Quotes from The Imitation of Christ

Thomas à Kempis ·  288 pages

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“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“If God were our one and only desire we would not be so easily upset when our opinions do not find outside acceptance.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“At the Day of Judgement we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“Wherever you go, there you are.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“As long as you live, you will be subject to change, whether you will it or not - now glad, now sorrowful; now pleased, now displeased; now devout, now undevout; now vigorous, now slothful; now gloomy, now merry. But a wise man who is well taught in spiritual labor stands unshaken in all such things, and heeds little what he feels, or from what side the wind of instability blows.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“Jesus has now many lovers of the heavenly kingdom but few bearers of His cross.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“God hath thus ordered it, that we may learn to bear one another’s burdens; for no man is without fault, no man without his burden, no man sufficient of himself, no man wise enough of himself; but we ought to bear with one another, comfort one another, help, instruct, and admonish one another.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“By two wings is man lifted above earthly things, even by
simplicity and purity. Simplicity ought to be in the intention,
purity in the affection.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“Fight like a man. Habit is overcome by habit.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“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.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“The Lord bestows his blessings there, where he finds the vessels empty.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger or higher or wider, nothing is more pleasant, nothing fuller, and nothing better in heaven or on earth, for love is born of God and cannot rest except in God, Who is created above all things.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“All that is in the world is vanity except to love God and serve him only.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“God often grants in a moment what He has long denied.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“Learned arguments do not make a man holy and righteous, whereas a good life makes him dear to God.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Thus passes the glory of the world).”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“My child, I am the Lord Who gives strength in the day of trouble. Come to Me when all is not well with you. Your tardiness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to heavenly consolation, for before you pray earnestly to Me you first seek many comforts and take pleasure in outward things. Thus, all things are of little profit to you until you realize that I am the one Who saves those who trust in Me, and that outside of Me there is no worth-while help, or any useful counsel or lasting remedy.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“If you wish to draw profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and never with the design of gaining a reputation for learning.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“It is not really a small thing when in small things we resist self.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“Let temporal things be in the use, eternal things in the desire.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“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 — adversity that does not weaken a man but rather shows what he is.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“At the least, bear patiently, if thou canst not joyfully. And although thou be very unwilling to hear it, and feel indignation, yet check thyself, and suffer no unadvised word to come forth from thy lips, whereby the little ones may be offended. Soon the storm which hath been raised shall be stilled, and inward grief shall be sweetened by returning grace.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“5. Be ofttimes mindful of the saying,(3) The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing. Strive, therefore, to turn away thy heart from the love of the things that are seen, and to set it upon the things that are not seen. For they who follow after their own fleshly lusts, defile the conscience, and destroy the grace of God.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“Look at our fathers in the old days, living masterpieces as they are and shining examples of true religion; and see how feeble our own achievement is, almost nothing. Heaven help us, what is our life in comparison with theirs? Holy people these, true friends of Christ, that could go hungry and thirsty in God's service; cold and ill-clad, worn out with labors and vigils and fasting, with praying and meditating on holy things, with all the persecutions and insults they endured.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“He is not truly patient who will only suffer as far as seems right to him and from whom he pleases. The truly patient man considers not by whom he is tried, one above him, or by an equal, or by an inferior, whether by a good and holy man or by a perverse and unworthy, but from every creature. He gratefully accepts all from the hand of God and counts it gain.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“If you cannot recollect yourself continuously, do so once a day at least, in the morning or in the evening. In the morning make a resolution and in the evening examine yourself on what you have said this day, what you have done and thought, for in these things perhaps you have often offended God and those about you.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


“A lowly knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than the deep searching of a man’s learnings. Not that learning is to be blamed, nor the taking account of anything that is good; but a good conscience and a holy life is better than all. And because many seek knowledge rather than good living, therefore they go astray, and bear little or no fruit.”
― Thomas à Kempis, quote from The Imitation of Christ


About the author

Thomas à Kempis
Born place: Kempen, Germany
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