De Imitatio Christi!

Anyone here who reads or read De Imitatio Christ?
Has it helped you? It says that you should avoid talking too much with people and focus on at least dealing with one sin at a time. This is message I’ve gotten so far.

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It is a great book that contains a lot of wisdom and spiritual advice. Keep on reading it.

I’ve read it multiple times and each time something new and relevant surfaces.

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Always a great read. I have a small copy I used to carry with me.

Yes, I have read it a couple years ago and am now reading it for a second time now. It usually takes me a while to read through it as I only read 1 chapter at a time, then reflect/meditate upon it. I have the smaller pocket size version. Definitely one of my favorites!

I’m fond of the Knox translation. :blue_heart:

It’s best chewed in small bites. It’s very densely packed with good advice. Some of it is more pertinent to community/religious life-- but we’re all able to cull out the bits that apply to us in our own stations.

Sounds good.
When you meditate on it do you ever feel that the book was written by canons regular or a monk (in my forward they say the authour isnt necessarily a Kempis)? I mean, we take the message but look at it from a little different perspective as we live outside a monastery/priory?

I really liked the idea of focus on one sin. The message is there in one of the early chapters. What do you think about it? Ever tried that?

Are translations really that different from eachother? I only rwad the swedish version

There are some online versions .

And an audio version translation by William Benham (1831-1910).

A year or two ago, we were sharing different versions. With famous passages, you have an opinion about how they ought to sound, so we skipped ahead to Book One, Chapter 2…

The Knox Translation:

On Taking a Low View of Oneself
As for knowledge, it comes natural to all of us to want it; but what can knowledge do for us, without the fear of God? Give me a plain, unpretentious farm-hand, content to serve God; there is more to be made of him than of some conceited University professor who forgets that he has a soul to save, because he is so busy watching the stars. To know yourself-- that means feeling your own worthlessness, losing all taste for human praise. If my knowledge embraced the whole of creation, what good would it do me in God’s sight? It is by my actions that he will judge me.

The Croft/Bolton translation:

The Second Chapter
Having a Humble Opinion of Self
EVERY man naturally desires knowledge2; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars.3 He who knows himself well becomes mean in his own eyes and is not happy when praised by men.
If I knew all things in the world and had not charity, what would it profit me before God Who will judge me by my deeds?

From a translation by P.G. Zomberg by Dunstan Press 1985:

“How to cultivate the virtue of true humility.
Each of us has a natural curiosity about the world we live in. But we need to ask ourselves what our knowledge is worth if we do not know our true relationship to the Creator. It is clear that the lowly peasant who lives as a child of God is more to be admired than the learned astronomer who can plot the movements of the stars but who completely neglects his spiritual life. If man knows himself well and truly, he sees and admits his weaknesses and faults; and he does not glory in any praise that others may give him. So I must consider, for example, that if I am very learned but not charitable, my knowledge will be of precious little use to me when I come to stand before the God who will judge my life.”

From a 1977 Catholic Book Publishing edition, edited by Clare Fitzpatrick:

“On Having a Humble Opinion of Oneself.
Knowledge is a natural desire in all people. But knowledge for its own sake is useless unless you fear God. An unlearned peasant, whose contentment is the service of God, is far better than the learned and the clever, whose pride in their knowledge leads them to neglect their souls while fixing their attention on the stars. True self-knowledge makes you aware of your own worthlessness and you will take no pleasure in the praise of others. If your knowledge encompasses the universe and the love of God is not in you, what good will it do you in God’s sight? He will judge you according to your actions.”

Translated by William Creasy, Ave Maria Press, 1989.

Everyone naturally wishes to have knowledge, but what good is great learning unless it is accompanied by a feeling of deep awe and profound reverence toward God? Indeed, a humble farmer who serves God is better than a proud philosopher, who, neglecting himself, contemplates the course of the heavens. The person who truly knows himself seems common in his own eyes, and the good things that others may say about him do not change the way he thinks about himself. If I knew everything in the world and did not have love, what good would it do me before God, who will judge me by what I have done?

My Imitation of Christ

All men naturally desire to know, but what does knowledge avail without the fear of God.
Indeed an humble husbandman that serves God, is better than a proud philosopher, who neglecting himself, considers the course of the heavens…

“The Complete Imitation of Christ” by Paraclete Press (ISBN: 978-1-55725-810-6). This was translated by Father John-Julian, OJN. (with lots of notes, with the Kempis text on the right-hand page, but the translator puts his notes on the left page to give a sense of history. Also marks the Kempis text with a symbol so you can see when the original Latin was in rhyme.)

All people by their nature desire knowledge. But what good is knowledge without the fear of God? Better a humble peasant who fears God than an arrogant philosopher who neglects his soul while he concentrates on the movement of the heavens…

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