Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Thomas À Kempis – The Imitation of Christ

I have been reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis for quite awhile and I am amazed by how simply our Catholic faith has been put into words in explaining on how to live a holy life. Since starting my new job contract about six weeks ago my frantic reading appetite has gone to almost nil. I started back up again wanting to finish reading The Imitation of Christ and I couldn't wait to post about it before I finished reading it. I have heard from many of my friends that this particular book is the second most bought, read, and quoted book after the Holy Bible. Many saints have referenced this book as their most important inspiration in attaining a holy and saintly life. Here's a short bio on Thomas À Kempis:
Thomas À Kempis (1380-1471) had a wide knowledge of the Scriptures and classical philosophy, and although most of his life was spent in a Dutch monastery, he also possessed a deep understanding of human nature. His acquired wisdom convinced him of man's complete dependence on God's love and the empty futility of life without it.
There are too many passages that I want to share, so I'll just quote the following since this struck me because of its sheer simplicity:
There are two wings that raise a man above earthly things – simplicity and purity. Simplicity must inspire his purpose, and purity his affection. Simplicity reaches out after God; purity discovers and enjoys Him. No good deed will prove an obstacle to you if you are inwardly free from uncontrolled desire. And if you are free from uncontrolled desires, and seek nothing but the Will of God and the good of your neighbor, you will enjoy this inner freedom. If your heart be right, the every created thing will become for you a mirror of life and a book of holy teaching. For there is nothing created so small and mean that it does not reflect the goodness of God.
For a soft copy of the book I am reading click here.


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