I feel no heavier burthen than being so long a pilgrim from Thee in this world; in that glowing with love, I seek no consolation besides Thee. For I have learnt by most certain experience that my soul cannot be satisfied with the good things of this present life, nor attain to true bliss, until united to Thee she shall be received into a heavenly mansion. For although whilst in the body she may love exceedingly, and burn and contemplate; yet unsatisfied are her affections, till she has put off the flesh.
—Thomas à Kempis, The Soliloquy of the Soul ch. XX.ii
Right now: 35% off all Thomas à Kempis resources with the coupon code 2MM13.
In this final week of Lent, Kempis’ words cut straight to the heart of what this season is all about: a letting go of the things of this world, and a grasping of the person of Christ.
Thomas à Kempis is perhaps best known for his The Imitation of Christ, one of the most famous Christian devotional books of all time. His writings have reached out to millions of Christians throughout the world; The Imitation of Christ alone has been translated into more languages than any other book save for the Bible. It is a work centered on the importance of “contempt for the vanities of the world”—it calls those who read it to imitate Christ by submitting the will entirely to God’s.
There is a theme woven throughout all of Kempis’ works: the importance of living an “inward life.” For Kempis, a life of interiority is not a life of “me-focused” egoism; rather, it is the letting go of “external” things so that one is able make room in their hearts for the indwelling of Christ: “To walk with God interiorly, to be free from any external affection—this is the state of the inward man” (Imitation of Christ, ch. 6). In this way, Kempis preaches a message that is radically different from the modern notion of inwardness as a kind of “escapist” trait. Instead, the interior life is one focused on Jesus above all things. To be inward is take up our cross and deny the “desires of the flesh” that are against the Spirit (Gal. 5:17).
Right now we’re offering 35% off all Thomas à Kempis resources. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn from, and reflect on, a collection of writings that have proven to be timeless Catholic devotional works.
Use the coupon code 2MM13 on any of the works listed below and receive 35% off until April 15:
The Imitation of Christ
The Soliloquy of the Soul
The Little Garden of Roses and Valley of Lilies
Sermons to the Novices Regular
A Meditation on the Incarnation of Christ, Sermons on the Life and Passion of Our Lord, and Of Hearing and Speaking Good Words
The Chronicle of the Canons Regular of Mount St. Agnes
The Founders of the New Devotion: Being the Lives of Gerard Groote, Florentius Radewin, and Their Followers
Prayers and Meditations on the Life of Christ