Imitation

 

“To imitate is to reproduce a model: but the model can be larger or smaller than the reproduction. Thus it is in the imitation of Jesus and Mary and of the Saints. The models in this case are greater than nature. We can, nevertheless, succeed in resembling them by reproducing their life. Life is a complexity of virtues and of faults, of forces and of instincts. Nothing is evil by nature, but according as one rises or falls, one becomes good or bad. It can be said that a middle way does not exist. One must choose vice or virtue. To practice virtue an effort must be made; such is the meaning of the Latin word: virtus. To follow vice it suffices to let oneself go; such is the meaning of the Latin word: vitium. The Christian soul, in the face of the divine model, Mary, exalts itself in the practice of the virtues which it admires in her who is, at the same time, a sublime model and an admirable mistress, an example and a mother.” (The Imitation of Mary, Thomas a’ Kempis, page 3)