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Author Topic: The Imitation by Thomas Kemp  (Read 3393 times)
Benedict
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2021, 12:43:08 PM »

My translation (1954 by Confraternity of the Precious Blood, Brooklyn, NY but translator not identified) is difficult for me to understand or reconcile, but sometimes seems better.
Subtitle: Acquiring peace and zeal for our spiritual progress.  (Can we only be perfect temporarily through confession, forgiveness, and penance?)
We might have much peace if we would not busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others and with things which belong not to us.  (What sort of community do we share if we disregard people around us?)
Blessed are the single-hearted (?) for they shall enjoy much peace.
Do you ever have similar difficulties or concerns?  What do you do?

Hello Eschator83, happy new year.
In regard to your questions, these are a matter of context.
Can we only be perfect temporarily through confession?
Technically, perfection is a matter of love, holiness and humility.
Unless you are in mortal sin, then you are able to strive for spiritual progress and accumulate graces and virtues through good works and prayers as well as increase in sanctifying grace.
Only mortal sin stops this process and forces us to reconcile our sinful behavior with God through the Sacrament of Confession.
The second question, we might have peace if we do not busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others.
This is sound advice especially for religious and consecrated persons. Your question is unrelated to the text. A community should not be a bunch of busybodies who gossip about the faults and sins of others. However, this should not be taken to isolate oneself for God has bound us together in the Body of Christ and so we must love one another with genuine and profound love. It is important to understand the Way which stands between excessive speech and absolute silence. Gentleness and kindness are the Way which promote community and spiritually profitable relationships.
Blessed are the single hearted. Is a translation of blessed are the pure of heart. The single hearted or pure of heart have only God as the object of their adoration and are singly devoted to God, His will, the salvation of souls, the sanctification of the soul and body and the increase of the knowledge of the Lord.
To be single hearted is to have only God in your heart, He who is Absolute and Supreme Love. This singleness of heart is also called purity of heart and it is a saving quality that leads directly to the beatific vision of God in heaven. Remember, God does not cause confusion, the devil causes confusion. If you are confused it is because you are not listening to the Holy Spirit and are trying to understand the faith simply from the words you read and not from the relationship that you have with God.
God wants us to be deeply in love with Him, to love everything about Him. At all times you should consider the numberless perfections of Almighty God and the infinite charity of Christ who died out of sheer love for mankind. God loves us and we aught to love God and our neighbors because of God.
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Benedict
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2021, 10:45:16 PM »

Do you ever have similar difficulties or concerns?  What do you do?
When I have concerns I consult the works of the Saints, the Catechism of the Church and meditate on the Sacred Dogmas.
Kindle has some good collections of the works of the fathers and there are other sites that have translations of the works available and there are the papal encyclicals rich are good to read.
Saint Irenaeus says that within the Church is fullness of the truth.
"The greatest obstacle, indeed, the only obstacle, is that we are not free from passions and lusts, that we do not try to follow the perfect way of the saints." Chapter 11
The Perfect Holy Way is what we should strive after.
The Living Way of Truth, Wisdom and Love.
1 John 2:27-29
And as for you, let the unction, which you have received from him abide in you. And you have no need that any man teach you: but as his unction teacheth you of all things and is truth and is no lie. And as it hath taught you, abide in him.?
?And now, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear we may have confidence and not be confounded by him at his coming.?
?If you know that he is just, know ye, that every one also who doth justice is born of him.

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CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI
CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX!
NON DRACO SIT MIHI DUX!
VADE RETRO SATANA!
NUMQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA!
SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS
IPSE VENENA BIBAS!
All Glory Be To God!
All Praise Be To God!
For God Is Greater Than All Things!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Glory to Th
eschator83
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2021, 08:14:02 PM »

Once again my belated thanks for your wise comments.  Sometimes I feel too outspoken when my name appears too many times on the forum summary.  A few days I wrote a comment to you and got called away for something else, without having posted it.  When I got back my comment was gone, and I couldn't shake the feeling that maybe God protected me from posting a weak thought.  It concerned The Way of Paradox by Cyprian Smith, a cpmmentary on teachings of Meister Eckhart.  I'll retry my post in a separate thread when my name doesn't appear too many times on the summary.
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Benedict
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2021, 06:53:13 PM »

Once again my belated thanks for your wise comments.  Sometimes I feel too outspoken when my name appears too many times on the forum summary.  A few days I wrote a comment to you and got called away for something else, without having posted it.  When I got back my comment was gone, and I couldn't shake the feeling that maybe God protected me from posting a weak thought.  It concerned The Way of Paradox by Cyprian Smith, a cpmmentary on teachings of Meister Eckhart.  I'll retry my post in a separate thread when my name doesn't appear too many times on the summary.
Meister Eckhart was tried for heresy by Pope John XXII and subsequently condemned. Like Origen and others who were tried and convicted of heresy it is inadvisable to read their works or commentaries on their works when their are numerous orthodox and Catholic patristic works of the Fathers available for study of which are profitable  for the virtues of faith, hope and love. The Fathers lived simply and were concerned with the practice of faith by living according to the precepts of the Gospel and the Law of God and they placed their hope in  the Lord Jesus Christ and the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints that have pleased God throughout the ages. The books we read influence our thoughts and our disposition either to virtue or to sin. The best thing to read is any book, Bible or spiritual work which promotes steadfast obedience to God and firely love which cannot stand idle but bursts forth into action and fervent prayer.
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CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI
CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX!
NON DRACO SIT MIHI DUX!
VADE RETRO SATANA!
NUMQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA!
SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS
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All Glory Be To God!
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For God Is Greater Than All Things!
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eschator83
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2021, 04:20:58 PM »

Happy St Patrick's Day.  Last year, at about this time, I was just getting cleaned up after 5 bi-passes and a replacement heart valve.  Thank You God, it is amazing that I feel very good.  I think I told you somewhere I have 3-4000 books given to me by Church members during my 25-years on teams for RCIA, SCC, CCD, Christian Service, CYO, and Diocese programs.  I feel the strongest calling to read them, even when I have little hope of understanding much.  I am very grateful for your comments, whether they be confirming or denying.  I wonder if I understand correctly that the Imitation was first published anonymously, and the authorship is still frequently questioned.
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Benedict
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« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2021, 07:54:47 PM »

Happy St Patrick's Day.  Last year, at about this time, I was just getting cleaned up after 5 bi-passes and a replacement heart valve.  Thank You God, it is amazing that I feel very good.  I think I told you somewhere I have 3-4000 books given to me by Church members during my 25-years on teams for RCIA, SCC, CCD, Christian Service, CYO, and Diocese programs.  I feel the strongest calling to read them, even when I have little hope of understanding much.  I am very grateful for your comments, whether they be confirming or denying.  I wonder if I understand correctly that the Imitation was first published anonymously, and the authorship is still frequently questioned.
May God reward you graciously for your years of service and may God cause increase to all the seeds you have sown that the harvest may be plentiful.
Concerning Christian Reading:
I believe in using tiers to establish doctrine.
At the highest tier is the Gospel and the Ecumenical Councils and dogmatic works of the Fathers,
then Old Testament Readings and Scriptural Commentaries by the Holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church,
then Spiritual Writings by Saints and Mystics, and commentaries by Saints and Mystics,
and then spiritual writings by priests and religious,
then books written by legitimate but uncanonized laity for other laity and the edification of the Church.
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PAX
CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI
CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX!
NON DRACO SIT MIHI DUX!
VADE RETRO SATANA!
NUMQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA!
SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS
IPSE VENENA BIBAS!
All Glory Be To God!
All Praise Be To God!
For God Is Greater Than All Things!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Glory to Th
eschator83
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« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2021, 09:45:42 AM »

I think there is incredible irony, perhaps even a type of the paradox celebrated by Cyprian Smith (referred to in my earlier post) that Kemp's Imitation was probably strongly influenced by Geert Grote and the Devotio Moderna of the Brethren of Common Life.  Imitation is claimed to be the second best selling book in the world, following the Bible, yet Geert Grote was forbidden to preach, and neither he nor Thomas Kemp are recognized as Saints.
 
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Benedict
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« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2021, 06:01:39 PM »

The Twelfth Chapter

The Value of Adversity

It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing.
It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well.
These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory.
When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts.
Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men.
When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by evil thoughts, he realizes clearly that his greatest need is God, without Whom he can do no good.
Saddened by his miseries and sufferings, he laments and prays.
He wearies of living longer and wishes for death that he might be dissolved and be with Christ.
Then he understands fully that perfect security and complete peace cannot be found on earth.
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CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI
CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX!
NON DRACO SIT MIHI DUX!
VADE RETRO SATANA!
NUMQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA!
SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS
IPSE VENENA BIBAS!
All Glory Be To God!
All Praise Be To God!
For God Is Greater Than All Things!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Glory to Th
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« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2021, 11:25:57 PM »

The Thirteenth Chapter
Resisting Temptation

SO LONG as we live in this world we cannot escape suffering and temptation. Whence it is written
in Job: “The life of man upon earth is a warfare.”
Everyone, therefore, must guard against temptation
and must watch in prayer lest the devil, who never sleeps but goes about seeking whom he may devour, find occasion to deceive him.
No one is so perfect or so holy but he is sometimes tempted;
man cannot be altogether free from temptation.
Yet temptations, though troublesome and severe, are often useful to a man, for in them he is humbled, purified, and instructed. The saints all passed through many temptations and trials to profit by them, while those who could not resist became reprobate and fell away.
There is no state so holy, no place so secret that temptations and trials will not come. Man is never safe from them as long as he lives, for they come from within us—in sin we were born.
When one temptation or trial passes, another comes; we shall always have something to suffer because we have lost the state of original blessedness.
Many people try to escape temptations, only to fall more deeply.
We cannot conquer simply by fleeing, but by patience and true humility we become stronger than all our enemies.
The man who only shuns temptations outwardly and does not uproot them will make little progress; indeed they will quickly return, more violent than before.
Little by little, in patience and long-suffering you will overcome them, by the help of God rather than by severity and your own rash ways.
Often take counsel when tempted; and do not be harsh with others who are tempted, but console them as you yourself would wish to be consoled.
The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind and little trust in God, for as a rudderless ship is driven hither and yon by waves, so a careless and irresolute man is tempted in many ways.
Fire tempers iron and temptation steels the just. Often we do not know what we can stand, but temptation shows us what we are.
Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is
more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.
Someone has said very aptly: “Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late, when by long delay the evil has gained strength.”
First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent.
Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry.
And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become
each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.
Some suffer great temptations in the beginning of their conversion, others toward the end, while some are troubled almost constantly throughout their life. Others, again, are tempted but lightly according to the wisdom and justice of Divine Providence Who weighs the status and merit of each and prepares all for the salvation of His elect.
We should not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but pray to God the more fervently that He may see fit to help us, for according to the word of Paul, He will make issue with temptation that we may be able to bear it. Let us humble our souls under the hand of God in every trial and temptation for He will save and exalt the humble in spirit.
In temptations and trials the progress of a man is measured; in them opportunity for merit and virtue is made more manifest.
When a man is not troubled it is not hard for him to be fervent and devout, but if he bears up patiently in time of adversity, there is hope for great progress.
Some, guarded against great temptations, are frequently overcome by small ones in order that, humbled by their weakness in small trials, they may not presume on their own strength in great ones.
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CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI
CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX!
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NUMQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA!
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All Glory Be To God!
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Alleluia!
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« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2021, 12:56:40 PM »

Chapter 14
Avoiding Rash Judgment
TURN your attention upon yourself and beware of judging the deeds of other men, for in judging others a man labors vainly, often makes mistakes, and easily sins; whereas, in judging and taking stock of himself he does something that is always profitable.
We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
If God were the sole object of our desire, we should not be disturbed so easily by opposition to our opinions.
But often something lurks within or happens from without to draw us along with it.
Many, unawares, seek themselves in the things they do. They seem even to enjoy peace of mind when things happen according to their wish and liking, but if otherwise than they desire, they are soon disturbed and saddened.
Differences of feeling and opinion often divide friends and acquaintances, even those who are religious and devout.
An old habit is hard to break, and no one is willing to be led farther than he can see.
If you rely more upon your intelligence or industry than upon the virtue of submission to Jesus Christ, you will hardly, and in any case slowly, become an enlightened man.
God wants us to be completely subject to Him and, through ardent love, to rise above all human wisdom.
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CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI
CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX!
NON DRACO SIT MIHI DUX!
VADE RETRO SATANA!
NUMQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA!
SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS
IPSE VENENA BIBAS!
All Glory Be To God!
All Praise Be To God!
For God Is Greater Than All Things!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Glory to Th
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« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2021, 12:31:33 AM »

Amen.
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2022, 07:20:32 PM »

Chapter 15
Works Done in Charity

NEVER do evil for anything in the world, or for the love of any man.
For one who is in need, however, a good work may at times be purposely left undone or changed for a better one.
This is not the omission of a good deed but rather its improvement.
Without charity external work is of no value, but anything done in charity, be it ever so small and trivial, is entirely fruitful inasmuch as God weighs the love with which a man acts rather than
the deed itself.
He does much who loves much. He does much who does a thing well.
He does well who serves the common good rather than his own interests.
Now, that which seems to be charity is oftentimes really sensuality, for man’s own inclination, his own will, his hope of reward, and his self-interest, are motives seldom absent.
On the contrary, he who has true and perfect charity seeks self in nothing, but searches all things for the glory of God.
Moreover, he envies no man, because he desires no personal pleasure nor does he wish to
rejoice in himself; rather he desires the greater glory of God above all things.
He ascribes to man nothing that is good but attributes it wholly to God from Whom all things proceed as from a fountain, and in Whom all the blessed shall rest as their last end and fruition.
If man had but a spark of true charity he would surely sense that all the things of earth are full of vanity!
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CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI
CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX!
NON DRACO SIT MIHI DUX!
VADE RETRO SATANA!
NUMQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA!
SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS
IPSE VENENA BIBAS!
All Glory Be To God!
All Praise Be To God!
For God Is Greater Than All Things!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Glory to Th
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« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2022, 02:39:05 PM »

The Sixteenth Chapter
Bearing with the Faults of Others
"Until God ordains otherwise, a man ought to bear patiently whatever he cannot correct in himself and in others. Consider it better thus—perhaps to try your patience and to test you, for without such patience and trial your merits are of little account. Nevertheless, under such difficulties you should pray that God will consent to help you bear them calmly.
If, after being admonished once or twice, a person does not amend, do not argue with him but commit the whole matter to God that His will and honor may be furthered in all His servants, for God knows well how to turn evil to good. Try to bear patiently with the defects and infirmities of others, whatever they may be, because you also have many a fault which others must endure.

If you cannot make yourself what you would wish to be, how can you bend others to your will?
We want them to be perfect, yet we do not correct our own faults. We wish them to be severely corrected, yet we will not correct ourselves. Their great liberty displeases us, yet we would not be denied what we ask. We would have them bound by laws, yet we will allow ourselves to be restrained in nothing. Hence, it is clear how seldom we think of others as we do of ourselves.
If all were perfect, what should we have to suffer from others for God’s sake? But God has so ordained, that we may learn to bear with one another’s burdens, for there is no man without fault,
no man without burden, no man sufficient to himself nor wise enough. Hence we must support one another, console one another, mutually help, counsel, and advise, for the measure of every man’s virtue is best revealed in time of adversity: for adversity that does not weaken a man but rather shows what he is."
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PAX
CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI
CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX!
NON DRACO SIT MIHI DUX!
VADE RETRO SATANA!
NUMQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA!
SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS
IPSE VENENA BIBAS!
All Glory Be To God!
All Praise Be To God!
For God Is Greater Than All Things!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Glory to Th
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