Great Ideas Inner Life (Penguin Great Ideas)

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9780141018843: Great Ideas Inner Life (Penguin Great Ideas)

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.

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About the Author:

Thomas A Kempis was born at Kempen near Dusseldorf in 1380. He wrote many devotional works, of which his masterpiece is The Imitation of Chritst. He died in 1471.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

BOOK ONE
Counsels on the Spiritual Life


CHAPTER I
On the Imitation of Christ

‘He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,' says Our Lord.

In these words Christ counsels us to follow His life and way if we desire true enlightenment and freedom from all blindness of heart. Let the life of Jesus Christ, then, be our first consideration.

The teaching of Jesus far transcends all the teachings of the Saints, and whosoever has His spirit will discover concealed in it heavenly manna. But many people, although they often hear the Gospel, feel little desire to follow it, because they lack the spirit of Christ. Whoever desires to understand and take delight in the words of Christ must strive to conform his whole life to Him.

Of what use is it to discourse learnedly on the Trinity, if you lack humility and therefore displease the Trinity? Lofty words do not make a man just or holy; but a good life makes him dear to God. I would far rather feel contrition than be able to define it.

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