The Imitation of Christ is What Our World Needs Today, by John Schroeter

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By John Schroeter, Catholic Exchange, November 14, 2019

John Schroeter is the executive director of Abundant World Institute and CEO and publisher of John August Media. His publications include Popular ElectronicsMechanix IllustratedPopular Astronomy, and Internet of Things. An award-winning consultant and music producer, Schroeter also authored Between the Strings: The Secret Life of Guitars, with an introduction written by B.B. King.

“He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness,” says the Lord. These are the words of Christ, by which we are reminded that we must copy His life and conduct if we wish to be truly enlightened and to be delivered from all blindness of heart. To meditate on the life of Jesus should therefore be our chief study.  

Thus begins the great work known, loved, and venerated for six centuries as The Imitation of Christ, first published in 1418 by the German-Dutch monk and scribe, Thomas Hemerken of Kempen, better known as Thomas à Kempis (1380 – 25 July 1471).

“The Imitation” became, and has remained, after the Bible, the most widely read and translated book in the world, and certainly the most influential of Christian devotional writings. Widely praised across centuries and continents, a preface to an 1873 edition of the book reads, “The Imitation of Christ has received the unqualified approbation of every learned and pious ornament of the Church; it is still held in as high estimation by people of every denomination as it was at any time since it came from the pen of Thomas à Kempis.” A century prior, French author Fontenelle described it as, “The most excellent production that ever yet issued from the hand of man.” ….