embrace, "...the "Jesus life" (as) one of faith rather than sight, simplicity rather than extravagance, moderation rather than indulgence, sacrifice rather than acquisition, and risking the ways of God rather than settling into the soul-numbing security of the ways of the world."

I'm only three short chapters into this text and feel Thomas's words and ideas directly challenging my perspectives ,yet compassionately inspiring authenticity in growth in learning how to closer walk with Christ in daily life. There is a great deal to contemplate in this short volume, so don't let it's brevity allow you to rush the reading, and thinking and reading again.

The following are excerpts from the text that already are working on my heart and mind.

"Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. (Pg. 1)"

"Often recall the proverb: "The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear filled with hearing." Try, moreover to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. (Pg. 2)"

"O God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You in love everlasting. I am often wearied by the many things I hear and read, but in You is all that I long for. Let the learned be still, let all creation be silent before You; You alone speak to me. (Pg. 6)"

"This ought to be our purpose, then: to conquer self, to become stronger each day, to advance in virtue. (Pg. 6)"

"Humble knowledge of self is a surer path to God than ardent pursuit of learning. Not that learning is to be considered evil, or knowledge, which is good in itself and so ordained by God; but a clean conscience and virtuous life ought always to be preferred. Many often err and accomplish little or nothing because they try to become learned rather than to live well... If only their lives had kept pace with their learning, then their study and reading would have been worthwhile. (Pg. 7)"

To find a copy of this text, go to Relevant Books or

Have you read this text? If so, what are your thoughts and how have it's insights illuminated your faith walk?

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