Imitation of Christ – Book 3, Ch.31-35, pt.2

This evening will be our last gathering with Thomas á Kempis for a while.  We will be reading through Chapters 31–35 of Book III of The Imitation of Christ.  The general theme of these chapters is the free will that a Christian finds in Jesus. In classical Western thought (both Christian and pagan), the unencumbered soul will always choose the Good, for that is the source of its existence.  Therefore, when we “choose” to follow our base passions and desires, we are, in reality, enslaved to them and not free.  Plato terms these “the appetites” and attributes them to the irrational part of the soul. For him, we become free when we know and recognize our imprisonment to these appetites.  Paul echoes this in Galatians 5 when he writes of our enslavement to the works of the flesh. And once we are freed from the works of the flesh, then we necessarily inherit the Fruit of the Spirit.  And within the Spirit, true freedom of the Will lies.  In these meditations á Kempis helps us to call out to God to deliver us from those things that hold us back from truly seeking Him.

SCHEDULING: We are not gathering for the next two weeks because of Samuel’s graduation ceremonies.  We will start back on Tuesday, June 7 with 1 Thessalonians.   I will be using N.T. Wrights, Paul for Everyone: Galatians and Thessalonians as background a source for the discussions.  No outside reading is necessary. If you haven’t joined us in a while, please come back for the summer.

Dinner tonight is at 6. The menu is Bojangles’ fried chicken. Discussion about 6:45.  Hope to see you here.

O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you; *
   my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you,
   as in a barren and dry land where there is no water.
Therefore I have gazed upon you in your holy place, *
   that I might behold your power and your glory.
or your loving-kindness is better than life itself; *
  my lips shall give you praise.
So will I bless you as long as I live *
   and lift up my hands in your Name.

Psalm 63:1-4

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