Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Saints: Thomas a` Kempis

I love working my way day by day through the church calendar. In it I find some people who were just a little ahead of their time. Thomas a` Kempis, whose feast we celebrate today, was such a person.

Thomas was born Thomas Hammerken at Kempen in approximately 1380 and died on July 25, 1471. That means he lived to be ninety-one years of age. The monastery must have been very, very good to him. He became a monk of the Order of the Brethren of the Common Life in 1407 and was ordained priest in 1415.

We remember Thomas primarily for his book The Imitaton of Christ, which has been translated into almost as many languages as has the Holy Bible. This book and his life's work put him ahead of his time because he and the Brethren were seen as forerunners of the Protestant Reformation, even though he preferred to stay out of church politics. The time was right because his work has influenced Christians of all stripes for more than six hundred years.

Holy Father, you have nourished and strengthened your Church by the inspired writings of your servant Thomas a` 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.

In peace,


The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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