IMITATION OF CHRIST
A devotional book published anonymously in 1418. Sometimes called The Following of Christ, it contains counsels of perfection. The authorship is now attributed to Thomas à Kempis, a canon of the Netherlands. It was written in Latin in a familiar style and divided into four books: useful admonitions for a spiritual life; further admonitions relative to spiritual things; interior consolations; and the Blessed Sacrament. It is a popular book also outside of Catholic circles, generally with the fourth book omitted. Its basic theme is that, since Jesus Christ is true God and true man, by imitating Christ as man the Christian becomes more and more like Christ, who is God. Next to the Bible it is the most widely read spiritual book in the world.