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Author Archives: johnruffle

About johnruffle

As a recycled 1970s Jesus Freak, John spear-headed numerous Christian projects around the world and mentored many before his journey home to the Catholic faith and the sacramental presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ. John is an English lecturer and is the founding editor of the online 'D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library' which has over 100 Christian books available as free digital downloads.
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Yes, here’s  ANOTHER Imitation – “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas á Kempis that is!  

It has to be one of the most popular devotional books ever written, and here we offer a second version for free download – this time, a beautiful facsimile of the 1881 edition. Thomas á Kempis’ lived a long life straddling the 14th and 15tth centuries, and was a monk and priest, and his work is a genuine Christian Classic.

To complement this work I am also making available a 19th century essay about “The Imitation” by Brother Azarias. This is part of a larger work, and don’t worry, I will be uploading the entire 1893 edition of the work shortly (details below).

Finally for now, ANOTHER digital version of “My Daily Bread” – which we first made avaliable just before Easter this year! Happy downloading! -Brother John

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new2image “Of The Imitation of Christ” – Thomas á Kempis (1881) Facsimile Edition

In many ways, the older language in this 19th century version (we already have a newer 1940 Edition in the library) speaks in a less hurried tone, which some of us may prefer.

new2image “Spiritual Sense and the Imitation” – Brother Azarias (1892)

‘Spiritual Sense and the Imitation’ is an essay on The Imitation of Christ, and is Chapter 8 of a larger volume by Brother Azarias, entiled “Phases of Thought and Criticism.” We will shortly be adding the entire 2nd edition (1893) edition of this work to our library here.

new2image “My Daily Bread” – A. J.Paone (1953) Facsimile Edition

A daily meditation. If you like “The Imitation of Christ” you’ll love this book too! This is the 2nd digital version of this important work on the spirutal life. The text of both is the same, but I for one prefer the formating of this one. Now that we have written copyright clearance, we are happy to offer this, our personal favorite gem!  – Click here to view or download the alternative copy of “My Daily Bread”

John Ruffle

John Ruffle


Another Imitation ..but it’s good!

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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My Daily Bread: A Modern Devotional Classic


This Passover and Holy Week, I bring you a hidden gem for free download!

My Daily Bread by Anthony J. Paone is an amazing little book of interior daily devotions. Published in 1954 by the Confraternity of the Precious Blood, this 430 page volume deserves much wider circulation. This volume is a summary of the spiritual life, arranged for daily reading, reflection and prayer. We have just added it to our library for FREE PDF download.

 

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Free PDF Download:  My Daily Bread: A Summary of the Spiritual Life

Little seems to be known about Fr. Paone, but I have been able to contact one of his great-nieces and she has kindly given me a little background to his life. She tells me that he had become very sick when he was young, and no one thought he would pull through. Anthony made a commitment to God, and promised that if his life would be spared, then he would dedicate himself totally to God for the rest of his life.

God indeed raised him off his death-bed, and Anthony went on to become a Jesuit priest serving in New York. For years, he taught in a New York high school, and was much-loved. In 1954, his collection of daily meditations were published, which have a similar tone to “The Imitation of Christ”.

Only ever produced in one edition in English*, after over a year of searching, I have finally found a source where a print copy can be purchased:

Carmel Books On-line

 

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This book carries a Creative Commons licence and is considered to be in the public domain. *A Spanish edition has been published, details as yet unknown.

 

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“The Imitation of Christ” – Alternative Versions


We’ve already got a PDF of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, but here’s an alternative version of the same translation by Aloysius Croft and Harold Bolton.

I have found “The Imitation” a wonderful devotional daily read to complement (not replace) the reading of Sacred Scripture, and I highly recommend it!


Click to view or DOWNLOAD FREE PDF: The Imitation of Christ


 

From the Foreword:

“IN PREPARING this edition of The Imitation of Christ, the aim was to achieve a simple, readable text which would ring true to those who are already lovers of this incomparable book and would attract others to it. For this reason we have attempted to render the text into English as it is spoken today rather than the cloudy, archaic terminology that encumbers so many translations of Christian classics. The result, we feel, has achieved a directness and conciseness which will meet the approval of modern readers. In the second place, we have made use of the familiar paragraph form, doing away with the simple statement or verse form of the original and of many translations. This was done in the interest of easier reading, and in order to bring out more clearly the connection between the single statements.”


 

A note about the text:

The Imitation of Christ (De Imitatione Christi) by Thomas à Kempis was written in Latin circa 1418-1427. The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read devotional work next to the Bible and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic. Apart from the Bible, no book has been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ. The text is divided into four books, which provide detailed spiritual instructions: “Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life”, “Directives for the Interior Life”, “On Interior Consolation” and “On the Blessed Sacrament”. The approach taken in the Imitation is characterized by its emphasis on the interior life and withdrawal from the world, as opposed to an active imitation of Christ by other friars.”

Source: Wikipedia – Imitation of Christ


View or DOWNLOAD FREE PDF: The Imitation of Christ (NEW upload) 

View or DOWNLOAD FREE PDF : The Imitation (Previous Version)


 

John Ruffle, Curator/Founder

Also, I had hoped to post a free downloadable TEXT version translated by William Benham. The advantage of a text version is that you can copy direct into MS Word and create your own format for a printable version for daily reading if you wish. At present, a technical difficulty will not allow me to upload this.

In due course, I hope to make an original scan of a Victorian version in our possession, when time permits. We are most thankful to have an edge-scanner, which is specifically designed to scan bound books. We have yet to try it out, however! When we do, “The Imitation” will be first up. My goal is to make our Library the first choice for those wishing to view alternate texts of The Imitation of Christ. Remember, all PDFs are FREE and you do NOT need to register to download. We are a not-for-profit resource for the promotion of the Biblically-based knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. -John Ruffle, curator/founder.


 

 

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Working Behind the Scenes!


Dear Friends,

I’ve been beavering away at odd moments to improve what we have here at the D H Ruffle Memorial Library. In the process of preparing more books to add, I may have in all innocence crossed the line on a copyright or two, so I will be seeking out clarifications and/or permissions where needed before posting.

A couple of things that we need here: (1) a hyperlinked index of titles (which may require a complete re-design so is not an overnight fix!) and (2) a section devoted to hyperlinks to external sites where we cannot obtain permission to use original material. (For instance, at present, this applies to any document sourced at the Vatican.)

Finally, I can only apologise for the lack of updates here. However, I am very thankful that the Library is consistantly getting hits from around the world, and this indeed was the fundamental purpose of this tool in the very first place.  

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Yours in the Love of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,

 

John Ruffle

Curator/founder

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Christian Newsletter of the Year Awards 2013


NEW for 2014:
The D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library Launches the Christian Newsletter of the Year Awards 2013.

It’s good to stay in touch with our faith both historically (which is the point of my collection of over 100 free downloads here) and with events as they happen around the world today. And that’s where Christian newsletters, feed and blogs come in. I’ve selected the top 6 newsletters that have helped inform and inspire me during the past 12 months.

#5: The Catholic News Agency
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/

#4: Christianity Today
http://www.christianitytoday.org/

#3: The Christian Post Daily Newsletter
http://global.christianpost.com/

#2: UCA News: Catholic News Asia
http://www.ucanews.com/

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JOINT NUMBER ONE WINNERS: Charisma News and New Advent: Catholic News.

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Joint #1: Charisma News
http://www.charismanews.com/

     Charisma News realizes that the Body of Christ is bigger and more diverse than just the charismatic movement, while remaining faithful to their Biblical roots. They have a multitude of FREE newsletter resources they mail out if requested, reporting on what’s happening (mainly) in the North American neo-penticostal and new church scene.

     Charisma News gets the award for challenging the excesses of the wealth and prosperity preaching variety of mega-church pastors, who really DO live what they preach. Unfortunately.

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Joint #1: New Advent: Catholic News
http://www.newadvent.org/news/

     New Advent Catholic News helps you discover the Jesus-loving church that is the Catholics’ best kept secret. Launched by Kevin Knight after the 1993 World Youth Day led by Pope John Paul II, it began as an online resource project -much like my own here- but in Kevin’s case, to digitize the 1913_Catholic_Encyclopedia. But New Advent has grown to be much more, with its regular newsletters unfailingly putting the finger on the pulse on what’s happening in the Catholic Christian world.

     New Advent gets the award for remaining independent while at the same time being faithful to the Catholic Church, which can be quite hierarchical at times. Even under Pope Francis.

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PS: I struggled for ages over who to award the top spot to, and I finally decided I had to make a JOINT TOP AWARD. It so happens that one’s Catholic and the other Protestant, which makes me doubly happy. Both Charisma News and New Advent have been of immeasurable help for me to personally keep abreast last year of what really counted in terms of keeping my personal faith in Jesus relevant, scriptural and inspired. I hope these FREE Newsletters help you too during 2014.

Enjoy the faith journey!
Brother John Ruffle
Founder, The D.H.Ruffle Memorial Library.

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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Orphan Planet? – Finding Harmony and God’s Will in 2013


We reflect upon the Nativity of Our Lord and think further about how the Incarnation of the Living Word of God might impact the Church, our lives, and indeed this world during this New Year. At this time let us pause to reflect upon the wonder of the “Word made flesh” and dwelling among us. We are NOT an orphan planet, but part of a beautiful creation that our Father God Adoni has not only blessed.. but LOVES constantly with arms outstretched, welcoming us home to be united with Him through Jesus Christ, Yeshua the long awaited Messiah of Israel.

As world leaders struggle to find answers to global problems that are the result of our own chaos and sin, the answer is ever before them in the person of Christ.. The One whom they reject and cast out of western society as an intruder, as laws are passed that disregard the law and the love, compassion, and mercy of God. Finding God’s will in the midst of a pagan society is as simple – and costly- as a total on-going heart-surrender to Jesus Christ, the crucified, risen and ascended Lord of all.

To do this effectively we need a portrait of Jesus. We find this in the pages of Holy Scripture. The Early Church Fathers add colour to those pages as we learn of the struggles, heart searching and triumphs of the early Church. These writings are all here on my website, totally free for you to download.. around 200 individual volumes.

As we consider the impact of these historic and eternal truths upon the imprint of our own souls, I pray that my online library of free Bibles and devotional books will help you in your quest in 2013. May the God of Israel and the Redeemer of all mankind bless and inspire you by His Holy Spirit now and always, amen.

Your brother,
John Ruffle +
Curator and Lector

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

50th Anniversary of Vatican II


Dear Friends,

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the 2nd Vatican  Council in 1962. Maybe you were not alive at the time, it is understandable if the significance of Vatican II can be somewhat taken for granted by many Catholics today.

As a kid, however, when we were late for our Anglican Mass, my father would take me to the Roman Mass, where I would sit spell-bound (and sometimes a little bored, I confess!) as the priest, back to the congregation, and off in the far distance, would drone on in Latin. Meanwhile, I would admire, fascinated, at the statues of Mama Mary and the Saints and love the wafts of incense!

I was brought up an Anglican, and later had an encounter with Jesus during the Jesus Movement in USA, before the Lord slowly and graciously allowed me to return to Catholic spirituality, culminating in my reception into the Roman Catholic Church this last Easter-tide. So, I am both an “old” Catholic and a “new” one all in one person, in that I recall the old Latin Mass, and also can gaze in wonder at the depths of the Mass with “new” eyes as well!

Today also marks the beginning of the “Year of Faith” and so I would like to encourage us all to really take this to heart, and to encourage one another in the most holy faith, throughout the year. Don’t be afraid of honest questions, because our God is bigger than any human doubts. Let’s not be ashamed of our faith! Let us draw close to Jesus every single day, and pouring out our hearts to Him, seeking His will for our lives more and more earnestly. One of the things that prevents us from really progressing in our lives is when we have other agendas ahead of God’s agenda for us. Let us seek first and foremost to be DISCIPLES of Jesus this coming year. Jesus is not a gene to help us advance our careers! He wants to be the sum total of our lives, with everything else we do, to fit into this great and hidden plan that He holds in His hands for us! As we do these things, may each one of us be carriers of the love and grace of God, and be bearers of the fruit of that blessed Council that commenced 50 years ago this week, Amen!  

With God’s blessings,

Brother John

PS: I’m thankful for those who have pointed out errors on my blog here, and also for thoise who have made specific requests. The site is due for an update, and I hope to have the time shortly to do that, in the mean time, there are still over 100 books here for download as pdf files, free of charge.

http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/Home/Featured/Year-of-Faith

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Recent Additions to the Library


New for 2012 we’ve added a web-link to a marvellous children’s Bible that includes  stories from both Old and New Testaments, and – this is the good bit – it is downloadable in over 50 different languages!

Studying the Word

With full permission, we’ve placed a sample chapter on our “Youth” page, – The Story of the Good Samaritan in English – and also added LINKS to the external website where all can be viewed ands downloaded – for free, of course!

CLICK TO GO TO THE YOUTH PAGE

 

IN PREPARATION::

The book my father wrote in the last 12 months of his terminal illness. Thank you for your prayers as I finish the final proof-reading. Also coming soon: first ever seen photos of D. H. Ruffle. I was looking through them with my elderly mother last Sunday night, and some of them I’d never seen before! Other updates scheduled for the half-term holidays include an index of titles, and the addition of some obvious and some less obvious omissions. God bless you, John Ruffle 7th February 2012

D. H. Ruffle

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Also, as today is the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, we’ve added a short 20 page biography of his life from the Catholic Encyclopedia, highlighting his multi-volume Gospel commentary: ‘Catena Aurea -Commentary on the Four Gospels Collected out of the Works of the Fathers by St. Thomas Aquinas.’

 

CLICK TO GO TO THE WEB PAGE

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I’ve been so blessed this week just reading some of the chapters in the Library on prayer… why not take a browse!

Brother John

Revised April 23, 2014 JR

 

St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)


INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE 

-St. Francis de Sales

Born in 16th century France, the remarkable backdrop to St. Francis de Sales life must have been the Protestant Reformation, which stormed Europe during his lifetime. After a personal crisis of faith, (a hallmark of so many great Christians from St. Peter and St. Paul onwards to the present day), he decided to dedicate his entire life to God. Francis came to the conclusion that whatever God had in store for him was good, because “God is love”. This faithful devotion to the God of love not only expelled his doubts, but also influenced the rest of his life and his teachings.

He was consecrated bishop of of Geneva in 1602, during which time he gained a reputation as an inspirational preacher and something of an ascetic; in particular, he was known as a friend of the poor; very approachable and of a deeply understanding and compassionate nature. These last qualities come through in his books, the most famous of which was Introduction à la vie dévote (“Introduction to the Devout Life”), which he wrote not as a theological treatise, but rather to help the non-clergy Christian faithful deepen his or her faith and devotion to Christ. (He uses the address “my daughter” in his writings.) His manner of teaching is often referred to as the Way of Divine Love, or the Devout Life, taken from the book he wrote of a similar name: “Introduction to the Devout Life”, added in its entirely here, on his feast-day of 24th January, at: D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library for free download.

  Read or download: Introduction to the Devout Life -St. Francis de Sales

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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JOHN WESLEY’S Secret Heritage!


GEMS – The Missing Link!

My apologies, I sent out my weekly update a few minutes ago with the new link missing! Here it is below – Thirteen pages well worth reading! While you are on the site, do take a browse at the OTHER new acquisitions we’ve put up in the past seven days!

Wesley and the Anglo-Catholic Revival – G. W. Taylor 

God bless and have a devoted week!

-John Ruffle (webmaster/librarian)

The D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library

John Ruffle

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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