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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Imitation of Christ

December 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

The Imitation of Christ Book Club

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If you read Journal of a Soul with us, you are well aware of the impact The Imitation of Christ had on Blessed Pope John XXIII. In 1898, as part of his Daily Rule, he wrote: Read carefully and thoughtfully a whole chapter, or at least a part of one, of the very devout Latin book of Thomas à Kempis. This was to be done in addition to his other daily spiritual reading. Pope John XXIII must have kept this schedule, for he referred to the book often in his journal.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux also refers to The Imitation of Christ in her autobiography, The Story of a Soul. Her constant companion from the age of 14, this book proved to have profound influence on her spiritual life.

The Imitation of Christ has the potential to change our lives as well if we read it with prayerful meditation and not as a means of filling ourselves with knowledge for knowledge sake. For this reason, we plan to take our time with this book. As we did with Journal of a Soul, we will spend 10 weeks on The Imitation of Christ, despite the fact that Imitation has 150 fewer pages.

The following paragraph is taken from the back of the Vintage Spiritual Classics edition, 1998:

“Only the Bible has been more influential as a source of Christian devotional reading than ‘The Imitation of Christ'. This meditation on the spiritual life has inspired readers from Thomas More and St. Ignatius Loyola to Thomas Merton and Pope John Paul I. Written by the Augustinian monk Thomas à Kempis between 1420 and 1427, it contains clear instructions for renouncing worldly vanities and locating eternal truths. No book has more explicitly and movingly described the Christian ideal: “My son, to the degree that you can leave yourself behind, to that degree will you be able to enter into Me.”

I’m so excited to read on the coattails of so many holy people who came before us! I pray that you’ll join us as we embark on the spiritual journey of a lifetime.

Reading Assignment:

Week 1: Book 1 Ch. 1-13

 

Read more: Previous Book Club Posts

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the SpiritualDirection.com book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at pelicansbreast.com

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