Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Imitation of Christ

I'm just about finished reading St. Therese's The Story of a Soul. She talks about how valuable Thomas a Kempis's The Imitation of Christ is for her spiritual development. I have not read it, but it sounds like I need to do so.

I was thinking about the process of imitation. Great painters become great by copying the work of other great painters. Musicians learn songs from the recordings of their heroes. Imitation is one of the ways that we become better at something. It should be clear that imitating Christ is something that we ought to do to become more Christ-like.

I received a valuable lesson from my son on this point. He is at a stage where he often copies what I do. When we get dressed for mass, he will often try to wear either the same colors or the same kind of clothing that I do. The other day he asked me how I take a shower because he wanted to wash up the same way that I do. There are times when he wants to be so close to me that he is physically right against me.

I realize that I need to be like this with Jesus. I need to be like Him. To be like Him, I need to know the Gospels in particular, and the Bible in general, very well. Then I need to live those words. I need to long to be as physically close to Him as possible. The Eucharist is the best way for us to physically be close to Him. Confession is the best way for us to move closer to Him spiritually. Christ shows us the way. He is the Way. All we need to do is follow Him.

Thanks to my son for teaching me the lessons I should already have learned by now.

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