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The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

Thomas à Kempis
Thomas à Kempis

Everyone gladly does whatever he most likes, and likes best those who think as he does; but if God is to dwell among us, we must sometimes yield our own opinion for the sake of peace. Who is so wise that he knows all things? So do not place too much reliance on the rightness of your own views, but be ready to consider the views of others. If your opinion is sound, and you forego it for the love of God and follow that of another, you will win great merit. I have often heard that it is safer to accept advice than to give it. It may even come about that each of two opinions is good; but to refuse to come to an agreement with others when reason on occasion demands it, is a sign of pride and obstinacy.

— Thomas à Kempis, “On Obedience and Discipline,” Imitation of Christ.


Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471) was a German monk and scholar who wrote The Imitation of Christ, one of the most popular devotional works in Christianity. Leading a typical monastic life at the Mount St. Agnes Monastery in Zwolle, Germany, Kempis led a rather exciting life as a copyist. It is alleged that he had hand-copied the Bible four times during his ­lifetime.

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Thomas à Kempis
Thomas à Kempis

Everyone gladly does whatever he most likes, and likes best those who think as he does; but if God is to dwell among us, we must sometimes yield our own opinion for the sake of peace. Who is so wise that he knows all things? So do not place too much reliance on the rightness of your own views, but be ready to consider the views of others. If your opinion is sound, and you forego it for the love of God and follow that of another, you will win great merit. I have often heard that it is safer to accept advice than to give it. It may even come about that each of two opinions is good; but to refuse to come to an agreement with others when reason on occasion demands it, is a sign of pride and obstinacy.

— Thomas à Kempis, “On Obedience and Discipline,” Imitation of Christ.


Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471) was a German monk and scholar who wrote The Imitation of Christ, one of the most popular devotional works in Christianity. Leading a typical monastic life at the Mount St. Agnes Monastery in Zwolle, Germany, Kempis led a rather exciting life as a copyist. It is alleged that he had hand-copied the Bible four times during his ­lifetime.

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