Imitation of Christ – Book 1, Ch.17-20, pt.1

This week we are reading chapters 17 through 20 of The Imitation of Christ.  On the surface, at least, these chapters focus on how to be a good monastic.  However, as you read through these four meditations, see how his insights into the virtues of discipline, perseverance, service, training, and silence are applicable to all Christians, not only medieval monks. In chapter 18, á Kempis commits us to look at the example of the saints who have displayed those virtues that we should emulate.  This advice goes back to Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics”, where Aristotle writes that in learning about a good life “it will make no difference whether we examine the virtue itself or the person that displays the virtue.”  For by looking at those that display the virtue we take the study of the virtue out of the theoretical and give a practical working example of the quality.  If you have time this week, please read through some of the lives of the saints and the godly and virtuous qualities they show forth. Some resources are Holy Women, Holy Men who today celebrates Sarah Josepha Buell (d.1879) who worked for the unity of our nation and the elevation of women in the mid-nineteenth century (she also invented the national holiday of Thanksgiving) or Butler’s Lives of the Saints who today celebrates Catherine of Siena (d.1380) who not only worked with the least of these such as plague victims and prisoners but also worked to the restore the unity of the Western Church during the time of the Avignon papacy.  

Dinner is at 6. The menu is a baked potato bar. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.

We should begin each day saying “Help me, Lord God, to fulfill my good intention and your holy service. Starting today, let me begin perfectly, for what I have done so far is nothing.”  

Book 1, Chapter 19

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