The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

A program of meditations, prayers, insights, and contemplative practices.
by Catholic.net Staff Writer | Source: Catholic.net


TRANSLATED FROM THE AUTOGRAPH BY FATHER ELDER MULLAN, S.J.

Facultatem concedimus ut liber cui titulus "The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola translated from the Autograph by Father Elder Mullan, S.J.," typis edatur, si iis ad quos spectat ita videbitur.  Franciscus Xav. Wernz Praepositus Generalis Societatis Jesu

 

PREFACE

The present translation of the Exercises of St. Ignatius has been made from the Spanish Autograph of St. Ignatius. The copy so designated is not indeed in the handwriting of the Saint, but has a good number of corrections made by him and is known to have been used by him in giving the Exercises. St. Ignatius of Loyola was a man without any great pretensions to education at the time he wrote this book. His native language was not Spanish, but Basque. His lack of education and his imperfect acquaintance with pure Spanish are enough to make it clear that a refined use of any language, and more especially of the Spanish, or, in general, anything like a finished or even perfectly correct, style is not to be expected in his work. Literary defects he removed to some extent, perhaps, as he continued to use and apply the book, but he is known never to have been fearful of such faults. His corrections found in this text are clearly made with a view to precision more than to anything else. The Autograph of St. Ignatius was translated by Father General Roothaan into Latin and was reproduced by Father Rodeles in his edition of the Spanish text. But the original was not available to ordinary students. In 1908, however, Father General Wernz allowed the entire book to be phototyped, and in this way it was spread throughout the Society of Jesus in a large number of copies. It is one of these which has been chiefly employed by the present translator, who has, besides, made frequent use of the Manuscript itself. After considerable study of the matter, it seemed best to make this translation as faithful and close a reproduction of the Spanish text as could be. To do so it was necessary at times to sacrifice the niceties of style, but it was thought that those who would use the book would easily forego the elegancies of diction if they could feel sure they were reading the very words of St. Ignatius. Any other form of translation than the one adopted could hardly be kept from being a partial expansion, illustration or development of the original, and would therefore have proved, to some extent, a commentary as well as a translation. This the translator has earnestly sought to avoid, preferring to leave the further work of commentary to another occasion or to other hands. Another reason for aiming at absolute fidelity rather than style was the fact that the Exercises are mostly read, not continuously for any time, but piecemeal and meditatively. Literary finish would therefore not be much sought or cared for in the book, but accuracy is. For this a certain neglect of style seemed pardonable in the translation, if only the real meaning of the writer could be made clear. Perhaps some may even find a charm in the consequent want of finish, seeing it reproduces more completely the style of St. Ignatius. The process of translating in this way the Autograph text is not as simple as it might seem. The first difficulty is to make sure of the exact meaning of St. Ignatius. This is obscured, at times, by his language being that of nearly 400 years ago and being not pure Spanish. Occasionally, in fact, the Saint makes new Spanish words from the Latin or Italian, or uses Spanish words in an Italian or Latin sense, or employs phrases not current except in the Schools, and sometimes even has recourse to words in their Latin form. To be sure, then, of the meaning, one must often go to other languages and to the terms adopted in Scholastic Philosophy or Theology. The meaning clear, the further difficulty comes of finding an exactly equivalent English word or phrase. In accomplishing his task, the translator has made free use of other translations, especially of that of Father General Roothaan into Latin, that of Father Venturi into Italian, and that of Father Jennesseaux into French, and has had the use of the literal translation into Latin made, apparently, by St. Ignatius himself, copied in 1541, and formally approved by the Holy See in 1548. Besides the last-mentioned Manuscript and printed books, the translator has to acknowledge, as he does very gratefully, his obligations to the Very Rev. Father Mathias Abad, Father Achilles Gerste and particularly Father Mariano Lecina, Editor of the Ignatiana in the MONUMENTA HISTORICA S.J., for aid in appreciating the Spanish text, to Fathers Michael Ahern, Peter Cusick, Walter Drum, Francis Kemper and Herbert Noonan for general revision of the translation, and above all to Father Aloysius Frumveller for an accurate collation of the translation with the original. In conclusion, it is well to warn the reader that the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are not meant to be read cursorily, but to be pondered word for word and under the direction of a competent guide. Read straight on, it may well appear jejune and unsatisfactory; studied in the actual making of the Exercises, the very text itself cannot fail to yield ever new material for thought and prayer.

ELDER MULLAN, S.J. GERMAN COLLEGE, ROME, Feast of St. Ignatius, 1909.

 

 

FIRST WEEK

 PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION

 Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it. For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.

 

SECOND WEEK

THE CALL OF THE TEMPORAL KING; IT HELPS TO CONTEMPLATE THE LIFE OF THE KING ETERNAL

Prayer. Let the Preparatory Prayer be the usual one. First Prelude. The first Prelude is a composition, seeing the place: it will be here to see with the sight of the imagination, the synagogues,[5] villages and towns through which Christ our Lord preached. Second Prelude. The second, to ask for the grace which I want: it will be here to ask grace of our Lord that I may not be deaf to His call, but ready and diligent to fulfill His most Holy Will. First Point. The first Point is, to put before me a human king chosen by God our Lord, whom all Christian princes and men reverence and obey. Second Point. The second, to look how this king speaks to all his people, saying: "It is my Will to conquer all the land of unbelievers. Therefore, whoever would like to come with me is to be content to eat as I, and also to drink and dress, etc., as I: likewise he is to labor like me[6] in the day and watch in the night, etc., that so afterwards he may have part with me in the victory, as he has had it in the labors." Third Point. The third, to consider what the good subjects ought to answer to a King so liberal and so kind, and hence, if any one did not accept the appeal of such a king, how deserving he would be of being censured by all the world, and held for a mean-spirited knight.

 PART 2

The second part of this Exercise consists in applying the above parable of the temporal King to Christ our Lord, conformably to the three Points mentioned. First Point. And as to the first Point, if we consider such a call of the temporal King to his subjects, how much more worthy of consideration is it to see Christ our Lord, King eternal, and before Him all the entire world, which and each one in particular He calls, and says: "It is My will to conquer all the world and all enemies and so to enter into the glory of My Father; therefore, whoever would like to come with Me is to labor with Me, that following Me in the pain, he may also follow Me in the glory." Second Point. The second, to consider that all those who have judgment and reason will offer their entire selves to the labor. Third Point. The third, those who will want to be more devoted and signalise themselves in all service of their King Eternal and universal Lord, not only will offer their persons to the labor, but even, acting against their own sensuality and against their carnal and worldly love, will make offerings of greater value and greater importance, saying: "Eternal Lord of all things, I make my oblation with Thy favor and help, in presence of Thy infinite Goodness and in presence of Thy glorious Mother and of all the Saints of the heavenly Court; that I want and desire, and it is my deliberate determination, if only it be Thy greater service and praise, to imitate Thee in bearing all injuries and all abuse and all poverty of spirit, and actual poverty, too, if Thy most Holy Majesty wants to choose and receive me to such life and state." First Note. This Exercise will be made twice in the day; namely, in the morning on rising and an hour before dinner or before supper. Second Note. For the Second Week and so on, it is very helpful to read at intervals in the books of the Imitation of Christ, or of the Gospels, and of lives of Saints.

 

 THIRD WEEK

 FIRST DAY THE FIRST CONTEMPLATION AT MIDNIGHT IS HOW CHRIST OUR LORD WENT FROM BETHANY TO JERUSALEM TO THE LAST SUPPER INCLUSIVELY

 (p. 152); and it contains the Preparatory Prayer, three Preludes, six Points and one Colloquy.
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.

First Prelude. The first Prelude is to bring to memory the narrative; which is here how Christ our Lord sent two Disciples from Bethany to Jerusalem to prepare the Supper, and then He Himself went there with the other Disciples; and how, after having eaten the Paschal Lamb, and having supped, He washed their feet and gave His most Holy Body and Precious Blood to His Disciples, and made them a discourse, after Judas went to sell his Lord.


Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be here to consider the road from Bethany to Jerusalem, whether broad, whether narrow, whether level, etc.; likewise the place of the Supper, whether large, whether small, whether of one kind or whether of another.

Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want. It will be here grief, feeling and confusion because for my sins the Lord is going to the Passion.

 First Point. The first Point is to see the persons of the Supper, and, reflecting on myself, to see to drawing some profit from them.

 Second Point. The second, to hear what they are talking about, and likewise to draw some profit from it.

 Third Point. The third, to look at what they are doing, and draw some profit.

 Fourth Point.  The fourth, to consider that which Christ our Lord is suffering in His Humanity,[19] or wants to suffer, according to the passage which is being contemplated, and here to commence with much vehemence and to force myself to grieve, be sad and weep, and so to labor through the other points which follow.

 Fifth Point.   The fifth, to consider how the Divinity hides Itself, that is, how It could destroy Its enemies and does not do it, and how It leaves the most sacred Humanity to suffer so very cruelly.

 Sixth Point. The sixth, to consider how He suffers all this for my sins, etc.; and what I ought to do and suffer for Him. Colloquy. I will finish with a Colloquy to Christ our Lord, and, at the end, with an OUR FATHER.

 Note. It is to be noted, as was explained before and in part, that in the Colloquies I ought to discuss and ask according to the subject matter, that is, according as I find myself tempted or consoled, and according as I desire to have one virtue or another, as I want to dispose of myself in one direction or another, as I want to grieve or rejoice at the thing which I am contemplating; in fine, asking that which I more efficaciously desire as to any particular things. And in this way I can make one Colloquy only, to Christ our Lord, or, if the matter or devotion move me, three Colloquies, one to the Mother, another to the Son, another to the Father, in the same form as was said in the SECOND WEEK, in the meditation of the THREE PAIRS, with the Note which follows THE PAIRS.

 

FOURTH WEEK

 THE FIRST CONTEMPLATION HOW CHRIST OUR LORD APPEARED TO OUR LADY

Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.

 First Prelude. The first Prelude is the narrative, which is here how, after Christ expired on the Cross, and the Body, always united with the Divinity, remained separated from the Soul, the blessed Soul, likewise united with the Divinity, went down to Hell, and taking from there the just souls, and coming to the Sepulchre and being risen, He appeared to His Blessed Mother in Body and in Soul.

Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place; which will be here to see the arrangement of the Holy Sepulchre and the place or house of Our Lady, looking at its parts in particular; likewise the room, the oratory, etc.

Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want, and it will be here to ask for grace to rejoice and be glad intensely at so great glory and joy of Christ our Lord.

First Point, Second Point, and Third Point. Let the first, second and third Points be the same usual ones which we took in the Supper of Christ our Lord.

Fourth Point. The fourth, to consider how the Divinity, which seemed to hide Itself in the Passion, now appears and shows Itself so marvellously in the most holy Resurrection by Its true and most holy effects.

Fifth Point. The fifth is to consider the office of consoling which Christ our Lord bears, and to compare how friends are accustomed to console friends. Colloquy. I will finish with a Colloquy, or Colloquies, according to the subject matter, and an OUR FATHER.

 First Note. In the following Contemplations let one go on through all the Mysteries of the Resurrection, in the manner which follows below, up to the Ascension inclusive, taking and keeping in the rest the same form and manner in all the Week of the Resurrection which was taken in all the Week of the Passion. So that, for this first Contemplation, on the Resurrection, let one guide himself as to the Preludes according to the subject matter; and as to the five Points, let them be the same; and let the Additions which are below be the same; and so in all which remains, he can guide himself by the method of the Week of the Passion, as in repetitions, the five Senses, in shortening or lengthening the Mysteries.

 Second Note. The second note: Commonly in this FOURTH WEEK, it is more suitable than in the other three past to make four Exercises, and not five: the first, immediately on rising in the morning; the second, at the hour of Mass, or before dinner, in place of the first repetition; the third, at the hour of Vespers, in place of the second repetition; the fourth, before supper, bringing the five Senses on the three Exercises of the same day, noting and lingering on the more principal parts, and where one has felt greater spiritual movements and relish.

Third Note. The third: Though in all the Contemplations so many Points were given in certain number -- as three, or five, etc., the person who is contemplating can set more or fewer Points, according as he finds it better for him. For which it is very helpful, before entering on the Contemplation, to conjecture and mark in certain number the Points which he is to take.

Fourth Note. In this FOURTH WEEK, in all the ten Additions the second, the sixth, the seventh and the tenth are to be changed. The second will be, immediately on awaking, to put before me the Contemplation which I have to make, wanting to arouse feeling and be glad at the great joy and gladness of Christ our Lord. The sixth, to bring to memory and think of things that move to spiritual pleasure, gladness and joy, as of heavenly glory. The seventh, to use light or temporal comforts -- as, in summer, the coolness; and in winter, the sun or heat -- as far as the soul thinks or conjectures that it can help it to be joyful in its Creator and Redeemer. The tenth: in place of penance, let one regard temperance and all moderation; except it is question of precepts of fasting or of abstinence which the Church commands; because those are always to be fulfilled, if there is no just impediment.

 

CONTEMPLATION TO GAIN LOVE

Note. First, it is well to remark two things: the first is that love ought to be put more in deeds than in words. The second, love consists in interchange between the two parties; that is to say in the lover's giving and communicating to the beloved what he has or out of what he has or can; and so, on the contrary, the beloved to the lover. So that if the one has knowledge, he give to the one who has it not. The same of honors, of riches; and so the one to the other.

 

THREE METHODS OF PRAYER AND FIRST ON THE COMMANDMENTS

FIRST METHOD

The first Method of Prayer is on the Ten Commandments, and on the Seven Deadly Sins, on the Three Powers of the Soul and on the Five Bodily Senses. This method of prayer is meant more to give form, method and exercises, how the soul may prepare itself and benefit in them, and that the prayer may be acceptable, rather than to give any form or way of praying.

I. The Ten Commandments

First let the equivalent of the second Addition of the SECOND WEEK be made; that is, before entering on the prayer, let the spirit rest a little, the person being seated or walking about, as may seem best to him, considering where he is going and to what. And this same addition will be made at the beginning of all Methods of Prayer. Prayer. A Preparatory Prayer, as, for example, to ask grace of God our Lord that I may be able to know in what I have failed as to the Ten Commandments; and likewise to beg grace and help to amend in future, asking for perfect understanding of them, to keep them better and for the greater glory and praise of His Divine Majesty. For the first Method of Prayer, it is well to consider and think on the First Commandment, how I have kept it and in what I have failed, keeping to the rule of spending the space of time one says the OUR FATHER and the HAIL MARY three times; and if in this time I find faults of mine, to ask pardon and forgiveness for them, and say an OUR FATHER. Let this same method be followed on each one of the Ten Commandments. First Note. It is to be noted that when one comes to think on a Commandment on which he finds he has no habit of sinning, it is not necessary for him to delay so much time, but according as one finds in himself that he stumbles more or less on that Commandment so he ought to keep himself more or less on the consideration and examination of it. And the same is to be observed on the Deadly Sins. Second Note. After having finished the discussion already mentioned on all the Commandments, accusing myself on them and asking grace and help to amend hereafter, I am to finish with a Colloquy to God our Lord, according to the subject matter.

II. On Deadly Sins

 About the Seven Deadly Sins, after the Addition, let the Preparatory Prayer be made in the way already mentioned, only with the difference that the matter here is of sins that have to be avoided, and before of Commandments that have to be kept: and likewise let the order and rule already mentioned be kept, and the Colloquy. In order to know better the faults committed in the Deadly Sins, let their contraries be looked at: and so, to avoid them better, let the person purpose and with holy exercises see to acquiring and keeping the seven virtues contrary to them.

III. On the Powers of the Soul Way.

On the three powers of the soul let the same order and rule be kept as on the Commandments, making its Addition, Preparatory Prayer and Colloquy.

 IV. On the Bodily Senses Way.

 About the five bodily senses the same order always will be kept, but changing their matter. Note. Whoever wants to imitate Christ our Lord in the use of his senses, let him in the Preparatory Prayer recommend himself to His Divine Majesty, and after considering on each sense, say a HAIL MARY or an OUR FATHER. And whoever wants to imitate Our Lady in the use of the senses, let him in the Preparatory Prayer recommend himself to her, that she may get him grace from Her Son and Lord for it; and after considering on each sense, say a HAIL MARY.

 

 RULES FOR PERCEIVING AND KNOWING IN SOME MANNER THE DIFFERENT MOVEMENTS WHICH ARE CAUSED IN THE SOUL; THE GOOD, TO RECEIVE THEM, AND THE BAD TO REJECT THEM. AND THEY ARE MORE PROPER FOR THE FIRST WEEK.

 First Rule. The first Rule: In the persons who go from mortal sin to mortal sin, the enemy is commonly used to propose to them apparent pleasures, making them imagine sensual delights and pleasures in order to hold them more and make them grow in their vices and sins. In these persons the good spirit uses the opposite method, pricking them and biting their consciences through the process of reason.

Second Rule. The second: In the persons who are going on intensely cleansing their sins and rising from good to better in the service of God our Lord, it is the method contrary to that in the first Rule, for then it is the way of the evil spirit to bite, sadden and put obstacles, disquieting with false reasons, that one may not go on; and it is proper to the good to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations and quiet, easing, and putting away all obstacles, that one may go on in well doing.

 Third Rule. The third: OF SPIRITUAL CONSOLATION. I call it consolation when some interior movement in the soul is caused, through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord; and when it can in consequence love no created thing on the face of the earth in itself, but in the Creator of them all. Likewise, when it sheds tears that move to love of its Lord, whether out of sorrow for one's sins, or for the Passion of Christ our Lord, or because of other things directly connected with His service and praise. Finally, I call consolation every increase of hope, faith and charity, and all interior joy which calls and attracts to heavenly things and to the salvation of one's soul, quieting it and giving it peace in its Creator and Lord.

Fourth Rule. The fourth: OF SPIRITUAL DESOLATION. I call desolation all the contrary of the third[36] rule, such as darkness[37] of soul, disturbance in it, movement to things low and earthly, the unquiet of different agitations and temptations, moving to want of confidence, without hope, without love, when one finds oneself all lazy, tepid, sad, and as if separated from his Creator and Lord. Because, as consolation is contrary to desolation, in the same way the thoughts which come from consolation are contrary to the thoughts which come from desolation.

Fifth Rule. The fifth: In time of desolation never to make a change; but to be firm and constant in the resolutions and determination in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or in the determination in which he was in the preceding consolation. Because, as in consolation it is rather the good spirit who guides and counsels us, so in desolation it is the bad, with whose counsels we cannot take a course to decide rightly.

Sixth Rule. The sixth: Although in desolation we ought not to change our first resolutions, it is very helpful intensely to change ourselves against the same desolation, as by insisting more on prayer, meditation, on much examination, and by giving ourselves more scope in some suitable way of doing penance.

Seventh Rule. The seventh: Let him who is in desolation consider how the Lord has left him in trial in his natural powers, in order to resist the different agitations and temptations of the enemy; since he can with the Divine help, which always remains to him, though he does not clearly perceive it: because the Lord has taken from him his great fervor, great love and intense grace, leaving him, however, grace enough for eternal salvation.

Eighth Rule. The eighth: Let him who is in desolation labor to be in patience, which is contrary to the vexations which come to him: and let him think that he will soon be consoled, employing against the desolation the devices, as is said in the sixth Rule.[38]

Ninth Rule. The ninth: There are three principal reasons why we find ourselves desolate. The first is, because of our being tepid, lazy or negligent in our spiritual exercises; and so through our faults, spiritual consolation withdraws from us. The second, to try us and see how much we are and how much we let ourselves out in His service and praise without such great pay of consolation and great graces. The third, to give us true acquaintance and knowledge, that we may interiorly feel that it is not ours to get or keep great devotion, intense love, tears, or any other spiritual consolation, but that all is the gift and grace of God our Lord, and that we may not build a nest in a thing not ours, raising our intellect into some pride or vainglory, attributing to us devotion or the other things of the spiritual consolation.

Tenth Rule. The tenth: Let him who is in consolation think how he will be in the desolation which will come after, taking new strength for then.

Eleventh Rule. The eleventh: Let him who is consoled see to humbling himself and lowering himself as much as he can, thinking how little he is able for in the time of desolation without such grace or consolation. On the contrary, let him who is in desolation think that he can do much with the grace sufficient to resist all his enemies, taking strength in his Creator and Lord.

Twelfth Rule. The twelfth: The enemy acts like a woman, in being weak against vigor and strong of will. Because, as it is the way of the woman when she is quarrelling with some man to lose heart, taking flight when the man shows her much courage: and on the contrary, if the man, losing heart, begins to fly, the wrath, revenge, and ferocity of the woman is very great, and so without bounds; in the same manner, it is the way of the enemy to weaken and lose heart, his temptations taking flight, when the person who is exercising himself in spiritual things opposes a bold front against the temptations of the enemy, doing diametrically the opposite. And on the contrary, if the person who is exercising himself commences to have fear and lose heart in suffering the temptations, there is no beast so wild on the face of the earth as the enemy of human nature in following out his damnable intention with so great malice.

Thirteenth Rule. The thirteenth: Likewise, he acts as a licentious lover in wanting to be secret and not revealed. For, as the licentious man who, speaking for an evil purpose, solicits a daughter of a good father or a wife of a good husband, wants his words and persuasions to be secret, and the contrary displeases him much, when the daughter reveals to her father or the wife to her husband his licentious words and depraved intention, because he easily gathers that he will not be able to succeed with the undertaking begun: in the same way, when the enemy of human nature brings his wiles and persuasions to the just soul, he wants and desires that they be received and kept in secret; but when one reveals them to his good Confessor or to another spiritual person that knows his deceits and evil ends, it is very grievous to him, because he gathers, from his manifest deceits being discovered, that he will not be able to succeed with his wickedness begun.

Fourteenth Rule. The fourteenth: Likewise, he behaves as a chief bent on conquering and robbing what he desires: for, as a captain and chief of the army, pitching his camp, and looking at the forces or defences of a stronghold, attacks it on the weakest side, in like manner the enemy of human nature, roaming about, looks in turn at all our virtues, theological, cardinal and moral; and where he finds us weakest and most in need for our eternal salvation, there he attacks us and aims at taking us.

 

RULES FOR THE SAME EFFECT WITH GREATER DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS; AND THEY HELP MORE FOR THE SECOND WEEK

First Rule. The first: It is proper to God and to His Angels in their movements to give true spiritual gladness and joy, taking away all sadness and disturbance which the enemy brings on. Of this latter it is proper to fight against the spiritual gladness and consolation, bringing apparent reasons, subtleties and continual fallacies.

Second Rule. The second: It belongs to God our Lord to give consolation to the soul without preceding cause, for it is the property of the Creator to enter, go out and cause movements in the soul, bringing it all into love of His Divine Majesty. I say without cause: without any previous sense or knowledge of any object through which such consolation would come, through one's acts of understanding and will.

Third Rule. The third: With cause, as well the good Angel as the bad can console the soul, for contrary ends: the good Angel for the profit of the soul, that it may grow and rise from good to better, and the evil Angel, for the contrary, and later on to draw it to his damnable intention and wickedness.

Fourth Rule. The fourth: It is proper to the evil Angel, who forms himself under the appearance of an angel of light, to enter with the devout soul and go out with himself: that is to say, to bring good and holy thoughts, conformable to such just soul, and then little by little he aims at coming out drawing the soul to his covert deceits and perverse intentions.

Fifth Rule. The fifth: We ought to note well the course of the thoughts, and if the beginning, middle and end is all good, inclined to all good, it is a sign of the good Angel; but if in the course of the thoughts which he brings it ends in something bad, of a distracting tendency, or less good than what the soul had previously proposed to do, or if it weakens it or disquiets or disturbs the soul, taking away its peace, tranquillity and quiet, which it had before, it is a clear sign that it proceeds from the evil spirit, enemy of our profit and eternal salvation.

Sixth Rule. The sixth: When the enemy of human nature has been perceived and known by his serpent's tail and the bad end to which he leads on, it helps the person who was tempted by him, to look immediately at the course of the good thoughts which he brought him at their beginning, and how little by little he aimed at making him descend from the spiritual sweetness and joy in which he was, so far as to bring him to his depraved intention; in order that with this experience, known and noted, the person may be able to guard for the future against his usual deceits.

Seventh Rule. The seventh: In those who go on from good to better, the good Angel touches such soul sweetly, lightly and gently, like a drop of water which enters into a sponge; and the evil touches it sharply and with noise and disquiet, as when the drop of water falls on the stone. And the above-said spirits touch in a contrary way those who go on from bad to worse. The reason of this is that the disposition of the soul is contrary or like to the said Angels. Because, when it is contrary, they enter perceptibly with clatter and noise; and when it is like, they enter with silence as into their own home, through the open door.

Eighth Rule. The eighth: When the consolation is without cause, although there be no deceit in it, as being of God our Lord alone, as was said; still the spiritual person to whom God gives such consolation, ought, with much vigilance and attention, to look at and distinguish the time itself of such actual consolation from the following, in which the soul remains warm and favored with the favor and remnants of the consolation past; for often in this second time, through one's own course of habits and the consequences of the concepts and judgments, or through the good spirit or through the bad, he forms various resolutions and opinions which are not given immediately by God our Lord, and therefore they have need to be very well examined before entire credit is given them, or they are put into effect.

 

 IN THE MINISTRY OF DISTRIBUTING ALMS THE FOLLOWING RULES SHOULD BE KEPT

First Rule. The first: If I make the distribution to relatives or friends, or to persons for whom I have an affection, I shall have four things to see to, of which mention was made, in part, in the matter of Election. The first is, that that love which moves me and makes me give the alms, should descend from above, from the love of God our Lord, so that I feel first in me that the love, more or less, which I have to such persons is for God; and that in the reason why I love them more, God appears.

Second Rule. The second: I want to set before me a man whom I have never seen or known, and desiring all his perfection in the ministry and condition which he has, as I would want him to keep the mean in his manner of distributing, for the greater glory of God our Lord and the greater perfection of his soul; I, doing so, neither more nor less, will keep the rule and measure which I should want and judge to be right for the other.

Third Rule. The third: I want to consider, as if I were at the point of death, the form and measure which then I should want to have kept in the office of my administration, and regulating myself by that, to keep it in the acts of my distribution.

 Fourth Rule. The fourth: Looking how I shall find myself on the Day of Judgment, to think well how then I should want to have used this office and charge of administration; and the rule which then I should want to have kept, to keep it now.

Fifth Rule. The fifth: When some person feels himself inclined and drawn to some persons to whom he wants to distribute alms, let him hold himself back and ponder well the above-mentioned four Rules, examining and testing his affection by them; and not give the alms until, conformably to them, he has in all dismissed and cast out his disordered inclination.

Sixth Rule. The sixth: Although there is no fault in taking the goods of God our Lord to distribute them, when the person is called by God our Lord to such ministry; still in the quantity of what he has to take and apply to himself out of what he has to give to others, there may be doubt as to fault and excess. Therefore, he can reform in his life and condition by the above-mentioned Rules.

 Seventh Rule. The seventh: For the reasons already mentioned and for many others, it is always better and more secure in what touches one's person and condition of life to spare more and diminish and approach more to our High Priest, our model and rule, who is Christ our Lord; conformably to what the third Council of Carthage, in which St. Augustine was, determines and orders -- that the furniture of the Bishop be cheap and poor. The same should be considered in all manners of life, looking at and deciding according to the condition and state of the persons; as in married life we have the example of St. Joachim and of St. Ann, who, dividing their means into three parts, gave the first to the poor, and the second to the ministry and service of the Temple, and took the third for the support of themselves and of their household.

 

THE FOLLOWING NOTES HELP TO PERCEIVE AND UNDERSTAND SCRUPLES AND PERSUASIONS OF OUR ENEMY

 First Note. The first: They commonly call a scruple what proceeds from our own judgment and freedom: that is to say, when I freely decide that that is sin which is not sin, as when it happens that after some one has accidentally stepped on a cross of straw, he decides with his own judgment that he has sinned. This is properly an erroneous judgment and not a real scruple.

 Second Note. The second: After I have stepped on that cross, or after I have thought or said or done some other thing, there comes to me a thought from without that I have sinned, and on the other hand it appears to me that I have not sinned; still I feel disturbance in this; that is to say, in as much as I doubt and in as much as I do not doubt. That is a real scruple and temptation which the enemy sets.

Third Note. Third: The first scruple -- of the first note -- is much to be abhorred, because it is all error; but the second -- of the second note -- for some space of time is of no little profit to the soul which is giving itself to spiritual exercises;[39] rather in great manner it purifies and cleanses such a soul, separating it much from all appearance of sin: according to that saying of Gregory: "It belongs to good minds to see a fault where there is no fault."

Fourth Note. The fourth: The enemy looks much if a soul is gross or delicate, and if it is delicate, he tries to make it more delicate in the extreme, to disturb and embarrass it more. For instance, if he sees that a soul does not consent to either mortal sin or venial or any appearance of deliberate sin, then the enemy, when he cannot make it fall into a thing that appears sin, aims at making it make out sin where there is not sin, as in a word or very small thought. If the soul is gross, the enemy tries to make it more gross; for instance, if before it made no account of venial sins, he will try to have it make little account of mortal sins, and if before it made some account, he will try to have it now make much less or none.

Fifth Note. The fifth: The soul which desires to benefit itself in the spiritual life, ought always to proceed the contrary way to what the enemy proceeds; that is to say, if the enemy wants to make the soul gross, let it aim at making itself delicate. Likewise, if the enemy tries to draw it out to extreme fineness, let the soul try to establish itself in the mean, in order to quiet itself in everything.

Sixth Note. The sixth: When such good soul wants to speak or do something within the Church, within the understanding of our Superiors, and which should be for the glory of God our Lord, and there comes to him a thought or temptation from without that he should neither say nor do that thing -- bringing to him apparent reasons of vainglory or of another thing, etc., -- then he ought to raise his understanding to his Creator and Lord, and if he sees that it is His due service, or at the least not contrary to it, he ought to act diametrically against such temptation, according to St. Bernard, answering the same: "Neither for thee did I begin, nor for thee will I stop."

 

TO HAVE THE TRUE SENTIMENT WHICH WE OUGHT TO HAVE IN THE CHURCH MILITANT

 Let the following Rules be observed.

First Rule. The first: All judgment laid aside, we ought to have our mind ready and prompt to obey, in all, the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our holy Mother the Church Hierarchical.

 Second Rule. The second: To praise confession to a Priest, and the reception of the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar once in the year, and much more each month, and much better from week to week, with the conditions required and due.

Third Rule. The third: To praise the hearing of Mass often, likewise[40] hymns, psalms, and long prayers, in the church and out of it; likewise the hours set at the time fixed for each Divine Office and for all prayer and all Canonical Hours.

Fourth Rule. The fourth: To praise much Religious Orders, virginity and continence, and not so much marriage as any of these.

Fifth Rule. The fifth: To praise vows of Religion, of obedience, of poverty, of chastity and of other perfections of supererogation. And it is to be noted that as the vow is about the things which approach to Evangelical perfection, a vow ought not to be made in the things which withdraw from it, such as to be a merchant, or to be married, etc.

Sixth Rule. To praise relics of the Saints, giving veneration to them and praying to the Saints; and to praise Stations, pilgrimages, Indulgences, pardons, Cruzadas, and candles lighted in the churches.

Seventh Rule. To praise Constitutions about fasts and abstinence, as of Lent, Ember Days, Vigils, Friday and Saturday; likewise penances, not only interior, but also exterior.

Eighth Rule. To praise the ornaments and the buildings of churches; likewise images, and to venerate them according to what they represent.

Ninth Rule. Finally, to praise all precepts of the Church, keeping the mind prompt to find reasons in their defence and in no manner against them.

Tenth Rule. We ought to be more prompt to find good and praise as well the Constitutions and recommendations as the ways of our Superiors. Because, although some are not or have not been such, to speak against them, whether preaching in public or discoursing before the common people, would rather give rise to fault-finding and scandal than profit; and so the people would be incensed against their Superiors, whether temporal or spiritual. So that, as it does harm to speak evil to the common people of Superiors in their absence, so it can make profit to speak of the evil ways to the persons themselves who can remedy them.

Eleventh Rule. To praise positive and scholastic learning. Because, as it is more proper to the Positive Doctors, as St. Jerome, St. Augustine and St. Gregory, etc., to move the heart to love and serve God our Lord in everything; so it is more proper to the Scholastics, as St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, and to the Master of the Sentences, etc., to define or explain for our times[41] the things necessary for eternal salvation; and to combat and explain better all errors and all fallacies. For the Scholastic Doctors, as they are more modern, not only help themselves with the true understanding of the Sacred Scripture and of the Positive and holy Doctors, but also, they being enlightened and clarified by the Divine virtue, help themselves by the Councils, Canons and Constitutions of our holy Mother the Church.

Twelfth Rule. We ought to be on our guard in making comparison of those of us who are alive to the blessed passed away, because error is committed not a little in this; that is to say, in saying, this one knows more than St. Augustine; he is another, or greater than, St. Francis; he is another St. Paul in goodness, holiness, etc.

Thirteenth Rule. To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Bride, there is the same Spirit which governs and directs us for the salvation of our souls. Because by the same Spirit and our Lord Who gave the ten Commandments, our holy Mother the Church is directed and governed.

Fourteenth Rule. Although there is much truth in the assertion that no one can save himself without being predestined and without having faith and grace; we must be very cautious in the manner of speaking and communicating with others about all these things.

Fifteenth Rule. We ought not, by way of custom, to speak much of predestination; but if in some way and at some times one speaks, let him so speak that the common people may not come into any error, as sometimes happens, saying: Whether I have to be saved or condemned is already determined, and no other thing can now be, through my doing well or ill; and with this, growing lazy, they become negligent in the works which lead to the salvation and the spiritual[42] profit of their souls.

Sixteenth Rule. In the same way, we must be on our guard that by talking much and with much insistence of faith, without any distinction and explanation, occasion be not given to the people to be lazy and slothful in works, whether before faith is formed in charity or after.

Seventeenth Rule. Likewise, we ought not to speak so much with insistence on grace that the poison of discarding liberty be engendered. So that of faith and grace one can speak as much as is possible with the Divine help for the greater praise of His Divine Majesty, but not in such way, nor in such manners, especially in our so dangerous times, that works and free will receive any harm, or be held for nothing.

Eighteenth Rule. Although serving God our Lord much out of pure love is to be esteemed above all; we ought to praise much the fear of His Divine Majesty, because not only filial fear is a thing pious and most holy, but even servile fear -- when the man reaches nothing else better or more useful -- helps much to get out of mortal sin. And when he is out, he easily comes to filial fear, which is all acceptable and grateful to God our Lord: as being at one with the Divine Love.



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