Thomas a Kempis’s wonderful book is more relevant today than when it was written. You don’t have to be a Christian or even particularly religious to derive nourishment from it. It hasn’t been out of print for six hundred years, and is worth more than a library of modern ‘self-help’ books.
The Imitation consists of four books on general spiritual topics, each divided into subsections dealing with more focused aspects: ‘On trust in God in all trouble’, ‘On knowing ourselves’, etc. After the Bible itself, no other work can compare with its profound wisdom, clarity of thought, and converting power. Christians of such widely differing period and outlook as Thomas More and General Gordon, Ignatius Loyola and John Wesley, Francis Xavier and Dr Johnson are but a few of the thousands who have acknowledged their debt to this work.
Although a Kempis spent most of his life in the cloister, his burning faith and love of God speak to us on the level of shared humanity. As F.R.Cruise says in his au