Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis


I know over the years there’s been many threads about this book (er, well… these books*), but it’s been several years since the last one and they’ve all obviously been closed by now. But I just wanted to say how much I love it. If anyone hasn’t read it, It’s a very deep book full of nearly invaluable lessons (although depending on the version you read, it could be difficult to understand at first). Besides the Bible, it’s the one book I read over and over again. I highly recommend it. In my opinion, second to the Bible, it’s the best book to read while meditating and doing serious soul-searching.

Who’s read it?


I’m currently reading it, though I’ve become side tracked and haven’t touched it in a few weeks. But it is a great book for any Catholic who needs some reading material for self awareness and improvement.


I read it quite a while ago and I plan to read it again in the near future


Can anyone recommend an ‘easy to read’ translation?


I enjoy the Imitation of Christ. However, I’m wary of recommending it to others. The book is intended for those in monastic life, and I don’t think the reflection contained within will be helpful for everyone, and could even lead to feelings of insecurity or excessive scrupulosity.

Again, I enjoyed it and I found it helpful and inspiring. It’s not a bad book. But it’s not something everyone can approach in a helpful way. I didn’t understand that until I discussed it with people who took it badly.


I’ve just begun,borrowing an old copy from my local church.I was so happy to see my past priest’s name on the inside cover,he past on a couple of years ago God bless him


The first translation I read of the Imitation of Christ was by P. G. Zomberg from Dunstan Press (1984), and I had no difficulty with that translation.

Recently, at a used book store I found a copy of the Saint Joseph Giant Type Edition of the Imitation of Christ from the Catholic Book Publishing Company, edited by Clare L. Fitzpatrick. It appears to be an even simpler, more straightforward translation, and the large type is a blessing too for my old eyes.

It is interesting to compare the two translations side by side.


I’ve read bits and pieces but I really need to get it and read it from cover to cover.


Actually yeah, that’s a good point. I myself have had trouble with scrupulosity and now that I think of it, the first couple times I read it I did have issues with. But I felt like I needed some discipline so I was willing to give it another chance. And over time I was able to appreciate the book for what it is.

But yeah, I suppose it’s not for everyone. I guess I’d recommend it with that one caveat.


This isn’t something I will pick up and read from cover to cover. Rather when the mood hits me I read select sections. I do the same with Saint Faustina’s Diary. As great as these two books are when I’m reading them for too long at one time I feel like I’d rather be reading and studying the Bible or Bible commentary. I know it’s not either/or but nothing is more fulfilling than the inspired word of God albeit translated.


I always get to it right before bed, so I fall right asleep after only a page or two- but the information is very valuable.


The ‘Claire L. Fitzpatrick’ edition.

Very good.


That was how I first read it too, just a page or two every morning while sitting in my car at the jobsite before work.


This is my favorite translation. Beautiful and easy to read, a great forward by Father Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R., and it is a nice small size that is easy to carry everywhere. Underneath the jacket, the hardcover is a beautifully simplistic black hardcover that is simple and not flashy, so you can remain humble when you carry it.


I’m reading it and it’s great. So much wisdom and so much to reflect on. Highly recommended.


After the Bible, the 2nd all time Christian bestseller I believe. Even a lot of Protestants read it. There is great humility in the book, I would think that is one of my major takeaways. We always or often, wish to be so vain or have our way, I think one knows what I’m trying to say.


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