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The Imitation of Christ (Vintage Spiritual Classics) Paperback – March 24, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Coincidentally (or maybe not!) I picked up this just-received book, sent to me by a dear friend who recalled my reviewing an earlier published edition of this same "Ronald Knox translation." And it literally fell open to these words,
"By all means ask questions, but LISTEN to what holy writers have to tell you . . . often enough, (when we hear) Holy Scripture, we are distracted by mere curiosity; we want to seize upon some point and argue about it, when we ought to (listen) and move on."
I flipped open "The Imitation" just now and my eyes (lately fixated on my newest pride and joy were these: (p 32 under the heading, "ABOUT SELF-CONFIDENCE, AND HOW TO GET RID OF SELF-CONCEIT")
"It is nonsense to depend for your happiness on created things (and) why all this self-importance? Do not boast of riches, if you happen to possess them . . . nor about the important friends you have; boast rather of God's friendship.
"Do not give yourself airs, if you have physical strength or beauty; it only takes a spell of illness to waste the one, or mar the other. Do not be self-satisfied about your own skill or cleverness; God is hard to satisfy, and it is from him that they come, all these gifts of nature.
"He reads our thoughts, and will only think the worse of you, if you think yourself better than other people.Read more ›
In a nutshell this book says that we are miserable because we are trying to find joy in other people and in other things and everything out there will fail us and let us down. The only thing that provides true happiness, peace and contentment is God. The Imitation of Christ goes through exercises on how we can detach ourselves from worldly things to focus on God. Once we are focused solely on God and have the faith that God will provide everything we need, then we can really enjoy the world around us. Enjoy it because once we receive true happiness from God we can see how beautiful the world is and enjoy it as the gift God created it to be, instead of something that we grab onto in the hopes that it will provide us our happiness and security.
For hundreds of years in the Church many people would carry 2 books with them; The Holy Bible and The Imitation of Christ. It is one of the greatest Catholic classics and fortunately more and more people are "rediscovering" it.
Naturally, with a spiritual classic, you want it as close to the original translation as possible. Unfortunately this translation by Clare Fitzpatrick falls very short. When you offer too many of your own edits to a work that fantastic as is, it starts to sound like a different book. It loses it's essence.
The most common English translation comes from Rev. Richard Challoner, translated in 1893....there's a reason this edition of The Imitation has been around for so long. It is simply the best. To illustrate my point that the translation of the Catholic Book Publishing edition is weak, I will simply quote the first paragraph of both translations.
The 1893 translation by Rev Challoner:
"'He that followeth me, walketh not in darkness,' saith Our Lord. (John 8:12). These are the words of Christ, by which we are admonished, that we must imitate His life and manners, if we would be truly enlightened, and delivered from all blindness of heart."
Now the edition being reviewed, edited by Clare L. Fitzpatrick:
"'No one who follows Me will ever walk in darkness (Jn 8:12).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Next to the Bible, the imitation of Christ is the greatest book ever written. I used this book for meditation and contemplation every morning. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Brother James E. Small, S.J.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the contents or the author, however.....would it be the translation or the editing? Read morePublished 6 days ago by CuteLunatic
This was the worse translation, and foolish comments I've ever come across! This actually was not Thomas a' Kempis or Imitation of Christ!Published 9 days ago by donna l. collette
When it arrived I was surprised at it's small size, but that would be my fault for not reading the description. It's not a real smooth read, but very potent and enlightening. Read morePublished 20 days ago by seek.serenity