Imitation


In minor seminary, in a subject called "Poetry" we were taught how to write good prose and poetry (mostly prose). In a subject called "Rhetoric" we were taught how to write good mini-speeches and deliver them interestingly. The teacher gave us model paragraphs/pieces written by good writers and he asked us to write our own using the structure and development of the model paragraph or piece, but putting in our own ideas and content.

The exercise was meant to develop in us good writing and speaking skills, making them part and parcel of us. The imitation technique is also used by other English writing teachers, I found out later.

Imitation occurs also in other fields, like playing the violin, playing basketball, or learning to paint, or even character-building, or the development of virtue, etc. In one way or another, the hero worship of our younger years is a manifestation of our seeking a model of who we wanted to be. Boys tend to imitate their fathers, girls their mothers. (That is why fathers and mothers need to be careful!) In the sacrament of Confirmation we are asked to choose the name of a saint on whom to model our Christian life.

What is the most important aspect or goal of your life? This will determine who it is that you want to imitate or model your life on.

Aside from the Bible, the next best seller is "The Imitation of Christ"* by Thomas a'Kempis. The title speaks for itself.

Christ Himself said: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves." Mt 11:29

St. Paul urged the Corinthians "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." 1 Cor 11:1

Who do you want to imitate or pattern your life on? If it is Christ, you will not make a mistake. You have made the best choice, the only best choice.#

Or: "The Following of Christ"

"HE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness," says the Lord.

By these words of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits,

if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart.

Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.

(Book 1, Chapter 1)

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