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After the Bible, some consider this book the most popular spiritual classic of all time.

While the book is written anonymously, most attribute The Imitation of Christ to a German priest living in the Netherlands named Thomas à Kempis. It was written in the 15th century and ever since has been a book that has captured the spiritual imagination of many saints.

Dorothy Day wrote about the book, “The Imitation of Christ is a book that followed me through my days. Again and again I came across copies of it and the reading of it brought me comfort. I felt in the background of my life a waiting force that would lift me up eventually.”

Here are five powerful quotes from the beginning of The Imitation of Christ that alone could provide hours of meditation.

For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone.

If we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.

The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna.

Whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.

Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible.