Advent with A Kempis XVI

Chapter 16: Bearing one another’s faults “Whatever we are unable to reform in ourselves or in others, we must clearly put up with until God chooses to change it. View this as being, perhaps, the better state, for by undergoing this test it teaches us patience without which all our actions carry little merit.” This […]

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Advent with A Kempis XV

Chapter 15: Works Done with Charity “If we had a spark of true charity within us we would surely perceive the emptiness of all earthly things.” In Revelations of Divine Love, the fourteenth-century English mystic Julian of Norwich had a vision of a small round object, no larger than a hazelnut, in the palm of […]

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Advent with A Kempis XIV

Chapter 14: Avoiding Hasty Judgments (Gaudete Sunday) “God desires our complete subjection to Him and wants our passionate love of Him to transcend our reasoning.” In this chapter, the medieval author sounds surprisingly post-modern. Although it is anachronistic to use the terms “modernity” and “post-modernity” in describing Kempis, the reader can see the author’s foresight […]

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Advent with A Kempis XIII

Chapter 13: How to Resist Temptation (Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and First Day of Hanukkah) “Someone once said: Take a stand at the very beginning; it is much too late to apply medicines after the illness has grown worse because of long delays.” I just finished a game of Tetris on my iPhone. […]

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Advent with A Kempis XII

Chapter 12: The Uses of Adversity “While enduring these afflictions he takes himself to prayer with sighs and groans.” A month ago, an Episcopal priest encouraged me to pray in tongues every day. I had heard of charismatic Episcopalians, but never met one until then. She proceeded to lay her hands on me and pray […]

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Advent with A Kempis XI

Chapter 11: Achieving Peace and Acquiring Zeal for One’s Spiritual Progress “It is He who provides us with these conflicts and He wants us to be the victors” Yesterday, I took my visiting friend out to San Francisco to see the Six Sisters, Golden Gate Park, Cliff House, Sutro Baths, Legion of Honor, Lombard Street, […]

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Advent with A Kempis X

Chapter 10: Guarding Against Unnecessary Speech “We must watch and pray lest we spend our time in fruitless idleness” Kempis strongly encourages us to put boundaries on our conversations and our social gatherings. He is full aware of the human tendency towards unhealthy behaviors in certain social situations. Often times we seek solace in the […]

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Advent with A Kempis IX

Chapter 9: Obedience and Submission “No matter where you go, here or there, you will find no rest except in humbly subjecting yourself to the authority of a superior.” Buckaroo Banzai says, “Wherever you go there you are.” Thomas A Kempis says, “No matter where you go, here or there, you will find no rest […]

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Advent with A Kempis VIII

Chapter 8: Guarding Against Too Much Familiarity “Do not open your heart to everyone” I just saw a powerful film at Shattuck Cinemas with a Canadian friend that I met in Palestine. I was most moved by the final scene when a broken man confesses what Kempis would call a “mortal sin” to his wife. […]

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Advent with A Kempis VII

Chapter 7: Avoiding Vain Hope and Self-Conceit  (St. Nicholas Day) “Peace dwells in a humble heart, while in the heart of the proud man there is envy and resentment.” Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, “first saw the Imitation of Christ at Manresa, and never afterwards did he wish to read […]

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