Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Who has greater combat than the man who labors to overcome himself?

-Thomas a Kempis

'The Imitation of Christ,' by the way, is an absolute must read. It's earth-shakingly profound, yet written in a devotional format so that it's easy to read in daily doses.

1 comment:

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Yes, Kenny, you're right—it is an absolutely "must read". In its evangelical simplicity there's a lot there to help guide you to those parts of the Word which are likely to be most beneficial in forming one's Christian character. Early in my Christian life, it was so constantly with me and my New Testament, that I completely wore out two paperback copies (both of which I have kept). I "cut my teeth" on Penguin Editions Leo Sherley-Price translation.

I haven't looked at it much in the last 15 years (about half of my adult Christian life) mostly because I just ingested it so completely.

As a practicing Orthodox Christian now for about 2/3 of my adult life, when I turn back to it I find that the dialog style between Christ and the Disciple found in Books 3 and 4 smacks too much of that subtle imaginative fantasy thinking that permeates Western (particularly Roman Catholic) religious thinking. It nauseates me in the same way that seeing statuary of Christ and the saints in Roman Catholic and "high church" Protestant sanctuaries nauseates me. Though what is said in the Imitation in these parts is mostly true, just as most of the statuary seeks to represent real people in history, it seems somehow infected with a palpable "spirit of religion" that my experience of Orthodoxy makes me instinctively avoid. That's probably why I mostly stick with Books 1 and 2 at present, when I go into the Imitation at all.

On a personal note, I'm very glad to see you back in blogging, not for its own sake, but selfishly on my part, because I've always enjoyed hearing your views and the questions your inner mind is struggling with. You have a beautiful soul, my brother. Go with God.