The Imitation of Christ Thomas A Kempis IV

Book I Useful Reminders of the Spiritual Life: Thesis Statement: (Why for Kempis) The Imitation of Christ is a guidebook to a life of holiness whose end is God; the context in which we make the journey is the limited span of our earthly life

Chapter 1

Most important thing we do reflect on the life of Jesus Christ (Rosary)[1]

Lofty words and knowing theological terms does not make a person holy. Rather it is a virtuous life that makes one dear to the Lord. Direct all effort to attaining the kingdom of heaven.

So, is Kempis then saying, theology has no value? Not at all.

This is one example of recalling who his audience is. Young men who might be struggling in philosophy, theology, and the rigors of monastic life. Faith seeking understanding should be evidenced by a holy life. The fruit is virtue.

It has been my observation that women in particular need to be able to articulate ideas. If they can’t, they then judge the ideas as unimportant. Studying a bit of theology helps one to articulate sublime ideas better and gives greater confidence in understanding.

Premise brought in is generally the one taking out. Lofty ideas flow from Imitation of Christ. Ideas become more understanding when one who lives in Life of the Spirit.

Order of holiness, philosophy will come after knowing Sophia is a Person, Wisdom.

Thomas goes on in Chapter 3 to make this very point

Knowledge is not to be blamed, nor is the simple understanding of anything which is good in itself and which is made so by God, but a good conscience and a virtuous life are always to be put first.[2]

Sorrowfully, I am reminded of the foreword to my Catholic Encyclopedia written by McCarrick. McCarrick the abusing sodomite knew theology.

Satan knows Scriptures best. Knowledge is not causality. Virtue proceeds knowledge.

Chapter 4 succinctly restates this point. A good life makes a person wise in God’s life and experienced in many things.[3

Pacifism is not God’s peace

Kempis defines true peace, peace beyond all understanding, flowing from a spiritual person aglow with God’s love.[4]

Chapter 7

Physical Vanity

Do not brag about the size or beauty of your body, which a little sickness can spoil and disfigure.[5]

Recalling thesis statement and title of the book I Useful Reminders of the Spiritual Life: TS [The Imitation of Christ is a guidebook to a life of holiness whose end is God; the context in which we make the journey is the limited span of our earthly life]

Chapter 11

The greatest hindrance to our spiritual development- indeed the whole hindrance- is that we allow our passions and desires to control us, …. We are too quickly dejected, and we turn to other people for comfort instead of God.[6]

Before the fall, our faculties were well ordered thusly

Intellect, will, passions all working in harmony

After the Lapsarian event

Kempis truly says our passions rule, subverts the will which then distorts our intellect with justification of evil doing. Then we quickly find ears to justify our disordered actions.

Admonitions Profitable for the Spiritual Life Sara’ title

Admonished not something we like. Kempis addressing young men. Fall causing rupture with order. Hard for us to put things first. Want wealth, dessert but don’t want process. Want wisdom but don’t want to work or suffer.

Kempis put all of self in passions, passing, earthly ruled by intellect look to heavenly things.

Spirit aglow. Award given undeserved is not aglow. Contempt for world love for Christ, rightly ordered

[1] Ibid 30

[2] Ibid 33

[3] Ibid 35

[4] Ibid 36

[5] Ibid 36

[6] Ibid 39