Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Imitation of Christ

I am reading a chapter of the book The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis each night before bed. I originally decided to do this because I was used to reading a devotional before bed and I didn't have one. It has been delightful to discover that this book is so profound and so useful. Also, I just learned that Agatha Christie's heroine, Miss Marple, also did this -- kind of a neat person to pattern myself after (even though she's fictitious).

To get the most out of the book, I decided to choose a passage that meant the most to me in the reading that night. Here are some of the highlighted selections in my thoughts about them:

Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God.
Kind of cautionary concerning writing, isn't it

A good and devout man arranges in his mind the things he has to do, not according to the whims of evil inclination but according to the dictates of right reason.
Make sure you always follow the Word rather than your feelings.

For very often, sad to say, we are so weak that we believe and speak evil of others rather than good.
Well okay...

An unmortified man is quickly tempted and overcome in small, trifling evils; his spirit is weak, in a measure carnal and inclined to sensual things; he can hardly abstain from earthly desires.
My version says the man “weak in spirit … can hardly withdraw himself altogether from earthly desires.” I am very weak, but there is hope.
True peace of heart, then, is found in resisting passions, not in satisfying them.

Enough for now. It is ennobling to read and think about these things.