The Imitation of Christ: Introduction (7 mins)

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Since the early 1400s, The Imitation of Christ has been a Christian classic—for many centuries surpassed in printing and sales only by the Bible itself. Nor in its time was any book more translated into contemporary languages (apart from Scripture).

Imitation originally circulated as a series of devotional booklets, the earliest of which reached the public as early as 1420, a year or two after à Kempis began writing. Thomas à Kempis (Thomas Haemmerlein, 1380-1471) spent most of his life in Germany, spending 72 years of his life as a member of the Brothers of the Common Life at Mount St. Agnes Monastery. This work was originally written in Latin. For non-Latin readers there are numerous versions in modern languages. The Imitation has been available in English since 1696.

The Imitation consists of four books and 114 chapters. This is the original arrangement: 
* BOOK ONE: Helpful Counsels for the Spiritual Life—25 chapters
* BOOK TWO: Directives for the Interior Life—12 chapters
* BOOK THREE: On Interior Consolation—59 chapters
* BOOK FOUR: On the Blessed Sacrament—18 chapters

(In our series we will sample the chapters—reading selectively, not studying the entire work.)

The plan:
* I'll read the selection for the day.
* Scriptural connections will be pointed out.
* Practical application will follow (thought questions, personal challenges, prayer points).
* Most podcasts are 10-15 minutes in length.
* You will also find powerful à Kempis sayings.
* 31 podcasts in all.
May this series help all who long for the heart of Christ to become more like him. 

1 Jan—Despising Vanity 
2 Jan—Offering Ourselves
3 Jan—Taking Up Jesus' Cross
4 Jan—The Royal Way of the Cross
5 Jan—The Power of Divine Love
6—The Intimate Love of Jesus
7—Futile Hope
8— Selfish Love 
9—Hearing God's Words
10—Knowledge / Wisdom / Not Believing Everyone
11—Not Trusting Self / Trusting God
12—Human Misery / Weakness
13—The Loss of All Comfort
14—Bearing Injuries / Christ's Obedience
 15—On Obedience / Earthly Affections
 16—Benefits of Obedience / Self-Denial / Surrender of Self
17—Over-Anxiety / Holy Examples
 18—Guard of Humility / Thinking Humbly
 19—Contempt of Worldly Knowledge 
20—The Confidence of Grace
 21—Bearing with Others
 22—On the Love of Solitude & Silence
 23—Peaceableness / Purity / Conscience 
 24—The Exercises of a Righteous Person
25—Reading the Holy Scriptures
26—Security / Temptation
 27—A Sensitive Heart
28—Rash Judgment and Words
 29—Desiring Eternal Life
30—Coasting / Delight / Free Spirit
31—Meditating on Death / Final Desire / Eternity 


Feedback on TIOC:

* Love the à Kempis podcasts—fabulous start to each day. Thank you, praise God!
* I’m encouraging our whole house church to follow along with the Imitation of Christ study series.
* The podcasts are thought-provoking—very helpful and refreshing for me. This teaching is a gift from God to me right now. I am sharing what I'm learning with my sisters (who live in four other cities). The Word will not return void.
* This is very powerful—so glad you decided to podcast from The Imitation. This also fits perfectly with our church's 2019 theme.
* The quiet times are short and very powerful and life changing. Thank you!