The name Thomas à Kempis has long been associated with intense devotion to Christ. This is certainly reflected in his writings:

No creature, no thought, no tongue, no language, can ever duly praise Thee.—What then? Shall I cease from praising Thee, because I cannot praise Thee worthily? Shall I be silent, and close my lips, because I know them to be unclean, and myself to be a thing of nought?

Far from me be such ingratitude, as that I should cease to praise Thee, Whom every creature is bound to praise: and above them all man, whom Thou hast endowed with reason; on whom, beyond all others, Thou hast bestowed so many gifts.

O Father of mercies, and God of infinite goodness, I know in truth, I confess from the bottom of my heart, that in Thy sight I am a sinner of utter vileness, one who with downcast eyes, with groans and tears, should rather plead for mercy, than think of taking upon his polluted lips Thy most sweet name, and dare to praise it.

And yet, trusting in Thy lovingkindness and in Thy unfathomable goodness, I long to praise Thee, beseeching from the depth of my heart the bowels of Thy mercies, that Thou wouldst not despise me, nor hold me back from praising Thy glorious name, impure worm and foul carcase [carcass] though I be: but wouldst kindle and inflame my inmost soul to praise Thee with devout and joyful lips.

The rest of his Prayer and Meditations on the Life of Christ is just as passionate, and we hope you’ll read it as part of our free Christian classics collection.

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