The Imitation of Christ, also by Thomas À Kempis, is the most famous and beloved Christian devotional ever written. The simplicity, piety and wisdom that readers have found in that classic will also be discovered in these new modern-English translations of A Little Garden of Roses and The Valley of Lilies. The aim of these works is to draw the reader to a closer union with Jesus. While Imitation sets forth the principles of discipleship, the two works in this volume offer more practical advice. They treat of the virtues needed to advance toward God.
The introduction to this volume includes a brief biographical sketch of Thomas À Kempis, a fourteenth-century German monk, as well as some notes about the texts themselves. Like all meditation books, explains the introduction, this one is not to be read in one sitting, but pondered and prayed over slowly. “Pause and reflect on what [À Kempis] has to say,” advises Fr. Joseph Tylenda, the translator, “and then join with him when he address the Lord and listen to Him when He speaks to you.”