Saturday, October 21, 2006

"Imitation of Christ" by Fr T. Kempis is the book which together with "Holy Scriptures" was devoutly used by St Therese of the Child Jesus, for her daily meditations. In the "Apologetic Catholic Catechism" (1932 edition) we read in the chapter providing useful advice for those desiring to strengthen their will in determination to fight temptations, overcome addictions, recognise their imperfections and faults, that they should often meditate on the Passion of Christ and strive to imitate our Lord with the help of "Holy Scriptures" based meditations on His life. For the good of those admirable souls I decided to include in Devotion Corner the fragments of "Imitation of Christ" by Fr T Kempis and also on Fridays the fragments from another book by Fr Kempis entitled "On the Passion of Christ - according to four Evangelists, Prayers and Meditations" (Ignatius Press 2004). May God bless abundantly all those who are truly determined and genuine in their desire to progress on the way of Christian perfection and may Our Lady, all the Angels and Saints and particularly St Therese pray for them!

All fragments taken from "My Imitation of Christ" by Thomas a Kempis
Revised translation edited by Confraternity of the Precious Blood, Imprimatur Thomas Edmundus Molloy, Archbishop of Brooklyn, 1954

Book One - useful adminishes for a Spiritual Life

Chapter 1
The Imitation of Christ, and the Contempt of All the Vanities of the World.

1. "He that followeth me, walketh not in darkness", saith our Lord. -John viii, 12. These are the words of Christ, by which we are admonished, that we must imitate his life and manners, if we would be truly enlightened, and delivered from all blindness of heart. Let it then be our chief study to meditate on the life of Jesus Christ.
2. The doctrine of Christ surpasseth all the doctrines of the saints; and whosoever hath His Spirit will find therein a hidden manna -Apoc. ii, 17
But it happeneth that many, by frequent hearing of the Gospel, are very little affected: because they have not the spirit of Christ. But He who would fully and feelingly understand the words of Christ, must study to make his whole life conformable to that of Christ.
3.What doth it avail thee to discourse profoundly of the Trinity if thou be void of humility, and consequently, displeasing to the Trinity?
In truth, sublime words make not a man holy and just: but a virtous life maketh him dear to God. I would rather feel compunction than know its definition. If thou didst know the whole Bible by heart, and the saying of all the philosophers, what would it all profit thee without the love of God and His grace?
"Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity"-Eccles. 1,2, except to love God and serve Him alone.This is the highest wisdom, by dispising the world to tend to heavenly kingdoms.
4.It is vanity, therefore, to seek after riches which must perish and to trust in them. It is vanity also to be ambitious of honours, and to rise one's self to a high station. It is vanity to wish to follow the lusts of the flesh and to desire that for which thou must afterwards be grievously punished. It is vanity to wish for a long life and not to look forward unto those things which are to come. It is vanity to love that which passed with all speed and not to hasten thither where everlasting joy remained.
5. Often remember that proverb: The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing-Eccles. I, 8
Study, therefore, to withdraw from thy heart the love of visible things, and to turn thyself to things invisible. For they that follow their sensuality defile their conscience and lose the grace of God.

Reflection:All these I will give thee. Matt. 4,9"Vanity of vanities and all is vanity" except to love God and serve Him alone.