GHDI logo

Following Christ's Example in the World – Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (c. 1418)

page 3 of 5    print version    return to list previous document      next document


Chapter 1

God’s kingdom lies within you, the Lord says.* You must turn to him, the Lord, with all your heart, and leave this wretched world behind you, if your soul is to find rest. Learn to despise this world of outward things, and devote yourself to what lies within; there, within you, you will see the coming of God’s kingdom. That’s what “God’s kingdom” means—peacefulness and rejoicing in the Holy Spirit; something denied to the irreligious. Christ is ready to come to you, with what kindness in his glance! But you must make room, deep in your heart, to entertain him as he deserves; it is for the inward eye, all the splendor and beauty of him; deep in your heart is where he likes to be. Where he finds a man whose thoughts go deep, he is a frequent visitor; such pleasant converse, such welcome words of comfort, such deep repose, such intimate friendship, are well-nigh past belief.

2. Up with you, then, faithful soul, get your heart ready for the coming of this true Lover, or he will never consent to come and make his dwelling in you; that is his own way of putting it, If a man has any love for me, he will be true to my word; and we will come to him, and make our abode with him.** You must make room for Christ, then, and shut the door upon all intruders.

If Christ is yours, then wealth is yours; he satisfies all your wants. He will look after you, manage all your affairs for you most dutifully; you will need no human support to rely on. Our human friends change so easily, fail us after such a short time! Whereas Christ abides for ever, and stands loyally, to the last, at our side.

[ . . . ]

* Luke 17. 21.
** John 14. 23.

first page < previous   |   next > last page