Thoughts on the Misery of Man. Judgment and the Punishment of Sin. Zeal in Amending our Lives.
Goodness and Peace in Man. Purity of Mind and Unity of Purpose. The Joy of a Good Conscience. Loving Jesus Above All Thing s. The Intimate Friendship of Jesus. Wanting No Share in Comfort. Few Love the Cross of Jesus. The Royal Road of the Holy Cross.
Many Do Not Heed Them. The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love. The Proving of a True Lover. Self-Abasement in the Sight of God. Is it at all possible to reconcile such teachings with worldly success? Thomas wrote his Imitation for his fellow monks and it is based on the monastic life. How can we who are not living in monasteries, but rather very much in the world, use his precepts to grow closer to God and to attain inner peace? Which of the principles here are easiest to adapt to the busy lives we lead at the end of the 20th century, which most difficult?
Like Benedict, Thomas encourages the practice of silence and the setting aside of time for prayer and deep personal reflection [pp. What are the parallels in our contemporary lives to "listening to idle news and gossip" [p. What time-wasting activities can we learn to do without, in order to make time for solitude and meditation? How does the Christian monastic practice of silence and meditation compare with that of Eastern religions like Buddhism? If you are familiar with "mindfulness meditation" or meditation as practiced by Buddhists, what is similar and what is different between these Asian-based approaches and the Christian monastic approach?
Thomas addresses the most difficult question of all, perhaps: How do you respond to such a radical challenge? What particular insights into human intimacy did you find most useful? No, it's most definitely not pro-woman. Even so, I think Jesus meant it when he said to deny ourselves and take up our crosses daily but mention that to a modern evangelical and watch them recoil in horror.
This little book calls the reader to a life of intensity and discipline in following Christ. It's not comforting or particularly warm and it makes no accommodations. Yo It would be difficult to overstate the impact this book has had on me. You need to do that yourself. Honestly I can't even recommend it to very many people because it's so hard core.
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis - Cyber Library
If you're a nominal Christian who likes feel-good sermons and that book about the little boy who goes to Heaven, bless you but skip this one. Try Dennis Okholm's "Monk Habits for Everyday People" if you want to get all monastic but think denying yourself means not sleeping in on Sunday. I'm serious, it's a good book. I think I gave it 4 stars. There's a lot of chaff, let that go but hold on tightly to the wheat. It will nourish you.
Feb 12, Kristen rated it it was amazing. Currently reading and re-reading for the rest of my life. Anyone who embraces the wisdom in this book and lives by its precepts, will be a happy and content person.
Thomas à Kempis
Imitation of Christ was written by a Benedictine monk around Our world will never change until we, collectively, change our heart attitudes. View all 3 comments. Oct 11, Sheldon rated it it was amazing Shelves: If anyone can claim the credentials to be a "card carrying evangelical", it's me.
Born and raised Church of the Nazarene.
Saved at grandma's Methodist church camp. Baptized, second-act-of-grace santicfication, Youth for Christ trained, Billy Graham crusade foot soldier. It is a membership that lasted well over forty years. But by the end of the presidential campaign, if there had been somewhere I could go and turn in my card, I would have gladly done so. By that time the word "evangelical" If anyone can claim the credentials to be a "card carrying evangelical", it's me.
By that time the word "evangelical" had pretty much lost any sense of religious identification for me. It had been almost completely co-opted by Republican political operatives and Christian Fundamentalists with whom I had little or no sense of theological community.
The Imitation of Christ Reader’s Guide
In retrospect, my departure from mainstream evangelicalism had starting years earlier, when I discovered the Social Justice wing of the church, which, in my own view, remained Protestant and Wesleyan. But as I grew old and crusty, my faith journey started to take some strange twists and turns. 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. This book shelf, "Evangelical Escape Pod" is actually a literary history of books that have brought me to a place that would probably send my Nazarene Sunday School teachers into a frenzy of Wednesday night Prayer Meeting intersession or possibly intervention.
It began with this book, "The Imitation of Christ", which I first read probably sometime in the late 80s. It was the first sharp departure from my Prtotestant Reformation comfort zone, and began a long, slow and still evolving transformation Dec 09, Tara rated it it was amazing Shelves: When I do not remember who to be, or how to live, or what to think, then it is best for me to recall this book.
But perhaps all the times I have not done so have made the moments where the mists clear and I do find it all the better. I do not think it is possible to create a piece of art that could help people as much as this book. That is no loss, though. The same thing does not need to be said a thousand times - it only needs to be really heard, and then lived. This is, for me, the summation o When I do not remember who to be, or how to live, or what to think, then it is best for me to recall this book.
This is, for me, the summation of human talent and wisdom. What is philosophy, or science, or politics, or art, or culture for, if not to live well? Almost every discussion I've seen of living well has lacked so terribly much. It is, perhaps, impossible. But the path he points to seems, to me, to be the most true. And perhaps that is why it so hard, because we do not want to hear the truth. Still we can know it, for its frailest fruits are more valuable, peaceful, brave, and beautiful than the greatest cities of luxuries.
Jul 18, Brian rated it it was amazing Shelves: I read this back in Although I don't agree with much of the theology presented by a Kempis, I found the book beautiful and moving. The man loved God and he pours out his heart on the pages. He also writes what he believes Jesus tells him in response. The book brought tears to my eyes a few times.
Nov 13, Ellen rated it liked it. For someone who goes so far wrong sometimes and he really does , when a Kempis gets things right, he hits the nail dead on the head. There were definitely things that I didn't agree with in this book, but the main, overarching themes -- the supreme importance of God, dying to self, not attaching oneself to earthly things, not pursuing knowledge for knowledge's sake -- are absolute, incontrovertible truth.
These ideas can certainly be wrongly applied, and he did definitely stray too far in the d For someone who goes so far wrong sometimes and he really does , when a Kempis gets things right, he hits the nail dead on the head. These ideas can certainly be wrongly applied, and he did definitely stray too far in the direction of asceticism and dualism, but he's still absolutely right when he says, "Help me to know continually that there can be no true happiness, no fulfilling of thy purpose for me, apart from a life lived in and for the Son of thy love.
In spite of its flaws I won't even get into his ideas about the Eucharist , it spoke to me where I was at, and the Lord used it to solidify some very important lessons in my mind. You just have to chew the meat and spit out the bones -- and after all, that's going to be true of even the best books by the most orthodox authors. Truly, when the day of judgment comes, we shall not be examined as to what we have read, but what we have done Matt. Aug 30, Erin rated it really liked it Shelves: This is one of the heaviest books I've ever read in the realm of christian thought. Each page chapter has to be digested individually thus the snail's pace taken to get through it and meditated upon afterwards in order to get the full effect.
It's definitely a book to own, as I could easily see how you could read it once a year for the rest of your life and still get something meaningful and enlightening out of it each time. It just occurred to me to revisit the preface and sure enough I di This is one of the heaviest books I've ever read in the realm of christian thought. It just occurred to me to revisit the preface and sure enough I discovered my justification in slow reading pace and heaviness of text: From the very earliest accounts of monastic practice it is evident that a form of reading called lectio divina was essential to any deliberate spiritual life.
This kind of reading is quite different from that of scanning a text for useful facts and bits of information, or advancing along an exciting plot line to a climax in the action. It is, rather, a meditative approach, by which the reader seeks to taste and savor the beauty and truth of every phrase and passage. One of my parents' closest friends, who has remained one of my close friends even after watching me grow up she's a saint , has recently started posting memes on facebook of the "religion is what you have when you fear the world; spirituality is what you have when you love life" variety.
Now, there is something to be said for skepticism about organized religion. But this book accidentally makes an argument for skepticism about disorganized religion. The Imitatio has been very influential, so I One of my parents' closest friends, who has remained one of my close friends even after watching me grow up she's a saint , has recently started posting memes on facebook of the "religion is what you have when you fear the world; spirituality is what you have when you love life" variety.
The Imitatio has been very influential, so I thought I'd give it a read, more or less for its historical interest. I have no idea how this might work as actual spiritual food, but I do know what it looks like intellectually: A large part of doing so, it turns out, is ignoring everyone else and looking into yourself. No doubt the authors didn't intend to make such a statement--my second suspicion is that the book really was meant to be more like 'tips for how to get along in a religious community' than 'groundwork for spiritual practices.
This edition is very well done; it reads clearly, the notes are exhaustive and even if you know literally nothing about the middle ages, bible or Christianity you will rarely be lost. But I think I'd rather read an Imitation of St.
View all 6 comments. Somehow I am cheered that this is one of the best-selling Christian devotional books in history, though I imagine it has fallen down the list in recent years. Not that market penetration has anything to do with the reality of devotional life, but this is a serious work that calls the believer to a life of intense and disciplined following after Jesus. Taken from the Catholic monastic-like setting of the Brethren of the Common Life in the early 15th century it does feel medieval and Catholic at t Somehow I am cheered that this is one of the best-selling Christian devotional books in history, though I imagine it has fallen down the list in recent years.
Taken from the Catholic monastic-like setting of the Brethren of the Common Life in the early 15th century it does feel medieval and Catholic at times in its deference to authority, its value of community, its welcoming of suffering, its adoration of the Eucharist , but also overflows with a personal and experiential faith that also feels modern heart religion, individualistic, dualistic in its divisions of the physical and spiritual world. The book works against pride, seeks the benefit of the brother, and always wants Christ first.
Its goals are lofty, but its understanding of human nature is deep. All of the four books into which this book is divided are useful, but I found the first book hit particularly close to my condition and will be dipping into it again and again which is the way it should be read anyway - bit by bit with room for reflection.
Sep 24, Malcolm Mark rated it really liked it. This is very deep and high. Most of the theological and spiritual concepts are high theology and spirituality, however you can find practical concepts or thoughts that you can apply in your life. If you have good pastoral psychology background, hence, this will be a good book for you This is also good material for reflection, meditation, or any religious exercise to deepen your spiritual experience.
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I have read the Spanish translation of this book which is closer to the original Latin manuscr This is very deep and high. I have read the Spanish translation of this book which is closer to the original Latin manuscript written by Tomas e'Kempis. However, to be very careful in reading this book because this is basically personal reflection of Tomas e'Kempis. When you read this book you gotta have read the author's background esp.
I highly recommend this to people who have good theological and psychological education, and mature spiritual experience. Yet, I highly discourage people to read this book, those who have high religiosity but poor spirituality. Aug 09, Jeremy rated it it was amazing Shelves: The call of this book is very high, urging a devotion to Christ that utterly smashes our love for ourselves and for this world. That might be a familiar message in churches today, but this volume illustrates it in concrete, palpable ways that grate against the listening soul.