New York: Robert Appleton Company. Two similar series of these sermons are extant tr. Just as desiring nothing outside you produces internal peace within you, so the internal renunciation of yourself unites you to God. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Marie Jutras. In The Imitation, Thomas combines a painfully accurate analysis of the soul with a clear vision of the fullness of the divine life. All flesh is grass, and all its glory shall fade like the flower in the field.
Agnes had dwelt meanwhile in a of Lunenkerk, which they reformed and affiliated to Windesheim. Incredible as it may sound, the very existence of Giovanni Gersen of Vercelli is yet to be proved. A classic in every state of the word, The Imitation of Christ places the fruit of one man's single-minded devotion to God's calling on his life within the reach of every reader. The archives of his congregation simply say that he passed after an illness. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There he became the prior's assistant, charged with instructing novices in the spiritual life.
Thomas a Kempis was not a haphazard follower of Jesus. This scheme was carried into effect after his untimely death, at the early age of forty-three, by the foundation of the congregation of Windesheim, as it was afterwards called from the tract of land where the first was established 1386. He was twice elected subprior, and once he was made procurator. As you may see from an earlier reply to a comment, history seems confused on the manner and time of his death. The reference is from the Catholic Encyclopedia: Two centuries after the Reformation, during which the priory was destroyed, the holy remains were transferred to Zwolle and enclosed in a handsome reliquary by Maximilian Hendrik, Prince-Bishop of Cologne. This scheme was carried into effect after his untimely death, at the early age of forty-three, by the foundation of the congregation of Windesheim, as it was afterwards called from the tract of land where the first priory was established 1386. He alone can safely speak who prefers to be silent.
Several sources of authority, including members of his own order, name Kempis as the author, and various contemporary manuscripts, including one autograph codex, bear his name. Let it be the most important thing we do, then, to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ. Learning from those who have walked the path and fought the fight brings wisdom and strengthens resolve. The approach taken in the Imitation is characterized by its emphasis on the interior life and withdrawal from the world, as opposed to an active imitation of Christ by other friars. Throughout the book, Thomas's advice is consistent: Do not trust yourself, do not indulge yourself, do not put yourself forward; instead put your full trust in God and, out of love for God's will, yield to all the circumstances of life into which God places you.
Blessed and true is that comfort which is derived inwardly from the Truth. Do not ask, 'Who said this? The house had been established only the previous year, and as yet there were no claustral buildings, no garden, no benefactors, no funds. The reason assigned by an ancient biographer for the latter appointment is one that does honor both to Thomas and his brethren, his love for the poor. Jesus says that very few turn to God and spirituality, since they are more eager to listen to the world and desires of their flesh than to God. May we all commit to be this effective in our emulation of Jesus. This book is in the form of a dialogue between Jesus and the disciple. On his arrival, however, he learned that he had gone two years since with five other Brothers of the Common Life to lay the foundations of a new congregation of Canons Regular at Windesheim, about twenty miles from Deventer, where he then went and was lovingly received by his brother who provided him with a letter of introduction to the superior of the Brothers of Common Life at Deventer, Florentius Radewyn.
Then for two hundred years no serious attempt was made to dispossess à Kempis of his title; but early in the seventeenth century a fierce and prolonged controversy was commenced with the object of establishing the claim of either , Chancellor of , or of his Italian variant, Giovanni Gerson, alleged of. But a wise man who is well taught in spiritual labor stands unshaken in all such things, and heeds little what he feels, or from what side the wind of instability blows. Saint believed in the physical as well as the spiritual imitation of Christ, and advocated a path of poverty and preaching like Jesus who was poor at birth in the manger and died naked on the cross. Love flies, runs, leaps for joy; it is free and unrestrained. References to this concept and its practice are found in the earliest Christian documents, such as the. The Great Schism tore the church apart, seating one pope in Rome and another in Avignon. He does not describe the spiritual life in a linear way, as if one step precedes another, but instead repeats and embellishes themes, like a symphonic composer.
Thomas à Kempis's 1441 autograph manuscript of the book is available at the Bibliothèque Royale in Brussels. It is impossible to exaggerate the influence of those years in the formation of his character. A few words on Thomas' claim, once disputed but now hardly so, to the authorship of the. Latin text with apparatus and front matter in Italian. Modern photo of , where took root. Kempis writes that in this spiritual is conferred, the soul's strength is replenished, and the recipient's mind is fortified and strength is given to the body debilitated by sin. This is done to determine the state of the body, looking for signs of incorruptibility.
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, and provided them with a source of heart-felt personal prayer. They took no , but lived a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience, as far as was compatible with their state, some in their own homes and others, especially , in community. Do not be proud, nor over joyful, nor foolishly presumptuous; rather, be the more humble for this gift, more cautious, and more prudent in all your doings, for this hour will pass, and temptation will follow it. The Imitation was written within the Devotio Moderna community, as it was flourishing in Northern Europe, but grew far beyond that movement which came to an end with the. A dispute had arisen in connexion with an appointment to the vacant See of and an was upon the land.