The Imitation of Christ Thomas A Kempis VII

Book III Of Inner Comfort

Longest of 3 books

Ideas Presented as a Q&A dialogue between disciple and Jesus

Some Themes Considered

  1. Christ Himself Speaks in Our Own Heart. We have direct access.
  2. This voice is often quiet.
  3. Souls often choose not to listen.
  4. People who hear God’s voice subordinate earthly things to heavenly ones[1]
  5. Foster an Attitude of Gratitude

Gives an eye of clarity. People know it is wrong to love the gift more than the gift giver. The world is a gift not the gift giver. Bestow joy because the gift is given in love.

Book IV The Book on the Sacrament


Note the determinant of the as opposed to a. Very confident opening.

The Voice of Christ

Come to me all who labor and are burdened, and I shall refresh you. The bread that I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. Take and eat: this is my body, which is given to you. Do this in memory of me. If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will abide in me and I in you. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.[2]

Christ is the eternal truth, incapable of deceit.

Disciple’s response is to receive these words with gratitude and certainty. Acknowledgement of the powerful goodness and forthright truth.[3] This is Your (Christ’s) sacred Institution, we did not make this up.[4] Priests do what angels cannot do! Only priests duly ordained by the Church are able to celebrate Mass and consecrate the Body of Christ.[5]Angels worship in awe at the Holy Mass the incredible love and power displayed.

Note the audience Christ speaks of, those who labor and are burdened. That is all of us. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. Jesus knows this better than we do!

Even though we are objectively not worthy, our blessed Lord invites the poor and needy to approach Him in Communion.

Every time we worthily and devoutly receive the Sacrament, we enjoy the abundant fruit of eternal salvation[6]. A bold and exciting claim.

Worthily means without mortal sin (3 points grave matter, full knowledge, full consent).

Devoutly means to the best of our abilities and humbly recognizing our profound deficiencies.

Contemporary versus historical context. Modern Catholics Communion, dispensary, get Host, sit down. Jaded in over consumption of Eucharist. Worthy reception foreign. Kempis era people went to mass on Sunday, but they often refrained from Communion. The reason for the precepts of the Church about Communion & Confession.

Devout & worthy reception more of our concern rather than frequent. Admonition or warning sincerely devout & worthy reception of the Eucharist.

[1] Ibid 89

[2] Ibid 164

[3] Ibid 169

[4] Ibid 172

[5] Ibid 173

[6] Ibid 166