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The Imitation of Christ

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  15,377 Ratings  ·  622 Reviews
One of the best-loved books of Christianity after the Bible, now in a new translation
 

A passionate celebration of God and his love, mercy, and holiness, The Imitation of Christ has inspired conversion and stimulated religious devotion for more than five hundred years. With great personal conviction, the medieval monk Thomas à Kempis demonstrates the individual’s reliance
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Paperback, 217 pages
Published December 30th 2005 by Penguin (first published 1418)
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Kevin I've got a Kindle version, translated by Robert Jeffery. It's published under Penguin Classics. I liked it a lot, but haven't read any others to…moreI've got a Kindle version, translated by Robert Jeffery. It's published under Penguin Classics. I liked it a lot, but haven't read any others to compare.
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David
Oct 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘You can get used to anything,’ chuckled a retired SS captain in a documentary recently about his posting to Auschwitz, after he’d described how the bodies in the gas chambers always formed a perfect pyramid, with its apex at the grille in the roof. We might take issue with this particular instance of ‘anything’, but the fact remains that human beings are amazingly adaptable when it comes to pushing the psychological boundaries. The initial shock of a new and unpleasant experience fairly quickly ...more
Chris
Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic. Not everyone's cup of tea. Demanding and ascetic, the upward road to salvation. No platitudes here and calming words, just the raw grain of uneasy truth. Handle with caution.
booklady
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone and everyone!
Recommended to booklady by: high school teacher
The Imitation of Christ consists of four ‘books’. One each on:
1.) Good advice on the life of Christian faith;
2.) The interior life of the follower of Christ;
3.) Spiritual comfort; and
4.) Reflections on the Eucharist.

Each of these is further subdivided into anywhere from twelve to fifty-six mini-reflections on related topics. The third and longest book—the one on ‘spiritual comfort’—is my personal favorite. Even though it’s been over forty years since the first time I read Imitation I vividl
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Rebekah Disch
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: always-reading
This is my go-to daily read I've carried around for the last few years, and it never gets old. When I need a good kick in the butt, I read Kempis. His excerpts are short but pack so much truth, and I can't tell you how many times I've just cried over his words as God has used this book to convict me of my self-exaltation and pride, and how the mercy of God meets us in our repentant and contrite hearts.
K.D. Absolutely
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Jose Rizal
This book is said to be written by a monk for monks. So, it talks about things that a normal human being like me, or probably like most of us who read for pleasure, hard to implement. Common, who among us can abandon our comfortable lives, pack another pair of clothes and join a religious organization just like what St. Francis of Assisi, Beatified Mother Teresa or the disciples of Jesus? For me they are the super-humans who are different from all of us.

I will never claim that I am religious and
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Ellie Sorota
Truly, this is a 1.5 star book in my record, but I didn't have the option. Although one of the most popular books in Christian literary history, I found this text difficult to connect with because of the jabbing absolutes and insistence on isolation. Kempis' Christianity resounds with joylessness; and as one member of our book group commented, he comes across as the kind likely to be disappointed by heaven.
The overwhelming theme of the text is suffering, that is, imitating Christ through suffe
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Karen L.
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those concerned with the inner life
Recommended to Karen L. by: my beloved husband
This book is going to forever be in either of two places in my home; my coffee table or my bedside. Reading this book this morning was like drinking deep of Christ's love. Thomas a Kempis wrote this devotion in such a way to fan the flame in our soul with beautiful gentle words. It is a book that calls one deeper and farther in to the heart of God.Psalm 42:7 sums it up: "Deep calls unto deep at the sound of thy waterfalls; All thy breakers and thy waves have rolled over me.
Kristen
Feb 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Currently reading and re-reading (for the rest of my life). Anyone who embraces the wisdom in this book and lives by its precepts, will be a happy and content person. Imitation of Christ was written by a Benedictine monk around 1429. The truth he writes of transcends centuries and applies as much to today's modern man/woman as it did back then because it addresses the issues and attitudes that lie in the human heart. Our world will never change until we, collectively, change our heart attitudes.
Elise
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, nonfiction
It would be difficult to overstate the impact this book has had on me. Yes, it's really, really Catholic. Yes, it's ascetic. No, it's most definitely not pro-woman. Even so, I think Jesus meant it when he said to deny ourselves and take up our crosses daily but mention that to a modern evangelical and watch them recoil in horror. This little book calls the reader to a life of intensity and discipline in following Christ. It's not comforting or particularly warm and it makes no accommodations. Yo ...more
Sheldon
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If anyone can claim the credentials to be a "card carrying evangelical", it's me. Born and raised Church of the Nazarene. Saved at grandma's Methodist church camp. Baptized, second-act-of-grace santicfication, Youth for Christ trained, Billy Graham crusade foot soldier. It is a membership that lasted well over forty years. But by the end of the 2004 presidential campaign, if there had been somewhere I could go and turn in my card, I would have gladly done so. By that time the word "evangelical" ...more
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  • Introduction to the Devout Life
  • The Spiritual Exercises
  • Interior Castle
  • A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
  • The Cloud of Unknowing
  • The Rule of Saint Benedict
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Fire Within: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the Gospel - On Prayer
  • The Spirit of the Liturgy
  • Abandonment to Divine Providence
  • True Devotion to Mary
  • Dark Night of the Soul
  • Revelations of Divine Love
  • Uniformity with God's Will
  • Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul
  • The Way
  • The Philokalia, Volume 1: The Complete Text
  • The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth
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Thomas Hammerken (or Hammerlein -- both mean "little hammer") / Thomas de Kempis / Thomas Hamerken von Kempen was born at Kempen (hence the "A Kempis") in the duchy of Cleves in Germany around 1380. He was educated by a religious order called the Brethren of the Common Life, and in due course joined the order, was ordained a priest, became sub-prior of his house (in the low Countries), and died 25 ...more
More about Thomas à Kempis...
“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” 288 likes
“If God were our one and only desire we would not be so easily upset when our opinions do not find outside acceptance.” 167 likes
More quotes…