THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
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
APPROBATION OF THE LATIN TEXTS
The Exercises were offered for ecclesiastical censure at Rome. The text
submitted was not, however, the one which is here reproduced, but two Latin
translations, one in more polished Latin -- since called the Vulgate
Version -- and one a literal rendering. The opinions expressed on these
versions, as also the formal approval of Paul III, are given here, as
applying quite entirely to the text from which the translations were made.
We have read everything compiled in the volume: it has greatly pleased us
and seemed remarkably conducive to the salvation of souls.
--The Cardinal of Burgos
We grant leave to print the work; it is worthy of all praise and very
profitable to the Christian profession.
Such holy Exercises cannot but afford the greatest profit to any one who
studies them. They should therefore be received with open arms.
--Fr. Aegidius Foscararius, Master of the Sacred Palace
We have read these Spiritual Exercises, They greatly please us and we judge
them worthy of being received and highly esteemed by all who practise the
--The Cardinal of Burgos
--We grant leave to print this work; it is worthy of all praise and very
profitable to the Christian profession.
As the Christian religion cannot long subsist without some spiritual
exercises and meditations -- for the Psalmist says: In my meditation a fire
flames out -- I think none more appropriate than these, which undoubtedly
have had their source in the study of the Scriptures and in long
--Fr. Aegidius Foscararius, Master of the Sacred Palace
PAUL III, POPE
FOR A PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE
The cares of the pastoral charge of the whole flock of Christ entrusted to
Us and Our devotion to the glory and praise of God impel Us to embrace what
helps the salvation of souls and their spiritual profit, and cause Us to
hearken to those who petition Us for what can foster and nourish piety in
So Our beloved son, Francis de Borgia, Duke of Gandia, has lately brought
it to Our notice that Our beloved son Ignatius de Loyola, General of the
Society of Jesus, erected by Us in Our beloved City and confirmed by Our
Apostolic authority, has compiled certain instructions, or Spiritual
Exercises, drawn from Holy Writ and from experience in the spiritual life,
and has reduced them to an order which is excellently adapted to move
piously the souls of the faithful, and that they are very useful and
wholesome for the spiritual consolation and profit of the same. This the
said Duke Francis has come to know by report from many places and by clear
evidence at Barcelona, Valencia and Gandia.
Hence he has humbly begged Us to cause the aforesaid instructions and
Spiritual Exercises to be examined, so that their fruit may be more spread,
and more of the faithful may be induced to use them with greater devotion.
And he has begged Us, should We find them worthy, to approve and praise
them and out of Our Apostolic goodness to make other provision in the
We, therefore, have caused these instructions and Exercises to be examined,
and by the testimony of and report made to Us by Our beloved son John
Cardinal Priest of the Title of St. Clement, Bishop of Burgos and
Inquisitor, Our venerable Brother Philip, Bishop of Saluciae, and Our Vicar
General in things spiritual at Rome, and Our beloved son Aegidius
Foscararius, Master of Our Sacred Palace, have found that these Exercises
are full of piety and holiness and that they are and will be extremely
useful and salutary for the spiritual profit of the faithful.
We have, besides, as We should, due regard to the rich fruits which
Ignatius and the aforesaid Society founded by him are constantly producing
everywhere in the Church of God, and to the very great help which the said
Exercises have proved in this.
Moved, then, by this petition, with the aforesaid authority, by these
presents, and of Our certain knowledge, We approve, praise, and favor with
the present writing the aforesaid instructions and Exercises and all and
everything contained in them, and We earnestly exhort all and each of the
faithful of both sexes everywhere to employ instructions and Exercises so
pious and to be instructed by them.
[Here follow regulations for the diffusion of the book, and then
Given at St. Mark's in Rome under the seal of the Fisherman, 31 July, 1548,
in the 14th year of Our Pontificate.
Blo. El. Fulginen.
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.
In the reproduction of the text in English:
1. No change whatever is made in the wording. The proper corrections,
however, of the two unimportant slips in quotation have been indicated in
It may be remarked in passing that the text of Holy Scripture is not seldom
given in the Spiritual Exercises in wording somewhat different from that of
the Vulgate. Such divergences have not been noted in this translation. It
will be remembered that, when the book was written, the Council of Trent
had not yet put its seal on the Vulgate.
2. The head lines and the rubrics have been kept as they stand in the
Manuscript. Where they were wanting, they have been supplied in italics.
3. Abbreviations have been filled out.
4. Wherever italics are used, the words in this character belong to the
translator and not to St. Ignatius.
5. In the use of small and capital letters, and in the matter of
punctuation and the division into paragraphs the practice of the copyist
has usually not been followed. Various kinds of type, also, are used
independently of the Manuscript.
6. As a matter of convenience, in citations from Holy Scripture, the modern
method by chapter and verse is substituted for that of the Mss. chapter and
letter. Besides, quotations are indicated by quotation marks in place of
the parentheses of the Mss. Elder Mullan, S.J.
PRAYER OF FATHER DIERTINS
ROUSE up, O Lord, and foster the spirit of the Exercises which Blessed
Ignatius labored to spread abroad, that we, too, may be filled with it and
be zealous to love what he loved and do what he taught! Through Christ our
TO GIVE SOME UNDERSTANDING OF THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES WHICH FOLLOW, AND TO
ENABLE HIM WHO IS TO GIVE AND HIM WHO IS TO RECEIVE THEM TO HELP THEMSELVES
First Annotation. The first Annotation is that by this name of Spiritual
Exercises is meant every way of examining one's conscience, of meditating,
of contemplating, of praying vocally and mentally, and of performing other
spiritual actions, as will be said later. For as strolling, walking and
running are bodily exercises, so every way of preparing and disposing the
soul to rid itself of all the disordered tendencies, and, after it is rid,
to seek and find the Divine Will as to the management of one's life for the
salvation of the soul, is called a Spiritual Exercise.
Second Annotation. The second is that the person who gives to another the
way and order in which to meditate or contemplate, ought to relate
faithfully the events of such Contemplation or Meditation, going over the
Points with only a short or summary development. For, if the person who is
making the Contemplation, takes the true groundwork of the narrative, and,
discussing and considering for himself, finds something which makes the
events a little clearer or brings them a little more home to him -- whether
this comes through his own reasoning, or because his intellect is
enlightened by the Divine power -- he will get more spiritual relish and
fruit, than if he who is giving the Exercises had much explained and
amplified the meaning of the events. For it is not knowing much, but
realising and relishing things interiorly, that contents and satisfies the
Third Annotation. The third: As in all the following Spiritual Exercises,
we use acts of the intellect in reasoning, and acts of the will in
movements of the feelings: let us remark that, in the acts of the will,
when we are speaking vocally or mentally with God our Lord, or with His
Saints, greater reverence is required on our part than when we are using
the intellect in understanding.
Fourth Annotation. The fourth: The following Exercises are divided into
First, the consideration and contemplation on the sins;
Second, the life of Christ our Lord up to Palm Sunday inclusively;
Third, the Passion of Christ our Lord;
Fourth, the Resurrection and Ascension, with the three Methods of Prayer.
Though four weeks, to correspond to this division, are spent in the
Exercises, it is not to be understood that each Week has, of necessity,
seven or eight days. For, as it happens that in the First Week some are
slower to find what they seek -- namely, contrition, sorrow and tears for
their sins -- and in the same way some are more diligent than others, and
more acted on or tried by different spirits; it is necessary sometimes to
shorten the Week, and at other times to lengthen it. The same is true of
all the other subsequent Weeks, seeking out the things according to the
subject matter. However, the Exercises will be finished in thirty days, a
little more or less.
Fifth Annotation. The fifth: It is very helpful to him who is receiving the
Exercises to enter into them with great courage and generosity towards his
Creator and Lord, offering Him all his will and liberty, that His Divine
Majesty may make use of his person and of all he has according to His
most Holy Will.
Sixth Annotation. The sixth: When he who is giving the Exercises sees that
no spiritual movements, such as consolations or desolations, come to the
soul of him who is exercising himself, and that he is not moved by
different spirits, he ought to inquire carefully of him about the
Exercises, whether he does them at their appointed times, and how. So too
of the Additions, whether he observes them with diligence. Let him ask in
detail about each of these things.
Consolation and desolation are spoken of on p. 170; the Additions on p. 22.
Seventh Annotation. The seventh: If he who is giving the Exercises sees
that he who is receiving them is in desolation and tempted, let him not be
hard or dissatisfied with him, but gentle and indulgent, giving him courage
and strength for the future, and laying bare to him the wiles of the enemy
of human nature, and getting him to prepare and dispose himself for the
Eighth Annotation. The eighth: If he who is giving the Exercises sees that
he who is receiving them is in need of instruction about the desolations
and wiles of the enemy -- and the same of consolations -- he may explain to
him, as far as he needs them, the Rules of the First and Second Weeks for
recognising different spirits. (P. 177).
Ninth Annotation. The ninth is to notice, when he who is exercising himself
is in the Exercises of the First Week, if he is a person who has not been
versed in spiritual things, and is tempted grossly and openly -- having,
for example, suggested to him obstacles to going on in the service of God
our Lord, such as labors, shame and fear for the honor of the world -- let
him who is giving the Exercises not explain to him the Rules of the Second
Week for the discernment of spirits. Because, as much as those of the First
Week will be helpful, those of the Second will be harmful to him, as being
matter too subtle and too high for him to understand.
Tenth Annotation. The tenth: When he who is giving the Exercises perceives
that he who is receiving them is assaulted and tempted under the appearance
of good, then it is proper to instruct him about the Rules of the Second
Week already mentioned. For, ordinarily, the enemy of human nature tempts
under the appearance of good rather when the person is exercising himself
in the Illuminative Life, which corresponds to the Exercises of the Second
Week, and not so much in the Purgative Life, which corresponds to those of
Eleventh Annotation. The eleventh: It is helpful to him who is receiving
the Exercises in the First Week, not to know anything of what he is to do
in the Second, but so to labor in the First to attain the object he is
seeking as if he did not hope to find in the Second any good.
Twelfth Annotation. The twelfth: As he who is receiving the Exercises is to
give an hour to each of the five Exercises or Contemplations which will be
made every day, he who is giving the Exercises has to warn him carefully to
always see that his soul remains content in the consciousness of having
been a full hour in the Exercise, and rather more than less. For the enemy
is not a little used to try and make one cut short the hour of such
contemplation, meditation or prayer.
Thirteenth Annotation. The thirteenth: It is likewise to be remarked that,
as, in the time of consolation, it is easy and not irksome to be in
contemplation the full hour, so it is very hard in the time of desolation
to fill it out. For this reason, the person who is exercising himself, in
order to act against the desolation and conquer the temptations, ought
always to stay somewhat more than the full hour; so as to accustom himself
not only to resist the adversary, but even to overthrow him.
Fourteenth Annotation. The fourteenth: If he who is giving the Exercises
sees that he who is receiving them is going on in consolation and with much
fervor, he ought to warn him not to make any inconsiderate and hasty
promise or vow: and the more light of character he knows him to be, the
more he ought to warn and admonish him. For, though one may justly
influence another to embrace the religious life, in which he is understood
to make vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, and, although a good work
done under vow is more meritorious than one done without it, one should
carefully consider the circumstances and personal qualities of the
individual and how much help or hindrance he is likely to find in
fulfilling the thing he would want to promise.
Fifteenth Annotation. The fifteenth: He who is giving the Exercises ought
not to influence him who is receiving them more to poverty or to a promise,
than to their opposites, nor more to one state or way of life than to
another. For though, outside the Exercises, we can lawfully and with merit
influence every one who is probably fit to choose continence, virginity,
the religious life and all manner of evangelical perfection, still in the
Spiritual Exercises, when seeking the Divine Will, it is more fitting and
much better, that the Creator and Lord Himself should communicate Himself
to His devout soul, inflaming it with His love and praise, and disposing it
for the way in which it will be better able to serve Him in future. So, he
who is giving the Exercises should not turn or incline to one side or the
other, but standing in the centre like a balance, leave the Creator to act
immediately with the creature, and the creature with its Creator and Lord.
Sixteenth Annotation. The sixteenth: For this -- namely, that the Creator
and Lord may work more surely in His creature -- it is very expedient, if
it happens that the soul is attached or inclined to a thing inordinately,
that one should move himself, putting forth all his strength, to come to
the contrary of what he is wrongly drawn to. Thus if he inclines to seeking
and possessing an office or benefice, not for the honor and glory of God
our Lord, nor for the spiritual well-being of souls, but for his own
temporal advantage and interests, he ought to excite his feelings to the
contrary, being instant in prayers and other spiritual exercises, and
asking God our Lord for the contrary, namely, not to want such office or
benefice, or any other thing, unless His Divine Majesty, putting his
desires in order, change his first inclination for him, so that the motive
for desiring or having one thing or another be only the service, honor, and
glory of His Divine Majesty.
Seventeenth Annotation. The seventeenth: It is very helpful that he who is
giving the Exercises, without wanting to ask or know from him who is
receiving them his personal thoughts or sins, should be faithfully informed
of the various movements and thoughts which the different spirits put in
him. For, according as is more or less useful for him, he can give him some
spiritual Exercises suited and adapted to the need of such a soul so acted
Eighteenth Annotation. The eighteenth: The Spiritual Exercises have to be
adapted to the dispositions of the persons who wish to receive them, that
is, to their age, education or ability, in order not to give to one who is
uneducated or of little intelligence things he cannot easily bear and
Again, that should be given to each one by which, according to his wish to
dispose himself, he may be better able to help himself and to profit.
So, to him who wants help to be instructed and to come to a certain degree
of contentment of soul, can be given the Particular Examen, p. 21, and then
the General Examen, p. 25; also, for a half hour in the morning, the Method
of Prayer on the Commandments, the Deadly Sins, etc., p. 125. Let him be
recommended, also, to confess his sins every eight days, and, if he can, to
receive the Blessed Sacrament every fifteen days, and better, if he be so
moved, every eight. This way is more proper for illiterate or less educated
persons. Let each of the Commandments be explained to them; and so of the
Deadly Sins, Precepts of the Church, Five Senses, and Works of Mercy.
So, too, should he who is giving the Exercises observe that he who is
receiving them has little ability or little natural capacity, from whom not
much fruit is to be hoped, it is more expedient to give him some of these
easy Exercises, until he confesses his sins. Then let him be given some
Examens of Conscience and some method for going to Confession oftener than
was his custom, in order to preserve what he has gained, but let him not go
on into the matter of the Election, or into any other Exercises that are
outside the First Week, especially when more progress can be made in other
persons and there is not time for every thing.
Nineteenth Annotation. The nineteenth: A person of education or ability who
is taken up with public affairs or suitable business, may take an hour and
a half daily to exercise himself.
Let the end for which man is created be explained to him, and he can also
be given for the space of a half-hour the Particular Examen and then the
General and the way to confess and to receive the Blessed Sacrament. Let
him, during three days every morning, for the space of an hour, make the
meditation on the First, Second and Third Sins, pp. 37, 38; then, three
other days at the same hour, the meditation on the statement of Sins, p.
40; then, for three other days at the same hour, on the punishments
corresponding to Sins, p. 45. Let him be given in all three meditations the
ten Additions, p. 47.
For the mysteries of Christ our Lord, let the same course be kept, as is
explained below and in full in the Exercises themselves.
Twentieth Annotation. The twentieth: To him who is more disengaged, and who
desires to get all the profit he can, let all the Spiritual Exercises be
given in the order in which they follow.
In these he will, ordinarily, more benefit himself, the more he separates
himself from all friends and acquaintances and from all earthly care, as by
changing from the house where he was dwelling, and taking another house or
room to live in, in as much privacy as he can, so that it be in his power
to go each day to Mass and to Vespers, without fear that his acquaintances
will put obstacles in his way.
From this isolation three chief benefits, among many others, follow.
The first is that a man, by separating himself from many friends and
acquaintances, and likewise from many not well-ordered affairs, to serve
and praise God our Lord, merits no little in the sight of His Divine
The second is, that being thus isolated, and not having his understanding
divided on many things, but concentrating his care on one only, namely, on
serving his Creator and benefiting his own soul, he uses with greater
freedom his natural powers, in seeking with diligence what he so much
The third: the more our soul finds itself alone and isolated, the more apt
it makes itself to approach and to reach its Creator and Lord, and the more
it so approaches Him, the more it disposes itself to receive graces and
gifts from His Divine and Sovereign Goodness.
TO CONQUER ONESELF AND REGULATE ONE'S LIFE WITHOUT DETERMINING ONESELF
THROUGH ANY TENDENCY THAT IS DISORDERED
In order that both he who is giving the Spiritual Exercises, and he who is
receiving them, may more help and benefit themselves, let it be presupposed
that every good Christian is to be more ready to save his neighbor's
proposition than to condemn it. If he cannot save it, let him inquire how
he means it; and if he means it badly, let him correct him with charity. If
that is not enough, let him seek all the suitable means to bring him to
mean it well, and save himself.
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
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.
PARTICULAR AND DAILY EXAMEN
It contains in it three times, and two to examine oneself.
The first time is in the morning, immediately on rising, when one ought to
propose to guard himself with diligence against that particular sin or
defect which he wants to correct and amend.
The second time is after dinner, when one is to ask of God our Lord what
one wants, namely, grace to remember how many times he has fallen into that
particular sin or defect, and to amend himself in the future. Then let him
make the first Examen, asking account of his soul of that particular thing
proposed, which he wants to correct and amend. Let him go over hour by
hour, or period by period, commencing at the hour he rose, and continuing
up to the hour and instant of the present examen, and let him make in the
first line of the G------- as many dots as were the times he has fallen
into that particular sin or defect. Then let him resolve anew to amend
himself up to the second Examen which he will make.
The third time: After supper, the second Examen will be made, in the same
way, hour by hour, commencing at the first Examen and continuing up to the
present (second) one, and let him make in the second line of the same G----
--- as many dots as were the times he has fallen into that particular sin
FOUR ADDITIONS FOLLOW
TO RID ONESELF SOONER OF THAT PARTICULAR SIN OR DEFECT
First Addition. The first Addition is that each time one falls into that
particular sin or defect, let him put his hand on his breast, grieving for
having fallen: which can be done even in the presence of many, without
their perceiving what he is doing.
Second Addition. The second: As the first line of the G------- means the
first Examen, and the second line the second Examen, let him look at night
if there is amendment from the first line to the second, that is, from the
first Examen to the second.
Third Addition. The third: To compare the second day with the first; that
is, the two Examens of the present day with the other two Examens of the
previous day, and see if he has amended himself from one day to the other.
Fourth Addition. The fourth Addition: To compare one week with another, and
see if he has amended himself in the present week over the week past.
Note. It is to be noted that the first (large) G------- which follows means
the Sunday: the second (smaller), the Monday: the third, the Tuesday, and
----------------------------- G---------------------------- ---------------
-------------- G---------------------------- -----------------------------
G---------------------------- ----------------------------- G--------------
-------------- ----------------------------- G----------------------------
GENERAL EXAMEN OF CONSCIENCE
TO PURIFY ONESELF AND TO MAKE ONE'S CONFESSION BETTER
I presuppose that there are three kinds of thoughts in me: that is, one my
own, which springs from my mere liberty and will; and two others, which
come from without, one from the good spirit, and the other from the bad.
There are two ways of meriting in the bad thought which comes from without,
First Way. A thought of committing a mortal sin, which thought I resist
immediately and it remains conquered.
Second Way. The second way of meriting is: When that same bad thought comes
to me and I resist it, and it returns to me again and again, and I always
resist, until it is conquered.
This second way is more meritorious than the first.
A venial sin is committed when the same thought comes of sinning mortally
and one gives ear to it, making some little delay, or receiving some
sensual pleasure, or when there is some negligence in rejecting such
There are two ways of sinning mortally:
First Way. The first is, when one gives consent to the bad thought, to act
afterwards as he has consented, or to put it in act if he could.
Second Way. The second way of sinning mortally is when that sin is put in
This is a greater sin for three reasons: first, because of the greater
time; second, because of the greater intensity; third, because of the
greater harm to the two persons.
One must not swear, either by Creator or creature, if it be not with truth,
necessity and reverence.
By necessity I mean, not when any truth whatever is affirmed with oath, but
when it is of some importance for the good of the soul, or the body, or for
By reverence I mean when, in naming the Creator and Lord, one acts with
consideration, so as to render Him the honor and reverence due.
It is to be noted that, though in an idle oath one sins more when he swears
by the Creator than by the creature, it is more difficult to swear in the
right way with truth, necessity and reverence by the creature than by the
Creator, for the following reasons.
First Reason. The first: When we want to swear by some creature, wanting to
name the creature does not make us so attentive or circumspect as to
telling the truth, or as to affirming it with necessity, as would wanting
to name the Lord and Creator of all things.
Second Reason. The second is that in swearing by the creature it is not so
easy to show reverence and respect to the Creator, as in swearing and
naming the same Creator and Lord, because wanting to name God our Lord
brings with it more respect and reverence than wanting to name the created
thing. Therefore swearing by the creature is more allowable to the perfect
than to the imperfect, because the perfect, through continued contemplation
and enlightenment of intellect, consider, meditate and contemplate more
that God our Lord is in every creature, according to His own essence,
presence and power, and so in swearing by the creature they are more apt
and prepared than the imperfect to show respect and reverence to their
Creator and Lord.
Third Reason. The third is that in continually swearing by the creature,
idolatry is to be more feared in the imperfect than in the perfect.
One must not speak an idle word. By idle word I mean one which does not
benefit either me or another, and is not directed to that intention. Hence
words spoken for any useful purpose, or meant to profit one's own or
another's soul, the body or temporal goods, are never idle, not even if one
were to speak of something foreign to one's state of life, as, for
instance, if a religious speaks of wars or articles of trade; but in all
that is said there is merit in directing well, and sin in directing badly,
or in speaking idly.
Nothing must be said to injure another's character or to find fault,
because if I reveal a mortal sin that is not public, I sin mortally; if a
venial sin, venially; and if a defect, I show a defect of my own.
But if the intention is right, in two ways one can speak of the sin or
fault of another:
First Way. The first: When the sin is public, as in the case of a public
prostitute, and of a sentence given in judgment, or of a public error which
is infecting the souls with whom one comes in contact.
Second Way. Second: When the hidden sin is revealed to some person that he
may help to raise him who is in sin -- supposing, however, that he has some
probable conjectures or grounds for thinking that he will be able to help
Taking the Ten Commandments, the Precepts of the Church and the
recommendations of Superiors, every act done against any of these three
heads is, according to its greater or less nature, a greater or a lesser
By recommendations of Superiors I mean such things as Bulls de Cruzadas and
other Indulgences, as for instance for peace, granted under condition of
going to Confession and receiving the Blessed Sacrament. For one commits no
little sin in being the cause of others acting contrary to such pious
exhortations and recommendations of our Superiors, or in doing so oneself.
METHOD FOR MAKING THE GENERAL EXAMEN
It contains in it five Points.
First Point. The first Point is to give thanks to God our Lord for the
Second Point. The second, to ask grace to know our sins and cast them out.
Third Point. The third, to ask account of our soul from the hour that we
rose up to the present Examen, hour by hour, or period by period: and first
as to thoughts, and then as to words, and then as to acts, in the same
order as was mentioned in the Particular Examen.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to ask pardon of God our Lord for the faults.
Fifth Point. The fifth, to purpose amendment with His grace.
GENERAL CONFESSION WITH COMMUNION
Whoever, of his own accord, wants to make a General Confession, will, among
many other advantages, find three in making it here.
First. The first: Though whoever goes to Confession every year is not
obliged to make a General Confession, by making it there is greater profit
and merit, because of the greater actual sorrow for all the sins and
wickedness of his whole life.
Second. The second: In the Spiritual Exercises, sins and their malice are
understood more intimately, than in the time when one was not so giving
himself to interior things. Gaining now more knowledge of and sorrow for
them, he will have greater profit and merit than he had before.
Third. The third is: In consequence, having made a better Confession and
being better disposed, one finds himself in condition and prepared to
receive the Blessed Sacrament: the reception of which is an aid not only
not to fall into sin, but also to preserve the increase of grace.
This General Confession will be best made immediately after the Exercises
of the First Week.
IT IS A MEDITATION WITH THE THREE POWERS ON THE FIRST, THE SECOND AND THE
It contains in it, after one Preparatory Prayer and two Preludes, three
chief Points and one Colloquy.
Prayer. The Preparatory Prayer is to ask grace of God our Lord that all my
intentions, actions and operations may be directed purely to the service
and praise of His Divine Majesty.
First Prelude. The First Prelude is a composition, seeing the place.
Here it is to be noted that, in a visible contemplation or meditation --
as, for instance, when one contemplates Christ our Lord, Who is visible --
the composition will be to see with the sight of the imagination the
corporeal place where the thing is found which I want to contemplate. I say
the corporeal place, as for instance, a Temple or Mountain where Jesus
Christ or Our Lady is found, according to what I want to contemplate. In an
invisible contemplation or meditation -- as here on the Sins -- the
composition will be to see with the sight of the imagination and consider
that my soul is imprisoned in this corruptible body, and all the compound
in this valley, as exiled among brute beasts: I say all the compound of
soul and body.
Second Prelude. The second is to ask God our Lord for what I want and
The petition has to be according to the subject matter; that is, if the
contemplation is on the Resurrection, one is to ask for joy with Christ in
joy; if it is on the Passion, he is to ask for pain, tears and torment with
Christ in torment.
Here it will be to ask shame and confusion at myself, seeing how many have
been damned for only one mortal sin, and how many times I deserved to be
condemned forever for my so many sins.
Note. Before all Contemplations or Meditations, there ought always to be
made the Preparatory Prayer, which is not changed, and the two Preludes
already mentioned, which are sometimes changed, according to the subject
First Point. The first Point will be to bring the memory on the First Sin,
which was that of the Angels, and then to bring the intellect on the same,
discussing it; then the will, wanting to recall and understand all this in
order to make me more ashamed and confound me more, bringing into
comparison with the one sin of the Angels my so many sins, and reflecting,
while they for one sin were cast into Hell, how often I have deserved it
for so many.
I say to bring to memory the sin of the Angels, how they, being created in
grace, not wanting to help themselves with their liberty to reverence and
obey their Creator and Lord, coming to pride, were changed from grace to
malice, and hurled from Heaven to Hell; and so then to discuss more in
detail with the intellect: and then to move the feelings more with the
Second Point. The second is to do the same -- that is, to bring the Three
Powers -- on the sin of Adam and Eve, bringing to memory how on account of
that sin they did penance for so long a time, and how much corruption came
on the human race, so many people going the way to Hell.
I say to bring to memory the Second Sin, that of our First Parents; how
after Adam was created in the field of Damascus and placed in the
Terrestrial Paradise, and Eve was created from his rib, being forbidden to
eat of the Tree of Knowledge, they ate and so sinned, and afterwards
clothed in tunics of skins and cast from Paradise, they lived, all their
life, without the original justice which they had lost, and in many labors
and much penance. And then to discuss with the understanding more in
detail; and to use the will as has been said.
Third Point. The third is likewise to do the same on the Third particular
Sin of any one who for one mortal sin is gone to Hell -- and many others
without number, for fewer sins than I have committed.
I say to do the same on the Third particular Sin, bringing to memory the
gravity and malice of the sin against one's Creator and Lord; to discuss
with the understanding how in sinning and acting against the Infinite
Goodness, he has been justly condemned forever; and to finish with the will
as has been said.
Colloquy. Imagining Christ our Lord present and placed on the Cross, let me
make a Colloquy, how from Creator He is come to making Himself man, and
from life eternal is come to temporal death, and so to die for my sins.
Likewise, looking at myself, what I have done for Christ, what I am doing
for Christ, what I ought to do for Christ.
And so, seeing Him such, and so nailed on the Cross, to go over that which
will present itself.
The Colloquy is made, properly speaking, as one friend speaks to another,
or as a servant to his master; now asking some grace, now blaming oneself
for some misdeed, now communicating one's affairs, and asking advice in
And let me say an OUR FATHER.
IT IS A MEDITATION ON THE SINS AND CONTAINS IN IT AFTER THE PREPARATORY
PRAYER AND TWO PRELUDES, FIVE POINTS AND ONE COLLOQUY
Prayer. Let the Preparatory Prayer be the same.
First Prelude. The First Prelude will be the same composition.
Second Prelude. The second is to ask for what I want. It will be here to
beg a great and intense sorrow and tears for my sins.
First Point. The first Point is the statement of the sins; that is to say,
to bring to memory all the sins of life, looking from year to year, or from
period to period. For this three things are helpful: first, to look at the
place and the house where I have lived; second, the relations I have had
with others; third, the occupation in which I have lived.
Second Point. The second, to weigh the sins, looking at the foulness and
the malice which any mortal sin committed has in it, even supposing it were
Third Point. The third, to look at who I am, lessening myself by examples:
First, how much I am in comparison to all men;
Second, what men are in comparison to all the Angels and Saints of
Third, what all Creation is in comparison to God: (--Then I alone, what can
Fourth, to see all my bodily corruption and foulness;
Fifth, to look at myself as a sore and ulcer, from which have sprung so
many sins and so many iniquities and so very vile poison.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to consider what God is, against Whom I have
sinned, according to His attributes; comparing them with their contraries
in me -- His Wisdom with my ignorance; His Omnipotence with my weakness;
His Justice with my iniquity; His Goodness with my malice.
Fifth Point. The fifth, an exclamation of wonder with deep feeling, going
through all creatures, how they have left me in life and preserved me in
it; the Angels, how, though they are the sword of the Divine Justice, they
have endured me, and guarded me, and prayed for me; the Saints, how they
have been engaged in interceding and praying for me; and the heavens, sun,
moon, stars, and elements, fruits, birds, fishes and animals -- and the
earth, how it has not opened to swallow me up, creating new Hells for me to
suffer in them forever!
Colloquy. Let me finish with a Colloquy of mercy, pondering and giving
thanks to God our Lord that He has given me life up to now, proposing
amendment, with His grace, for the future.
IT IS A REPETITION OF THE FIRST AND SECOND EXERCISE, MAKING THREE
After the Preparatory Prayer and two Preludes, it will be to repeat the
First and Second Exercise, marking and dwelling on the Points in which I
have felt greater consolation or desolation, or greater spiritual feeling.
After this I will make three Colloquies in the following manner:
First Colloquy. The first Colloquy to Our Lady, that she may get me grace
from Her Son and Lord for three things: first, that I may feel an interior
knowledge of my sins, and hatred of them; second, that I may feel the
disorder of my actions, so that, hating them, I may correct myself and put
myself in order; third, to ask knowledge of the world, in order that,
hating it, I may put away from me worldly and vain things.
And with that a HAIL MARY.
Second Colloquy. The second: The same to the Son, begging Him to get it for
me from the Father.
And with that the SOUL OF CHRIST.
Third Colloquy. The third: The same to the Father, that the Eternal Lord
Himself may grant it to me.
And with that an OUR FATHER.
IT IS A SUMMARY OF THIS SAME THIRD
I said a summary, that the understanding, without wandering, may
assiduously go through the memory of the things contemplated in the
I will make the same three Colloquies.
IT IS A MEDITATION ON HELL
It contains in it, after the Preparatory Prayer and two Preludes, five
Points and one Colloquy:
Prayer. Let the Preparatory Prayer be the usual one.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is the composition, which is here to see
with the sight of the imagination the length, breadth and depth of Hell.
Second Prelude. The second, to ask for what I want: it will be here to ask
for interior sense of the pain which the damned suffer, in order that, if,
through my faults, I should forget the love of the Eternal Lord, at least
the fear of the pains may help me not to come into sin.
First Point. The first Point will be to see with the sight of the
imagination the great fires, and the souls as in bodies of fire.
Second Point. The second, to hear with the ears wailings, howlings, cries,
blasphemies against Christ our Lord and against all His Saints.
Third Point. The third, to smell with the smell smoke, sulphur, dregs and
Fourth Point. The fourth, to taste with the taste bitter things, like
tears, sadness and the worm of conscience.
Fifth Point. The fifth, to touch with the touch; that is to say, how the
fires touch and burn the souls.
Colloquy. Making a Colloquy to Christ our Lord, I will bring to memory the
souls that are in Hell, some because they did not believe the Coming,
others because, believing, they did not act according to His Commandments;
making three divisions:
First, Second, and Third Divisions. The first, before the Coming; the
second, during His life; the third, after His life in this world; and with
this I will give Him thanks that He has not let me fall into any of these
divisions, ending my life.
Likewise, I will consider how up to now He has always had so great pity and
mercy on me.
I will end with an OUR FATHER.
Note. The first Exercise will be made at midnight; the second immediately
on rising in the morning; the third, before or after Mass; in any case,
before dinner; the fourth at the hour of Vespers; the fifth, an hour before
This arrangement of hours, more or less, I always mean in all the four
Weeks, according as his age, disposition and physical condition help the
person who is exercising himself to make five Exercises or fewer.
TO MAKE THE EXERCISES BETTER AND TO FIND BETTER WHAT ONE DESIRES
First Addition. The first Addition is, after going to bed, just when I want
to go asleep, to think, for the space of a HAIL MARY, of the hour that I
have to rise and for what, making a resume of the Exercise which I have to
Second Addition. The second: When I wake up, not giving place to any other
thought, to turn my attention immediately to what I am going to contemplate
in the first Exercise, at midnight, bringing myself to confusion for my so
many sins, setting examples, as, for instance, if a knight found himself
before his king and all his court, ashamed and confused at having much
offended him, from whom he had first received many gifts and many favors:
in the same way, in the second Exercise, making myself a great sinner and
in chains; that is to say going to appear bound as in chains before the
Supreme Eternal Judge; taking for an example how prisoners in chains and
already deserving death, appear before their temporal judge. And I will
dress with these thoughts or with others, according to the subject matter.
Third Addition. The third: A step or two before the place where I have to
contemplate or meditate, I will put myself standing for the space of an OUR
FATHER, my intellect raised on high, considering how God our Lord is
looking at me, etc.; and will make an act of reverence or humility.
Fourth Addition. The fourth: To enter on the contemplation now on my knees,
now prostrate on the earth, now lying face upwards, now seated, now
standing, always intent on seeking what I want.
We will attend to two things. The first is, that if I find what I want
kneeling, I will not pass on; and if prostrate, likewise, etc. The second;
in the Point in which I find what I want, there I will rest, without being
anxious to pass on, until I content myself.
Fifth Addition. The fifth: After finishing the Exercise, I will, during the
space of a quarter of an hour, seated or walking leisurely, look how it
went with me in the Contemplation or Meditation; and if badly, I will look
for the cause from which it proceeds, and having so seen it, will be sorry,
in order to correct myself in future; and if well, I will give thanks to
God our Lord, and will do in like manner another time.
Sixth Addition. The sixth: Not to want to think on things of pleasure or
joy, such as heavenly glory, the Resurrection, etc. Because whatever
consideration of joy and gladness hinders our feeling pain and grief and
shedding tears for our sins: but to keep before me that I want to grieve
and feel pain, bringing to memory rather Death and Judgment.
Seventh Addition. The seventh: For the same end, to deprive myself of all
light, closing the blinds and doors while I am in the room, if it be not to
recite prayers, to read and eat.
Eighth Addition. The eighth: Not to laugh nor say a thing provocative of
Ninth Addition. The ninth: To restrain my sight, except in receiving or
dismissing the person with whom I have spoken.
Tenth Addition. The tenth Addition is penance.
This is divided into interior and exterior. The interior is to grieve for
one's sins, with a firm purpose of not committing them nor any others. The
exterior, or fruit of the first, is chastisement for the sins committed,
and is chiefly taken in three ways.
First Way. The first is as to eating. That is to say, when we leave off the
superfluous, it is not penance, but temperance. It is penance when we leave
off from the suitable; and the more and more, the greater and better --
provided that the person does not injure himself, and that no notable
Second Way. The second, as to the manner of sleeping. Here too it is not
penance to leave off the superfluous of delicate or soft things, but it is
penance when one leaves off from the suitable in the manner: and the more
and more, the better -- provided that the person does not injure himself
and no notable illness follows. Besides, let not anything of the suitable
sleep be left off, unless in order to come to the mean, if one has a bad
habit of sleeping too much.
Third Way. The third, to chastise the flesh, that is, giving it sensible
pain, which is given by wearing haircloth or cords or iron chains next to
the flesh, by scourging or wounding oneself, and by other kinds of
Note. What appears most suitable and most secure with regard to penance is
that the pain should be sensible in the flesh and not enter within the
bones, so that it give pain and not illness. For this it appears to be more
suitable to scourge oneself with thin cords, which give pain exteriorly,
rather than in another way which would cause notable illness within.
First Note. The first Note is that the exterior penances are done chiefly
for three ends: First, as satisfaction for the sins committed;
Second, to conquer oneself -- that is, to make sensuality obey reason and
all inferior parts be more subject to the superior;
Third, to seek and find some grace or gift which the person wants and
desires; as, for instance, if he desires to have interior contrition for
his sins, or to weep much over them, or over the pains and sufferings which
Christ our Lord suffered in His Passion, or to settle some doubt in which
the person finds himself.
Second Note. The second: It is to be noted that the first and second
Addition have to be made for the Exercises of midnight and at daybreak, but
not for those which will be made at other times; and the fourth Addition
will never be made in church in the presence of others, but in private, as
at home, etc.
Third Note. The third: When the person who is exercising himself does not
yet find what he desires -- as tears, consolations, etc., -- it often helps
for him to make a change in food, in sleep and in other ways of doing
penance, so that he change himself, doing penance two or three days, and
two or three others not. For it suits some to do more penance and others
less, and we often omit doing penance from sensual love and from an
erroneous judgment that the human system will not be able to bear it
without notable illness; and sometimes, on the contrary, we do too much,
thinking that the body can bear it; and as God our Lord knows our nature
infinitely better, often in such changes He gives each one to perceive what
is suitable for him.
Fourth Note. The fourth: Let the Particular Examen be made to rid oneself
of defects and negligences on the Exercises and Additions. And so in the
SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH WEEKS.
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,
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 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.
IN 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
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.
THE FIRST DAY AND FIRST CONTEMPLATION
IT IS ON THE INCARNATION AND CONTAINS THE PREPARATORY PRAYER, THREE
PRELUDES, THREE POINTS AND ONE COLLOQUY
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is to bring up the narrative of the thing
which I have to contemplate.
Here, it is how the Three Divine Persons looked at all the plain or circuit
of all the world, full of men, and how, seeing that all were going down to
Hell, it is determined in Their Eternity, that the Second Person shall
become man to save the human race, and so, the fullness of times being
come, They sent the Angel St. Gabriel to Our Lady (p. 133).
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place: here it will
be to see the great capacity and circuit of the world, in which are so many
and such different people: then likewise, in particular, the house and
rooms of Our Lady in the city of Nazareth, in the Province of Galilee.
Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want: it will be to ask for
interior knowledge of the Lord, Who for me has become man, that I may more
love and follow Him.
Note. It is well to note here that this same Preparatory Prayer, without
changing it, as was said in the beginning, and the same three Preludes, are
to be made in this Week and in the others following, changing the form
according to the subject matter.
First Point. The first Point is, to see the various persons: and first
those on the surface of the earth, in such variety, in dress as in actions:
some white and others black; some in peace and others in war; some weeping
and others laughing; some well, others ill; some being born and others
2. To see and consider the Three Divine Persons, as on their royal throne
or seat of Their Divine Majesty, how They look on all the surface and
circuit of the earth, and all the people in such blindness, and how they
are dying and going down to Hell.
3. To see Our Lady, and the Angel who is saluting her, and to reflect in
order to get profit from such a sight.
Second Point. The second, to hear what the persons on the face of the earth
are saying, that is, how they are talking with one another, how they swear
and blaspheme, etc.; and likewise what the Divine Persons are saying, that
is: "Let Us work the redemption of the Human race," etc.; and then what the
Angel and Our Lady are saying; and to reflect then so as to draw profit
from their words.
Third Point. The third, to look then at what the persons on the face of the
earth are doing, as, for instance, killing, going to Hell etc.; likewise
what the Divine Persons are doing, namely, working out the most holy
Incarnation, etc.; and likewise what the Angel and Our Lady are doing,
namely, the Angel doing his duty as ambassador, and Our Lady humbling
herself and giving thanks to the Divine Majesty; and then to reflect in
order to draw some profit from each of these things.
Colloquy. At the end a Colloquy is to be made, thinking what I ought to say
to the Three Divine Persons, or to the Eternal Word incarnate, or to our
Mother and Lady, asking according to what I feel in me, in order more to
follow and imitate Our Lord, so lately incarnate.
I will say an OUR FATHER.
THE SECOND CONTEMPLATION
IS ON THE NATIVITY
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is the narrative and it will be here how
Our Lady went forth from Nazareth, about nine months with child, as can be
piously meditated, seated on an ass, and accompanied by Joseph and a
maid, taking an ox, to go to Bethlehem to pay the tribute which Caesar
imposed on all those lands (p. 135).
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be
here to see with the sight of the imagination the road from Nazareth to
Bethlehem; considering the length and the breadth, and whether such road is
level or through valleys or over hills; likewise looking at the place or
cave of the Nativity, how large, how small, how low, how high, and how
it was prepared.
Third Prelude. The third will be the same, and in the same form, as in the
First Point. The first Point is to see the persons; that is, to see Our
Lady and Joseph and the maid, and, after His Birth, the Child Jesus, I
making myself a poor creature and a wretch of an unworthy slave, looking at
them and serving them in their needs, with all possible respect and
reverence, as if I found myself present; and then to reflect on myself in
order to draw some profit.
Second Point. The second, to look, mark and contemplate what they are
saying, and, reflecting on myself, to draw some profit.
Third Point. The third, to look and consider what they are doing, as going
a journey and laboring, that the Lord may be born in the greatest poverty;
and as a termination of so many labors -- of hunger, of thirst, of heat and
of cold, of injuries and affronts -- that He may die on the Cross; and all
this for me: then reflecting, to draw some spiritual profit.
Colloquy. I will finish with a Colloquy as in the preceding Contemplation,
and with an OUR FATHER.
THE THIRD CONTEMPLATION
WILL BE A REPETITION OF THE FIRST AND SECOND EXERCISE
After the Preparatory Prayer and the three Preludes, the repetition of the
first and second Exercise will be made, noting always some more principal
parts, where the person has felt some knowledge, consolation or desolation,
making likewise one Colloquy at the end, and saying an OUR FATHER.
In this repetition, and in all the following, the same order of proceeding
will be taken as was taken in the repetitions of the First Week, changing
the matter and keeping the form.
THE FOURTH CONTEMPLATION
WILL BE A REPETITION OF THE FIRST AND SECOND
In the same way as was done in the above-mentioned repetition.
THE FIFTH CONTEMPLATION WILL BE TO BRING THE FIVE SENSES ON THE FIRST AND
Prayer. After the Preparatory Prayer and the three Preludes, it is helpful
to pass the five senses of the imagination through the first and second
Contemplation, in the following way:
First Point. The first Point is to see the persons with the sight of the
imagination, meditating and contemplating in particular the details about
them and drawing some profit from the sight.
Second Point. The second, to hear with the hearing what they are, or might
be, talking about and, reflecting on oneself, to draw some profit from it.
Third Point. The third, to smell and to taste with the smell and the taste
the infinite fragrance and sweetness of the Divinity, of the soul, and of
its virtues, and of all, according to the person who is being contemplated;
reflecting on oneself and drawing profit from it.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to touch with the touch, as for instance, to
embrace and kiss the places where such persons put their feet and sit,
always seeing to my drawing profit from it.
Colloquy. One has to finish with one Colloquy as in the first and second
Contemplation, and with an OUR FATHER.
First Note. The first note is to remark for all this and the other
following Weeks, that I have only to read the Mystery of the Contemplation
which I have immediately to make, so that at any time I read no Mystery
which I have not to make that day or at that hour, in order that the
consideration of one Mystery may not hinder the consideration of the other.
Second Note. The second: The first Exercise, on the Incarnation, will be
made at midnight; the second at dawn; the third at the hour of Mass; the
fourth at the hour of Vespers, and the fifth before the hour of supper,
being for the space of one hour in each one of the five Exercises; and the
same order will be taken in all the following.
Third Note. The third: It is to be remarked that if the person who is
making the Exercises is old or weak, or, although strong, has become in
some way less strong from the First Week, it is better for him in this
Second Week, at least sometimes, not rising at midnight, to make one
Contemplation in the morning, and another at the hour of Mass, and another
before dinner, and one repetition on them at the hour of Vespers, and then
the Application of the Senses before supper.
Fourth Note. The fourth: In this Second Week, out of all the ten Additions
which were mentioned in the First Week, the second, the sixth, the seventh
and in part the tenth have to be changed.
In the second it will be, immediately on waking up, to put before me the
contemplation which I have to make, desiring to know more the Eternal Word
incarnate, in order to serve and to follow Him more.
The sixth will be to bring frequently to memory the Life and Mysteries of
Christ our Lord, from His Incarnation down to the place or Mystery which I
am engaged in contemplating.
The seventh will be, that one should manage as to keeping darkness or
light, making use of good weather or bad, according as he feels that it can
profit and help him to find what the person desires who is exercising
And in the tenth Addition, he who is exercising himself ought to manage
himself according to the Mysteries which he is contemplating; because some
demand penance and others not.
All the ten Additions, then, are to be made with great care.
Fifth Note. The fifth note: In all the Exercises, except in that of
midnight and in that of the morning, the equivalent of the second Addition
will be taken in the following way: -- Immediately on recollecting that it
is the time of the Exercise which I have to make, before I go, putting
before myself where I am going and before Whom, and summarizing a little
the Exercise which I have to make, and then making the third Addition, I
will enter into the Exercise.
THE SECOND DAY
Second Day. For first and second Contemplation to take the Presentation in
the Temple (p. 137) and the Flight to Egypt as into exile (p. 138), and on
these two Contemplations will be made two repetitions and the Application
of the Five Senses to them, in the same way as was done the preceding day.
Note. Sometimes, although the one who is exercising himself is strong and
disposed, it helps to make a change, from this second day up to the fourth
inclusively, in order better to find what he desires, taking only one
Contemplation at daybreak, and another at the hour of Mass, and to repeat
on them at the hour of Vespers and apply the senses before supper.
THE THIRD DAY
Third Day. How the Child Jesus was obedient to His Parents at Nazareth (p.
139), and how afterwards they found Him in the Temple (p. 140), and so then
to make the two repetitions and apply the five senses.
PREAMBLE TO CONSIDER STATES
First Preamble. The example which Christ our Lord, being under obedience to
His parents, has given us for the first state, -- which consists in the
observance of the Commandments -- having been now considered; and likewise
for the second, -- which is that of evangelical perfection, -- when He
remained in the Temple, leaving His adoptive father and His natural Mother,
to attend to the pure service of His eternal Father; we will begin, at the
same time contemplating His life, to investigate and to ask in what life or
state His Divine Majesty wants to be served by us.
And so, for some introduction of it, we will, in the first Exercise
following, see the intention of Christ our Lord, and, on the contrary, that
of the enemy of human nature, and how we ought to dispose ourselves in
order to come to perfection in whatever state of life God our Lord would
give us to choose.
THE FOURTH DAY
The one of Christ, our Commander-in-chief and Lord; the other of Lucifer,
mortal enemy of our human nature.
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The First Prelude is the narrative. It will be here how
Christ calls and wants all under His standard; and Lucifer, on the
contrary, under his.
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be
here to see a great field of all that region of Jerusalem, where the
supreme Commander-in-chief of the good is Christ our Lord; another field in
the region of Babylon, where the chief of the enemy is Lucifer.
Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want: and it will be here to
ask for knowledge of the deceits of the bad chief and help to guard myself
against them, and for knowledge of the true life which the supreme and true
Captain shows and grace to imitate Him.
First Point. The first Point is to imagine as if the chief of all the enemy
seated himself in that great field of Babylon, as in a great chair of
fire and smoke, in shape horrible and terrifying.
Second Point. The second, to consider how he issues a summons to
innumerable demons and how he scatters them, some to one city and others to
another, and so through all the world, not omitting any provinces, places,
states, nor any persons in particular.
Third Point. The third, to consider the discourse which he makes them, and
how he tells them to cast out nets and chains; that they have first to
tempt with a longing for riches -- as he is accustomed to do in most
cases -- that men may more easily come to vain honor of the world, and
then to vast pride. So that the first step shall be that of riches; the
second, that of honor; the third, that of pride; and from these three steps
he draws on to all the other vices.
So, on the contrary, one has to imagine as to the supreme and true Captain,
Who is Christ our Lord.
First Point. The first Point is to consider how Christ our Lord puts
Himself in a great field of that region of Jerusalem, in lowly place,
beautiful and attractive.
Second Point. The second, to consider how the Lord of all the world chooses
so many persons -- Apostles, Disciples, etc., -- and sends them through all
the world spreading His sacred doctrine through all states and conditions
Third Point. The third, to consider the discourse which Christ our Lord
makes to all His servants and friends whom He sends on this expedition,
recommending them to want to help all, by bringing them first to the
highest spiritual poverty, and -- if His Divine Majesty would be served and
would want to choose them -- no less to actual poverty; the second is to be
of contumely and contempt; because from these two things humility follows.
So that there are to be three steps; the first, poverty against riches; the
second, contumely or contempt against worldly honor; the third, humility
against pride. And from these three steps let them induce to all the other
First Colloquy. One Colloquy to Our Lady, that she may get me grace from
Her Son and Lord that I may be received under His standard; and first in
the highest spiritual poverty, and -- if His Divine Majesty would be served
and would want to choose and receive me -- not less in actual poverty;
second, in suffering contumely and injuries, to imitate Him more in them,
if only I can suffer them without the sin of any person, or displeasure of
His Divine Majesty; and with that a HAIL MARY.
Second Colloquy. I will ask the same of the Son, that He may get it for me
of the Father; and with that say the SOUL OF CHRIST.
Third Colloquy. I will ask the same of the Father, that He may grant it to
me; and say an OUR FATHER.
Note. This Exercise will be made at midnight and then a second time in the
morning, and two repetitions of this same will be made at the hour of Mass
and at the hour of Vespers, always finishing with the three Colloquies, to
Our Lady, to the Son, and to the Father; and that on The Pairs which
follows, at the hour before supper.
THE SAME FOURTH DAY LET MEDITATION BE MADE ON
THREE PAIRS OF MEN
IN ORDER TO EMBRACE WHAT IS BEST
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is the narrative, which is of three pairs
of men, and each one of them has acquired ten thousand ducats, not solely
or as they ought for God's love, and all want to save themselves and
find in peace God our Lord, ridding themselves of the weight and hindrance
to it which they have in the attachment for the thing acquired.
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be
here to see myself, how I stand before God our Lord and all His Saints, to
desire and know what is more pleasing to His Divine Goodness.
Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want. Here it will be to ask
grace to choose what is more to the glory of His Divine Majesty and the
salvation of my soul.
First Pair. The first Pair would want to rid themselves of the attachment
which they have to the thing acquired, in order to find in peace God our
Lord, and be able to save themselves, and they do not place the means up to
the hour of death.
Second Pair. The second want to rid themselves of the attachment, but want
so to rid themselves of it as to remain with the thing acquired, so that
God should come where they want, and they do not decide to leave it in
order to go to God, although it would be the best state for them
Third Pair. The third want to rid themselves of the attachment, but want so
to rid themselves of it that they have even no liking for it, to keep the
thing acquired or not to keep it, but only want to want it or not want it
according as God our Lord will put in their will and as will appear to them
better for the service and praise of His Divine Majesty; and meanwhile they
want to reckon that they quit it all in attachment, forcing themselves not
to want that or any other thing, unless only the service of God our Lord
move them: so that the desire of being better able to serve God our Lord
moves them to take the thing or leave it.
Three Colloquies. I will make the same three Colloquies which were made in
the Contemplation preceding, on the Two Standards.
Note. It is to be noted that when we feel a tendency or repugnance against
actual poverty, when we are not indifferent to poverty or riches, it is
very helpful, in order to crush such disordered tendency, to ask in the
Colloquies (although it be against the flesh) that the Lord should choose
one to actual poverty, and that one wants, asks and begs it, if only it be
the service and praise of His Divine Goodness.
THE FIFTH DAY
Fifth Day. Contemplation on the Departure of Christ our Lord from Nazareth
to the River Jordan, and how He was baptized (p. 140).
First Note. This Contemplation will be made once at midnight and a second
time in the morning, and two repetitions on it at the hour of Mass and
Vespers, and the five senses will be applied on it before supper; in each
of these five Exercises, putting first the usual Preparatory Prayer and the
three Preludes, as all this was explained in the Contemplation of the
Incarnation and of the Nativity; and finishing with the three Colloquies of
the three Pairs, or according to the note which follows after the Pairs.
Second Note. The Particular Examen, after dinner and after supper, will be
made on the faults and negligences about the Exercises and Additions of
this day; and so in the days that follow.
THE SIXTH DAY
Sixth Day. Contemplation how Christ our Lord went forth from the River
Jordan to the Desert inclusive, taking the same form in everything as on
THE SEVENTH DAY
Seventh Day. How St. Andrew and others followed Christ our Lord (p. 142).
THE EIGHTH DAY
Eighth Day. On the Sermon on the Mount, which is on the Eight Beatitudes
THE NINTH DAY
Ninth Day. How Christ our Lord appeared to His disciples on the waves of
the sea (p. 145).
THE TENTH DAY
Tenth Day. How the Lord preached in the Temple (p. 151).
THE ELEVENTH DAY
Eleventh Day. On the raising of Lazarus (p. 149).
THE TWELFTH DAY
Twelfth Day. On Palm Sunday (p. 151).
First Note. The first note is that in the Contemplations of this Second
Week, according to the time each one wants to spend, or according as he
gets profit, he can lengthen or shorten: if he lengthens, taking the
Mysteries of the Visitation of Our Lady to St. Elizabeth, the Shepherds,
the Circumcision of the Child Jesus, and the Three Kings, and so of others;
and if he shortens, he can even omit some of those which are set down.
Because this is to give an introduction and way to contemplate better and
more completely afterwards.
Second Note. The second: The matter of the Elections will be begun from the
Contemplation on Nazareth to the Jordan, taken inclusively, which is the
fifth day, as is explained in the following.
Third Note. The third: Before entering on the Elections, that a man may get
attachment to the true doctrine of Christ our Lord, it is very helpful to
consider and mark the following three Manners of Humility, reflecting on
them occasionally through all the day, and also making the Colloquies, as
will be said later.
First Humility. The first manner of Humility is necessary for eternal
salvation; namely, that I so lower and so humble myself, as much as is
possible to me, that in everything I obey the law of God, so that, even if
they made me lord of all the created things in this world, nor for my own
temporal life, I would not be in deliberation about breaking a Commandment,
whether Divine or human, which binds me under mortal sin.
Second Humility. The second is more perfect Humility than the first;
namely, if I find myself at such a stage that I do not want, and feel no
inclination to have, riches rather than poverty, to want honor rather than
dishonor, to desire a long rather than a short life -- the service of God
our Lord and the salvation of my soul being equal; and so not for all
creation, nor because they would take away my life, would I be in
deliberation about committing a venial sin.
Third Humility. The third is most perfect Humility; namely, when --
including the first and second, and the praise and glory of the Divine
Majesty being equal -- in order to imitate and be more actually like Christ
our Lord, I want and choose poverty with Christ poor rather than riches,
opprobrium with Christ replete with it rather than honors; and to desire to
be rated as worthless and a fool for Christ, Who first was held as such,
rather than wise or prudent in this world.
Note. So, it is very helpful for whoever desires to get this third
Humility, to make the three already mentioned Colloquies of THE PAIRS,
asking that Our Lord would be pleased to choose him to this third greater
and better Humility, in order more to imitate and serve Him, if it be equal
or greater service and praise to His Divine Majesty.
PRELUDE FOR MAKING ELECTION
First Point. In every good election, as far as depends on us, the eye of
our intention ought to be simple, only looking at what we are created for,
namely, the praise of God our Lord and the salvation of our soul. And so I
ought to choose whatever I do, that it may help me for the end for which I
am created, not ordering or bringing the end to the means, but the means to
the end: as it happens that many choose first to marry -- which is a means
-- and secondarily to serve God our Lord in the married life -- which
service of God is the end. So, too, there are others who first want to have
benefices, and then to serve God in them. So that those do not go straight
to God, but want God to come straight to their disordered tendencies, and
consequently they make a means of the end, and an end of the means. So that
what they had to take first, they take last; because first we have to set
as our aim the wanting to serve God, -- which is the end, -- and
secondarily, to take a benefice, or to marry, if it is more suitable to us,
-- which is the means for the end. So, nothing ought to move me to take
such means or to deprive myself of them, except only the service and praise
of God our Lord and the eternal salvation of my soul.
TO GET KNOWLEDGE AS TO WHAT MATTERS AN ELECTION OUGHT TO BE MADE ABOUT, AND
IT CONTAINS FOUR POINTS AND ONE NOTE
First Point. The first Point: It is necessary that everything about which
we want to make an election should be indifferent, or good, in itself, and
should be allowed within our Holy Mother the hierarchical Church, and not
bad nor opposed to her.
Second Point. Second: There are some things which fall under unchangeable
election, such as are the priesthood, marriage, etc. There are others which
fall under an election that can be changed, such as are to take benefices
or leave them, to take temporal goods or rid oneself of them.
Third Point. Third: In the unchangeable Election which has already been
once made -- such as marriage, the priesthood, etc. -- there is nothing
more to choose, because one cannot release himself; only it is to be seen
to that if one have not made his election duly and ordinately and without
disordered tendencies, repenting let him see to living a good life in his
election. It does not appear that this election is a Divine vocation,
as being an election out of order and awry. Many err in this, setting up a
perverse or bad election as a Divine vocation; for every Divine
vocation is always pure and clear, without mixture of flesh, or of any
other inordinate tendency.
Fourth Point. Fourth: If some one has duly and ordinately made election of
things which are under election that can be changed, and has not yielded to
flesh or world, there is no reason for his making election anew, but let
him perfect himself as much as he can in that already chosen.
Note. It is to be remarked that if such election that can be changed was
not made sincerely and well in order, then it helps to make the election
duly, if one has a desire that fruits notable and very pleasing to God our
Lord should come from him.
FOR MAKING, IN ANY ONE OF THEM, A SOUND AND GOOD ELECTION
First Time. The first time is, when God our Lord so moves and attracts the
will, that without doubting, or being able to doubt, such devout soul
follows what is shown it, as St. Paul and St. Matthew did in following
Christ our Lord.
Second Time. The second, when enough light and knowledge is received by
experience of consolations and desolations, and by the experience of the
discernment of various spirits.
Third Time. The third time is quiet, when one considers, first, for what
man is born -- namely, to praise God our Lord and save his soul -- and
desiring this chooses as means a life or state within the limits of the
Church, in order that he may be helped in the service of his Lord and the
salvation of his soul.
I said time of quiet, when the soul is not acted on by various spirits, and
uses its natural powers freely and tranquilly.
If election is not made in the first or the second time, two ways follow as
to this third time for making it.
THE FIRST WAY
TO MAKE A SOUND AND GOOD ELECTION
It contains six Points.
First Point. The first Point is to put before me the thing on which I want
to make election, such as an office or benefice, either to take or leave
it; or any other thing whatever which falls under an election that can be
Second Point. Second: It is necessary to keep as aim the end for which I am
created, which is to praise God our Lord and save my soul, and, this
supposed, to find myself indifferent, without any inordinate propensity; so
that I be not more inclined or disposed to take the thing proposed than to
leave it, nor more to leave it than to take it, but find myself as in the
middle of a balance, to follow what I feel to be more for the glory and
praise of God our Lord and the salvation of my soul.
Third Point. Third: To ask of God our Lord to be pleased to move my will
and put in my soul what I ought to do regarding the thing proposed, so as
to promote more His praise and glory; discussing well and faithfully with
my intellect, and choosing agreeably to His most holy pleasure and will.
Fourth Point. Fourth: To consider, reckoning up, how many advantages and
utilities follow for me from holding the proposed office or benefice for
only the praise of God our Lord and the salvation of my soul, and, to
consider likewise, on the contrary, the disadvantages and dangers which
there are in having it. Doing the same in the second part, that is, looking
at the advantages and utilities there are in not having it, and likewise,
on the contrary, the disadvantages and dangers in not having the same.
Fifth Point. Fifth: After I have thus discussed and reckoned up on all
sides about the thing proposed, to look where reason more inclines: and so,
according to the greater inclination of reason, and not according to any
inclination of sense, deliberation should be made on the thing proposed.
Sixth Point. Sixth, such election, or deliberation, made, the person who
has made it ought to go with much diligence to prayer before God our Lord
and offer Him such election, that His Divine Majesty may be pleased to
receive and confirm it, if it is to His greater service and praise.
THE SECOND WAY
TO MAKE A GOOD ANY SOUND ELECTION
It contains four Rules and one Note.
First Rule. The first is that that love which moves me and makes me choose
such thing should descend from above, from the love of God, so that he who
chooses feel first in himself that that love, more or less, which he has
for the thing which he chooses, is only for his Creator and Lord.
Second Rule. The second, to set before me a man whom I have never seen nor
known, and I desiring all his perfection, to consider what I would tell
him to do and elect for the greater glory of God our Lord, and the greater
perfection of his soul, and I, doing likewise, to keep the rule which I set
for the other.
Third Rule. The third, to consider, as if I were at the point of death, the
form and measure which I would then want to have kept in the way of the
present election, and regulating myself by that election, let me make my
decision in everything.
Fourth Rule. The fourth, looking and considering how I shall find myself on
the Day of Judgment, to think how I would then want to have deliberated
about the present matter, and to take now the rule which I would then wish
to have kept, in order that I may then find myself in entire pleasure and
Note. The above-mentioned rules for my eternal salvation and peace having
been taken, I will make my election and offering to God our Lord,
conformably to the sixth Point of the First Way of making election.
TO AMEND AND REFORM ONE'S OWN LIFE AND STATE
It is to be noted that as to those who are settled in ecclesiastical office
or in matrimony -- whether they abound much or not in temporal goods --
when they have no opportunity or have not a very prompt will to make
election about the things which fall under an election that can be changed,
it is very helpful, in place of making election, to give them a form and
way to amend and reform each his own life and state. That is, putting his
creation, life and state for the glory and praise of God our Lord and the
salvation of his own soul, to come and arrive at this end, he ought to
consider much and ponder through the Exercises and Ways of Election, as has
been explained, how large a house and household he ought to keep, how he
ought to rule and govern it, how he ought to teach and instruct it by word
and by example; likewise of his means, how much he ought to take for his
household and house; and how much to dispense to the poor and to other
pious objects, not wanting nor seeking any other thing except in all and
through all the greater praise and glory of God our Lord.
For let each one think that he will benefit himself in all spiritual things
in proportion as he goes out of his self-love, will and interest.
THE FIRST CONTEMPLATION AT MIDNIGHT IS
HOW CHRIST OUR LORD WENT FROM BETHANY TO JERUSALEM TO THE LAST SUPPER
(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
Fourth Point. The fourth, to consider that which Christ our Lord is
suffering in His Humanity, 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.
IN THE MORNING
IT WILL BE FROM THE SUPPER TO THE GARDEN INCLUSIVELY
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer
First Prelude. The first Prelude is the narrative and it will be here how
Christ our Lord went down with His eleven Disciples from Mount Sion, where
He made the Supper, to the Valley of Josaphat. Leaving the eight in a part
of the Valley and the other three in a part of the Garden, and putting
Himself in prayer, He sweats sweat as drops of blood, and after He
prayed three times to the Father and wakened His three Disciples, and after
the enemies at His voice fell down, Judas giving Him the kiss of peace, and
St. Peter cutting off the ear of Malchus, and Christ putting it in its
place; being taken as a malefactor, they lead Him down the valley, and then
up the side, to the house of Annas.
Second Prelude. The second is to see the place. It will be here to consider
the road from Mount Sion to the Valley of Josaphat, and likewise the
Garden, whether wide, whether large, whether of one kind, whether of
Third Prelude. The third is to ask for what I want. It belongs to the
Passion to ask for grief with Christ in grief, anguish with Christ in
anguish, tears and interior pain at such great pain which Christ suffered
First Note. In this second Contemplation, after the Preparatory Prayer is
made, with the three Preludes already mentioned, the same form of
proceeding will be kept through the Points and Colloquy as was kept in the
first Contemplation, on the Supper.
And at the hour of Mass and Vespers two repetitions will be made on the
first and second Contemplation, and then, before supper, the senses will be
applied on the two above-said Contemplations, always prefixing the
Preparatory Prayer and the three Preludes, according to the subject matter,
in the same form as was said and explained in the SECOND WEEK.
Second Note. According as age, disposition and physical condition help the
person who is exercising himself, he will make each day the five Exercises
Third Note. In this THIRD WEEK the second and sixth Additions will in part
The second will be, immediately on awaking, to set before me where I am
going and to what, and summing up a little the contemplation which I want
to make, according as the Mystery shall be, to force myself, while I am
getting up and dressing, to be sad and grieve over such great grief and
such great suffering of Christ our Lord.
The sixth will be changed, so as not to try to bring joyful thoughts,
although good and holy, as, for instance, are those on the Resurrection and
on heavenly glory, but rather to draw myself to grief and to pain and
anguish, bringing to mind frequently the labors, fatigues and pains of
Christ our Lord, which He suffered from the moment when He was born up to
the Mystery of the Passion in which I find myself at present.
Fourth Note. The Particular Examen on the Exercises and present Additions,
will be made as it was made in the past Week.
Second Day. The second day at midnight, the Contemplation will be from the
Garden to the house of Annas inclusive (P. 154), and in the morning from
the house of Annas to the house of Caiphas inclusive (P. 155), and then the
two repetitions and the application of the senses, as has been already
Third Day. The third day, at midnight, from the house of Caiphas to Pilate,
inclusive (p. 155); and in the morning, from Pilate to Herod inclusive (p.
156); and then the repetitions and senses, in the same form as has been
Fourth Day. The fourth day, at midnight, from Herod to Pilate (p. 157),
doing and contemplating up to half through the Mysteries of the same house
of Pilate, and then, in the Exercise of the morning, the other Mysteries
which remained of the same house; and the repetitions and the senses, as
has been said.
Fifth Day. The fifth day, at midnight, from the house of Pilate up to the
Crucifixion (p. 158), and in the morning from His being raised on the Cross
until He expired (p. 158), then the two repetitions, and the senses.
Sixth Day. The sixth day, at midnight, from the Descent from the Cross to
the Tomb, exclusive (p. 159) and in the morning from the Tomb, inclusive,
to the house where Our Lady was, after her Son was buried.
Seventh Day. The seventh day, a Contemplation on the whole Passion
together, in the Exercise of midnight and of the morning, and in place of
the two repetitions and of the senses one will consider all that day, as
frequently as he can, how the most holy Body of Christ our Lord remained
separated and apart from the Soul: and where and how It remained buried.
Likewise, one will consider the loneliness of Our Lady, whose grief and
fatigue were so great: then, on the other side, the loneliness of the
Note. It is to be noted that whoever wants to dwell more on the Passion,
has to take in each Contemplation fewer Mysteries; that is to say, in the
first Contemplation, the Supper only; in the second, the Washing of the
Feet; in the third, the giving of the Blessed Sacrament to them; in the
fourth, the discourse which Christ made to them; and so through the other
Contemplations and Mysteries.
Likewise, after having finished the Passion, let him take for an entire day
the half of the whole Passion, and the second day the other half, and the
third day the whole Passion.
On the contrary, whoever would want to shorten more in the Passion, let him
take at midnight the Supper, in the morning the Garden, at the hour of Mass
the house of Annas, at the hour of Vespers the house of Caiphas, in place
of the hour before supper the house of Pilate; so that, not making
repetitions, nor the Application of the Senses, he make each day five
distinct Exercises, and in each Exercise take a distinct Mystery of Christ
our Lord. And after thus finishing the whole Passion, he can, another day,
do all the Passion together in one Exercise, or in different ones, as it
will seem to him that he will be better able to help himself.
RULES TO PUT ONESELF IN ORDER FOR THE FUTURE AS TO EATING
First Rule. The first rule is that it is well to abstain less from bread,
because it is not a food as to which the appetite is used to act so
inordinately, or to which temptation urges as in the case of the other
Second Rule. The second: Abstinence appears more convenient as to drinking,
than as to eating bread. So, one ought to look much what is helpful to him,
in order to admit it, and what does him harm, in order to discard it.
Third Rule. The third: As to foods, one ought to have the greatest and most
entire abstinence, because as the appetite is more ready to act
inordinately, so temptation is more ready in making trial, on this head.
And so abstinence in foods, to avoid disorder, can be kept in two ways, one
by accustoming oneself to eat coarse foods; the other, if one takes
delicate foods, by taking them in small quantity.
Fourth Rule. The fourth: Guarding against falling into sickness, the more a
man leaves off from what is suitable, the more quickly he will reach the
mean which he ought to keep in his eating and drinking; for two reasons:
the first, because by so helping and disposing himself, he will many times
experience more the interior knowledge, consolations and Divine
inspirations to show him the mean which is proper for him; the second,
because if the person sees himself in such abstinence not with so great
corporal strength or disposition for the Spiritual Exercises, he will
easily come to judge what is more suitable to his bodily support.
Fifth Rule. The fifth: While the person is eating, let him consider as if
he saw Christ our Lord eating with His Apostles, and how He drinks and how
He looks and how He speaks; and let him see to imitating Him. So that the
principal part of the intellect shall occupy itself in the consideration of
Christ our Lord, and the lesser part in the support of the body; because in
this way he will get greater system and order as to how he ought to behave
and manage himself.
Sixth Rule. The sixth: Another time, while he is eating, he can take
another consideration, either on the life of Saints, or on some pious
Contemplation, or on some spiritual affair which he has to do, because,
being intent on such thing, he will take less delight and feeling in the
Seventh Rule. The seventh: Above all, let him guard against all his soul
being intent on what he is eating, and in eating let him not go hurriedly,
through appetite, but be master of himself, as well in the manner of eating
as in the quantity which he eats.
Eighth Rule. The eighth: To avoid disorder, it is very helpful, after
dinner or after supper, or at another hour when one feels no appetite for
eating, to decide with oneself for the coming dinner or supper, and so on,
each day, the quantity which it is suitable that he should eat. Beyond this
let him not go because of any appetite or temptation, but rather, in order
to conquer more all inordinate appetite and temptation of the enemy, if he
is tempted to eat more, let him eat less.
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
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
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
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.
CONTEMPLATION TO GAIN LOVE
Prayer. The usual Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is a composition, which is here to see how
I am standing before God our Lord, and of the Angels and of the Saints
interceding for me.
Second Prelude. The second, to ask for what I want. It will be here to ask
for interior knowledge of so great good received, in order that being
entirely grateful, I may be able in all to love and serve His Divine
First Point. The First Point is, to bring to memory the benefits received,
of Creation, Redemption and particular gifts, pondering with much feeling
how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much He has given me of what
He has, and then the same Lord desires to give me Himself as much as He
can, according to His Divine ordination.
And with this to reflect on myself, considering with much reason and
justice, what I ought on my side to offer and give to His Divine Majesty,
that is to say, everything that is mine, and myself with it, as one who
makes an offering with much feeling:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my intellect, and all my
will -- all that I have and possess. Thou gavest it to me: to Thee, Lord, I
return it! All is Thine, dispose of it according to all Thy will. Give me
Thy love and grace, for this is enough for me.
Second Point. The second, to look how God dwells in creatures, in the
elements, giving them being, in the plants vegetating, in the animals
feeling in them, in men giving them to understand: and so in me, giving
me being, animating me, giving me sensation and making me to
understand; likewise making a temple of me, being created to the
likeness and image of His Divine Majesty; reflecting as much on myself in
the way which is said in the first Point, or in another which I feel to be
better. In the same manner will be done on each Point which follows.
Third Point. The third, to consider how God works and labors for me in all
things created on the face of the earth -- that is, behaves like one who
labors -- as in the heavens, elements, plants, fruits, cattle, etc., giving
them being, preserving them, giving them vegetation and sensation, etc.
Then to reflect on myself.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to look how all the good things and gifts descend
from above, as my poor power from the supreme and infinite power from
above; and so justice, goodness, pity, mercy, etc.; as from the sun descend
the rays, from the fountain the waters, etc.
Then to finish reflecting on myself, as has been said.
I will end with a Colloquy and an OUR FATHER.
THREE METHODS OF PRAYER
AND FIRST ON THE COMMANDMENTS
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
SECOND METHOD OF PRAYER
It is by contemplating the meaning of each word of the Prayer.
Addition. The same Addition which was in the First Method of Prayer will be
in this second.
Prayer. The Preparatory Prayer will be made according to the person to whom
the prayer is addressed.
Second Method of Prayer. The Second Method of Prayer is that the person,
kneeling or seated, according to the greater disposition in which he finds
himself and as more devotion accompanies him, keeping the eyes closed or
fixed on one place, without going wandering with them, says FATHER, and is
on the consideration of this word as long as he finds meanings,
comparisons, relish and consolation in considerations pertaining to such
word. And let him do in the same way on each word of the OUR FATHER, or of
any other prayer which he wants to say in this way.
First Rule. The first Rule is that he will be an hour on the whole OUR
FATHER in the manner already mentioned. Which finished, he will say a HAIL
MARY, CREED, SOUL OF CHRIST, and HAIL, HOLY QUEEN, vocally or mentally,
according to the usual way.
Second Rule. The Second Rule is that, should the person who is
contemplating the OUR FATHER find in one word, or in two, matter so good to
think over, and relish and consolation, let him not care to pass on,
although the hour ends on what he finds. The hour finished, he will say the
rest of the OUR FATHER in the usual way.
Third Rule. The third is that if on one word or two of the OUR FATHER one
has lingered for a whole hour, when he will want to come back another day
to the prayer, let him say the above-mentioned word, or the two, as he is
accustomed; and on the word which immediately follows let him commence to
contemplate, according as was said in the second Rule.
First Note. It is to be noted that, the OUR FATHER finished, in one or in
many days, the same has to be done with the HAIL MARY and then with the
other prayers, so that for some time one is always exercising himself in
one of them.
Second Note. The second note is that, the prayer finished, turning, in few
words, to the person to whom he has prayed, let him ask for the virtues or
graces of which he feels he has most need.
THIRD METHOD OF PRAYER
It will be by rhythm.
Addition. The Addition will be the same as in the First and Second Methods
Prayer. The Preparatory Prayer will be as in the Second Method of Prayer.
Third Method of Prayer. The Third Method of Prayer is that with each breath
in or out, one has to pray mentally, saying one word of the OUR FATHER, or
of another prayer which is being recited: so that only one word be said
between one breath and another, and while the time from one breath to
another lasts, let attention be given chiefly to the meaning of such word,
or to the person to whom he recites it, or to his own baseness, or to the
difference from such great height to his own so great lowness. And in the
same form and rule he will proceed on the other words of the OUR FATHER;
and the other prayers, that is to say, the HAIL MARY, the SOUL OF CHRIST,
the CREED, and the HAIL, HOLY QUEEN, he will make as he is accustomed.
First Rule. The First Rule is, on the other day, or at another hour, that
he wants to pray, let him say the HAIL MARY in rhythm, and the other
prayers as he is accustomed; and so on, going through the others.
Second Rule. The second is that whoever wants to dwell more on the prayer
by rhythm, can say all the above-mentioned prayers or part of them, keeping
the same order of the breath by rhythm, as has been explained.
THE MYSTERIES OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST OUR LORD
Note. It is to be noted in all the following Mysteries, that all the words
which are inclosed in parentheses are from the Gospel itself and not
those which are outside.
And in each Mystery, for the most part, three Points will be found to
meditate and contemplate on with greater ease.
OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF OUR LADY
St. Luke writes in the first Chapter [26-39].
First Point. The first Point is that the Angel St. Gabriel, saluting Our
Lady, announced to her the Conception of Christ our Lord. "The Angel
entering where Mary was, saluted her saying: `Hail full of grace. Thou
shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son.'"
Second Point. The second, the Angel confirms what he said to Our Lady,
telling of the conception of St. John Baptist, saying to her: "`And behold
thy cousin Elizabeth hath conceived a son in her old age.'"
Third Point. The third, Our Lady answered the Angel: "`Behold the handmaid
of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word!'"
OF THE VISITATION OF OUR LADY TO ELIZABETH
St. Luke speaks in the first Chapter [39-57].
First Point. First: As Our Lady visited Elizabeth, St. John Baptist, being
in his mother's womb, felt the visitation which Our Lady made. "And when
Elizabeth heard the salutation of Our Lady, the infant leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth, full of the Holy Ghost, cried out with a loud voice, and
said: `Blessed be thou among women and blessed be the fruit of thy womb!'"
Second Point. Second: Our Lady sings the canticle, saying: "`My soul doth
magnify the Lord!'"
Third Point. Third: "Mary abode with Elizabeth about three months: and then
she returned to her house."
OF THE BIRTH OF CHRIST OUR LORD
St. Luke speaks in the second Chapter [1-15].
First Point. First: Our Lady and her husband Joseph go from Nazareth to
Bethlehem. "Joseph went up from Galilee to Bethlehem, to acknowledge
subjection to Caesar, with Mary his spouse and wife, already with child."
Second Point. Second: "She brought forth her first-born Son and wrapped Him
up with swaddling clothes and laid Him in the manger."
Third Point. Third: "There came a multitude of the heavenly army, which
said: `Glory be to God in the heavens.'"
OF THE SHEPHERDS
St. Luke writes in the second Chapter [8-21].
First Point. First: The birth of Christ our Lord is manifested to the
Shepherds by the Angel. "`I manifest to you great Joy, for this day is born
the Saviour of the world."`
Second Point. Second: The Shepherds go to Bethlehem. "They came with haste
and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant put in the manger."
Third Point. Third: "The Shepherds returned glorifying and praising the
OF THE CIRCUMCISION
St. Luke writes in the second Chapter .
First Point. First: They circumcised the Child Jesus.
Second Point. Second: "His Name was called Jesus, which was called by the
Angel, before He was conceived in the womb."
Third Point. Third: They gave back the Child to His Mother, who had
compassion for the Blood which came from her Son.
OF THE THREE MAGI KINGS
St. Matthew writes in the second Chapter [1-13].
First Point. First: The three Magi Kings, guiding themselves by the star,
came to adore Jesus, saying: "`We have seen His star in the East and are
come to adore Him.'"
Second Point. Second: They adored Him and offered gifts to Him. "Falling
down on the earth, they adored Him, and they offered Him gifts, gold,
frankincense and myrrh."
Third Point. Third: "They received answer while sleeping that they should
not return to Herod, and went back by another way to their country."
OF THE PURIFICATION OF OUR LADY AND PRESENTATION OF THE CHILD JESUS
St. Luke writes, Chapter 2 [23-39].
First Point. First: They bring the Child Jesus to the Temple, that He may
be presented to the Lord as first-born; and they offer for Him "a pair of
turtle doves or two young pigeons."
Second Point. Second: Simeon coming to the Temple "took Him into his arms"
saying: "`Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace!'"
Third Point. Third: Anna "coming afterwards confessed to the Lord, and
spoke of Him to all that were hoping for the redemption of Israel."
OF THE FLIGHT TO EGYPT
St. Matthew writes in the second Chapter [13-16].
First Point. First: Herod wanted to kill the Child Jesus, and so killed the
Innocents, and before their death the Angel warned Joseph to fly into
Egypt: "`Arise and take the Child and His Mother, and fly to Egypt.'"
Second Point. Second: He departed for Egypt. "Who arising by night departed
Third Point. Third: He was there until the death of Herod.
OF HOW CHRIST OUR LORD RETURNED FROM EGYPT
St. Matthew writes in the second Chapter [19-23].
First Point. First: The Angel warns Joseph to return to Israel. "`Arise and
take the Child and His Mother and go to the land of Israel.'"
Second Point. Second: Rising, he came to the land of Israel.
Third Point. Third: Because Archelaus, son of Herod, was reigning in Judea,
he withdrew into Nazareth.
OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST OUR LORD FROM TWELVE TO THIRTY YEARS
St. Luke writes in the second Chapter [51, 52].
First Point. First: He was obedient to His parents: "He advanced in wisdom,
age and grace."
Second Point. Second: It appears that He exercised the trade of
carpenter, as St. Mark shows he means in the sixth chapter. "`Perhaps
this is that carpenter? `"
OF THE COMING OF CHRIST TO THE TEMPLE WHEN HE WAS OF THE AGE OF TWELVE
St. Luke writes in the second Chapter [42-51].
First Point. First: Christ our Lord, of the age of twelve years, went up
from Nazareth to Jerusalem.
Second Point. Second: Christ our Lord remained in Jerusalem, and His
parents did not know it.
Third Point. Third: The three days passed, they found Him disputing in the
Temple, and seated in the midst of the doctors, and His parents asking Him
where He had been, He answered: "`Did you not know that it behooves Me to
be in the things which are My Father's?'"
OF HOW CHRIST WAS BAPTIZED
St. Matthew writes in the third Chapter [13-17].
First Point. First: Christ our Lord, after having taken leave of His
Blessed Mother, came from Nazareth to the River Jordan, where St. John
Second Point. Second: St. John baptized Christ our Lord, and wanting to
excuse himself, thinking himself unworthy of baptizing Him, Christ said to
him: "Do this for the present, for so it is necessary that we fulfill all
Third Point. Third: "The Holy Spirit came and the voice of the Father from
heaven affirming: `This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.'"
OF HOW CHRIST WAS TEMPTED
St. Luke writes in the fourth Chapter [1-14] and St. Matthew fourth Chapter
First Point. First: After being baptized, He went to the Desert, where He
fasted forty days and forty nights.
Second Point. Second: He was tempted by the enemy three times. "The tempter
coming to Him said to Him: `If Thou be the Son of God, say that these
stones be turned into bread.' `Cast Thyself down from here.' `If prostrate
on the earth Thou wilt adore me, I will give Thee all this which Thou
Third Point. Third: "The Angels came and ministered to Him."
OF THE CALL OF THE APOSTLES
First Point. First: it seems that St. Peter and St. Andrew were called
three times: first, to some knowledge; this is clear from St. John in the
first Chapter: secondly, to follow Christ in some way with the purpose of
returning to possess what they had left, as St. Luke says in the fifth
Chapter: thirdly, to follow Christ our Lord forever, as St. Matthew says in
the fourth Chapter and St. Mark in the first.
Second Point. Second: He called Philip, as is in the first Chapter of St.
John, and Matthew as Matthew himself says in the ninth Chapter.
Third Point. Third: He called the other Apostles, of whose special call the
Gospel does not make mention.
And three other things also would be to be considered:
The first, how the Apostles were of uneducated and low condition;
The second, the dignity to which they were so sweetly called;
The third, the gifts and graces by which they were raised above all the
Fathers of the New and Old Testaments.
OF THE FIRST MIRACLE PERFORMED AT THE MARRIAGE OF CANA, GALILEE
St. John writes Chapter 2 [1-12].
First Point. First: Christ our Lord was invited with His Disciples to the
Second Point. Second: The Mother tells her Son of the failure of the wine,
saying: "`They have no wine,'" and bade the servants: "`Whatsoever He shall
say to you, do ye.'"
Third Point. Third: "He changed the water into wine and manifested His
glory, and His Disciples believed in Him."
OF HOW CHRIST CAST OUT OF THE TEMPLE THOSE WHO WERE SELLING
St. John writes Chapter 2 [13-18].
First Point. First: With a whip made of cords, He cast out of the Temple
all those who were selling.
Second Point. Second: He turned over the tables and money of the rich
bankers who were in the Temple.
Third Point. Third: To the poor who sold doves, He mildly said: "`Take
these things from here, and make not My house a house of traffic.'"
OF THE SERMON WHICH CHRIST MADE ON THE MOUNT
St. Matthew writes in the fifth Chapter [1-48].
First Point. First: To His beloved Disciples He speaks apart about the
Eight Beatitudes: "`Blessed the poor of spirit, the meek, the merciful,
those who weep, those who suffer hunger and thirst for justice, the clean
of heart, the peaceful, and those who suffer persecution.'"
Second Point. Second: He exhorts them to use their talents well: "`So let
your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify
your Father Who is in the heavens.'"
Third Point. Third: He shows Himself not a transgressor, but a perfector of
the law; explaining the precept of not killing, not committing fornication,
not being guilty of perjury, and of loving enemies. "`I say to you that you
love your enemies and do good to them that hate you.'"
OF HOW CHRIST OUR LORD MADE THE TEMPEST OF THE SEA BE CALM
St. Matthew writes Chapter 8 [23-28].
First Point. First: Christ our Lord being asleep at sea, a great
Second Point. Second: His Disciples, frightened, awakened Him. Whom He
reprehends for the little faith which they had, saying to them: "`What do
you fear, ye of little faith!'"
Third Point. Third: He commanded the winds and the sea to cease: and, so
ceasing, the sea became calm: at which the men wondered, saying: "`Who is
this whom the wind and the sea obey?'"
OF HOW CHRIST WALKED ON THE SEA
St. Matthew writes Chapter 14 [22-34].
First Point. First: Christ our Lord being on the mountain, made His
Disciples go to the little boat. And having dismissed the multitude, He
commenced to pray alone.
Second Point. Second: The little boat was beaten by the waves. To which
Christ came walking on the water; and the Disciples thought it was an
Third Point. Third: Christ saying to them: "`It is I, fear not,'" St.
Peter, by His command, came to Him walking on the water. Doubting, he
commenced to sink, but Christ our Lord freed him and reprehended him for
his little faith, and then, as He entered into the little boat, the wind
OF HOW THE APOSTLES WERE SENT TO PREACH
St. Matthew writes in the tenth Chapter
First Point. First: Christ called His beloved Disciples and gave them power
to cast out the demons from human bodies and to cure all the diseases.
Second Point. Second: He teaches them of prudence and patience: "`Behold, I
send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents
and simple as doves.'"
Third Point. Third: He gives them the way to go. "`Do not want to possess
gold nor silver: what you have freely received, freely give.'" And He gave
them matter to preach. "`Going you shall preach, saying: `The Kingdom of
Heaven has approached.'"
OF THE CONVERSION OF MAGDALEN
St. Luke writes in the seventh Chapter [36-50].
First Point. First: Magdalen enters where Christ our Lord is seated at the
table in the house of the Pharisee. She bore a vase of alabaster full of
Second Point. Second: Standing behind the Lord near His feet, she commenced
to wash them with tears and dried them with the hairs of her head, and
kissed His feet and anointed them with ointment.
Third Point. Third: When the Pharisee accused Magdalen, Christ speaks in
her defence, saying: "`Many sins are forgiven her because she loves much.'
And He said to the woman: `Thy faith hath made thee safe: go in peace.'"
OF HOW CHRIST OUR LORD GAVE TO EAT FIVE THOUSAND MEN
St. Matthew writes in the fourteenth Chapter [13-22].
First Point. First: The Disciples, as it was getting late, ask Christ to
dismiss the multitude of men who were with Him.
Second Point. Second: Christ our Lord commands that they bring Him bread,
and commanded that they should be seated at the table, and blessed and
broke and gave the bread to His Disciples, and the Disciples to the
Third Point. Third: "They did eat and were filled and there were twelve
OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST
St. Matthew writes in the seventeenth Chapter [1-14].
First Point. First: Taking along His beloved Disciples, Peter, James, John,
Christ our Lord was transfigured, and His face did shine as the sun, and
His garments as the snow.
Second Point. Second: He was speaking with Moses and Elias.
Third Point. Third: St. Peter saying that they would make three
tabernacles, a voice from heaven sounded, which said: "`This is My beloved
Son, hear ye Him!'" When His Disciples heard this voice, they fell for fear
on their faces; and Christ our Lord touched them and said to them: "` Arise
and fear not. Tell this vision to no one until the Son of Man be risen.'"
OF THE RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS
John, Chapter 11 [1-46].
First Point. First: Martha and Mary sent word to Christ our Lord of the
illness of Lazarus. Knowing it, He delayed for two days, that the miracle
might be more evident.
Second Point. Second: Before He raises him, He asks the one and the other
to believe, saying: "`I am the resurrection and life; he who believeth in
Me, although he be dead, shall live.'"
Third Point. Third: He raises him, after having wept and prayed. And the
manner of raising him was by commanding: "`Lazarus, come forth!'"
OF THE SUPPER AT BETHANY
Matthew, Chapter 26 [1-14].
First Point. First: The Lord sups in the house of Simon the Leper, along
Second Point. Second: Mary pours the ointment on the head of Christ.
Third Point. Third: Judas murmurs, saying: "`For what is this waste of
ointment?'" But He a second time excuses Magdalen, saying: "`Why are you
troublesome to this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon Me.'"
Matthew, Chapter 21 [1-12].
First Point. First: The Lord sends for the ass and the foal, saying: "Loose
them and bring them to Me, and if any one shall say anything to you, say ye
that the Lord hath need of them, and forthwith he will let them go."
Second Point. Second: He mounted upon the ass, which was covered with the
garments of the Apostles.
Third Point. Third: They went out to receive Him, strewing in the way their
garments and the branches of the trees, saying: "`Save us, Son of David,
blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Save us in the
OF THE PREACHING IN THE TEMPLE
Luke, Chapter 19 [47, 48].
First Point. First: He was every day teaching in the Temple.
Second Point. Second: The preaching finished, since there was no one who
would receive Him in Jerusalem, He used to return to Bethany.
OF THE SUPPER
Matthew 26; John 13.
First Point. First: He ate the Paschal Lamb with His twelve Apostles, to
whom He foretold His death. "`In truth, I say to you that one of you is to
Second Point. Second: He washed the Disciples' feet, even those of Judas,
commencing from St. Peter, who, considering the Majesty of the Lord and his
own baseness, not wanting to consent, said: "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?"
But St. Peter did not know that in that He gave an example of humility, and
for this He said: "`I have given you an example, that you may do as I
Third Point. Third: He instituted the most sacred sacrifice of the
Eucharist, to be the greatest mark of His love, saying: "`Take and eat.'"
The Supper finished, Judas went forth to sell Christ our Lord.
OF THE MYSTERIES DONE FROM THE SUPPER TO THE GARDEN, INCLUSIVE
Matthew, Chapter 26, and Mark, Chapter 14.
First Point. First: The Supper finished, and singing the hymn, the Lord
went to Mount Olivet with His Disciples, who were full of fear; and leaving
the eight in Gethsemani, He said: "`Sit ye here till I go yonder to pray.'"
Second Point. Second: Accompanied by St. Peter, St. James and St. John, He
prayed three times to the Lord, saying: "`Father, if it be possible, let
this chalice pass from Me. Nevertheless, let not My will be done, but
Thine.'" And being in agony, He prayed the longer.
Third Point. Third: He came into such fear, that He said: "`My soul is
sorrowful unto death,'" and He sweated blood so plentiful, that St. Luke
says: "His sweat was as drops of blood which were running on the earth;"
which supposes that the garments were already full of blood.
OF THE MYSTERIES DONE FROM THE GARDEN TO THE HOUSE OF ANNAS, INCLUSIVE
Matthew 26, Luke 22, Mark 15.
First Point. First: The Lord lets Himself be kissed by Judas and taken as a
robber, to whom He said: "`You have come out as to a robber to apprehend Me
with clubs and arms; when I was daily with you in the Temple teaching and
you did not take Me."` And He saying: "`Whom seek ye?'" the enemies fell on
Second Point. Second: St. Peter wounded a servant of the High Priest, and
the meek Lord said to Peter: "`Return thy sword into its place,'" and He
healed the wound of the servant.
Third Point. Third: Left by His Disciples, He is taken to Annas, where St.
Peter, who had followed Him from afar, denied Him once, and a blow was
given Christ by one saying to Him: "`Answerest Thou the High Priest so?"`
OF THE MYSTERIES DONE FROM THE HOUSE OF ANNAS TO THE HOUSE OF CAIPHAS,
First Point. First: They take Him bound from the house of Annas to the
house of Caiphas, where St. Peter denied Him twice, and looked at by the
Lord, going forth he wept bitterly.
Second Point. Second: Jesus was all that night bound.
Third Point. Third: Besides, those who held Him captive mocked Him and
struck Him and covered His face and gave Him buffets and asked Him:
"`Prophesy to us, who is he that struck Thee?'" and like things,
blaspheming against Him.
OF THE MYSTERIES DONE FROM THE HOUSE OF CAIPHAS TO THAT OF PILATE,
Matthew 26, Luke 23, Mark 15.
First Point. First: The whole multitude of the Jews take Him to Pilate
and accuse Him before him, saying: "`We have found that this man tried to
ruin our people and forbade to pay tribute to Caesar.'"
Second Point. Second: Pilate, after having examined Him once and again,
said: "`I find no fault.'"
Third Point. Third: The robber Barabbas was preferred to Him. "They all
cried, saying: `Give us not this man, but Barabbas!'"
OF THE MYSTERIES DONE FROM THE HOUSE OF PILATE TO THAT OF HEROD
First Point. First: Pilate sent Jesus, a Galilean, to Herod, Tetrarch of
Second Point. Second: Herod, curious, questioned Him much and He answered
him nothing, although the Scribes and Priests were accusing Him constantly.
Third Point. Third: Herod despised Him with his army, clothing Him with a
OF THE MYSTERIES DONE FROM THE HOUSE OF HEROD TO THAT OF PILATE
Matthew 26, Luke 23, Mark 15, and John 19.
First Point. First: Herod sends Him back to Pilate. By this they were made
friends, who before were enemies.
Second Point. Second: Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him; and the soldiers
made a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they clothed Him with
purple and came to Him and said: "`Hail, King of the Jews!'", and they gave
Third Point. Third: He brought Him forth in the presence of all. "Then
Jesus went forth crowned with thorns and clothed with a purple garment, and
Pilate said to them: `Here is the Man!'" and when the Priests saw Him, they
shouted, saying: "`Crucify, crucify Him!'"
OF THE MYSTERIES DONE FROM THE HOUSE OF PILATE TO THE CROSS, INCLUSIVE
John 19 [15-20].
First Point. First: Pilate, seated as judge, delivered Jesus to them to
crucify Him, after the Jews had denied Him for king, saying: "`We have no
king but Caesar!`"
Second Point. Second: He took the Cross on His shoulders and not being able
to carry it, Simon of Cyrene was constrained to carry it after Jesus.
Third Point. Third: They crucified Him between two thieves, setting this
title: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews."
OF THE MYSTERIES ON THE CROSS
John 19 [25-37].
First Point. First: He spoke seven words on the Cross: He prayed for those
who were crucifying Him; He pardoned the thief; He recommended St. John to
His Mother and His Mother to St. John; He said with a loud voice: "`I
thirst,'" and they gave Him gall and vinegar; He said that He was
abandoned; He said: "It is consummated"; He said: "Father, into Thy hands I
commend My spirit!"
Second Point. Second: The sun was darkened, the stones broken, the graves
opened, the veil of the Temple was rent in two from above below.
Third Point. Third: They blaspheme Him, saying: "`Thou wert He who
destroyest the Temple of God; come down from the Cross."` His garments were
divided; His side, struck with the lance, sent forth water and blood.
OF THE MYSTERIES FROM THE CROSS TO THE SEPULCHRE, INCLUSIVE
First Point. First: He was let down from the Cross by Joseph and Nicodemus,
in presence of His sorrowful Mother.
Second Point. Second: The Body was carried to the Sepulchre and anointed
Third Point. Third: Guards were set.
OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST OUR LORD OF HIS FIRST APPARITION
First Point. First: He appeared to the Virgin Mary. This, although it is
not said in Scripture, is included in saying that He appeared to so many
others, because Scripture supposes that we have understanding, as it is
written: "`Are you also without understanding?"`
OF THE SECOND APPARITION
Mark, Chapter 16 .
First Point. First: Mary Magdalen, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
come very early to the Sepulchre saying: "`Who shall lift for us the
stone from the door of the Sepulchre?'"
Second Point. Second: They see the stone lifted, and the Angel, who says:
"`You seek Jesus of Nazareth. He is already risen, He is not here.'"
Third Point. Third: He appeared to Mary, who remained about the Sepulchre
after the others had gone.
OF THE THIRD APPARITION
St. Matthew, last Chapter.
First Point. First: These Maries go from the Sepulchre with fear and joy,
wanting to announce to the Disciples the Resurrection of the Lord.
Second Point. Second: Christ our Lord appeared to them on the way, saying
to them: "Hail:" and they approached and threw themselves at His feet and
Third Point. Third: Jesus says to them: "`Fear not! Go and tell My brethren
that they go into Galilee, for there they shall see Me.'"
OF THE FOURTH APPARITION
Last Chapter of Luke [12, 34].
First Point. First: Having heard from the women that Christ was risen, St.
Peter went quickly to the Sepulchre.
Second Point. Second: Entering into the Sepulchre, he saw only the cloths
with which the Body of Christ our Lord had been covered, and nothing else.
Third Point. Third: As St. Peter was thinking of these things, Christ
appeared to Him, and therefore the Apostles said: "`Truly the Lord has
risen and appeared to Simon.'"
OF THE FIFTH APPARITION
In the last Chapter of St. Luke.
First Point. First: He appeared to the Disciples who were going to Emmaus,
talking of Christ.
Second Point. Second: He reproves them, showing by the Scriptures that
Christ had to die and rise again: "`O foolish and slow of heart to believe
all that the Prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that Christ should
suffer and so enter into His glory?"`
Third Point. Third: At their prayer, He lingers there, and was with them
until, in giving them Communion, He disappeared. And they, returning, told
the Disciples how they had known Him in the Communion.
OF THE SIXTH APPARITION
John, Chapter 20 [19-24].
First Point. First: The Disciples, except St. Thomas, were gathered
together for fear of the Jews.
Second Point. Second: Jesus appeared to them, the doors being shut, and
being in the midst of them, He says: "`Peace be with you!'"
Third Point. Third: He gives them the Holy Ghost, saying to them: "`Receive
ye the Holy Ghost: to those whose sins you shall forgive, to them they
shall be forgiven.'"
THE SEVENTH APPARITION
John 20 [24-30].
First Point. First: St. Thomas, incredulous because he was absent from the
preceding apparition, says: "If I do not see Him, I will not believe."
Second Point. Second: Jesus appears to them eight days from that, the doors
being shut, and says to St. Thomas: "`Put here thy finger and see the
truth; and be not incredulous, but believing.'"
Third Point. Third: St. Thomas believed, saying: "`My Lord and my God!"
Christ said to him: "`Blessed are those who have not seen and have
OF THE EIGHTH APPARITION
John, last Chapter [1-24].
First Point. First: Jesus appears to seven of His Disciples who were
fishing, and had taken nothing all night; and spreading the net by His
command, "They were not able to draw it out for the multitude of the
Second Point. Second: By this miracle St. John knew Him and said to St.
Peter: "`It is the Lord!'" He cast himself into the sea and came to Christ.
Third Point. Third: He gave them to eat part of a fish roasted, and a comb
of honey, and recommended the sheep to St. Peter, having first examined
him three times on charity, and says to him: "`Feed My sheep! `"
OF THE NINTH APPARITION
Matthew, last Chapter [16-end].
First Point. First: The Disciples, by command of the Lord, go to Mt.
Second Point. Second: Christ appears to them and says: "`All power is given
to Me in heaven and on earth.'"
Third Point. Third: He sent them through all the world to preach, saying:
"`Go and teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.'"
OF THE TENTH APPARITION
In the First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 15 . "Afterwards He was
seen by more than five hundred brethren together."
OF THE ELEVENTH APPARITION
In the First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 15 . "Afterwards He
appeared to St. James."
OF THE TWELFTH APPARITION
He appeared to Joseph of Arimathea, as is piously meditated and is read in
the lives of the Saints.
OF THE THIRTEENTH APPARITION
First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 15 . He appeared to St. Paul
after the Ascension. "`Last of all, He appeared to me, as one born out of
He appeared also in soul to the Holy Fathers of Limbo, and after taking
them out and having taken His Body again, He appeared to the Disciples many
times, and dealt with them.
OF THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST OUR LORD
Acts 1 [1-12].
First Point. First: After He appeared for the space of forty days to the
Apostles, giving many arguments and doing many signs, and speaking of the
kingdom of God, He bade them await in Jerusalem the Holy Ghost promised.
Second Point. Second: He brought them out to Mt. Olivet, and in their
presence He was raised up and a cloud made Him disappear from their eyes.
Third Point. Third: They looking to heaven, the Angels say to them: "`Men
of Galilee, why stand you looking to heaven? This Jesus, Who is taken from
your eyes to heaven, shall so come as you saw Him go into heaven.'"
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
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
Fourth Rule. The fourth: OF SPIRITUAL DESOLATION. I call desolation all the
contrary of the third rule, such as darkness 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
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
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.
Ninth Rule. The ninth: There are three principal reasons why we find
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
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
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
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
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
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
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; 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
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 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
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 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.
[Note: The numbers found in brackets periocically throughout the above text
were present in the file as received by Trinity Communications. They appear
to be footnote numbers, but no footnotes were included in the file.
Presumably, footnotes in the printed version of the book simply contain
information on the manuscript or on the translationg.]