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The Imitation of Christ (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – September 18, 2003
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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
This book is great for Bible study. It is truly inspirational and a wonderful guide to life with Christ. I highly recommend.Published 3 days ago by Grisell Rooney
one of my favorite books. Even one single chapter of this book is enough to make people see the true side of the life. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Fariborz
Recently during some time off and a personal retreat I took, I was able to read through a classic work of much renown. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. Read morePublished 11 days ago by @joemcfddn
I like this book, because show me the reality the passion of the flesh,and how the Lord Jesus Christ help us,with his grace to overcame the flesh and be more like HimPublished 11 days ago by idalia delgadillo
This spiritual classic simplifies the spiritual life and how one can know God. Proof of God's existence and how as ordinary humans, we can experience what the Saints know is... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Surendra Surujdeo-maharaj