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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today we rememberToday the church remembers Thomas à Kempis, Priest, 1471.

Few if any books, save the Bible, have had as profound an effect on Christian piety as The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. The author eloquently advances the notion that "Whosoever would fully and feelingly understand the words of Christ, must endeavor to conform his life wholly to the life of Christ." The theme of the book is set forth in its first sentence, a quotation from the Gospel of John: " "He that followeth me walketh not in darkness,' saith the Lord." The last part of the book contains a form of self-examination for use before receiving Holy Communion. Many Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, still find this a most helpful guide in their devotional lives.

Thomas led a relatively quiet and unspectacular life as a priest at the Augustinian convent of Mount St. Agnes, near Zwolle, in the Netherlands. He was born and named Thomas Hammerken at Kempen, a small town near Dusseldorf in Germany. He was educated by the Brethren of the Common Life, one of the most famous teaching orders of that time. He joined the Brethren and pursued a scholarly and contemplative life.

Grant that we may follow the good example of your servant Thomas, and hold fast the faith. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Holy Father, you have nourished and strengthened your Church by the inspired writings of your servant Thomas à Kempis: Grant that we may learn from him to know what is necessary to be known, to love what is to be loved, to praise what highly pleases you, and always to seek to know and follow your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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