Treatise on Prayer
& Meditation
(outline, selections)



MS-Word Doc


First Series of Meditations for every Day of the Week



Monday: Sin and Self-Knowledge

Tuesday: On the Miseries of this Life

Wednesday: O n Death

Thursday: The Last Judgement

Friday: The Pains of Hell

Saturday: On Heaven

Sunday: The Benefits of God       




Seven Meditations on the Sacred Passion




Monday: The Washing of the Feet and the Institution of the Blessed Sacrament

Tuesday: The Prayer in the Garden, the Arrest and the Events before Annas

Wednesday: Before Caiphas: the Denial of Saint Peter and the Scourging

Thursday: The Crowning  with Thorns, the Ecce Homo and the Carrying of the Cross

Friday: The Crucifixion and the Seven Words

Saturday: The Piercing with the Lance, the Taking Down from the Cross, the Sorrows of Mary and the Burial

Sunday: The Descent into Limbo, the Appearances of our Lord and the Ascension




Six Parts [of] the Exercise of Prayer



[1] The Preparation required before Prayer

[2] The Reading

[3] The Meditation

[4] The Thanksgiving

[5] The Offering

[6] The Petition







HAVING seen the immense value of prayer and meditation, let us consider now the subjects on which we ought to meditate. As the purpose of this holy exercise is to establish in our hearts the love and the fear of God and fidelity to his commandments, so the most suitable subject-matter for this exercise will be that which is most adapted to this end. It is, of course, true that all material things, and all that is spiritual and sacred, may serve this purpose; still, speaking generally, the mysteries of our faith—as contained in the Symbol or Credo—are the most efficacious and effective, for herein[:]

[1] the benefits of God are treated of, the last judgement, the pains of hell and the glory of heaven, and these act strongly upon our heart and move it to the love and fear of God.

[2] It treats also of the Life and Passion of Christ, our Saviour, and herein lies all our good.

Here, then, are two groups of subjects, specially noted in the Credo ; and it is mostly around these that we ponder in meditation, so that with good reason is it said that the Credo contains the matter most suitable for this holy exercise. This, however, must not be taken to mean that that is not the best for each one which most effectively moves his heart to the love and fear of God.


In order to introduce newcomers and beginners into this path, and to provide them with the sustenance which suits them, already prepared and masticated beforehand, I shall here give briefly two sets of meditations for each day of the week, one for the evening and one for the morning, drawn, for the most part, from the mysteries of our faith. As we give two repasts a day to our bodies, so do we similarly give two to our soul, whose nourishment lies in meditation on and consideration of divine things.

Of these meditations[:]

[1] one set is on the Sacred Passion and Resurrection of Christ,

[2] the remainder on the other mysteries mentioned above.

He who cannot find the time to recollect himself twice every day, can, at least, devote one week to the first set of mysteries, and the second week to the other; or he may confine himself to those on the Life and Passion of Jesus Christ, as these are the more important. It is not wise, however, at the beginning of conversion, to neglect the others, for they are very suitable for that period in which most of all is required the fear of God, and contrition and hatred of sin.




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