[Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ]
Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, quotes

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Thomas a Kempis
Of the Imitation of Christ

  The content of the book we know today as the Of the Imitation of Christ was first circulated about 1425 A.D., at which time its authorship was not made public.

  In 1441 however Thomas a Kempis formally affirmed that he was the author of the some thirteen works including the four books that were subsequently associated in the Imitation of Christ.

  It appears that the content today associated under the title Of the Imitation of Christ was not so associated under that title by Thomas a Kempis but that an appreciative posterity is actually responsible for associating these four books under a title that is derived from the first words of the first chapter Die Imitatione Christi.

  What posterity regards as Thomas a Kempis "work" is heavily imbued with a sincere mysticism where the individual human spirit is encouraged to seek to make progress towards the Divine.

  Some of Thomas a Kempis other works achieve similar heights of sincere and palpable mysticism to the Die Imitatione Christi itself.

  Die Imitatione Christi which has become established as the second most widely read Christian text after the Bible holds the distinction of enjoying a high degree of respect across many strands of Christendom.

Some quotes and quotations from
Thomas a Kempis spiritual work
Of the Imitation of Christ

    Sic transit gloria mundi.
( Thus the glory of the world passes away.)

[Imitation of Christ]

    Man proposes but God disposes.

    Of two evils the less is always to be chosen.

  The more a man is united within himself and interiorly simple, the more and higher things doth he understand without labour; because he receiveth the light of understanding from above.

  Happy is that soul, which heareth the Lord speaking within her, and from His mouth receiveth the word of comfort.
  Happy ears, which receive the strains of the divine whisper, and take no notice of the whisperings of the world .
  Happy ears indeed, which hearken to truth itself teaching within, and not to the voice which soundeth without.
  Happy eyes, which are shut to outward things, but are attentive to things interior.
  Happy they, who penetrate into internal things, and endeavour to prepare themselves more and more by daily exercises for attaining to heavenly secrets.


    Other quotations from a translation prepared by the Rt. Rev. R. Challoner can be found on our Christian mysticism page and our "Other" spiritual insights page.

  A more modern translation prepared by Abbot Justin McCann is particularly recommended.



Introductory quotations
Christian mysticism
Of the Imitation of Christ
& the wider World


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Thomas a Kempis
Of the Imitation of Christ