Main CategoriesChrist and Mystic ChristianityChristian Classics: Ancient and Modern Imitation of Christ, The

Imitation of Christ, The

Product no.: 0-14-044027-5
For five hundred years, this gentle book, filled with the spirit of the love of God, has brought understanding and comfort to millions of readers in over fifty languages.

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Publisher's Synopsis

These meditations on the life and teachings of Jesus, written in times even more troubled and dangerous than our own, have become second only to the Bible as a guide and inspiration.

Through its realistic delineation of the complexities of human existence, and in its soul-building optimism about the benefits of aspiring to a Christ-shaped life, The Imitation of Christ clearly deserves the accolade of "Spiritual Classic." Although they were written early in the fifteenth century, the number of short meditations that comprise this work remain strikingly fresh and relevant for modern readers.

"My purpose in attempting a completely new version is to provide an accurate, unabridged and readable modern translation, and thus to introduce this spiritual classic to a wider public."   ~Leo Sherley-Price, 1952


"The author is content to be God's fool, but he is no man's fool. It is clear that he recognizes quite candidly the assaults of lust, the insistence of ambition, the corruptions of petulance, the pride of impatience. Even in a monastery he is aware that these and subtler things are distractions from 'the everlasting clearness': private loves, for instance, self-absorption in this one object, that one person; busyness, too and preoccupation. We are constantly lost among things; we are mastered by the external; we are blinded by the immediate. We do not see the eternal vision; we do not hear the eternal music because we are blinded by the here and now, deafened by loud and alien noises. And it is our lusts, our little loves, our small ambitions, our trivial irritations, our pains and our pleasures even, that prevent us from being filled with the lucidity of Heaven, that keep us from the rapture of clear union with the Divine.

Thomas a` Kempis is simply one of that long line of quietists who feel that it is external existence itself that is the great disaster. We are but strangers here; heaven is our home. No improvement in temporal conditions can overcome the essential disease of time itself. The Imitation of Christ is the little Bible of those who would go home, and find themselves in the quiet ecstasy of union with the eternal. All this monk's comments on life and the world are simply suggestions as to how to overcome the obstacles that hold us here, that hold us back, that keep us blindfolded."      ~Irwin Edman, 1943


"When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor?

How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him."

Author a Kempis, Thomas
Translator Sherley-Price, Leo
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 217 pp.
Publisher Penguin Books 1952
Gold Medal

Gold Medal


  Gold Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Christian Classics: Ancient and Modern, The Church: Doctors, Saints and Mystics, Mystic and Esoteric Christianity, Western Prayer and Contemplation, Masterworks of the Western Mystery Tradition, Gold Medal Essential Reading

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