Corona Monachorum
The Crown of Monks

 Abbot Blosius of Liessies

Contemplative Leisure;   Spir.Reading and Lectio Divina



Latin: Enchridium Benedictinum, Dacryanus Sive Speculum Monachorum Ven . Ludovico Blosio, 1862' 

By LUDOVICUS BLOSIUS, O.S.B. ENGLISH:  CONCLAVE ANIMÆ FIDELIS, PARTIBUS IV. DISTINCTUM. I. Speculum fpirituale. II. Monile spirituale. III. Corona spiritualis. IV. Scriniolum spirituale. Enchiridion Benedictinum Complectens Regulam, Vitam et Laudes Sanctissimi Occidentalium Monachorum Patriarche Accedunt Exercitia S. Gertrudis Magne et Blosii Speculum Andegavi Typis Cosnier et Lachese, 1862. Hludowici Blosii Abbatis Lætiensis Ord. S.P.N Benedicti Operum Tomus Posterior, Margaritum Spirituale Ex Typographis Ducalis Monasterii Campidonensis per Rudolphem Dreherm , 1672. Hludowici Blosii Instructionis Vitæ Asceticæ, Pars Prima sive Speculum Monachorum Præmonitinicula, pp. 406-449.

CH 1




A monk must seriously consider how to live more fully the life of the institute he has joined

 Monacho diligenter cogitandum, cui arctius vitae institutum ingressus sit.

YOU request of me, beloved Brother Odo, a kind of spiritual  wherein you may contemplate yourself, and exactly perceive both your beauty and deformity. This request of yours is somewhat strange. Certainly, I think that you know me not; for if you did, whence doth it happen, that you request a spiritual thing of a carnal man? Nevertheless, lest I might seem to neglect, or rather to contemn your request, behold I send what our penury has been able to afford you.

Petis a me, dilecte frater Odo, spirituale aliquod Speculum, in quo teipsum contemplari, et pulchra deformiaque tua exacte perspicere possis. Nova ista tua petitio est. Puto non me cognoscis: nam si cognosceres, quomodo rem spiritualem ab homine carnali peteres? Verumtamen ne piam petitionem tuam proeterisse, vel potius contempsisse videar: ecce mitto quod penuria nostra subministrare potuit.

Accept therefore of this short instruction, by reading whereof you may peradventure slenderly learn what you are, what you are not, or certainly what you ought to be.

Accipe igitur doctrinam brevem, cujus lectione vel tenuiter forte discere poteris qualis sis, et qualis non sis, aut certe qualis esse debeas.

First and foremost, therefore, I admonish you often and seriously to consider the end of your coming into your monastery; that being dead to the world and yourself, you may live to God. Strive therefore with might and main to accomplish that for which you came; learn strongly to despise all sensible things, and manfully to break, and no less wholesomely to forsake yourself. Make haste to mortify your passions and vicious affections that are in you.

In primis moneo te, ut saeepe serioque  cogites, quare in monasterium veneris  nempe ut mundo tibique mortuus, soli Deo vivas. Ergo tota intentione id facere stude, ad quod faciendum venisti. Disce fortiter contemnere omnia sensibilia, et teipsum viriliter frangere, salubriterque relinquere: passiones affectionesque vitiosas in te mortificare festina.

Busy yourself in repressing the unstable wanderings of your heart; strive to overcome weariness, idleness, and the irksomeness of your infirm mind. Spend your daily labour in these things; let this be your glorious contention and healthful affliction. Be not remiss; but arise, watch, look about you, and expose yourself wholly, lest you be evilly partial to yourself. God requires thus much of you; so doth your state.

Satage reprimere instabiles evagationes mentis ture: contende vincerē fatigationem, acediana, et tmdium infirmi animi tui. In his sit quotidianus labor tuus, gloriosum certamen tuum, et salubris afflictio tua. Noli esse remissus: sed exurge, vigila, circumspice, expone te totum; ne tibi male peperceris. Hoc enim a te exPoscit Deus tuus: hoc a te exigit statug tuus.

You are called a Monk: see that you be truly what you are called. Do the work of a Monk. Labour earnestly in beating down and casting forth vice.

Monachus diceris: vide, ut vere sis quod diceris: opus Monachi fac. Debellandis, inquarn, eliminandisque vitiis sedulo invigilia.

Be always armed against the contrariness of nature, against vehemence, against the pleasures of the flesh, and the enticements of sensuality.

Adversus naturm pravitatem, adversus animositatem, adversus voluptates carnis et sensualitatis illecebras, semper armatus esto.

Understand well what I say.

Intellige quae dico.

If you permit pride, boasting, vainglory, self-complacence, to domineer over your reason, [you are no Monk.]

Si superbiam, jactantiam, vanam gloriam, propriam complacentiam, tuae rationi dominari permittis;

If you frowardly follow your own sense, and dare despise every humble office, you are not what you are called—you are no Monk.

si proprium sensum proterve sequi, si quoque humilia et simplicia contemnere audes, monachus non es.

If as much as in you lies you repel not envy, hatred, maliciousness, indignation; if you reject not rash suspicions, childish complaints, and wicked murmurings, you are no Monk.

Si invidiam, odium, amarulentiam, indignationem a te pro viribus non repellis; si suspiciones temerarias, querimonias pueriles, murmurationes sceleratas non rejicis, monachus non es.

If a contentious and earnest strife being risen between you and another, you do not presently treat of a reconciliation, and what wrong soever has been done, you do not presently pardon sincerely, but seek for revenge, and retain a voluntary private grudge, and not a true and sincere affection in your heart, or show outwardly signs of disaffection—nay, if when occasion and necessity requires, you defer to help him that has injured you, you are no Monk, you are no Christian, you are abominable before God.

Si contentioso acrique dissidio inter te et alterum forte exorto, non mox de reconciliatione tractas, et quavis injuria affectus, non statim condonas; sed vindictam expetis, aut voluntariam simultatem, minusque sinceram affectionem in corde retines, vel etiam exterius signa inaffectionis ostendis; si etiam eum qui injuriam intulit adjuvare differs, quando necessitas et occiu io se offert, monachus non es, christianus non es, abominabilis coram Deo es.

If having done amiss, you are ashamed regularly to accuse yourself and freely to confess your fault; if being blamed, reproved, and corrected, you be not patient and humble, you are no Monk.

Si postquam deliquisti, teipsum regulariter accusare, et culpam tuam ingenue confiteri erubescis; si ad increpationes, correptiones, correctionesque, patientiam et humilitatem non exhibes, monachus non es.

If you neglect readily and faithfully to obey your ghostly Father, if you refuse to reverence and sincerely to love him as God’s vicar, you are no Monk.

Si spirituali Patri in omnibus qute mala non sunt, prompte fideliterque obtemperare negligis; si eumdein spiritualem Patrem tanquam Dei vicarium revereri ac sinceriter amare renuis, monachus non es.

If you willingly withdraw yourself from the Divine Office and other conventual acts, if you assist not watchfully and reverently in the service of God, you are no Monk.

Si a divino Officio et ctetmis actionibus conventualibus, te libenter subtrnhis; si in ipso eodem servitio Dei vigilanter et reverenter non adsistis, monachus non es.

If, neglecting internal things, you take care only about the external, and with a certain dry custom move your body but not your heart to the works of religion, you are no Monk.

Si interioribus tuis neglectis, exteriora tantum curas, et arida quadam consuetudine solum corpus, non antem cor, ad religionis opera moves, monachus non es.

If you give not your mind to holy reading and other spiritual exercises, if you have your mind so possessed with transitory matters that you seldom lift yourself up to eternal, you are no Monk.

Si sacris lectionibus, aliisque spiritulibus exercitiis non das diligentem operam; si mentem transitoriis rebus sic implexam vel depressam habes, ut raro ad aeterna assurgas, monachus non es.

If you desire delicate and superfluous meats, and intemperately long after the drinking of wine beyond the measure of a cup, especially if you be in health, and have beer or other convenient drink sufficiently, you are no Monk.

Si delicaturn superfluumque cibuzn exquiris, et vini potum intemperanter ultra mensuram unius scyphi affectas, praesertim quando recte vales, cerevisiamque aut alium potum convenientem sufficienter habes, mor.achus non es.

If foolishly you require precious apparel, soft beds, and other solaces of the flesh which agree not with your state and profession; if, loving corporal rest, you refuse to undergo labour and affliction for God’s sake, you are no Monk.

Si pretiosas vestes, mollia strata, et quaevis solatia carnis, quae statui et professioni tuae minus conveniunt, insipienter requiris; si quietem corporalem diligens, laborem et affectionem propter Deum subire recusas, monachus non es.

If you cannot endure solitude and silence, but are delighted with idle speeches and inordinate laughter, you are no Monk.

Si solitudinem et silentium non sustines, sed otiosis sermonibus, inordinatisque risibus delectaris, monachus non es.

If you love to be with seculars, if you desire to wander out of the monastery through the villages and cities, you are no Monk.

Si rem etiam exiguam dare, mittere, recipere, et tenere absque Superioris scitu permissioneque praesumis, monachus non es.

If you presume to take any small matter, to send, receive, or keep any things without the knowledge or permission of your Superior, you are no Monk.

Si ordinationes sanctae Religionis, quantumvis modicae sint, parvipendis, easque volens transgrederis, monachus non es.

If you esteem not the ordinations of holy religion, though never so little, and willingly do transgress them, you are no Monk. To conclude: If you seek any other thing in the monastery but God, and with might and main aspire not to perfection, you are no Monk.

Si denique aliud praeter Deum in monasterio quaeris, et ad vitae perfectionem totis viribus non adniteris, monachus non es.

As I have said, therefore, that you may truly be what you are called, and may not wear the habit of a Monk in vain, do the work of a Monk. Arm yourself against yourself, and as much as in you lies overcome and subdue yourself.

Ut igitur, sicut dixi, vere sis quod dice ris, et habitum monachi in vanum non portes, opus fac monachi. Arma te in te: certa contra te; et quantum est in te, vince et suppedita te.

If presently you find not the peace you desire; if, I say, as yet you cannot be at rest, but are troubled and assailed by brutish motions and turbulent passions: yea, if so be by God’s permission, for your own profit, throughout your whole life you shall have to do with such enemies, despair not, be not effeminately dejected, but, humbling yourself before God, stand and be steadfast in your place, and skirmish stoutly;

Si cito non invenis pacem quam desideras; si, inquam, nondum tibi requiescere conceditur, sed adhuc perstrepunt et vim faciunt brutales motus, passionesque turbulentre; imo vero si, Deo sic permittente, per omnem vitam pro tua utilitate, cum hujusmodi hostibus tibi colluctandum fuerit, noli diffidere, noli muliebriter dejici; sed humilians te coram Domino, sta et permane in loco tuo, strenueque dimica

for even the vessel of election, St. Paul, endured temptations all his lifetime, in which he was buffeted by the angel of Satan. When he often beseeched our Lord to be freed from this trouble he obtained it not, for that it was not expedient for him; but our Lord answered his prayer, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for strength is perfected in weakness.” And so afterwards St. Paul did gratefully endure the scourge of temptation. Being comforted by the example of this most strong and invincible champion, faint not in temptation, but endure manfully, remaining fixed and immoveable in this holy purpose;

. Nam et vas electionis beatus Paulus, per omnem vitam suam sustinuit tentationem,e~o Apo qua ab angelo Sathanne colaphizabatur. Quumque precibus savius expeteret a Domino tantae molestiee liberationem, non est tamen liberatus: neque enim hoc ei expediebat; sed Dominus precanti respondit: Sufficit tibi gratia mea, nam virtus in infirmitate perficitur; sicque Paulus deinceps gratanter pertulit tentationis flagellum. Hujus fortissimi, insuperabilisque athleta! confortatus exemplo, ne despondeas animum in tentationibus; sed sustine viriliter, fixus atque immobilis in sancto proposito permanens.

for without doubt, this labour of yours is grateful to God, although the same seem hard and insufferable to you. Go through this spiritual martyrdom with an invincible mind. Doubt not, although you be a thousand times wounded, and as often trod under foot, if you stand to it, if you give not ground to your enemy and like a coward cast not away your weapons, you shall receive a crown. Do according to your ability, and commend the rest to God’s disposing, saying: As Thy will is in Heaven, so be it done. Let the divine will and ordination be your chief consolation.

Nam laborem tuum procul dubio gratum         habet Deus tuus, quamvis tibi ni mium amarus videatur idem ipse labor tuus. Spirituale martyrium invicto animo perfer. Nihil dubita, etiamsi millies vulnereris, etiamsi millies conculceris; coronam recipies, si modo perstiteris; si modo conflictum non deserueris, et arma non projeceris. Fac quod in te est: reliquum commenda divinee dispositioni, dicens: Sicut fuerit voluntas in ccelo, sic fiat. Sit summa consolatio tua, ipsa divina voluntas et ordinatio.

Whichever way you turn, whereever you are, you shall find tribulations and temptations as long as this life lasts; which, that you may patiently endure, you ought always to be prepared. But you are happy, if by grace you have proceeded so far that all grief and affliction whatsoever become truly pleasing to you for God’s sake.

Quocumque te verteris, ubicumque fueris, tribulationes et tentationes invenies, quamdiu hoec vita duraverit: ad quas patienter tolerandas semper te paratum esse oportet. Felicem vero te, si eo tandem a gratia perductus fueris, ut qumvis gravedo et afflictio tibi vere sapiat propter Deum.

What think you, Brother, is my mirror big enough; or is not this yet sufficient for you, but you yet desire to hear in more express terms, more abundantly and fully, how to compose yourself within and without, or how, according to reason, you ought to order every day before God.

Satisne Speculum nostrum excrevit, mi  frater? Autnondumtibi satis excrevit, sed  adbuc expressius, diffusius, jucundius que audire desideras, quomodo te interius et exterius componere, quomodo vitam tuam, vel quemlibet diem coram Deo rationaliter ordinare debeas? Audi ergo.

CH 2


How we ought to bestow our time from our first rising to Matins in the morning

p. 318

How the intervals of each day should be arranged.  And first, concerning the Divine Office and the devotion or desolation during prayer.

Quid quoque diei tempore sit agendum. Et primo, de Officio divino, et devotione aut desolatione inter orandum.

AS soon as you are awake and ready to rise for the night office, devoutly arm yourself with the sign of the Cross, and briefly pray to God that He will vouchsafe to blot out the stains of sin in you, and be pleased to help you. Then, casting all vain imaginations out of your mind, think upon some other thing that is spiritual, and conceive as much purity of heart as you can, rejoicing in yourself that you are called up to the praise and worship of your Creator. Statim dum evigilas, surrecturus ad nocturnam synaxim, signum crucis attente exprime, et Deum breviter deprecare, ut omnem peccati maculam in te deleat, teque adjuvare dignetur. Deinde rejecta phantasmatum confusione aliquid spirituale pertracta, et quantum potes puritatem cordis concipe; gaudens intra temetipsum, quod ad cultum et laudem creatoris tui evoceris.

 But, nevertheless, if frailty of body, if heaviness of sleep, if disturbance of spirit, depress you, do not be crushed in spirit; but rather be comforted. and vigorously overcome all impediments with reason and willingness; for the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Certainly, acording to the the labour you undergo for your God, so will your God offer a return to you.

Verumtamen si fragilitas corporis, si somni gravedo., si conturbatio spiritus te premit, ne collabaris animo, sed confortare et vim tibi affer, ratione ac voluntate omnia impedimenta superans. Regnum enim ccelorum vim patitur, et violenti rapiunt illud. Plane secundum laborem, quem sustines pro Deo tuo, reddet tibi ipse.Deus tuus.

Being come off from your bed, commend and offer yourself, both body and soul, to the Most High; make haste to the choir, as to a place of refuge and the garden of spiritual delights. Until Divine Office begins, study to keep your mind in peace and simplicity, free from troubles and the multiplicity of uncertain thoughts; collecting a goodly and sweet affection towards your God by sincere meditation or prayer.

Descenso lectulo, animam pariter et corpus commenda atque offer Altissimo.Tempestive accurre ad chorum tamquam ad locum refugii, et hortum deliciarum spiritualium. Donec inchoetur divinum Officium, mentem a turbulentiis et multiplicitate incertarum cogitationum expeditam, in tranquillitate, atque plicitate conservare stude, pium dulcemque affectum erga Deum tuum per sinceram meditationem vel orationem colligens.

In the performance of the Divine Office have a care to pronounce and hear the holy words reverently, perfectly, thankfully, and attentively, that you may taste that your Lord is sweet, and may feel that the Word of God has incomprehensible sweetness and power. For whatsoever the Holy Spirit has dictated is indeed the life-procuring food, and the delightful solace of a chaste, sober, and humble soul.

Sub ipsius Officii decursu, perfecte, reverenter, gratanter, et attente sacra• eloquia pronuntiare atque audire satage, ut gustes quoniam suavis est Dominus; et sentias, quoniam verbum Dei incomprehensibilem habet dulcedinem et virtutem. Qumumque enim Spiritus Sanctus dictavit, revera vivificus cibus et deliciosum solatium sunt aniam castee, sobriae et humilis

Remember, therefore, to be there faithfully attentive, but avoid too vehement cogitations and motions of mind; especially if your head be weak, lest being hurt or wearied, confounded and straitened internally, you shut the sanctuary of God against yourself. Reject, likewise, too troublesome care, which commonly bringeth with it pusillanimity and restlessness, and persevere with a gentle, quiet, and watchful spirit in the praises of God, without singularity.

. Ergo ibi fideliter attentus esse memineris. Cogitationem tamen, mentisque irnpulsum nimis vehementem devita, praeesertim si debile caputhabes: ne laesus, fatigatus, confusus, constrictusque interius, tibiipsi sanctuarium Dei occludas. Similiter sollicitudinem nimis anxiam, qua?, pu sillanimitatem, inquietudinemque adducere consuevit, rejice; et leni, quieto, vigilique spiritu, in laudibus Dei sine perplexitate persevera.

But if you cannot keep your heart from wanderings, be not dejected in mind; but patiently endeavour, patiently do what lies in your power, committing the rest to the divine will. Persevere in your goodly affection towards God, and even your very defects, which you are no way able to exclude, will in a manner beget you consolation. For as the earth, which is of a convenient nature, Both by the casting of dung, oftentimes more faithfully send forth her seeds; so a mind of goodwill, out of the defects which by constraint it sustaineth, shall in due time receive the most sweet fruit of divine visitation, if it endure them with patience.

Si igitur cor ab evagationibus reprimere non potes, noli animo consternari: sed placide conare, placide fac quod in te est, reliquum divinaee voluntati committens. In pia erga Deum atfectione persevera, et ipsi tui defectus, quos nulla ratione excludere prvales, tibi consolationem quodammodo gignent. Quemadmodum enim terra, quae convenientis natara, est, ex conspersione sordentis fimi uberius aliqnando sua germina profert; ita mens bome voluntatis ex miseria defectutun, quos invita sustinet, dulcissimum divinae visitationis fructum suo tempore percipiet, si patienter sustinuerit.

And what profit do you reap by being impatient? Do you not heap calamity upon calamity? Do you not show your want of true humility, and bewray in yourself a pernicious propriety?[1][1] As long as you do reverently assist, and are ready with a prompt desire of will to attend, you have satisfied God; neither will He impute the inordinateness of this instability to you, if so be by your negligence you give not consent unto it, and before the time of prayer you set a guard over your senses. If you cannot offer a perfect dutifulness, offer at least a good will: offer a right intent in the spirit of humility; and so the devil shall not find any occasion to cavil against you.

Quid autem tibi proderit, si impatiens fueris? Nonne calamitatem calamitati adjicies? et te veram quidem humilitatem non habere, habere ero perniciosam proprietatem demonstrabis? Dum reverenter assistis, et prompto •voluntatis desiderio semper paratus es attendere, etiamsi semper attendere non potueris, Deo satisfecisti; nec ipse tibi imputabit hujusmodi instabilitatis inordinationem, modo eidem inordinationi per tuam negligentiam non consentias, et ante orationis tempus, sensus ttios custodias. Si non potes perfectum offerre obsequium, offer saltem bonam voluntatem; offer in spiritu humilitatis rectam intentionem; et jam non habebit diabolus quod adversum te cavillari possit

Although you have nothing else to offer but a readiness, in body and spirit, to serve our Lord in holy fear, be sure of it that you shall not lose your reward. But, woe to your soul, if you be negligent and remiss, and care not to give attendance; for it is written—“Cursed is the man that doth the work of God negligently.” Be diligent, that you may perform what you are able, if you be not able to perform what you desire. Upon this security, be not troubled when impediments happen, and you be not able to perform as much as you would.

Etiamsi nihil aliud offerre potueris, quam quod corpore et spiritu prmsto es ad serviendum Domino in sancto timore, confide: non perdes mercedem tuam. Sed vae animm tuae, si negligens remissusque fueris, et attendere non curaveris! Scriptum est enim: Maledictus homo, qui facit Opus Dei fraudulenter. Diligens esto, ut prmstes quod prastare potes; et securus eris si preestare non potu eris quod prae, stare desideras. Elac securitate accepta, non conturberis quando impedimenta obveniunt, et tantum proestare non vales, quantum prcestare vis.

When, I say, distraction of your senses, dejection of mind, dryness of heart, grief of head, or any other misery or temptation afflicteth you, beware you say not: I am left, our Lord has cast me away, my duty pleases Him not. These . are words befitting the children of distrust. Endure, therefore, with a patient and joyful mind all things for His sake that has called and chosen you, firmly believing that He is near to those that are of a contrite heart. For if you humbly, without murmuring, carry this burden laid on you, not by mortal tongue to be uttered, what a deal of glory you heap up for yourself in the life to come. You may truly say unto God: As a beast am I become with Thee.

Quando, inquam, distractione sensuum dejectione animi, ariditate cordis, dolore capitis, vel quavis alia miseria āc tentatione affligeris, cave dixeris « Derelictus » sum, abjecit me Dominus, non placet ei » meum obsequium: » qum filii diffidentice dicere solent: sed patienti, vel etiam loeto animo perfer omnia propter eum qui te vocavit et elegit, certo credens, quia ipse prope est his, qui tribulato sunt corde. Nam si absque murmuratione humiliter portaveris onus impositum, dici non potest quantum glorice pondus tibi in futuram vitam accumulabis. Vere Deo dicere poteris: Ut jumentum factus sum apud te, et eg‘j'stemper tecum.

Believe me, Brother, if being replete with internal sweetness, and lifted up above yourself, you fly up to the third heaven, and there converse with Angels, you shall not do so great a deed as if for God’s sake you shall effectually endure grief and banishment of heart and be conformable to our Saviour; when, in extreme sorrow, anguish, fear, and adversity, crying unto His Father—“Let Thy will be done;” Who also, being thrust through His hands and feet, hanging on the Cross, had not whereon to lean His Head; Who also most lovingly endured for thee all the griefs and disgraces of His most bitter Passion. Therefore, in holy longanimity, contain yourself, and expect in silence until it shall please the Most High to dispose otherwise. And certainly in that day it shall not be demanded of you how much internal sweetness you have here felt;. but how faithful you have been in the love and service of God.

Audi frater. Si dulcedine interna repletus, et supra teipsum elevatus, usque ad  tertium ccelum evolaveris, ibique cum Angelis miscueris colloquium, rem tam grandem non facies, sicut si gravamen et exilium cordis, pro Deo tuo atfectuose sustinueris, ipsique Salvatori conformatus fueris; qui in extrema tristitia, toedio, pavore et angustia positus dixit Patri: Fiat voluntas tua: qui etiam transfixis manibus ac pedibus in cruce pendens, non habuit ubi caput suum reclinaret; qui denique onines amarissimm sum passionis dolores et contumelias amorosissime pro te sustinuit. Igitur in sancta longanimitate contine teipsum, et expecta in silentio, donec placuerit Altissimo aliter disponere. Et profecto in illa die non requiretur a te, quantum dulcedinis interme hic persenseris: sed quam fidelis in Dei tui servitio et amore fueris.

CH 03


God has two sorts of servants, and the description of both

p. 324

AMONG those who are called servants of God, many serve Him unfaithfully, few faithfully. Indeed, unfaithful servants, as long as they have sensible devotion and present grace of tears, do serve God with alacrity, they pray willingly, joyfully go about good works, and seem to live in deep peace of heart; but as soon as God has thought it good to withdraw that devotion, you shall see them troubled, chafe, become malicious and impatient, and at last neither willing to be at their prayers nor any other divine exercises. And because they feel not internal consolations as they desire, they perniciously betake themselves to those that are external and contrary to the spirit, whereby it is manifest that they are not purely God’s gift, and abuse them to their own pleasure; for if they did love God purely, and did not viciously rest in His gifts, they would remain peaceable in God, those gifts being taken away; and would not even then turn out of the way to unlawful consolations.

Ex his qui servi Dei nominantur, multi te,..infideliter, pauci fideliter omnino serviunt. Infideles servi, quamdiu deir'otionem sensibilem et gratiam lacrymarum praesentem babent, alacriter Deo serviunt, libenter orant, lmtanter quibuslibet piis operibus insistunt, et in alta quadam cor dis pace babitare videntur: sed mox ubi substraxerit Deus devotionem illam, videas eos perturbari, indignari, amarulentos, impatientesque fieri, et jam nec orationi, nec cTteris sanctis exercitiis velle intendere. Et quia internas consolationes pro voto non sentiunt, ad externas spirituique contrarias sese perniciose convertunt. Unde liquet, eos non pure Deum, sed Dei dona impure requirere, eisque ad suam oblectationem abuti. Nam si pure Deum diligerent, et in donis ejus vitiose non requiescerent: ipsis sublatis, pacati in Deo permanerent, et ne tunc quidem ad citas consolationes diverterent.

Therefore they are unfaithful, because in adversity they keep not touch with God. They believe for awhile, and shrink back in time of trial. They would have all things go on their side, and endure nothing that goes against them. If God grant those things that they would have, they serve Him; if He deny them, they leave Him—nay, in prosperity they serve not God, but themselves; and in all things would rather have their own will done than God’s. They place sanctity in internal sweetness and consolation, rather than in the perfect mortification of vices; being ignorant that by the withdrawing of devotion it more certainly appeareth, if one truly love God, than by the infusion of it.

Ergo infideles sunt: quia in adversitatibus fidem Deo non servant. Ad tempus credunt; et in tempore tentationis recedunt. Semper prospera volunt, contraria non sustinent. Si Deus concedit Imta quae semper volunt, Deo serviunt; si negat, ab eo discedunt. Imo vero nec in lTtis quidem Deo, sed sibi serviunt. Ubique suam magis, quam Dei voluntatem fieri cupiunt. In dulcedine et consolatione interna potius quam in mortificatione vitiorum perfecta, sanctitatem constituunt: ignorantes quia per substractionem devotionis longe certius elucescit, an quis vere Deum amet, quam per ipsius devotionis infusionem.

For that sensible devotion is commonly more truly a natural than spiritual devotion.

Sensibilis enim illa devotio smpe natu rahs verius quam spiritualis affectus est

But whatsoever it be, unless a man make use of it wisely, it is wont oftentimes to bring him that is so affected to a hidden kind of pride, a wicked complacence . and a vain security, as we daily see in these unfaithful servants. For as soon as they are tickled with this inward sweetness, they will forsooth begin to judge and despise others: they think themselves great saints, and the secretaries of God; they expect and wonderfully long after divine revelations, and wish that some miracles were done by them, or of them, by which others might take notice of the holiness which they think they have, but have not.

et qualis qualis sit, nisi quis ea prudenter usus fuerit, ad occultam quamdam superbiam, et vitiosam corriplacentiam, vanamque securitatem suum saepe possessorem perducere consuevit; quemadmodum videre est in ipsis eisdem servis infidelibus. Nam dum dulcedine intus perfunduntur, stalim alios dijudicare et despicere incipiunt: se sanctos jam Deique secretarios existimant; revelationes coelestes miris modis expetunt et exspectant: sed et miracula aliqua aut per se, aut de se demonstrari desiderant, quibus coeteri cognoscere possint sanctitatem, quam se babere putant, et non habent.

Thus do they use to vanish away in their own imaginations, who gape more after sensible grace than the Giver of grace. But faithful servants behave themselves far otherwise, for they seek not themselves, but God; neither their own consolation, but chiefly the will and honour of God; they always fly propriety; whether God be pleased to infuse or not to infuse the influence of internal sweetness, they are all one, and persisting in equality of mind cease not to love and praise God. It is not internal darkness, nor difficulty of senses, nor coldness of affections, nor dryness of heart, nor dejection of mind, nor drowsiness of spirit, nor adversity of temptation; to conclude, it is neither misery of adversity, nor success of prosperity, that is able to heave them out of their place; for although, peradventure, they feel in the inferior powers of the soul the oppression of inordinate sorrow proceeding from adversity, or the violence of sensual delight arising out of prosperity, they are not for all that dejected,

Hoc pacto in suis cogitationibus evanescere solent, qui gratiae sensibili, magis quam gratim largitori, inhiant. Caeterum fideles servi longe aliter se habent. Neque enim se, sed Deum quaerunt: non suam consolationem, sed Dei beneplacitum et honorein praecipue spectant proprietatem ubique fugiunt. Sive Deus ipsis infundere, sive non infundere voluerit influxum internae suavitatis, iidem sunt: et in oequalitate mentispermanentes, Deum diligere atque laudare non cessant. Non obnubilatio interior, non sensuum difficultas, non affectuum frigus, non cordis aridita$, non animi dejectio, non spiritus dormitatio, non tentationum angustim, non denique quarumlibet adversitatum miseriae, neque prosperitatum successus, eos de loco suo dejicere possunt. Quamvis enim vel ex contrariis tristitiae inordinatae pressuram, vel ex prosperis delectationis sensualis impetum, in inferioribus animae viribus aliquando forte sentiant, non tamen dejiciuntur:

because they continue quiet in the reason or higher part of the soul, and do conform their will to the divine will or permission, and grieve that they feel the least contradiction of unseemly motions.

quia in superiore mentis ratione quieti perseverare student, et divinm voluntati seu permissioni suam voluntatem conformant, dolentque quod vel modicam indecentis motus contradictionein in se sentiant.

Being founded, therefore, as a firm rock, they persist steadfast in the love of God, as they whose chief comfort is in His will. They are always devout, because with all their power they avoid and abhor whatsoever is displeasing to God, and may never so little contaminate the purity of their heart; and, committing themselves in all chances to God, do still possess a pure, free, and quiet mind. This is the truest devotion and most acceptable to God.

Fundati ergo supra firmam petram, stabiles in charitate Dei persistunt: quorum utique summum solatium est, divinum beneplacitum. Semper devoti sunt: quia dum summo studio vitant et abominantur qumcumque Deo displicent, cordisque puritatem vel tenuissime contaminare possunt, dumque Deo se in omnibus rerum eventibus committunt, mentem mundam, liberam, quietainque semper possident. Ista enim verissima, Deoque gratissima devotio est.

The other sensible devotion, which is more familiar to novices, or those that are lately converted, is not durable and sure, yet notwithstanding it is very profitable to us if we wisely make use of it. The faithful servants (for so I still call them, whom Christ calleth not servants, but friends), faithful servants, I say, do seek after that effectual and most pleasant sweetness of grace also; they seek after the joy of our Lord’s salvations; they seek after His most lovely countenance and most sweet embraces, but they do this with a spiritual and bashful, not with a sensual, greediness, or childish lightness, or a troubled impatience.

Illa altera sensibilis devotio, quae incipientibus vel recenter conversis familiarior esi., non ita perdurat, neque tantam habet certitudinem. Est tamen et ipsa nobis multum utilis, si ea prudenter utamur. Servi fideles, (sic enim eos adhuc appello, quos Jesus non servos, sed amicos nomi nat) servi, inquam, fideles exquirunt quidem etiam ipsi efficacem illam sapidissimamque gratiae suavitatem: exquirunt ketitiam salutaris Domini; exquirunt vultum ejus amabilem, et complexum suavissimum: sed spirituali verecundoque desiderio, non autem sensuali aviditate, neque puerili levitate, aut turbata impatientia id faciunt.

They desire the gifts of God, not that they may be sensually delighted in them, but that, being made more fervent by them, and more pure from all inordinateness, they may please their heavenly Bridegroom. They love the gifts of God, and willingly thank Him for them; but yet they keep themselves, as it were, quiet and free from them as long as they rest not in them. By grace they go forward to the Giver of Grace and Supreme Good, in Whom only it is lawful for them to rest. They are truly happy, because by how much the less they stick to those gifts they receive so many the more.

Dona Dei expetunt, non ut in ipsis sensualiter delectentur,, sed ut per ea ferventiores, atque ab omni inordinatione puriores effecti, ccelesti Sponso magis placeant. Amant Dei dona, gratiasque sedulo pro eis agunt: et tamen ab ipsis se veluti otiosos et liberos conservant, dum in eis non quiescunt. Per gratiam ulterius ad gratioe datorem, et summum bonum progrediuntur, in quo solo quiescere licet. Felices omnino sunt: quia quanto minus donis adhaerent, tanto magis dona p ercipiunt.

And although they be never so much endowed with blessings from God, they lift not up their mind, they despise not others, but themselves; I say, they despise and acknowledge themselves unworthy of all spiritual grace, they always keep in mind that whatsoever they have it is of God’s mere mercy, and that of them more is exacted to whom more is given or committed. And so continuing in holy fear, and by these gifts proceeding in humility, they confess themselves to be below the lowest.

Quantumlibet autem benedictionibus a Deo ditentur, non tamen erigunt animum, non despiciunt alios, sed se. Se, inquam, despiciunt, et omni gratia spirituali indignos agnoscunt. Recogitant semper, quia quod habent, ex mera Dei misericordia babent: et quia quibus plus datur aut committitur,, plus etiam ab eis exigitur. Sicque in timore sancto permanentes, et ex donis in humilitate proficientes, sese omnium infimos esse confitentur.

They rejoice and glory within themselves if, being oppressed with unjust infamy, reproaches, injuries, and uttermost scorn, they have imitated Christ; not if they could be elevated above themselves by excess of mind, or could see strange visions, or do most apparent miracles. They, presently making the sign of the Cross, repel the deceitful suggestions by which the devil endeavours to allure them to vainglory and self-complacence, no way consenting to the subtleties of the wicked serpent. They do not confidently place the loss of their salvation either in the number or in the merit of good works which they do, but put their trust in the freedom of the sons of God, which they have obtained by the blood of Christ.

Gaudent et gloriantur apud semetipsos, si injusta diffamatione, contumeliis, injuriis, atque extrema abjectione pressi, Cbristum imitati fuerint: non autem si vel per mentis excessum supra se elevari, vel visiones inusitatas videre, vel miracula evidentissima patrare potuerint. Suggestiones dolosas, quibus diabolus eos ad inanem gloriam, et propriam complacentiam allicere nititur, signo crucis edito, citius repellnnt: nusquam assentientes maligni serpentis versutiis. Non in numero, non in merito bonorum operum quae faciunt, spem salutis snm confidenter collocant: sed in libertate filiorum Dei, quam per sanguineni Christi consecuti sunt, fiduciam reponunt.

We then, brother, knowing the difference of the faithful servants, endeavour to be of those which, may be, you are not of, and strive to leave them of whom, peradventure, you are one. If you are of those you would not be of, and are not of those of whom you would be, grieve and humble yourself, for God gives grace to the humble. And certainly, if you humble yourself in the sight of our Lord, grieving that you are yet of the number of the unfaithful, you have already in a manner passed into the lot of the faithful; labour, persevere, fear not. You shall not be reproved with the unfaithful, but shall be received with the faithful.

Tu jam, mi frater, agnita servorum fi Faquire de

delium atque infidelium differentia, adnitere esse de quibus forte non es: et stude non esse de quibus forte es. Si adhuc es de quibus velles te non esse, et nondum es de quibus velles te esse, ingemisce et humiliare; nam humilibus Deus dat gratiam. Et profecto si humiliatus in conspectu Domini, doles te adhuc ex numero infidelium esse, jam quodammodo in sortem fidelium transisti. Labora, persevera, noli timere: non reprobaberis cum infidelibus, sed assumeris cum fidelibus.

There are others also that are bound to the divine service, and yet cannot be called either faithful or unfaithful servants of God; these a man may lawfully call the idle slaves of the devil. I mean those unhappy wretches that, esteeming either not at all, or very little, of devotion or the grace of God, and altogether neglecting the interior parts, make a show, as though they honoured God with their lips, but their heart is far from Him. These being plunged over head and ears in a sea of evil, do little think of their own salvation. These are all one to-day as they were yesterday. They came from the choir as they went thither, viz., unclean, tepid, apt to no goodness, wandering, dissolute, without fear, without reverence. By the divine praises, which with a polluted mouth they utter, they more exasperate than please.

Sunt adhuc alii divino obsequio manci pati, tamen nec infideles, nec fideles  servi Dei dicendi sunt; sed ignava dia boli mancipia quis eos jure appellaverit. verenatur. Miseros et infelices illos intelligo, qui devotionem seu Dei gratiam nihili, vel certe parvi admodum facientes, interioraque sua prorsus negligentes, labiis quidem se Deum honorare simulant: coeterum cor eorum longe a Deo est. In quodam malorum profundo demersi, vix quicquam de propria salute cogitant. Tales hodie sunt, quales heri erant: tales chorum egrediuntur, quales ingressi fuerant; nempe immundi, tepidi, socordes, vagi, incompositi, sine timore, sine reverentia. Eloquiis sacris, quae polluto ore proferunt, Deum, magis exacerbant, quam placant.

I would to God these had kept them in the world; for what do they in monasteries? why tread they on holy ground? why devour they the alms of the just? why pollute they the angelical schools of spiritual exercises with carnal delights? If they intended to live uncleanly, they should have remained in a place for their purpose, and not have entered into places of purity. Living negligently in monasteries, they double the punishments of hell which their ill living in the world had deserved. But it is out of our way to speak more of these things; wherefore I return whence I strayed.

Utinam mundus hos sibi servasset Ut quid enim monasteria incolunt? Ut quid terram sanctam calcant? Quare eleemosynas justorum devorant? quare angelica spiritualis exercitii gymnasia deliciis carnalibus contaminant? Si sordescere volebant, in loco sordium permanere, non ad loca puritatis transire debuerant. cem gehennam in saeculo male viventes sibi comparassent: duplicis gehennae supplicio in monasteriis negligenter viventes se reos faciunt. Sed de his multa dicere, non est nostri propositi: ad te ergo redeat orat io

CH 04


That for every hour of the day we ought to cleave to some settled exercise, lest our mind grow sluggish

p. 333

Spiritual Practices Outside the Choir to be undertaken during the day

Occupationes spirituales extra chorum
interdiu assumendae

SO that you may be settled in your private exercise, prescribe yourself something what to do every hour, and to be busied in. But so that, if at any time, either upon obedience or any other private reasonable cause or chance happening, you abbreviate your exercise or wholly overslip it, you be not inordinately vexed,

ln privatis tuis exercitiis vide ut sis ordinatus. Prsescribe tibi quid quaque hora agere, et in quo te occupare velis: ita tamen, ut si quando vel ex obedientia, vel ex alia causa rationabili, seu ex quovis casu einergente, quodlibet exercitium abbreviaris, aut etiam in totum omiseris, non inordinate angaris.

for you ought chiefly to endeavour to attain to this, that in the liberty and purity of heart (rejecting all propriety) you may always persevere, peaceable and without trouble before God. For this is acceptable to our Lord above all other exercises, be they never so laborious and hard. Whatsoever, therefore, shall hinder this liberty in you, although it be spiritual and seem very profitable, occasion so requiring, leave it as much as obedience doth permit. Endeavour, I say, to repel all restlessness of heart, which clokes true peace and perfect trust in God all spiritual proceedings.

Nam ad hoc praecipue tibi adnitendum est, ut in libertate, ae quali tate et puritate cordis, omni proprietate rejecta, pacificus, imperturbatusque coram Deo jugiter perseveres. Hoc enim super omnia alia exercitia, quantumvis etiam laboriosa et ardua, ipsi Domino est acceptabile. Proinde quidquid hujusmodi libertatem in te impedierit, id etiamsi spirituale multumque utile videatdr, pro tempore relinque, quantum obedientiae ratio petit. Omnem, inquam, cordis inquietudinem, qua vera pax, et perfecta erga Deum fiducia, spiritualisque profectus prcepeditur, repellere stude.

Let not vicious idleness at any time take place, for it destroys souls. Avoid also idle businesses; I mean those that are unprofitable, neither marvel at this kind of speech. Let not vicious leisure at any time take place,

vitioso otio locum dederis: ipsum enim est quod perimit animas. Sed et otiosas occupationes fuge: otiosas appello qure prorsus inutiles sunt. Neque mireris, quod dixerim, Nunquam vitioso otio locum dederis.

Commendable Contemplative Leisure

FOR there is also a commendable leisure, which is when the soul, fixed on God, and exempted from the noise and imagination of all sensible things, rests as it were idle in internal silence and in the most blessed embrace of her Best-Beloved, to which, if the hand of our Lord bring you, you shall be at profitable and happy leisure. Est enim otium laudabile, quando videlicet anima Deo dedita, ab omnium sensibilium rerum strepitu et imaginatione exempta, in interno silentio, et dilecti sui beatissimo complexu, veluti otiosa requiescit. Si eo te deduxerit manus Domini, utiliter feliciterque otiosiis eris.
Otherwise, always either read, or meditate, or pray, or take in hand something else that shall be serious and necessary; Alioquin semper aut lege, aut meditare, aut ora: aut aliquid aliud serium, necessariumve tracta.

The purpose of spiritual reading and Lectio Divina


AND truly, if you will settle yourself with all diligence to the study of Scripture you will be wonderfully comforted, and every spiritual thing will begin to grow sweet unto you, and so it will come to pass that, being accustomed to holy delights, you will easily condemn tall carnal delights, and your mind will be wonderfully strengthened in your good purpose. To the end, therefore, that you may merit so great a fruit, willingly and wisely give yourself to reading;

Sane si ad lectionis sacræ studium promptus ac diligens esse volueris, daberis plurimum, et tibi dulcescere incipient quaavis spiritualia: fietque ut sanctis deliciis assuefactus, omnes delicias carnales facile contemnas: et mirum in modum stabilietur mens tua in bono proposito. Ut igitur tantum fructum merearis accipere, Iectioni libenter atque sapienter intende:

that is to say, in this reading seek spiritual profit and consolation and the love of God, not curiosity, not superfluous understanding and knowledge, not neatness and elegance of words; hoc est, in ipsa lectione utilitatem consolationemque spiritualem, et Dei amorem quaere; non curiositatem, non superfluam intelligentiam et scientiam, non verborum ornatum atque elegantiam.
For the Kingdom of God is not in elegance of speech but in holiness of life, which elegance of speech, nevertheless, as it is not over-carefully to be sought after if it be wanting, so it is not scornfully to be rejected by him that has it, for it is also the gift of God. Receive all things with thanksgiving, and all things shall help forward for your salvation. Regnum enim Dei non in venustate sermonis, sed in sanctitate vitm est. Qum tamen elegantia, sicut anxie quterenda non est, si absit; ita etiam cum contemptu rejicienda non est, si adsit; nam et ipsa donum Dei est. Omnia cum gratiarum actione suscipe, et omnia tibi proderunt ad salutem.

However, do not be troubled if many of those good. things which you hear or read slip out of your memory. For as a vessel which often receives water remains clean, although the water poured in be presently poured out again, so likewise, if spiritual doctrine often runs through a well-willing mind, although it does not abide there, nevertheless it makes and keeps the mind clean and pleasing to God. Your chief profit consists, not in committing the word of doctrine to memory, but rather that you gather up from the doctrine an interior purity, and a will to fulfil the commandments of God.

. Non autem turberis si bona qute legis vel audis, universa in memoria non retines. Nam queruadmodum vas, quod stepius aqua perfunditur, purum permanet, etiamsi aqua infusa statim effluat; ita si mentem benevolam doctrina spiritualis crebro pertransierit, quamvis ibi non persistat, ipsam tamen mentem nitidam, Deoque placentem reddit et conservat. Utilitas tua singularis non in hoc sita est, ut doctrina; verba memoriae commendes; sed ut doctrinae verborumque effectus in te remaneat: id est, ut tu ex doctrina puritatem interiorem paratamque voluntatem adimplendi mandata divina consequare.

Learn to apply those things to yourself that are spoken against vice, for it is not safe to assert them against others with a fixed judgement of mind, lest while you obstinately judge another you defile or trouble your own conscience.

Quae contra vitia dicuntur, ea in te convertere disce: neque enim tibi semper tutum erit illa in alios cum fixa animi sententia detorquere; ne dum quemlibet pertinaciter judicas, propriam conscientiam macules, aut conturbes.

[not in English version] In the same way, when there occurs no mention of union in the flesh, not rooted in it, but the thought of going through the seemed of no value; and this work, and consider, with a view to the generation of human life both the calm of the heart, just as the activities of men, the other outer quasvid; reflecting the conjugal bond is nothing more than a human service generine necessary. As well, by the way, and he delighteth in front of the eyes of the mind in addition to itself is simply a matter of, for example, if one of the stones should be mentioned at all. 

Similiter quando occurrit mentio copulae carnalis, ne haereas, sed levissima cogitatione pertransito: opusque generationis humanae tam tranquillo cordis intuitu considera, sicut quasvid alias exteriores hominum operationes; reputans ipsam copulam conjugalem nihil aliud esse, quam ministerium quoddam humano generine cessarium. Tam obiter atque simpliciter res ipsa praetervolet ante mentis oculos, sicut si de lapidibus fieret mentio.

And so, in all things which seem any way obscene, avoid as much as in you lies even the very least allurement of any slippery motion; if by way of temptation they do impugn, molest, and trouble you importunately, contradict them with reason, deny to give consent, and, making the sign of the Cross, direct your whole intention to God. For so without hurt you may escape this danger.

Et ita in omnibus quae obscceniora videntur, vel minimam lūbrici motus, quantum fieri potest, vitato illecebram. Si per tentationem importune te m lestant et conturbant, ratione prorsus contradicito; denega adsensum, et signo crucis edito, totam intentionem ad Deum dirige. Sic enim periculum illaesus evadere poteris

Order, Repetition, and Rhythm in Lectio Divina


Furthermore, do not imitate those that observe no order in reading, but do read what cometh first to hand and where they first open the book; they like nothing which is not new and strange, for they loathe all things that are usual and stale, though never so profitable. Far be such instability from you, for it doth not recollect but distract the spirit, and he is dangerously sick that is tainted with this disease. Wisely bind your mind to a certain [amount] of reading, and accustom yourself to go through with it, although sometimes it yields no savor.

Preeterea noli eos imitari, qui nullum legcndi ordinem servant, sed quod.forte ivezzo occurrerit, quodque casu repererint, legere gaudent: quibus nihil sapit, nisi quod est novum et inauditum. Consueta enim et vetera omnia, quantumlibet utilia, fastidiunt. Tanta instabilitas procul a te sit: ipsa enim non promovet, sed dispergit spiritum; et periculose laborat, qui hoc morbo vitiatus est. Animum ad certam lectionem prudenter constringe: et in ea immorari consuesce, etiamsi aliquando minus sapiat.

Read, I say, not confusedly or disorderly, but methodically. Repeat those things again and again that are good. Nevertheless, in time of tribulation and spiritual poverty you may alternate [with other practices] what you have begun, and, according to your necessity, turn and apply yourself to other godly exercises which may be more consolatory.

Lege, inquam, non confuse et sparsim, sed ex ordine. Quae bona sunt, eadem audire non pigeat. Verumtamen tempore tribulationis et paupertatis spiritualis, inccepta nonnunquam intermittere, et ad alia pia, quae te magis consolari possunt, pro necessitate divertere poteris.

For it is the opinion of the Fathers that it is good to go to prayer or meditation from reading, and again to have recourse to reading from prayer; that prayer with a commendable vicissitude succeeding reading and reading succeeding prayer, loathsomeness may be taken away; and the mind being, as it were, fresh and lusty, may always be the more able for the proposed work, and that the greater fruit may be reaped of both. And what hindrance is there why a man should not make short prayers even in reading, and aspire to God by holy desires? There are many things that may serve either for reading or prayer or meditation: such are all the Scriptures in which there is conversation with God.

Sicut Patres testati sunt, utile est a lectione ad orationem, seu meditationem transire, et rursum ab oratione ad lectio nem recurrere: ut dum oratio lectioni, et lectio orationi laudabili vicissitudine succedit, tollatur fastidium; animusque velut recens ad opus propositum semper vigeat, et ex utraque fructus copiosior referatur. Et quid vetat, quominus etiam in ipsa lectione, breviusculas quasdam orationes subinde formes, et ad Deum per sancta desideria adspires? Sunt nonnulla quae et pro lectione, et pro oratione vel meditatione adsumi possunt: nempe omnes Scripturm, in quibus colloquium habetur cum Deo.

Always prefer common prayers above private [prayers], and judge them to be more profitable for you, although sometimes they may seem more sterile and insipid. Similarly, prefer of all common and regular actions to your personal spiritual exercises, for above all things obedience ought to be for you in the first place.

Communes orationes privatis orationi bus semper praefer, et eas utiliores tibi  esse ludica: etiamsi steriliores atque in sipidiores aliqu ando videantur. Sic et quas vis communes regularesque actiones, tuis piivatis exercitiis antepone. Nam ante omnia et super omnia, primum locum obedientia jugiter apud te obtinere debet.

If, perhaps, you ask in what prayers and meditations you should chiefly exercise yourself in private: if you will believe me, after you have accused yourself and craved pardon for your sins, you shall chiefly beseech God Sed quaeris forte, in quibus orationibus et meditationibus privatim te potissimum  occupari oporteat. Si mihi credis, in tuis precationibus, post accusationem tui et peccatorum petitam veniam, proecipue postulabis a Deo

to mortify your evil passions and vicious affections,

ut malas passiones vitiosasque affectiones penitus in te mortificet,

and deep within to strip you of all misdirection (inordinatio);

et ab omni inordinatione perfecte te dentidet:

and that He will be pleased to grant you grace joyfully and patiently to endure all tribulation and temptation.

detque gratiam, qua omnem tribulationem et tentationem aequanimiter atque gaudenter portare possis.

Ask of Him profound humility

Postulabis humilitatem profundissimam,

and most fervent charity.

et ferventissimam charilatem.

Beseech Him to condescend always and in all things to

Petes etiam ut ipse te in omnibus semper dirigere, docere, illuminare et protegere dignetur.







and protect you.

These things, in my judgement, are most necessary for you. And, indeed, they are most great and high, neither can they otherwise be obtained than by prayer. Persevere, therefore, continually knocking; and without doubt our Lord will at length open unto you, and will give you as much bread as your necessity shall require. Haec tibi maxime necessaria esse judico. Omnino magna et sublimia sunt, nec ea consequi poteris, nisi in petendo assiduus et perscverans fueris. Persevera ergo quoti die pulsans, et tandem procul dubio Dominus aperiet: totque panes largietur, quot tibi fuerint necessarii.

But see that you do not neglect to diligently give thanks for what you have received. For nothing displeases God more than forgetfulness and ingratitude for received benefits. And that you may the more willingly and sooner incline God’s benignity unto you, pray attentively for the state of the whole Church, commending unto God all the Faithful, both alive and dead, and every rational creature.

Vide autem ne de his quae accipis, gratias sedulo agere negligas: nam supra modum displicet Deo beneficiorum acceptorum oblivio et ingratitudo. Et ut facilius citiusque Dei benignitatem ad te inclines, attentius deprecare pro statu totius Ecclesiae; commendans Deo omnes fideles vivos et defunctos, universamque creaturam rationalem.


CAPUT IV. [p. 340]
Orationis mentalis preecipua materia.

DO you wish to hear further in what you may profitably exercise yourself? I will tell you: Vis audire in quibusnam adhuc utiliter te exercere poteris? Ego dicam:

psalmody is profitable,

utilis est psalmodia,

the pious rumination on other parts of Scripture is profitable

utilis aliarum Scripturarum pia ruminatio,

the consideration of creatures is profitable - if this brings [you] back to [consideration of] their Creator .

 utilis creaturarum consideratio, si ad ipsum creatorem referantur;

CH 05


How powerful and efficacious the remembrance of Christ’s Life and Passion is


ALL prayers, singing of hymns, thanksgiving, and holy meditations are profitable. But by consent of all, the remembrance of Christ’s Humanity, and especially of His most sacred Passion, is justifiably said to be most profitable and uniquely necessary. ufiles sunt qumvis orationes, hymnodiae, gratiarum actiones, et meditationes sanc tae: utilissimam autem et unice necessariam humanitatis Christi, et maxime sacratissimae Passionis ejus memoriam omnes asserunt:

 For it is the present extermination of passions and inordinate affections, a fit refuge in temptation and surest safeguard in dangers, a sweet refreshing in distress, a friendly rest from labour, a gentle repressing of distractions, the true door of sanctity, the only entry to contemplation, the sweet consolation of the soul, the unfailing flame of divine love, the salver of all adversities, the fountain of all virtues, from whence they flow to. us: to conclude, the absolute example of all perfection, the haven, hope, trust, merit, and salvation of all Christians.

idque merito. Ipsa enim est praesens passionum et affectionum inordinatarum exterminatio, opportunum tentationum refugium, tuta periculorum securitas, suave angustiarumrefrigerium, amica laborum requies, facilis distractionum repressio, verum sanctitatis ostium, unicus contemplationis aditus, dulcis animae consolatio, indeficiens divini amoris incendium, omnium adversitatum condimentum, omnium virtutum fons, unde ad nos deriventur, denique totius perfectionis absolutissimum exemplar,, portus, spes, fiducia, meritum et salus. omnium christianorum.

I knew a Monk, whose custom was to propose to himself every day some part of our Lord’s Passion, as, for example, one day he would set before his eyes Christ’s being in the Garden.

Fratrem novi cujus consuetudo fuit singulis diebus sibi aliquam ejusdem Dominicae passionis partem prae figere.  Exempli gratia: uno die proponebat ante mentis oculos Christum in horto constitutum;

And wherever he went that day, wherever he happened to be, if not troubled with any other serious and necessary cogitation, whatsoever he did outwardly, he took a special care to direct his internal eye to our Lord suffering distresses in the Garden, and thus would he talk with his soul:”.

et eo die, quocumque progrediebatur,ubi cumque erat vacans ab alia seria necessariaque cogitatione, quidquid agebat exterius, oculum interiorem dirigere satagebat ad ipsuin Dominum diversas angustias in horto sustinentem; et in hunc fere modum saepe alloquebatur animam suam

“O my soul, behold thy God. Behold, daughter, attend, see, and consider, most dear! Behold thy God, behold thy Creator, behold thy Father, behold thy Redeemer and Saviour! behold thy refuge, behold thy defender and protector, behold thy hope, trust, strength, and health! Behold thy sanctification, purity, and perfection! behold thy help, merit, and reward! behold . thy tranquillity, consolation, and sweetness! Behold thy joy, thy delights, and thy life! behold thy light, thy crown, and thy glory! behold thy love and thy desire! behold thy treasure and all thy good! behold thy beginning and thy end! Whither art thou scattered, thou wandering daughter? How long wilt thou leave the light and love darkness? How long wilt thou forsake peace and involve thyself in troubles! Return, return, thou Sunamite, return! Daughter, return and recollect thyself, most dear! leave many things and embrace one—for one thing is necessary for thee. Abide with thy Lord; place thyself by thy God; go not from thy Master; sit in His shadow Whom thou lovest, that His fruit may be sweet to thy throat. It is good for thee to be here, daughter. For hither the enemy cannot make his approach; here are no snares, no dangers, no darkness. All things are here safe, all things calm.

O anima mea, ecce Deus tuus. Rera tl o nes spice, filia, attende, vide, et considera Christo, et charissima: ecce Deus tuus, ecce creaa,sentem tor tuus, ecce pater tuus, ecce redemptor et salvator tuus: ecce refugium tuum, susceptor et protector tuus: ecce spes, fiducia, fortitudo et salus tua: ecce sanctificatio, puritas et perfectio tua: ecce adju torium, meritum et prmitim tuum: ecce tranquillitas, consolatio et suavitas tua: ecce gaudium tuum, deliciae tuae et vita tua: ecce lux, corona et gloria tua: ecce amor tuus, et desiderium tuum ecce thesaurus tuus, et omne bonum tuum: ecce principium tuum et finis tuus. « Usquequo dispergeris, filia  vaga?Usquequo relinques. lucem, et amabis tenebras? Usquequo pacem deseres, et involveris turbulentiis? Revertere, revertere, Sunamitis: revertere, filia redi et recol  lige te charissima, relinque multa et amplectere unum: nam unum est tibi necessarium. Mane cum Domino tuo, constitue te juxta Deum tuum: noli recedere a magistro tuo: sede sub umbra ejus, quem diligis, ut gutturi tuo dulcescat fructus illius. Bonum est tibi hic esse, filia. Nam huc hostis non appropinquat; hic insidise nullae, nullum periculum, nullae tenebrae: omnia hic tuta, omnia serena sunt.

Reside here willingly, most dear. For here thou shall be safe and free, thou shall be merry and joyful. Here are roses, lilies, and violets; here flowers of all virtues do smell most pleasantly. Here thou shall see a brightness sweetly enlightening all things with his rays. Here thou shall find true consolation; here thou shall find peace and rest. To conclude, here thou shall find all good.

Reside hic libenter, charissima. Eris enim hic secura et libera: eris hilaris et jucunda. Hic rosae, hic lilia, hic violae: hic flores omnium virtutum gratanter adspirant. Videbis hic splendorem universa suaviter irradiantem. Invenies hic veram consolationem: invenies hic veram pacem et requiem: invenies denique hic omne bonum.

With such short sentences he would both sharply and sweetly spur forward his soul, and call her home when she was wandering abroad, and force her to apply herself to the chiefest good. Of these little sentences he would take sometimes more, sometimes fewer, sometimes only one, sometimes two, sometimes three, according to the fervour of his devotion and the pleasure of the Holy Ghost; and he would oftentimes iterate and repeat them.

Hujusmodi sententiolis, et acriter et acriter et dulciter perurgebat animam suam, eam que foris vagantem revocabat intro, et summo bono intendere cogebat. Ex ipsis eisdem sententiolis aliquando plures, aliquando pauciores, aliquando unam, aliquando duas, aliquando tres, secundum suae devotionis affectum, et Spiritus Sancti beneplacitum adsumebat: quin etiam easdem saepius iterabat et repetebat.

He would also force his soul to the remembrance of those things which our Saviour did and suffered for her in the Garden. In the meantime, one while exciting her to the considerations of our Saviour’s unsearchable humility, mildness, patience, most fervent and incomprehensible charity; another while to take compassion on our Lord of infinite majesty, so humbled and afflicted; and then again to thank Him for so great benefits and piety; another while to repay love with love, and anon to ask pardon for her sins, and then to beg this or that grace. He would often convert his speech to these or the like affectionate or fervent aspirations:

Ingerebat item animse sum illa, quae Salvator in horto pro ipsa fecit, et passus est: eam interim excitans, nunc ad pensandam ipsius Salvatoris abyssalem humilitatem, mansuetudinem, patientiam, et ferventissimam incomprehensibilemque charitatem: nunc ad exbibendam compassionem eidem summoe majestatis Domino sic inclirtato et afflicto: nunc ad gratias pro tantis beneficiis et tanta pietate agendas: nunc ad amorem fideliter rependendum: nunc ad peccatorum veniam petendam: nunc ad hanc vel illam gratiam postulandam. Sermonem crebro in affectuosas fervidasque adspirationes convertebat has vel similes

And my soul, when wilt thou be ready to follow the humility of thy Lord? when wilt thou imitate His mildness? when shall the example of His patience shine in thee? when wilt thou be better? when wilt thou be free from passions and vicious affections? when shall evil be destroyed in thee? when shall all inordinateness be blotted out in thee? when wilt thou peaceably and gently endure all tribulation and temptation? when wilt thou perfectly love thy God? when wilt thou intimately embrace Him? when wilt thou be wholly swallowed up in His love? when wilt thou be pure, simple, and reserved before Him? how long will it be ere thou be hindered no more from His most chaste embracings? and that thou were immaculate; and that thou didst fervently love thy God; and that thou didst inseparably cleave unto thy chiefest good.

0 anima mea, quando parata eris se qui humilitatem Domini tui? Quando  mansuetudinem ejus imitaberis? Quando patientiae ipsins exemplum in te relucebit? Quando melius habebis? Quando prorsus liberaberis a passionibus et affectionibus vitiosis? Quando penitus morietur in te omne malum? Quando omnis inordinatio in te delebitur? Quando omnem tribulationem et tentationem placide affectuoseque portabis? Quando perfecte diliges Deum tuum? Quando illum intime amplecteris? Quando ab ejus amore tota absorbeberis? Quando eris pura, simplex et nuda coram eo? Quando nullo amplius impedimento ab ejus castissimo amplexu retardaberis? 0 si immaculata esses! 0 si Deum tuum ardenter diligeres! 0 si summo bono tuo inseparabiliter adhaereres! »

And then directing the eye of his heart to Heaven or to the depth of eternal light, he would frame these aspirations

Et dirigens in ccelum, sive in abyssum lucis ceternoe, intuitum cordis, sic ipsas adspirationes etiam formabat:

And my soul, where is thy God? where is thy love? where is thy treasure? where is thy desire? where is thy total good? when shall thou see Him? when shall thou most happily enjoy Him? when shall thou freely praise Him with all the citizens of Heaven?

0 anima mea, ubi est Deus tuus?  ubi est amor tuus? ubi est thesaurus  tuus? ubi est desiderium tuum? ubi est omne bonum tuum? ubi est Deus tuus? Quando apud illum eris? quando illum videbis? quando illo felicissime frueris? quando illum cum omnibus coeli civibus libere laudabis?

These and the like aspirations would he secretly speak either mentally or with his lips, taking sometimes more, sometimes fewer, according to the internal motions of the Holy Ghost. He would also often accuse his soul, that it was  too slow, sluggish, tepid, ungrateful, hard, insensible, and unhappy. Again he would comfort it, being dejected with pusillanimity or fear, and would encourage it with these or the like words:

Has et similes adspirationes mente, vel etiam ore, tacite proferebat; aliquando plures, aliquando pauciores adsumens, jtixta internam Spiritus Sancti motionem. Arguebat et ipsam suam animam frequenter, quod nicois esset tarda, ignava, tepida, ingrata, dura, insensibilis, instabilis, misera atque infelix. Rursus eamdem pusillanimitate aut formidine dejectam confortabat, erigebatque, hoec aut similia dicens:

Despair not my soul; take comfort, daughter, and be confident, most dear. If thou halt sinned and art wounded, behold thy God! behold thy Physician is ready to cure thee. He is most courteous and most merciful, and therefore willing; He is omnipotent, and therefore can pardon thy sins in a moment. Peradventure thou art afraid because He is thy Judge? but take heart, for He that is thy Judge is also thine Advocate. He is thy Advocate to defend and excuse thee, doing penance; He is, therefore, also thy Judge to save, not to condemn thee, being humbled. His mercy is infinitely greater than thy iniquity either is or can be. Which words I say not that, persevering in evil, thou shouldst make thyself unworthy of His mercy; but that, being averted from evil, thou shouldst not despair of indulgence and forgiveness. Thy God is most gentle, most sweet; He is wholly amiable, wholly desirable, and wonderfully loveth all things which He has created. When thou thinkest of Him, or conceivest Him in thy memory, far be all imagination of terror, austerity, and bitterness from thee. When we say He is terrible, it is not in respect of Himself, but of those that abuse His patience and defer to do penance, whose most bitter and poisonous sins, as contrary to His most sweet and pure goodness, He repelleth and punisheth. Let not thine imperfections discourage thee too much for thy God doth not despise thee because thou art imperfect and infirm, but loveth thee exceedingly because thou desirest and labourest to be more perfect. He will also help thee if thou persistest in thy good intention, and will make thee perfecter—yea, peradventure (which thou little hopest for), wholly fair and every way pleasing to Him.

Noli desperare, anima mea: consolare filia, confide cbarissima. Si peccasti et vulnerata es, ecce Deus tuus, ecce medicus tuus paratus est sanare te. Benignissimus atque misericordissimus est, ut velit: et omnipotens est, ut possit peccata in momento dimittere. Expavescis forte, quia judex est; sed respira: nam qui judex tuus est, ipse idem advocatus tuus est. Advocatus est, ut defendat et excuset pcenitentem: ergo etiam judex est, ut salvet, non autem ut condemnet humiliatam. In immensum major est misericordia ejus, quam sit aut esse possit iniquitas tua. Quod tamen dico, non ut in malis perseverans, te indignam misericordia reddas: sed ut a malis aversa, de indulgentia et remissione non desperes. Deus tuus dulcissimus est, suavissimus est; totus amabilis, totus desiderabilis est, omnium qum creavit amantissimus est. Quando eum concipis aut cogitas, procul absit omnis terroris, austeritatis, et amaritudinis imaginatio. Quod autem terribilis dicitur, non propter se, sed propter illos dicitur, qui longanimitate ejus abutuntur, et poenitere differunt quorum ipse amarissima sordidissimuque peccata, tamquam sum dulcissimae purissimmque bonitati contraria, propulsat et punit. Tua imperfectio non te nimium consternet: neque enim Deus tuus despicit te, quia imperfecta infirmaque es: sed plurimum diligit te, quia perfectior esse et desideras, et laboras. Quin etiam te perseverantem adjuvabit: et perfectiorem, vel etiam, quod forte sperare vix ausis, totam pulchram, sibique per omnia placentem efficiet.

Thus, and in innumerable other ways, would he friendly talk with his soul, and invite her by chaste speeches to the chaste love of her Beloved. He would also turn his speech to our Lord, and, aspiring to Him by holy love, would say:

Istis et similibus innumerabilibus modis colloquium satis amicabile cum anima miscebat, et eam castis alloquiis ad dilecti castum amorem invitabat. Convertebat et ad ipsum Dominum sermonem, adspiraudoque ad eum per sancta desideria dicebat:

And good Jesus , pious Pastor, sweet Master, King of eternal glory, when shall I be immaculate and truly humble before Thee? when shall I truly despise all sensible things for Thee, and when shall I perfectly forsake myself? when shall I be stripped of all propriety? For, unless there were propriety in me, there would not be self-will in me: passions and inordinate affections would have no place in me. I should not seek myself in anything. Propriety only maketh the impediment and medium between Thee and me; propriety only doth hinder Thee from me. When, therefore, shall I cast off all propriety? When shall I freely resign myself to Thy divine pleasure? When shall I serve thee with a clean, quiet, simple, and calm mind? When shall I perfectly love Thee in the arms of my soul? When shall I love Thee with most fervent desire? When shall all my tepidity and imperfection be swallowed up by the immensity of Thy love? O my desire, my treasure, O my total good, O my beginning and end,

Bone Jesu, pie pastor, dulcis magis ter, rex mternaa glorim, quando immaorlIM culatus et vere humilis ero coram te? Quando penitus contemnam omnia sensibilia propter te? Sed et meipsum quando perfecte deseram? Quando ab omni proprietate nudabor? Nam si non esset in me proprietas, non esset in me propria voluntas: non haberenl in me locum passiones et affectiones inordinatae; in nullo quFererem me. Sola proprietas inter te et me impedimentum medintnque constituit: sola proprietas retardat me a te. Quando igitur exuar omni proprietate? quando meipsum libere resignabo in tuum divinum beneplacitum? quando munda, quieta, simplici et serena mente tibi serviam? » Quando perfecte diligam te? quando  ulnis animaa mese suaviter compleetar te? quando mstuantissimis desideriis amabo te? quando omnis tepiditas et imperfeetio mea ab immensitate amoris tui absorbebitur? O Deus mens! O dulcedo animae meae! O consolatio mea! O vita mea! O amor meus! O desiderium meuml O thesaurus meus! O omne bonum meum! O principium et finis meus!

O my God, O sweetness pf my soul, O my consolation, my life, my love!Oh, that my soul might enjoy Thy most sweet embracings! Oh, that it were indissolubly bound with Thy love; would it were perfectly united to Thee. For what is to me in Heaven, and besides Thee what would I upon earth, God of my heart, and God my portion for ever? When shall the world be silent to me? When shall the impediments, troubles, and vicissitudes of this life cease to me? When shall my pilgrimage be ended? When shall my sojourning be consummated? When shall the miserable captivity of this banishment be dissolved? When shall the shadow of mortality decrease and the day of eternity draw near? When shall I lay down the burden of this body and see Thee? When shall I praise Thee as Thy Saints, without impediment, happily, and eternally? O my God, my love, my total good!

Utinam aniina mea tuo dulcissimo fruereretur amplexu! utinam indissolubiliter tuo deliciosissimo vinciretur amore! utinam perfecte tibi uniretur! Quid enim mihi est in ccelo, et a te quid volui super terram? Deus cordis, et pars mea Deus in oeternum. Quando mihi prorsus silebit iste mundus? quando mihi cessabunt omnia impedimenta, omnesque inquietudines et vicissitudines hujus saeculi? quando finietur peregrinatio mea? quando consummabitur incolatus rneus quando solvetur miserabilis captivitas hujus exilii? quando inclinabitur umbra mortalitatis, et aspirabit dies aeternitatis? quando deposita sarcina corporis hujus, videbo te? quando sine impedimento, feliciter et perenniter cum sanctis tuis laudabo te? 0 Deus mens O amor meus! O omne desiderium meum! O omne bonum meum!

He was often wont to use such aspirations, knowing that by the exercise of them the human spirit is more effectually united to the divine spirit, and that thereby man attaineth the sooner to the perfect mortification of himself. He had them ready everywhere; but if at any time he had more sufficient leisure, he would then (sitting as Mary Magdalen did) rejoice to linger more freely, and that more to the honour of God than to the inordinate pleasing of himself. He would not in the meantime omit, with a certain internal effusion of heart, by a sincere and sweet affection, to adore, bless, give thanks, and pray.

Hujusmodi adspirationes frequentare solebat; sciens quia per exercitium adspirationum humanus spiritus Spiritui divino efficacius unitur,, et compendiosius quis ad perfectam sui mortificationem pertingit. Eas quidem ubique paratas habebat: si quando tamen uberius otium nanciscebatur, tunc residens ad exemplum Mariae Magdalenae, gaudebat in ipsis diutius et liberius immorari: idque ad honorem Dei magis, quam ad inordinatam oblectationem sui. Non omittebat interea cum interna quadam cordis effusione, per sincerum suavemque affectum adorare, benedicere, gratias agere, atque precari.

Moreover, turning his speech to the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of God, as to a most merciful lady, and most liberal stewardess of heavenly treasures, he would redouble his pious complaints before her, and, with a holy importunity, extort a benediction. Another day he would set before himself how our Saviour, betrayed by Judas, was taken, and concerning this point he would iterate his foresaid exercises, and so would go through with the Passion in order, and having ended would begin again. And about that part of the Passion which did represent Christ hanging on the Cross, he did not employ himself in order and in his proper day, but every day at least briefly, if so be he thought it convenient, exciting his soul to the earnest contemplation of these things

Sed ad beatam Dei Genitricem Virginem Mariam, tamquam ad Dominam miseri  cordissimam, Matremque dulcissimam et thesaurorum caelestium dispensatricem liberalissimam, divertens alloquium, pias querimonias coram ea ingeminabat, sanctaque importunitate benedictionem effiagitabat. Die altero praefigebat sibi, quomodo Christus a Juda proditus capiebatur: et circa idipsum praedicta exercitia iterabat: sicque ex ordine Passionem consummabat; et consummatam resumebat ab initio. Et quidem circa eam partem Passionis, quoe Christum in cruce pendentem reprWsentat, non solum suo ordine et die, verum etiam singulis diebus, si sic placebat, saltem breviter occupabatur, attendens angustias, livores, et dolores Crucifixi; considerans vulnera beatissima, et sacrosanctum sanguinem ex eis tamquam e fontibus promanantem: excitansque animam suam ad horum sedulam contemplationem.

On every solemnity of our Saviour or the Blessed Virgin he would (if he thought it good) propose to the eyes of his mind the representation of that Feast instead of part of our Lord’s Passion, which otherwise was that day to be frequented, and would perform his internal exercises or friendly discourses with his soul, and about the work, cause, mystery, and joy of that festivity. He was also much delighted with singing the Psalms.

In quavis solemnitate Salvatoris aut

marae, repraesentationem ipsius festi, si ita videbatur, proponebat ante mentisocul los, loco partis Dominicae passionis, quae alioqui illo die fuerat frequentanda. Et sua exercitia interna, seu amicas cum anima confabulationes, circa ejusdem festi.opus, causam, mysterium atque laetitiam transi7 gebat. Delectabatur etiam studio psalmodiae quam plurimum.

And I know that, by the continued custom of this holy exercise, he reaped consolation and singular profit of his labours.

Satis autem scio, quia idem ipse frater ex continuata frequentia hujusmodi sanctam asceseos, grandem consolationem, et eximitim laboris fructum consecutus est.

I will set down an example; imitate of it, if you please. For by this means you shall be accustomed to apprehend the presence of God; by this means you shall begin to have your senses sober, watchful, exercised, and calm; by this means you shall prepare yourself a way to the highest contemplation and perfection. Thus, wheresoever you are, you shall spend your time profitably, vague and unstable cogitations being cast forth out of the corners of your heart, and such as are serious being entertained in their place.

Adscripsi exemplum: si libet, imitare. Nam hac ratione Dei prfesentiam attendere consuesces: hac ratione sensus sobrios, vigiles, exercitatos et serenos habere incipies: hac ratione viam ad sublimitatem summae contemplationis  et perfectionis tibi sternes: hac ratione tempus, ubicumque fueris, utiliter expendes: utpote vanis et instabilibus cogitationibus e cordis tui latibulo eliminatis, seriisque introductis.

Intersperse ejaculatory prayer with spiritual reading


You may frame yourself meditations and aspirations in other terms than we have. If you perceive the looking in your book to hinder your mind, whereby you are the less able to, reach God and to be united to him, lay aside your book. Again, if you perceive it doth farther your exercise, make use of it, for I would that your devotion should be free to you, and that you should follow the grace of the Holy Ghost without confusion or anxiety.

Meditationes et adspirationes sub aliis verbis tibi formare poteris, si voles, quam nos formaverimus. In quibus, si sentis atioinspectionem libri impedire mentetn, quominus ad Deum pertingere, eique uniri possis, noli librum inspicere. Rursus si percipis inspectionem libri juvare tuum exercitium, librum inspice. Volo enim tuam devotionem tibi esse liberam; et te Spiritus Sancti gratiam absque confusione, aut anxietate sequi.

Moreover, by aspirations (as you may perceive by the above-written copies) we understand certain short  ejaculatory prayers, or burning desires, and lively and loving affections to God.

Porro per adspirationes, sicut ex supradictis formulis animad vettere potes, intelligimus oratinnculas quasdam jaculatorias, vel flammigera desideria, vivacesque et amorosos ad Deum affectus.

He that has not as yet undertaken the beginning of internal conversation and his own mortification, or has at least but newly begun, ought not peradventure so precisely to follow this rule.

Qui initia internm conversationis, et

proprioe mortificationis nondum aggressus est, aut qui recenter illa aggressus est, preedictam exercitationis formam per omnia sequi mox in suis principiis forte non debet:

But it shall be expedient for him to exercise himself for awhile according to this manner which I shall prescribe. Let him, therefore, every day propose to himself some part of our Saviour’s Passion, and let him study to have recourse in mind to the same whether he stand, go, sit, or rest, unless he have some other profitable or necessary thing in his heart to treat of. And let him often discourse with his soul in the presence of Christ suffering, either thus, or after the like manner

sed expedierit ei, ut juxta rationem quam subjiciam, se ad tempus exerceat. Singulis igitur diebus etiam ipse aliquam Dominicae passionis partem sibi proponet: et ad eam, sive stet, sive sedeat, sive progrediatur, sive quiescat, mente recurrere studebit; nisi aliquid aliud utile aut necessarium in corde tractare debeat. Et frequenter hoc, vel simili modo, cum anima sua in conspectu Christi patientis philosophabitur.

O my soul, behold thy God, behold ungrateful, attend thou wretch, consider thou poor soul, behold thy God, behold thy Creator and Redeemer; behold how the King of eternal glory humbled Himself for thee; behold how the highest Majesty debased Himself for thee; see what sorrows, bitterness, and indignities thy Saviour suffereth for thee; consider with what charity He loved thee, Who undertook so great calamity and affliction for thee. Arise, my soul, arise out of the dust, slip thy head out of the collar, thou captive daughter of Sion. Arise, forsake the puddle of thy vices and leave the uncleanness of thy negligent life. How long wilt thou take pleasure in perils? How long wilt thou esteem anxiety and torments to be rest? How long wilt thou securely sleep in destruction? How long wilt thou willingly leave the right way and wander abroad far and near by unknown places?

0 anima mea, ecce Deus tuus: respice ingrata, attende misera, considera paupercula; ecce Deus tuus, ecce creator et redemptor tuus. Ecce quomodo rex aeternae glorice humiliavit se pro te;tece quomodo majestas altissima inolinavit se pro te. Vide quam tristia, quam amara et indigna Salvator tuus sustineat propter te. Perpende quanta cbaritate dilexit te, qui tantam afflictionem et attritionem propter te suscepit in se. Excutere, anima mea, excutere de pul vere: solve vincla colli tui, captiva filia Sion. Exsurge, egredere lutum vitiorum, re]inque sordes vitm negligentioris. Quamdiu cum voluptate versaberis in periculis? quamdiu anxietates et tormenta reputabis requiem? quamdiu secura dormies in interitu? quamdiu iter rectum sponte deseres, et longe lateque divagaberis per invia?

Return unto the Lord thy God, for He expecteth thee; make haste, be not slack, for He is ready to receive thee; He will meet thee with open arms, only defer not thou to return. Come to Jesus , and He will heal and purify thee. Join thyself to Jesus , and He will illuminate thee. Adhere to Jesus , and He will bless and save thee. Sometimes let him more expressly upbraid his soul of ingratitude and perverseness, saying—Alas! my soul, how ungrateful hast thou been to thy God. He has bestowed innumerable and most admirable benefits upon thee, and thou still repayest evil for good. He has created thee according to His own image and likeness; He has endowed thee with immortality; He has deputed heaven and earth and all things contained in them to thy commodity; He has enriched thee with many gifts and graces; He has brought thee to the light of the Catholic faith; He has withdrawn thee from the dangerous waves of the world, and conveyed thee to the haven and tranquillity of a monastical life, where thou (as in a most sweet paradise of spiritual pleasures) might have infinite occasion of holy joy and good works.

Revertere ad Dominum Deum tuum, quia ipse exspectat te: festina, noli tardare; ipse enim paratus est recipere te. Expansis ulnis tibi in occursum veniet: tu tantummodo redire ne ditreras. Accede ad Jesum, et sanabit purificabitque te. Adjunge te Jesu, et illuminabit te. Adhsere Jesu, et benedicet tibi, salvabitque te. ». Nonnunquam eidem animce suce expressius improperabit extremam ejus ingratitudinem et perversitatem, dicens: Eheu, anima mea! quam ingrata fuisti Deo tuo! Ipse innumerabilia praeclarissimaque beneficia tibi largitus est; et tu pro bonis mala semper ei reddidisti. Ipse ad imaginem et similitudinem suam creavit te, ipse immortalitate te donavit: ipse ccelum, terram et omnia quaa in eis sunt, tuis deputavit commodis ipse donis et gratiis plurimis ornavit te: ipse ad fidei catholicae lumen perduxit te: ipse e periculosis mundi fluctibus eripuit te, et ad portum tranquillitatemque vitm monasticae transtulit, ubi tu, tainquam in amcenissimo paradiso spiritualis voluptatis constituta, infinitas sanctaa Iaetitice, bonorumque operum occasiones haberes.

He has patiently borne with thee grievously sinning, and has preserved thee from the jaws of hell. The King has been incarnate for thee; thy Creator for thy sake has become thy Brother. Neither did He think it sufficient to be born for thee, wherefore would He also suffer for thy sake. He endured sorrow and distresses for thy sake; He was betrayed and taken for thy sake; He was spit on and buffeted for thy sake; He was scourged and wounded with a crown of thorns; for thy sake He was smitten with a reed and laden with the burthen of the Cross; for thy sake He was nailed to the Cross and drank vinegar; for thy sake He wept and shed His most holy blood; for thy sake He died and was buried.

Te graviter peccantem sustinuit longanimiter, et ab inferni faucibus praeservavit. Rex regum pro te incarnatus est: crea» tor tuus pro te frater tuus factus est. Nec satis illi fuit, ut pro te nasceretur; voluit et pati pro te: pro te contristatus et angustiatus est: pro te traditus et captus est: pro te ligatus et male tractatus est: pro te consputus, et colaphis alapisque cmsus est: pro te illusus et despectus est: pro te flagellis concisus et corona spinea vulneratus est: pro te arundine percussus et pondere crucis gravatus est: pro te clavis ferreis cruci affixus, et aceto potatus est; pro te suum sacrosanctum sanguinem fudit, et lacrymatus est: pro te morluus est et sepul» tus.

He has adopted thee to be heir of the Kingdom of Heaven; He has promised those things unto thee which neither eye has seen nor heart of man can comprehend. But thou hast left and condemned Him Who has been so many ways beneficial to thee; thou hast cast away the holy fear of Him that loved thee; thou hast shaken off His sweet yoke that has elected thee; thou art become as one of the daughters of Belial, as an impudent harlot; thou hast worshipped iniquities, without modesty; thou hast compacted with death; thou hast given thy hand to the devil; thou hast been most prompt to all wickedness; thou hast heaped evil upon evil, and hast rejoiced to add worse to the worst. By thy wickedness thou hast again crucified Jesus  Christ , Who has chosen thee for His spouse; thou hast renewed His wounds by thy crimes.

Ipse te adoptavit in Imredem regni ccelestis; ipse tibi promisit, quae nee oculus vidit, nec auris audivit, nec cor hominis comprehendere potest. » Tu vero dereliquisti, et contempsisti  eum qui benefecit tibi; abjecisti sanc tum timorem ejus qui dilexit te; excussisti suave jugum ejus, qui elegit te. Facta es quasi una de filiabus Belial; iniquitates, tamquam meretrix impudens, coluisti sine verecundia. Pepegisti fcedus cum morte: dedisti manuin diabolo: ad omne malum fuisti paratissima: mala malis accumulasti, et pessimis pejora gavisa es semper addere. Jesum Christum, qui te in sponsam elegerat, iterum crucifixisti tuis sceleribus: illius vulnera tuis criminibus renovasti.

“Who will give thee groans and sighs? Who will give thee a spring of tears, that thou mayest night and day bewail thine ingratitude? O unhappy wretch, what wilt thou do? Oh, that thou hadst kept thyself in the state of innocency, and that thou hadst remained immaculate! Oh, that thou hadst not miserably defiled thyself with dishonesty I Oh, that thou hadst not gone astray from thy God! Thou has lost thine innocency; thou art defiled; thou art become dishonest; thou hast gone astray from thy God. Alas! poor wretch, and what wilt thou do? To whom wilt thou fly? From whom wilt thou expect help? From whom but From Him Whom thou hast offended? He is most pitiful, most courteous, most merciful. Humble thyself, pour out thyself like water in His sight, and He will take pity on thee.”

Quis dabit tibi gemitus et suspiria? quis dabit fontem lacrymarum, ut plores die ac nocte tuam ingratitudinem? 0 te infelicem! et quid facies? 0 si innocentiam servasses! 0 si immaculata permansisses! 0 si teipsam miserabili ter non dehonestasses! 0 si a Deo tuo non recessisses! Innocentiam perdidisti, maculata es, teipsam dehoneslasti, a Deo tuo recessisti. 0 te infelicem! et quid ages? ad quem confugies? a quo exspectabis auxilium? A quo, nisi ab eo ipso, quem ogendisti? Piissimus est, benignissimus est, misericordissimus est. Humiliare, prosternere, effunde te sicut aquam in conspectu ejus, et miserebitur tui. »
Sometimes let him turn his lamentations to our Lord with these or the like words— Aliquando ipsa sua lamenta convertet ad Dominum, haec aut similia commemorans:

“Alas! my Lord Jesus , what have I done! How have I left Thee! How have I despised Thee! How am I become forgetful of Thy name! How have I cast aside Thy name! How have I cast aside Thy fear! How have I trod Thy law under my feet! How have I transgressed Thy precepts. O me, my God! O me, my Creator! O me, my Saviour! O me, my life and my total good! Woe be to me, wretched creature! Woe be to me, woe be to me, because I have sinned! Woe be to me, because I have made myself like to a brute beast! Woe be to me, because I am become more silly than a sheep. O good Jesus , O loving Shepherd, O sweet Master, help me. Set me on my feet, stretch forth Thy hand to me, being in danger. Cleanse me from my filth, cure my wound, confirm my weakness, save me from destruction. I confess myself unworthy to tread on the- earth, I am unworthy to behold the light, I am unworthy of Thy aid and grace.”

Heu! Domine mi Jesu! quid feci? quo ad  modo te dereliqui? quomodo te con tempsi? quomodo nominis tui oblitus sum? quomodo tui timorem abjeci? quo modo legem tuam conculcavi? quomodo prmcepta. tua transgressus sum? Heu me Deus meus! heu me plasmator meus! heu me Salvator meus! heu me, vita mea, et omne bonum meum! Vae mihi misero 1 vae mibi, quia peccavi! vae mihi, quia meipsum similem bruto reddidi! vae mihi, quia irritationabilior pecude factus sum! 0 bone Jesu! O pie pastor! O dulcis magister! adjuva me, erige jacentem; porrige manum periclitanti: emunda sordidum, sana vulneratum, confirma debilem, salva perditum. Fateor, non sum dignus qui lumen videam, nou sum dignus tuo auxilioet gratia.

“For great is my ingratitude; great, yes, too great, is the enormity of my sins. Nevertheless, Thy mercy is infinitely greater. Therefore, O God, Thou lover of mankind,. and my only hope, have mercy on me according to Thy great mercy, and according to the multitude of Thy mercies take away mine iniquity. Sometimes, as if he had risen out of a dream, falling on his knees in the sight of our Lord, let him affectionately say—Lord, if Thou wilt Thou canst make me clean. Or this—O God, be propitious to me a sinner. Or that—Have mercy on me, Jesus , Son of David. Or that other—O Lord help me.”

Magna enim est mea ingratitudo, magna et nimis magna est peccatorum meorum enormitas: verumtamen in immensum major est tua misericordia. Igitur, amator bominum Deus, et spes mea ultima, miserere mei secundum magnam misericordiam tuam, et secundum multitudinem.  miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam. » Interdum tamquam ex abrupto flectens genua in conspectu Domini, affectuose dicet: « Domine, si vis, potes me mundare. » Ve1 illud: « Deus, propitius esto mihi peccatori. » Ve1 illud: « Miserere mei, Jesu, fili David. » Item illud « Domine » adjuva me. »

SO likewise let him pour forth his heart before the Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord, and all the Saints of God, humbly suing for their intercession.

Similiter ante Matrem Domini Virginem Mariam, et ante Sanctos Sanctasque Dei cor suum effundet, suppliciter eorum intercessiones postulans.

CH 06


We must daily call to mind the manifold sins which we have committed



CAPUT V. [p.361]
instructio pro peccatorum examine et expiatione.

AND every day, or certainly very often, when occasion shall serve, let him recollect himself; and with a profound humility, firmly proposing amendment, let him call to mind and particularly confess before our Lord the sins of his former life, and especially those by which he has grievously offended the divine goodness. But it will be indiscreet to dwell long upon those that belong to the frailty of the flesh, lest the remembrance of them, and the longer treating of the old sin, breed a new sin by unlawful delight. In which confession, contrition, and sensible devotion, let him accustom himself to lament more that he has behaved himself contumeliously and ungratefully towards his Father and Creator, than that he has brought himself in danger of eternal punishment

Quotidie, vel certe frequenter, accepta opportunitate, recolliget se, et cum profunda humilitate, firmoque emendationis proposito, recogitabit, atque sigillatim confitebitur coram Domino peccata vitee anteactae; maxime ea quibus ipsam divinam bonitatem gravius enormiusque offendit. Verumtamen in illis quae ad lubricitatem carnis spectant, non indiscrete immorabitur, ne recordatio et morosior pertractatio veteris peccati, novum peccatum per illicitam delectationem pariat. ln qua confessione, contritione, sensi devotione magis lugere consuescet, quod erga Deum creatorem et patrem suum dulcissimum contumeliosus ingratusque fuerit, quam quod seipsum aetemis suppliciis obnoxium reddiderit.

In the forms of lamentation and godly complaints which we have prescribed, he need not care for running over many sentences. But let him take what he will, and as many as he will, observing no order if he make choice of only one, two, or three, whichsoever they be, he may repeat again and again, he shall do well. We would that he should do freely according to his devotion, and always avoiding confusion and perplexity. 

In formulis lamentationum, piarumque Que runoniarum quas prrescripsimus, non hoc spectabit, ut multas sententiolas percurrat: sed quas voluerit, et quot voluerit assumere, assumet, nullo etiam servato ordine. Si unam tantum, vel duas, vel tres elegerit, quas apud se, ubicumque fuerit, iterum atque iterum repetat, landabiliter faciet: si vero plures maluerit versare, etiam laudabiliter faciet. Libere eum pro sua devotione agere, et ubique confusionem vel perplexitatem vitare volurnus.

I know one, that being externally busied in his conversion to our Lord’s Passion among chaste discourses took delight to call to mind these few words, or the like:

Novi unum qui exterius occupatus in sua ad Dominicam passionem conversione, inter castas confabulationes haec aut similia paucula verba ruminare gaudebat:

O good Jesus , O pious Pastor, O sweet Master! good Jesus , have mercy on me! pious Pastor, direct me! sweet Master, teach me! my Lord, help me!

0 bone Jesu 1 o pie pastor! o dulcis magister! Bone Jesu, miserere mei: pie pastor, dirige me: dulcis magister, doce me: Domine mi, » adjuva me.

Another there was that did take delight to run over, sometimes more, sometimes fewer, of the aforesaid lamentations, and express them in diversity of words according to his affection. Let our young beginner, as I have said, be free in these things, and let him stir himself to compunction and diligence in his spiritual purpose by meditating, if he please, upon death, purgatory, judgement, hell, and heaven.

Alter quidam aliquando plura, aliquando pauciora delectabatur revolvere, et eadem aliis atque aliis verbis pro suo affectu exprimere. Noster tyro in his, sicut diximus, liber sit. Qui etiam seipsum ad compunctionem diligentiamque spiritualis propositi ex meditatione mortis, purgatorii, judicii, inferni et patriae ccelestis excitare poterit, si ita placeat.

Which kind of meditation, by how much the nearer it draweth to liberal fear and the love of God, by so much it is the more acceptable to our Lord, and more effectual for the purifying of the soul. Again, by how much the more it participateth of base and servile fear, by so much it is the less profitable. By liberal fear we fear to sin, lest we offend our most bountiful Lord God, and so lose His favour and familiarity. By servile fear we fear to do ill, lest we should undergo damnation and punishment. Nevertheless, it is good to be withdrawn from sinning by servile fear, but so that we stay not there, but pass on to liberal fear.

Quorum quidem meditatio, quanto propinquius ad timorem liberalem, et Dei amorem accedit, tanto ipsi Domino acceptabiliar., et ad purificandas animas efficacior est. Rursum, quanto eadem timori illiberabili et servili vicinior fuerit, tanto minor utilitas ex ea referetur. Per timorem liberalem metuimus peccare, ne benignissimum Dominum Deum nostrum offendamus, ejusque perdamus gratiam, et familiaritatis benevolentiam. Per timorem servilem formidamus male agere, ne damnis, pcenis et suppliciis afficiamur. Verumtamen bonum est, nos vel per timorem servilem a vitiis abstinere; ita tamen ut ibi non permaneamus, sed inde ad timorem liberalem transeamus.

In meditating on eternal glory, let him go thus, or in the like manner, to work:

In meditatione oeternae gloriee, livec aut similia apud se pertractabit

Oh, how blessed is the heavenly Jerusalem, the walls whereof consist of most precious stones; the gates thereof .shine with the most divine pearls; the streets whereof are paved with most pure gold; the gardens similarly being decked with flowers most incomprehensibly flourishing. There the sound of joy is perpetual; there the canticle of gladness is ever sung by an unwearied choir; there the rejoicing of exultation is always renewed; there the instruments of the Saints do always resound; there cinnamon and balm incessantly breathe forth an unspeakable odour of sweetness; there is peace and rest overcoming all sense; there is temperateness and calmness beyond all human reach; there is eternal day and one spirit of all; there is sure security, secure eternity, eternal tranquillity, quiet happiness, happy sweetness, and sweet mirth; there the just shall shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Oh, what happiness is it to be among the choirs of Angels, to have perpetual fellowship with the holy Patriarchs and Prophets, with the holy Confessors and Virgins, and with the most glorious Mother of God! Not to fear, not to be sorrowful, not to be in anguish, not to be grieved, not to be troubled with tediousness, to endure no labour, no impediment, no loathsomeness, no necessity! Oh, what a wealth of consolation, what a sea of delights, what an abundance of joys, what profundity of most pure pleasure will it be to behold that incircumscriptible light, to see that most amiable brightness, to see that unspeakable glory of the most high Trinity, to see the God of Gods in Sion, to see Him not a riddle, but face to face, to see also the glorified Humanity of the only-begotten God! For if the visible bravery of the heavens be a beautiful sight, or to behold the glittering clearness of the stars, to see the glorious beauty of the sun, to see the shining of the pale-faced moon, to consider the grateful light of the air, to contemplate the elegant neatness of birds, flowers, grass, and colours, to listen to the sweet chanting of the nightingales and larks, to hear the melodious harmony of harp and lute, to smell the fragrant roses and lilies, to draw the breath that spices and perfume send forth, to taste the deliciousness of divers palate-pleasing fruits; if, I say, there be so great pleasure in these things, what a torrent of most sincere delight will it be perfectly to contemplate that immense beauty, and perfectly to taste that infinite sweetness from whence all beauty, all sweetness of things created floweth down to us. The spring-tide representeth unto us the state of eternal felicity, and the future resurrection; for when we see heaven, earth, trees, and all things else with a certain new grace to be decked with admirable ornaments; notwithstanding, there is greater difference between that which it representeth than between noon and midnight. Blessed, therefore, yea, thrice blessed, is that heavenly Jerusalem where nothing wanteth that may please, and whence all things are banished that may displease, where Almighty God is happily praised for ever.

0 quam beata est ccelestis illa Jerusalem, cujus muri pretiosissimis constant lapidibus, cujus portm electissimis nitent margaritis, cujus plateae mundissimo sternuntur auro, cujus horti flosculis incomprehensibiliter vernantibus adblandiuntur! Ibi vox lmtitioe perpetuo auditur, ibi canticum gaudii sine fine promitur, ibi jubilus exsultationis jugiter innovatur, ibi organa sanctorum semper resonant, ibi cinnamomum et balsamum ineffabilem suavitatis odorem indesinenter spirant: ibi est » pax et requies omnem seusum exsupe.» rans, ibi est temperies et serenitas omnem captum humanum excedens, ibi est dies aeternus, et unus omnium spiritus; ibi est certa securitas, et secura zeteruitas, et ceterna tranquillitas, et tranquilla felicitas, et felix suavitas et suavis jucunditas; ibi fulgebunt justi sicut sol in regno Patris eorum. 0 quantae felicitatis est Angelorum choris interesse, cum sanctis Patriarchis et Prophetis, cum sanctis Apostolis et Martyribus, cum sanctis Confessoribus et Virginibus, cum gloriosissima Dei genitrice Maria, perpetuum habere consortium! non timere, non tristari, non angi, non gravari, non attoediari; nullum sustinere laborem, nullum impedimentum, nullum fastidium, nullam necessitatem! » 0 quanta consolationum opulentia! o quanta deliciarum affluentia! o quanta gaudiorum exuberantia! o quanta purissimarum voluptatum abyssus, videre lumen illud incircumscriptum, videre lucem illam summe amabilem, videre indicibilem illam altissimce Trinitatis gloriam, videre Deum deorum in Sion! videre autem, non in cenigmate, sed facie ad faciem! videre item glorificatam unigeniti Dei humanitatem! Nam si dulce est visibilem cceli ornatum intueri, micantem stellarum claritatem adspicere, rutilantem solis splendorem cernere, fulgidum lunm candorem videre, gratam aeris lucem considerare, avicula.. rum, florum, graminum et colorum elegantem decorem contemplari, philomelarum et galeritarum dulces cantus excipere, lyne et citharm suavem melodiam audire, rosarum litionunque fra» grantem odorem baurire, aromatum et pigmentorum eminentem redolentiam percipere, diversorum fructuum deliciosum saporem gustare: si, inquam, dulcedo maxima ex his sentitur, quantus erit sincerissimoe jucunditatis torrens, immensam illam pulchritudinem perfecte contemplari, perfecteque intinitam illam dulcedinem gustare, unde omnis pulchritudo, omnisque dulcedo rerum creatarum profluit atque descendit? Nobis quidem ceternm felicitatis, et futuroe resurrectionis statum reprmsentat vernum tempus, in quo nova quadam gratia, admirabili ornatu, ccelum, terra, arbores ac catera decorantur: verurntamen intcr id quod reprmsentat, et id quod reprasentatur, major est differentia, quam inter opacae noctis tenebras et jubar solis meridiani. Beata igitur et iterum beata ccelestis illa Jerusalem, ubi est omne quod placere potest, et unde abest omne quod potest displicere: ubi in smcula soeculorum feliciter laudatur Deus omnipotens!

Let him learn purely to frequent the joys of this supernal city, to love and desire them, yet not so much for his own profit, as for the profit and honour of God.

Haec supernae civitatis gaudia pure fre Qn, inien quentare discat, eaque amare et expetere, non tam propter proprium commodum, quam propter Dei laudem et honorem.

Although, indeed, the meditation of eternal life may be more sincerely practical by him that has been a proficient in internal conversation, than by him that has scarcely attained to the beginning of his own mortification, and knoweth better how to seek himself than God.

Quamquam hujusmodi meditatio vitae aeternee sincerius exerceri possit ab eo, qui jam profecit in interna conversatione, quam ab eo qui vixdum initia propriae mortificationis attigit, seque potius quam Deum adhuc queerere novit.

In our above-related meditation let a novice exercise himself continually for the space of one, three, or six months, yea, for a whole year or more; until he perceive within himself an absolute contempt of the world and himself, and that he beginneth to feel the fervent purpose of a spiritual life to take root in him. Some are with more difficulty, some more easily turned to the better. And some, whom it pleaseth God out of His most infinite favour most liberally to prevent, are presently changed. In the meantime he may also employ himself in thanksgiving, in praising God, and other prayers; but let his chief employment be in reasonable mourning for, and persecuting of, his sins. Let him not be troubled if he cannot draw tears externally, for he lacketh not tears internally that truly hateth all sin and iniquity.

In supradictis lamentationibus novus, tyro se exercebit perseveranter ad unum, tres, menses, aut ad annum integrum, vel amplius: id est, tamdiu donec senserit mundi snique contemptum intus utcumque convalescere, et se ad vitae spiritualis propositum aliquantulum fer vere. Aliqui regrius, aliqui facilius ad meliora convertuntur; sed et nonnulli a benignissimo Deo liberalissime prceventi, subito innovantur. Interim quidem licebit ei etiam aliis orationibus, gratiarum actionibus et divuus laudibus insistere: singularis tamen ejus occupatio erit in rationabili luctu, et peccatorum suorum persecutione. Si non invenit lacrymas exteriores, non conturbetur: nam interioribus lacrymis non caret, cui omne vitium vere displicet.

Now after he has in some measure reformed the image of God within himself by healthful bitterness of mourning and contrition, he may with greater confidence and profit imitate the above proposed example of exercise.

Postritiabi igitur per salutarem fletus seu contritionis amaritudinem imago Dei interius aliqua ex parte reformata fuerit, ipse majore fiducia jam accepta, alterum illud exercitationis exemplum, quod superius proposui, utilius imitari poterit.

Therefore let him take courage, and fervently prepare himself for a more intimate familiarity with the heavenly Bridegroom. But as long as he is weak or cold he shall kindle in himself the fire of divine love by serious meditation on the Incarnation or Passion of the only-begotten Son of God, sweetly conferring with his soul concerning these things. By which meditation being once inflamed, let him compose himself by prayer and aspiration, desiring by them to unite his spirit to. the chiefest good. If he often persist by this means to draw his heart to the love of God, he shall soon bring himself to that pass that presently, at the first convention of his mind or aspiration, without any premeditation he may be able to separate himself from creatures and their imagination, and plunge himself in the sweetness of divine love.

Eriget itaque se humiliter, et ad intimiorem coelestis Sponsi familiaritatem ferventer praeparabit. Quamdiu autem adbuc infirmior, frigidiorque est, smpe excitabit in se divini  amoris igniculum, per seriam incarnatio nis vel passionis Unigeniti Dei meditationem, conferens de bis suaviter cum anima sua. Ex qua meditatione succensus, mox ad orationem et adspirationes convertetur, ipsi summo bono spiritum suum per eas unire desiderans. Si perstiterit crebro hac ratione cor in amorem Dei compellere, eo brevi perveniet, ut statim prima mentis conversionq aut adspiratione, sine praemeditatione aliqua, se a creaturis earumque imaginibus sejungere, et in suavitatem ipsius divini amoris immergere queat.

Then he shall not so much need to remember each particular sin of his life past in his penance before God, and with sorrow to direct the insight of his heart unto Him, for so might his freedom and affection towards good be hindered; but rather let him lovingly direct his heart to God Himself, detesting whatsoever may separate or withdraw him from Him. Neither do we mean that he should negligently forget his sins, but so to remember them that the remembrance hinder not a greater profit; therefore let him confess them daily to God, rather summarily than particularly.

Deinceps non usque adeo necesse habe in sua poenitentia coram Deo comme morare singula peccata vitte proetentae cordisque intuitum anxie ad ea dirigere; sic enim et libertas et affectus erga Deum praepedirentur: sed potius ad ipsum Deum cor amorose diriget, detestans interim quidquid ab ipso separare retardareve potest. Ubi tamen non dicimus, ut quae peccavit, ea aliquando e memoria sua per negligentiam dilabi permittat: sed volumus, ut illorum sic reminiscatur, ne ipsa recordatio majori utilitati obsit. Itaque summatim potius, quam singillatim ea Deo quotidie confitebitur.

Truly we have a more present remedy against lesser sins when we turn to God by a sweet and effectual affection of love, than when we tediously busy ourselves in the consideration of them and severe punishment of them. Let him therefore cast them away into the bottomless depth of God’s divine mercy and goodness, that, like a sparkle of fire in the midst of the sea, they may there perish. Let him endeavour to reject quite and clean all inordinate pusillanimity, and superfluous scruples of conscience, and perplexed diffidence, whensoever they arise. For unless they be presently lopped of they do divers ways choke up the alacrity of the mind, and very much hinder our internal going forward.

Sane minora peccata prmsentiori remedio in nobis delentur, dum per dulcem et efficacem amoris affectum ad Deum convertimur, quam dum nos ipsos in eorumdem consideratione et aivara punitione morosius occupamus. Projiciet igitur illa in abyssum divinm clementim, ut ibi veluti scintilla in medio maris depereant. Omnem inordinatam pusillanimitatem, et superfluos conscientim scrupulos, perplexamque diffidentiam prorsus rejicere adnitetur, undecumque emerserint. Nam nisi statim arnputata fuerint, diversis modis animi alacritatem prmfocant, et profectui interno non parum incommodant.

CH 07


Every one ought to consider his own ability, and to proceed accordingly


MOREOVER, let him attempt nothing beyond his strength, but be content with his lot. If he cannot reach as far as he desireth, let him reach as far as he can. And unless he flatter himself, he may easily know what proceedings he is able to make. Nevertheless, the divine bounty is liberal, infusing itself wheresoever it findeth a mind worthily prepared.

Porro nihil ultra vires attentabit, sed sua sorte contentus erit. Si non potest eo pervenire, quo pervenire desiderat, laboret ut saltem eo perveniat, quo pervenire potest. Nisi sibi male blandiatur, facile agnoscet quousque procedere valeat. Liberalis tamen, et omnino liberalis est divina bonitas; quae ubicumque mentem digne praeparatam invenerit, ibi copiosissime se infundere gaudet.

Wherefore, if our spiritual practitioner be not yet admitted to the sublimity of contemplation and perfect charity, let him think himself as yet not prepared for the receipt of so great a good. And what good would it do him to receive that grace, which he knows not how to make good use of. Let him make haste to pull up all vice by the root, that he may be the fitter. But still with this proviso, that he strive not beyond his strength.

Quare si spiritualis asceta ad sublimitatem contemplationis, perfectaeque charitatis nondum admittitur, cogitet se nondum aptum esse, ut tantum bonum acci quam piat. Et quid ei prodesset eam gratiam percipere, qua non hene uteretur? Festinet omnia vitia radicitus evellere, ut aptior fiat; verumtamen, sicut praedixi, virium suarum terminos non excedat.


Let him not impatiently try to forerun God’s grace, but humbly to follow it.  Let him not, I say, violently force his spirit thither, whither he cannot reach; lest presuming, which he ought not, he tumble himself down headlong by his own violence, and being crushed be punished for his rashness. Let him so tend to perfection, that unbridled violence and turbulent solicitude bear no part in his endeavours.

Ipsam Dei gratiam non tentet impatienter praeeedere, sed eam humiliter subsequatur spiritum, inquam, illuc violenter impellere non conetur, quo nondum as cendere'potest; ne, dum temere praesumit quod praesumere non debet, sua se violentia deorsam praecipitet, et collisus temeritatis sua' pcenas exsolvat. Sic conetur ad perfectiora, ut tamen conatus ejus effrenem impetum et turbulentam sollicitudinem nesciat.

Let him attend the measure of grace given him, and withal remember that he shall far more easily, safely, quickly, and happily attain to the highest degree of contemplation, that is, to the comprehending of mystical divinity, if he be touched and rapt by the mere grace of God, than if he endeavour to attain unto it by his own labours. Let him always, therefore, observe a man with discretion, lest by excess he run into defects.

Mensuram gratim sibi datee attendat: memineritque se longe facilius, tutius, compendiosius et felicius perventurum ad supremuin contemplationis gradum, boc est, ad mysticee Theologiffl comprehensionem, si a mera Dei gratia tractus raptusque fuerit, quam si magno labore suo illuc pertingere fuerit conatus. Discretionem ergo et modum ubique servet, ne per excessum in defectum corruat.

The bread of tears is good, and many, when they should refresh themselves, surfeit by it. For they insist so long in tears, and with so great confusion and agitation, that both spirit and body are fain to lie down under the too much intent or extended exercise. We confess that many, by the discretion and the help of the Holy Ghost, can long and profitably mourn;

Bonus et dulcis est panis lacrymarum aliqui tamen eo pane mentem nonnun quam obruunt magis, quam reficiunt. Fletibus enim tamdiu et i.n tanta confractione atque agitatione insistunt, donec et spiritu et corpore sub exercitio nimis extenso aut intenso succumbant. Non tamen negamus aliquos esse, qui per discretionem et Spiritus Sancti adjutorium, diu utiliterque lacryinari possint.

and there are many again that being, as it were, steeped in the torrent of pleasure which they take in God, do unseasonably urge and spur forward themselves to greater violence, and desist not from this indiscreet forcing of themselves until, being hurt and confounded, they fall and faint in themselves, and are thenceforth made unapt to receive the sweetness of grace. Wherefore the internal heat and violence is always so to be moderated, that the spirit be not extinguished, but comforted by it.

Nonnullos etiam invenire est, qui dum intus torrente voluptatis Dei inebriantur, seipsos ad majorem impetum intempestive perurgent et exstimulant; neque prius ab indiscreta impulsione desistunt, donec laesi confusique in seipsis concidant, et ad suavitatem gratiae deinceps percipiendam inepti reddantur. Igitur fervor, seu impetus internus, sic semper moderandus est, ut per eum spiritus confortetur, non extinguatur.

They whose heads are of a good temper may more fervently and strongly insist in fervent aspirations; but they that have weak heads (especially if the weakness grow by indiscretion) are not able to exercise themselves otherwise than very gently and moderately. And such can scarcely sometimes admit a simple compunction of mind, or. meditation, or reading, without hurt, yea, although they leave their head on some place. So great is the calamity of the vice that proceedeth from indiscretion. But let them diligently, inasmuch as in them lieth, avoid this discommodity, and humbly pray to God for the restoring of that which they have spoiled themselves. If God be pleased to hear them, let them be thankful; if not, let them bless our Lord, and for His love learn according to His pleasure patiently to endure this misery, which they have done on themselves.

Qui bona capitis babitudine sunt, fervidis adspirationibus interdum acrius et vigorosius insistere possunt: qui vero debiliori sunt capite, maxime quibus per indiscretionem ipsa debilitas accrevit, non nisi placide admodum se exercere valent. Quin et quandoque simplicem mentis compunctionem, aut meditationem, vel lectionem, tales vix absque Iresione admittunt, etiam dum alibi caput reclinant. Tantam calamitatem parit indiscretionis vitium. Non tamen desperent, qui in eam venere necessitatem; sed solerter, quantum in ipsis est, subterfugiant loesionis aut confusionis incommodum, humiliterque a Deo sibi id reddi petant, quo se miserabiliter spoliaverunt. Si Deus eos tandem exaudierit, gratias agant: sin minus, etiam benedicant Dominum, et propter ejus amorem ac beneplacitum, patienter tolerare discant miseriam, quam ipsi sibi conciliaverunt.

Let our internal practitioner beware also of all lightness of inconstancy and instability. Let him take in hand those exercises that are good; and let him go on with what he has once begun, although they like him not; but so that the pleasure of the Holy Ghost be followed in all, the decree of his own will and appointment being rejected. For the Holy Ghost doth divers ways as it were invite us and uses to bring us by divers paths to the wine-cellar and bed-chamber of divine love; Whose instinct we must still observe and most readily follow, laying aside all propriety; wherefore this our spiritual scholar shall often present himself to the Holy Ghost as a prepared instrument; and which way soever the Holy Ghost shall bend and apply, let him presently follow. If at any time he shall be drawn or elevated up to the soaring contemplation and embracements of the chiefest good, let him freely offer up himself; and if the Passion of Christ, or any holy meditation and imagination occur, let him not stay at it, but with all expedition fly thither, whither he is called by the Spirit

Caveat etiam internus asceta omnem inconstantiae et instabilitatis levitate. Ea exercitia adsumat, qu bona sunt: et in his qum adsumpserit perseveret, etiamsi aliquando minus arriserint: ita tamen, ut Spiritus Sancti beneplacitum in omnibus sequatur, decreto propriae voluntatis et ordivationis relicto. Ipse enim Spiritus Sanctus diversis modis nos veluti invitare, diversisque semitis ad cellam illam vinariam, et ad tbalamum divini amoris introducere consuevit: cujus instinctus ubique animadvertere, promptissimeque sequi debemus, omni proprietate rejecta. Quare spiritualis asceta seipsum tamquam paratissimum instrumentum Spiritui Saneto seniper prmsentabit: et in quam cumque partem idem Spiritus eum inflexerit, seu applicaverit, protinus subsequetur. Si quando sursum ad sublimiorem contemplationem, et complexum summi boni tractus elevatusque fuerit, libere se totum offeret: quod si tunc vel passio Christi, vel quaevis alia sancta meditatio et imaginatio occurrerit, non ibi hmrebit, sed expeditus eo transvolabit, quo a Spiritu vocatur.

When he doubtfully staggereth in his purpose, not knowing how he ought to proceed in his begun enterprize, let him use the counsel of men that are prudent, expert, and humble; for so he shall be a greater proficient, than if relying upon himself he- proceed according to his own inventions.

Quando dubius vacillat in,proposito, ignorans quo pacto in inceptis pergere debeat, prudentum, expertorum et humilium utatur consilio. Sic enim magis proficiet, quam si sibi fidens secundum proprias adinventiones procederet.

But in the meantime let him not forget carefully to have recourse to the remedy of prayer, humbly beseeching in all things to be directed and illuminated by our Lord; lest at any time being deceived he follow error instead of truth. And let him always remember that he can never perfectly be at leisure for God, unless his heart be free and clear from all things besides God.

Interim tamen non omittat sollicite confugere ad orationis remedia, humiliter petens a Domino in omnibus dirigi et illuminari: ne quando deceptus, errorem pro veritate sequatur. Semper autem meminerit, quia nun quam Deo perfecte vacare poterit, nisi cor ab omnibus, quze citra Deum sunt, liberum et expeditum habeat.

 [Chapter 6. p. 376]
Westling with trials and temptations often evokes spiritual progress

CAPUT Vl. [p.376]

Lucta tentationum et desolationum in profectu spirituali scepe eveniens.

You have now heard, Brother, after a manner,. how he should begin and how he should go forward in external exercises that desireth to attain to any excellent degree of a pure life. It shall be your part not only to hear and read these things, but also to put them in practice. Which if you do, and have help from above, and that you being to be clear within, and that psalmodies and other offices 60of divine praise wax sweet unto you, search not too high, but be afraid.

Ecce, mi frater, utcumque audisti quomodo tum incipere, tum progredi debeat internis exercitiis, qui ad eximium aliquem purioris vitae gradum pertingere vult. Tuum jam erit, haec non solum audire et legere, sed et opere complere. Quod 8i feceris, et ccelitus advenit auxilium, jamque interiora tua clarescere, et psalmotha, ac caetera divinte laudis obsequia tibi dulcescere cceperint, noli altum sapere, sed time.

For although, your heart being enlarged, you do awhile run the way of God’s commandments, you have not of yourself enlarged your heart, but God has done it. And He that enlarged it can permit it, His grace being withdrawn, to be again coupled up and imprisoned: The Sun of Justice has shined on you, and certain scales being taken off, has illuminated your mind; but who can hinder Him from hiding Himself if He be so pleased.

Nam etsi dilatato corde viam mandatorum Dei aliquamdiu curris, non tamen tu tibi, sed Deus cor dilatavit: et qui dilatavit, ipse idem, subtracta gratia, permittere potest, ut iterum constringatur. Illuxit tibi Sol justitim, et mentem tuam veluti squamis quibusdam ejectis serenavit: sed quis prohibebit, ne se abscondat, si abscondere voluerit?

Be you therefore ready; for He will hide Himself, and His amiable brightness being once departed, your senses shall again be darkened and hindered.

Esto autem paratus; nam abscondet se et amabili splendore rece'dente, tibi iterum sensus obtenebrabuntur atque prcepedientur.

Moreover, certain immissions by evil angels will toss the ship of your breast; yea, peradventure the temptation will be so strong, that you will think all to oppose itself against you. You will seem to yourself to be wholly given over to Satan, and will not have list to open your mouth in God’s praise. Neither shall this calamity endure a little while. Neither shall you only once, or thrice, or six, or ten times be laid hold on by it, but very often, sometimes more vehemently than at others.

Sed et nescio quae immissiones per angelos malos, navem pectusculi tui undique contundent. Imo vero usque adeo forte invalescet tentatio, ut infernalis prorsus judicari possit. Videberis tibi Sathance traditus: et nec os quidem ad laudes Dei aperire libebit. Durabit etiam non parvo tempore ista calamitas: et non semel tantum, aut ter, aut:3 exies, aut decies, sed saepius comprehenderis ab ipsa, aliquando quidem vehementius, aliquando vero remissius.

But be not dejected at this; neither think anything sinisterly of your fault. For He has permitted you to be tempted that it may be manifest if you truly love Him, and that you may learn to pity others that are oppressed by temptations. He scourgeth and bruiseth you, that He may purge you from vice, and prepare you for more grace. He seemeth to leave you, as it were, for a time, that you wax not proud, but may always acknowledge that you can do- nothing without Him; yet, nevertheless, He doth not forsake you.

Sed non frangat te haec res: neque cur de dilecto quidquam sinistrum suspicatus fueris./Ipse enim tentari te permittit, ut palam fiat an vere diligas eum, et ut eveteris, qui tentationibus premuntur, contpati discas. Ipse tlagellat et conterit te, ut purget a vitiis, et ad majorem gratiam praTaret. Ipse ad tempus quodammodo recedere videtur a te, ut nunquam superbias, sed semper agnoscas quia sine eo nihil potes facere: revera tamen non recedit. a te. His et similibus adversitatibus exercet te, propter inenarrabilem charitatem qua diligit te.

He exerciseth you in these and the like adversities out of the unspeakable charity wherewith He loveth you. For the Heavenly Spouse useth this kind of dispensation with a fervent soul converted unto Him. He visiteth her solemnly in the beginning of her new purpose, doth comfort and illustrate her, and after He has recreated and allured her with His sweet smile, he draweth her after Him, and lovingly meeteth her almost everywhere, with His milk feeding His new friend.

Nam hac fere dispensatione, coelestis Sponsus cum anima fervida ad se conversa uti solet. Etun in initiis novi propositi indicibiliter visitat, confortat, illustrat, et suavissimo sui odore recreatam atque illectam post se trahit, eique gratanter fere ubique occurrit, boc veluti lacte potans novellam amicam.

Afterwards He begins to administer to her the solid food of affliction, and plainly shows her how much she ought to endure for His name. Now she beginneth to be in a sea of troubles. Men molest  her without, passions trouble her within. Punishments afflict her externally, internally she becometh dejected by pusillanimity. Externally she is grieved with infirmities, internally darkness overcasteth and cloudeth her. The external parts are oppressed, the internal dried up; one while the Bridegroom hideth Himself from the soul, another while He discovereth Himself unto her. Now He leaveth her, as it were, in the darkness and horror of death, and presently recalleth her to the sweetness of light, insomuch that it may be truly said of Him that He leadeth down to hell and bringeth back again.

Postea solidum cibum afllictionum przebere incipit: que plane ostendit, quanta oporteat ipsam pro nomine suo pati. Jam undique exurgere incipiunt adversitates, molestant exterius homines, conturbant interius passiones: affligunt exterius pcenae, dejiciunt interius pusillanimitates: gravant exterius infirmitates, obscurant et obnubilant interius, tenebrm, exteriora premuntur, interiora arefiunt: nunc ab anima se abscondit ipse Sponsus, nunc iterum eidem se ostendit: nunc eam in caligine et horrore mortis veluti deserit, nunc rursus ad lucis amcenitatem revocat: ita ut vere dictum sit de eo, quia deducit ad inferos et reducit.

By such means He trieth, purifieth, humbleth, teacheth, weans, draws, and adorns the soul. If He find her faithful in all things, and to be of a good will and holy patience, and that, by long exercise and His grace, she doth mildly and affectionately endure all tribulations and temptations, then doth He more perfectly join her to Himself, and similarly maketh her partaker of His secrets, and bindeth her far otherwise to Him. This He did at the beginning of her conversion.

His modis animam probat, purificat humiliat, erudit, frangit, dolat, exoequat, an levigat et ornat. Quod si eam per omnia fidelem, ac bonm voluntatis sanctmque patientim esse, jamque per longam exercitationem et suam gratiam placide atque affectuose quaslibet tribulationes ac tentationes portare invenerit, tunc ipsam perfectius sibi copulat, et ad secreta sua familiariter admittit, longeque aliter adstringit, quam in initiis conversionis fecerat.

Be not therefore troubled when vehement temptation scourgeth you, but as if you received a token of His love remain faithful and invincible in your agonies, saying with blessed Job—“Although He shall kill me I will trust in Him” during this storm. It will be somewhat hard for you to be present at the Divine Office, by reason of the instability and cloudiness of your mind. Notwithstanding, be patient, and gently do what lieth in your power. The night will pass away, darkness will be dispersed, and light will take place again.

Tu ergo non perturberis, quando vehe mens tentatio te flagellat: sed tamquam pignore amoris accepto, fidelis et invictus in agonibus permane, dicens subinde cum beato Job; Etiamsi occiderit me, in ipso sperabo. Durante hujusmodi tempestate, durius erit tibi divino Officio assistere, propter nimiam mentis instabilitatem seu obnubilationem. Verumtamen longanimis esto, et placide fac quod in te est: transibit nox, discedent tenebrae, lux iterum exorietur.

But as long as it is yet night take heed you are not found idle and negligent; if you have no list to pray, sing, or meditate, then read. If your mind loathe reading, write, or manfully exercise yourself for the time in some other external work, in the meantime diligently rejecting the troubles of vain cogitations.

Quamdiu autem adhuc nox est, sum mopere cave ne otiosus et negligens inveniaris. Si non licet orare, psallere vel meditari, insiste lectioni. Si etiam ad tionem nauseat animus, scribe, aut in aliquo alio externo opere ad tempus utiliter te occupa, vanarum cogitationum strepitus sedulo interim rejiciens.

If drowsiness do unseasonably molest you, so that it grievously depress you, you shall peradventure (time and place permitting) do better if somewhat pertinently, to the honour of God, leaning your head somewhere, you slumber a little, than if inexorably you resist it; for if by labour you think to drive it away, as long as you labour you shall be free, but that once past, and you betaking yourself to your spiritual exercises, it will easily return. If you sleep, let it not be deep nor long, so that it last no longer than one 64may say one, or two, or three Psalms: for so your spirit, being, as it were, renewed, will arise with more expedition and alacrity. They that know not how to behave themselves soberly in eating, drinking, and the custody of their senses, if they fly to this remedy it is to be feared lest they rather aggravate than alleviate this disease, and, falling into a deep and long sleep, miserably lose their time by sluggishness.

Si somnolentia tibi intempestive molcs est, eaque graviter deprimeris, utilius forte facies, si loco et tempore permittente, paululum obiterque ad honorem Dei capite reclinato dormitaveris, quam si inexorabiliter repugnare volueris. Nam si per solum laborem somnolentiam comprimere elegeris, durante quidem labore, liber eris; sed finito eo, teqUe ad spiritualia redeunte, facile revertetur eadem somnolentia. Dormitatio illa et brevis et levis esse debet: ita ut plus minus eo spatio duret, quo Psalmus unus, aut dno, tresve legi queant. Spiritus enim inde veluti renovatus, expeditior atque alacrior resurget. Qui nondum in cibo, potu et sensibus noverunt esse sobrii, si ad praedictum remedium confugerint, timendum est ne suum morbum aggravent potius, quam allevient: et in profundum prolixumque somnum prolapsi, tempus miserabiliter perdant per socordiam.

Watch carefully against those temptations by which the devil endeavoureth to incline the mind to those things that are indecent and vicious. Be sure to reject them in the very beginning, before they take possession of you within, for unless you repel the adversary at the first onset, if he get entrance he will presently clap bolts on your soul, and you, being destitute of liberty and force, will hardly be able to resist. But if you have behaved yourself negligently, and he fetter you, do not yield so, but deny your consent, and strive against him even by creeping on the ground, and pray to our Lord in the strength of your spirit, that, freeing your bonds, he will restore you to liberty, or at least preserve you from giving consent.

Adversus eas tentationes, quibus diabolus mentem ad indecentia et vitiosa inclinare uititur etiam solerter vigila et ipsas statim in initio, priusquam interiora tua occupentur, rejicere satage. Nam nisi mox primo insultu adversarium repuleris, ingressus intro repente aniinam tuam vinculis injectis colligabit: et tu deinceps libertate viribusque destitutus, aegrius resistes. Verumtamen etiamsi negligenter egeris, et ille vincula injecerit, ne sic quidem dedas te: sed reclama, et vel reptando super terram renitere, Dominumque in fortitudine spiritus exora, ut te vinculis absolutum libertati restituat, aut certe a consensu prmservet.

But know that many times you shall more easily overcome the adversary suggesting any filthy, impious, and absurd thing, if you contemn and set light by his barking, and so pass them over, than if you strive long with him, and with great labour endeavour to stop his wicked mouth. But if he over much importune you, and being repelled once or twice do still come on afresh, you must meet with him on plain terms, that, being overthrown on plain ground, he may fly away with disgrace.

Scito autem quia eumdem adversarium, dum foeda, impia, et absurda quaeque suggerit saepe felicius vinces, si contempseris, et nibili feceris ejus latratus, sicque pertransieris, quam si cum eo dintius disceptare, et iniquum os magno labore obturarc paraveris. Dum tamen nimium import unus est, et semel ac denuo repulsus, iterum atque iterum insilit, omnino conserenthe sunt manus, ut vel certamine superatus aufugiat cum opprobrio.

Now, he setteth on us many ways, for sometimes he seeketh to ensnare us secretly, and under pretence of piety; sometimes he setteth upon us openly and with open fury; sometimes he creepeth by little; sometimes he breaketh forth suddenly and unlooked for; sometimes he layeth siege to us by spiritual and internal means, sometimes by corporal and external adversaries or prosperities. Wherefore we must always have recourse to the aid of our Lord’s Passion, and cry to God with tears.

hora Porro diversis viis nos aggreditur quando enim clam, et quasi sub praetextu pietatis insidias parat: aliquando vero palam et aperto furore insurgit. Aliquando sensim irrepit: aliquando subito et ex insperato irrumpit: aliquando spiritualibus et internis, aliquando corporalibus et externis adversitatibus, antprosperitatibus oppugnat. Quare semper vigilandum, semper ad Dominica3 passionis praesidia confugiendum, et ad Deum lacrymose clamandum est.

But, as I have always said, soar not too high by reason of the grace which, peradventure, you have. For what have you that you have not received? Why do you glory, as if you had not received? Take heed, therefore, that by no means you open the window 66of your heart to the blast of vainglory or the air of self-complacence. See you brag not, see you boast not abroad of what you have received. But keep your secret to yourself, let it abide with you, unless you happen to reveal it humbly and modestly to some intimate and secret friend for spiritual utility and consolation, or that you be compelled by obedience, or rather manifest necessity, or great profit.

Verum, quemadmodum dicere coeperam, noli altum sapere propter gratiam quam forte habes. Quid enim habes, quod non accepisti? Si autem, accepisti, non est justum ut glorieris, quasi non acceperis. Cave itaque ne vento vance glorice, aut anrce proprim complacentix fenestram cordis tui aliquo pacto aperias. Vide ne te jactites: vide ne passim ostenlare gestias quod accepisti: sed secretum tutum tibi, secretum tuum apud te permaneat: nisi forte alicui intimo discretoque amico, propter spiritualem utilitzttem vel consolationem, humiliter ac verecnnde revelandum fuerit: aut alioqui obedientia, seu alia manifesta necessitas, grandisve utilitas compulerit.

See that you believe not that you have received the gift of God by your own merits and labours, but rather judge yourself unworthy (as indeed you are) of all grace and consolation, and worthy of all confusion and dereliction. Compare yourself with those that are more holy, that, by consideration of their perfection, you may the better acknowledge your own imperfection.

Vide ne tuis meritis et laboribus donum Dei accepisse credas: sed potius  indignum te judica (sicut revera indignus es), omni gratia et consolatione, dignurn vero omni confusione atque derelictione. Non comparaveris te cum inferioribus et imperfectis, sed cum sanctioribus te confer; ut considerata eorum perfectione, tuam imperfectionem melius agnoscas.

Humble and deject yourself; place yourself infinitely below all men. But you will say, How can I do this, considering that many without fear or shame live most debauchedly, which I neither do nor will do? What! shall I cast myself below them? Shall I place them above me? I say you shall.

Humilia et dejice te: constitue te sine fictione infra omnes homines. Et quo

modo hoc, inquis, faciam, quum plerique abjeclo penitus timore pariter et pudore, perditissime vivant, quod ego nec facio, nec facere volo? Quid, etiamne illis me subjiciam? Etiamne illos mihi praTonam? prrepones, inquam.

CH 08


A very good means to obtain humility






FOR if you consider that these who to-day are so bad may to-morrow be more perfect than yourself, and that, if they had received the gifts that are granted you from above they would lead a far more holy life than yourself, and that you would sin more grievously than they if you were not prevented by a more abundant grace; I say, if you consider these things you will easily observe how fit it were that you should prefer every sinner before yourself. Oh, if you did know the secret of God, how willingly would you give place to others; how gladly would you take the lowest place; how joyfully would you lay yourself at the feet of others; with what alacrity would you attend the sick; how devoutly would you honour all; how affectionately obedient would you be, without any delay or complaint.

Nam si cogitaveris, quia qui hodie pessimi sunt, cras te perfectiores esse poterunt: et quia si iidem dona tibi divinitus concessa accepissent, longe sanctius te viverent; tu quoque gravius eis peccares, nisi abun dantiori gratia prmventus esses; si, in qua`m, haec cogitaveris, facile animadvertes, quam sit consentaneum, ut etiam quemlibet peccatorem tibi pmferas. 0 si scires arcanum Dei, quam libenter aliis cederes! quam ketanter ultimum locurn teneres! quam gratanter ad aliorum pedes te demitteres! quam alacriter etiam infimis inservires! quam devote omnes honorares I quam affectuose sine aliqua mora aut querela obedires I

But yet I require a more excellent thing of you, viz., that you place yourself not only below all men in your heart for God’s sake, but also below each creature, reputing yourself as most abject dust, esteeming yourself unworthy to tread on the earth or to enjoy the benefit of light. Look more exactly into yourself—how ungrateful, tepid, unstable, miserable, and vile you are, and by that means you will attain to that most humble submission of mind.

Caaterum adhuc excellentius aliquid a te requiro: nempe, ut non solum infra homines, sed et infra omnem creaturam, propter Deum te in corde tuo constituas: reputans te cinerem abjectissimum, existimans te indignum quem terra sustineat, et qui lumen videas. Penitius introspice quam sis ingratus, infidelis tepidus, instabilis, miser ac vilis: et ad humillimam illam animi depressionem poteris pertingere.

If the old enemy knock importunately at the door of your heart, putting into your conceit that you should think yourself somebody, that you should vainly glory and compare yourself with others, repel the subtle villany, lock the doors against him, and although you feel some pestilent immissions, beware always of giving your consent; for if you consent, if you let in the impostor, and incline your mind to his unlawful allurements, you have broken your faith and vow, which you have made to the Bridegroom of your soul; you have polluted the bed of your Beloved, which before flourished; neither can you be admitted to His most blessed familiarity unless you cast out the adulterer and humble yourself exceedingly. And, peradventure, you shall not be received to favour 69unless you be first punished and afflicted for awhile, and that the filthy kisses which the impure spirit . has imprinted on your soul be razed out by the scourge of God. But enough has been spoken of this.

Si antiquus hostis importune pulsaverit ostium cordis tui, suggerens ut te aliquid esse existimes, vaneque glorieris, et aliis te prteponas, repelle insidiatorem, obsera fores: et quamvis sentias immissiones pestilentes, nunquam tamen consentias. Nam si consenseris, si impostori aperue. ris, et ad illicitas illecebras mentem inclinaveris, jam fidem quam Sponso animas tuce dederas infregisti: jam lectulum dilecti, qui prius floridus erat, maculasti: nec iterum ad beatissimam familiaritatem ejus admitti poteris, nisi, ejecto citius adultero multum te humiliaveris. Et priusquam omnino recipiaris in gratiam, forte necesse erit te dare pcenas, et aliquamdiu affligi, donec sordida illa oscula, quae impurissimus nebulo genis animce tuce impressit, flagello Dei deleta fuerint. Sed de his satis.


CH 9




Ch. 8: Food, Clothing, and asceticism (conversatio/askesis/way of life)

 CAPUT VII. [ p. 386]
Victus, vestitus et conversatio

HITHERTO we have spoken how you ought to assist at the Divine Office, what internal exercises you should undertake, what rule to be observed, what to be followed, what to be avoided in them. We will now pass to the rest that we have to speak of.

Hactenus quidem diximus quomodo divino Officio assistere, qute exercitia in terna assumere, et quam rationem observare: quid sequi, quidque vitare in illis debeas. Nunc ad reliqua qum dicenda sunt transeamus.

As for corporal nutrition, beware of all excess, lest, being overladen, you be made inapt for all spiritual exercises. For it cannot be but that the belly, swelling by intemperance, must needs draw away the mind from God and those things that belong to salvation. Wine especially, being more largely used, although without drunkenness, is a great impediment. It inflameth the body, confoundeth the internal parts, and, distressing the alacrity of the spirit, stirreth up a beastly kind of sluggishness. In vain, therefore, doth that man aspire to a spiritual life that yieldeth to his belly lop off, therefore, all vicious desires.

 Quantum ad refectionem corporalem attinet, omnem excessum cave: ne gravatus ad spiritualia exercitia reddaris. ineptior. Neque enim fieri potest: non potest, inquam, fieri, quin venter per intemperantiam distentus, animum a Deo et his qum salutis sunt, avocet. Praecipue vinum, etiam citra ebrietatem largius sumptum, impedimento est: corpus incendit, interiora confundit, et alacritate spiritus coarctata, pecuinum quemdam torporem inducit. Frustra itaque ad tualem vitam assurgere nititur, qui gulam necdum refrenare conatur. Vitiosa ergo desideria sedulo amputa.

Take no care whether your meat or drink be very delicate or sweet of itself. If it be man’s meat, and reasonable, what need you desire more? You are a Monk: come then to the table to refresh your body of God’s gifts, not to nourish the pleasures of the flesh.

An cibus vel potus quo uteris, multum exquisitus sit, aut suavis ex se, tu parum curaveris. Si sumi potest, et rationabilis: est, quid amplius exigis? Monacbus diceris: ad mensam accedere debuisti, ut dedonis Dei corpus reficeres, non ut voluptatem carnis foveres.

Wherefore, if you are troubled about the goodness of your victuals, and do murmur, as I have already said, so I say again—you are no Monk. If Jesus  were truly pleasing to your heart, what poor fare for His sake would not be pleasing to your palate. For Jesus  is a more pleasant sauce, even to extreme poverty. Love Him, and all manner of food will not be less, nay, will be more, pleasing unto you than the delicious banquets of Kings. Jesus , being hungry for your sake, was often fed with bare bread; Jesus , thirsting for your sake, drank vinegar and gall.

Quare si devictus vilitate perturbaris et murmuras, sicut prius dixi, sic et nunc dico, Monachus non es. Si cordi tuo vere saperet Jesus, quae eduliorum paupertas palato tuo propter Jesum non saperet? Ipse enim Jesus etiam extremae inopize gratissimum condimentum est. Ama Jesum: et escae simpliciores tibi non minus, imo vero amplius, suaves erunt, quam epulae regales. Jesus esuriens, nudo pane saepe pro te refectus est: Jesus sitiens aceto et felle pro te potatus est.

Take your meat and drink continently, leisurely, and moderately, excluding all brutish greediness. Have a care even of the natural delight that proceedeth from your natural refection. Do not reflect upon it, do not desire to feed your sensuality, for if you feed that it will feed on you and pollute you within. And as you must often deny the flesh what it evilly desireth, so sometimes you must force it to receive what it desireth not. For sometimes it doth in a manner loathe that which natural necessity requireth.

Continenter, sensim et moderate, cibum potumque sumito, omni aviditate brutali penitus exclusa. Etiam circa ipsam delectationem naturalem, quam refectio corporalis parit, vigila. Noli hzerere, noli hoc spectare, ut sensualitatem pascas: nam si illam pascere volueris, ipsa depascet et commaculabit interiora tua. Quemadmodum autem saepe negandum est carni, quod male concupiscit: ita nonnunquam cogenda est, ut id percipiat, quod percipere non desiderat. Aliquando enim vel tantillum fastidit, quantum naturae necessarium est.

Furthermore, beware that, while you refresh your body, your mind be not in the meantime hunger- starved. Therefore let the mouth of your heart feed on the word of God, and let your ears receive the wholesome doctrine and deeds of the Saints. And if you happen to sit at that table where there is no holy reading, do not thus deprive yourself of your spiritual food, but, as much as silence will permit, converse inwardly either with your soul or with God, and propose to yourself some godly thing to keep yourself doing.

Porro vide ne dum corpus reficitur mens jejuna maneat. Gustent interim fau ces cordis tui Verbum Dei, et doctrinam salutarem, factaque Sanctorum aures excipiant. Si forte ad eam mensam accumbis, in qua lectio sacra deest, tu ne sic quidem animam tuam cibo spirituali privaveris: sed quantum per silentium licet, cum ipsa aut cum Deo tuo intus colloquere, et pium aliquid apud te pertracta.


As in your diet, so be also in your apparel. Reject, scorn, and detest whatsoever is contrary to monastical simplicity. Neither do you imitate those vain and wretched Monks that are ashamed of their estate and vocation, but not of their lewd life and conversation; who, if they are to go abroad and to come into the sight of seculars, will bewray their foolishness and curiosity. They must, forsooth, have such and such clothes, and wear their cassock after this or that fashion. They are ashamed to wear their apparel according as religion doth ordain, and according to the Constitutions of their Superiors and ancestors. And coming abroad, not like humble Monks, but like delicate and neat courtiers, by this prodigious sight they provoke wise men to sorrow and indignation, but find matter of mirth for the devil, evidently showing by this absurdity what they are within, viz., proud, wanton, and full of vainglory.

In vestitu, sicut et in victu, sobrius esto. Quidquid monastic simplicitati contrarium est, id prorsus rejice, conspue et detestare. Neque vanissimos quosdam infelicissimosque fratres imitatus fueris, quos sui status pudet, et sute iniquitatis non pudet. Si quando egredi, vel ad conspectum s.tecularium venire debuerint, videas eos ad inepta curiosaque proruere, tales et tales vestes, sic et sic aptatas tunicas induere velle. Amictum cum regulari mandato, et Patrum ordinationibus convenientein, gestare erubescunt. Dumque non ut humiles monachi, sed ut delicati venustique aulici prodeunt, prodigioso spectaculo prudentes quidem homines ad mcerorem et indignationem, diabolum vero ad risum et cachinnos provocant; evidenter hac absurditate declarantes quales intus sint: nempe superbi, molles, et vana gloria pleni.

Alas! wretched Monks, far wide from the scope of true religion. O Monks—not Monks, but monsters! O Monks detestable, by being thus deluded by the devil’s clothing. Is this it that you promised to God, when, by the most sacred vow of poverty, you solemnly renounced the world, with all the pomps and vanities thereof? Is this it that the King of Kings has taught you by His word? Is this it that He has showed by His example, when, being wrapped in base clouts, He had no other cradle than a manger; when, likewise, He was apparelled in a white garment and a purple robe in scorn? Is this to follow Jesus ? Is this to follow Jesus ’ footsteps? O intolerable confusion! O extremity of madness! Look to yourself, Brother, that you become not like these, but rather be content with plain apparel, whether you be within the monastery or without, for thus much your profession exacteth of you.

O monachos a vera relicrione nimis alienos! o monachos non monachos! o monachos daemoniacos! Hoccine est, quod Deo promiserunt, quando per sacratissimum paupertatis votum, mundo, omnibusque ejus pompis et vanitatibus solemniter renuntiaverunt? Hoccine est, quod Rex regum verbo docuit? hoccine est, quod exemplo monstravit, quando panniculis vilibus indutus praesepe habuit pro cunabulis? quando item veste alba et chlamyde purpurea in opprobrium vestitus fuit? Hoccine est sequi Jesum? Hoccine est inhaerere vestigiis Jesu? 0 confusionem intolerabilem! o insaniam extremam! Attende tibi, frater, ne quando his similis efficiare: quin potius contentus esto rationabili vestimentorum simplicitate, sive in monasterio, sive extra monasterium fueris. Nam hoc a te tua professio exigit.

Everywhere, but especially during the Divine Office, keep your eyes from wandering, neither lightly look about you either this way or that, unless necessity require, lest you chance to see something that may hinder you from attention and purity of heart. But although there be no fear of danger, yet monastical discipline requireth that, whether you rest or go, you use modestly to look down upon the ground. Never look curiously on the face of any.

Ubique, sed maxime in divinis Officiis, visum comprime: neque leviter huc at que illuc sine necessitate circumspexeris: ne videas quod te ab attentione, cordisque puritate deturbare possit. Sed etsi periculum nullum immineat, ipsa tamen disciplina monastica exposcit, ut sive quiescas, sive procedas, verecundos demissosque oculos habere consuescas. Numquam curiose intenderis in faciem mulieris.

Let not your gait be too swift or hasty, especially in the Church, unless it happen of necessity that it must be so. Neither out of the Church let it be overdone, or remiss, but modest and civil. In all things compose yourself to a laudable carriage of your whole body.

Incessus tuus non sit nimium celer aut concitatus, prrecipue in Oratorio: nisi forte aliqua necessitas requirat accelerationem. Neque rursus extra Oratoriumi appareat nimium tardus aut remissus; sed sit modestus et honestus. Totum corpus tuum ubique sub laudabili compositione contine.

Let your looks before others be pleasing, with a decent gravity, behaving yourself courteously and affably towards all. And if against your will you happen to be over-sorrowful, so dissemble it that you seem not unpleasant and harsh, and so be troublesome to the rest. When you are forced to laugh, laugh sparingly and like a Monk. Avoid long laughter as a great impediment to you in your purpose, and as the destruction of your soul; knowing that vehement and immoderate laughter doth violate the cloisters of modesty, and, dispersing the interior powers of the soul, driveth the grace of the Holy Ghost out of your heart.

Vultum tuum cum decente gravitate hilarem coram aliis exhibe, benignum et affabilem omnibus te praebens. Si te vel invitum altior aliqua tristitia oppresserit, eam sic dissimula, ne plane tetricus et amarus videaris, caeterisque molestus fias. Quando ridere compelleris, non nisi continenter et monastice rideto: ita ut risus tuus vix risus dici possit. Cachinnum, tamquam ingens propositi tui impedimentum, atque altum animae praecipitium, fuge: sciens quia risus excussus indisciplinatusque claustra pudoris violat, et dissipatis interioribus, Spiritus Sancti gratiam e corde profligat.

Above all things, love solitude, silence, and taciturnity. Be more ready to hear than to speak. Be not hasty, nor turbulent, nor clamorous, nor contentious in words; but speak modestly, bashfully, courteously, and, without dissembling, what is true and right. Be not, I say, too loud; nor yet so low that you cannot be understood, especially if the place, time, cause, or person to whom you speak require that you speak somewhat more loud than ordinary; for, as the voice of a Monk should always be bashful, and for the most part low, according to the holy ordinations of religion, so also sometimes it ought to be reasonably loud.

Solitudinem, silentium et taciturnitatem praecipue dilige. Semper paratior ad sermonem audiendum, quam ad proferendum esto. Non praeceps, non turbulentus, non clamosus, non contentiosus in verbis appareas: sed modeste, vere cunde et benigne, sine simulatione, qute vera rectaque sunt loquere. Non, inquam, indecenter vocem eleves: neque rursum sic deprimas, ut intelligi vix possis: przesertim si locus, tempus, causa, vel persona cui loqueris, exigit ut clarius loquaris. Nam vox monachi sicut semper quidem verecunda, frequenter autem submissa esse debet, juxta sanctas Religionis ordinationes: ita debet et nonnunquam esse rationabiliter clara.

Affirm nothing obstinately, unless matter of faith or necessity of salvation constrain; but whosoever contradicteth you, either yield or hold your peace; if neither ought to be done, affirm with modesty and humility what you know to be certain; for by this means you, shall take away all occasion of irreligious contention. Let not your words be biting.

Non facile aliquid pertinaciter affirrnaveris, nisi fidei negotium et salutis necessitas cogat. Verum ubicumque contradictorem habes, ibi vel cede et sile, vel si cedendum silendumque non est, cum modestia et humilitate affirma quod tibi certum est. Sic enim omnis irreligiosae contentionis occasionem facilius sustuleris. Verba tua aculeis careant.

Willingly speak not anything that may be either to your own credit or others discommendation. But if out of necessity or utility, you speak any such thing, do it with a laudable modesty and a pure intention.

Non libenter ea dicas, ex quibus aut tu laudari, aut alius vituperari possit. Quod necessitas utilitasve poposcit, ut talia proferantur, laudabilis pudor, et pura intentio adsit.

Abhor dissolute tales as the poison of the soul. As for jests (if they happen in your presence), albeit you suffer them, yet relate them not. Never consent to a tongue that speaketh foolishly, unseemly, and perniciously. Yea, if such things are spoken, do you, if it seem good, mildly and with reason find fault with the speaker; if you think it not good, yet at least cut off his speech honestly and endeavour to draw him to better discourse: if, possibly, you may give no ear to backbiters.

Fabulas dissolutas, sicut venenum animae tuae prmparatum, exhorresce: et gas (dum te preesente incidunt) si tuleris, vide ne referas. Lingum inepta, indecora, et perniciosa loquenti, nunquam consentias. Imo vero dum talia dicuntur, mansuete, rationabiliterque corripe dicentem, si opportunum vel congruum videtur: si non est opportunum, tu saltem sermonem, quantum in te est, honeste succide, et eum ad alia, qum mala non sunt, transferre satage. Verbis detractoriis nec aurem quidem accommodes, si fieri potest.

The liberty of external recreation granted you, either by walking or other wise, see you abuse not; that is, make such use of them that they hinder not your spiritual going forward, but rather further it. You may, indeed, to the honour of God slake your mind, but let it not loose, lest, whilst you wander abroad, being expelled out of yourself, some delight or passion contrary to the spirit lay hold on you, and disperse your interior senses and replenish them with bitterness. Therefore carefully learn, by a certain advised simplicity of mind, to abide within yourself, that the noise of vain cogitations and the motion of inordinate affections being represented, you may keep your heart in silence and liberty.

Recreationibus externis, vel inambulabus licitis dum uteris, cave abutaris est circumspecte utere, ut spiritualem profectum adjuvent, non impediant. Potes quidem animum ad bonorem Dei remittere, sed eum dimittere non debes: ne dum a teipso expulsus foris vagaris, oblectatio spiritui contraria, seu qumvis passio comprebendat te, et inte riora tua dissipet, repleatque amaritudine. Ergo solerter apud temetipsum, per argumentosam quamdam mentis simplicitatem, permanere disce: ut strepitu levium cogitationum, motuque inordinatarum fectionum represso, cor in silentio ut libertate custodiat.

Let God be your chief, yea, your whole thought and study, for it is not enough for you that He be your whole intention.Likewise, in all external occupations endeavour that, with Martha, you do not only for the honour of God perform your work prudently, devoutly, and with alacrity, but that also in those works which you faithfully do to the honour of God, with Mary, you direct your mind, being freed from the tumult of cogitations and the confused imagination of sensible things, to God, or those things that are divine, especially if reasonable discourse or any other necessity hinder not.

Deus prtecipua, vel etiam tota cogitatio tua sit: neque enim boc tibi ubique satis esse debet, ut tota intentio sit. Simi liter et in quibuslibet aliis exterioribus occupationibus adnitere, ut non solum opera tua propter Dei honorem, prudenter, devote, alacriterque cum Martha perficias; verum etiam ut in iisdem operibus, qute ad honorem Dei sic fideliter agis, mentem a tumultu cogitationum, et confusa rerum sensibilium imaginatione expeditam, ad Deum seu divina, cum Mario. dirigas: maxime si rationabile colloquium aut alia necessitas non impedit.

CH 10


Martha may serve as a mirror for imperfect Religious men; Mary for such as are grown to perfection

[p. 395]

MARTHA, because she is distracted in her external actions and in her right intentions by the multiplicity of vain cogitations, and is troubled about many things, although peradventure she be not deformed, yet is she not comely enough. But Mary, because she knows how to forsake the troops of unstable cogitations, and persisting in unity and tranquillity of mind, doth strive to cleave to goodness itself, is of more perfect beauty. Wherefore howsoever you are externally occupied, love not only to be right and innocent with Martha, but also to be clear and simple with Mary. Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken away from her. And you have chosen the same; which unless you keep, according to your power, you produce not fruit worthy your profession.

Martba, quia adhuc per multiplicitatem variarum cogitationum in sua recta ini.entione, et suis externis operibus distrahitur,, turbaturque erga plurima, quamvis deformis forte non sit, nondum tamen satis decora est. Maria autem, quia turbas instabilium cogitationum jam declinare novit, et in unitate tranquillitateque cordis commanens, summo bono adhoerere studet, perfectioris decoris est. Igitur in intentione tua dum exterius occuparis, non tantum rectus et innocens cum Martha, sed etiam simplex et clarus cum Maria esse dilige. Maria  optimam partem elegit, guce non auferetur ab ea. Et tu eamdem partem elegisti: quam nisi pro modulo tuo tenueris, dignum tua professione fructum non adfers.

Have therefore always a charitable simplicity of mind if you be yet a little one in Christ, and are not able to follow Mary, soaring so high in mind; imitate her humility, imitate her affectionate watering our Lord’s feet with tears, imitate her most lovingly seeking our Lord in the sepulchre. For even in these she had simplicity of mind; she loved one thing, she thought on one thing, she sought one thing. But imitate her not for your own delight, but to please our Lord. For if by spiritual delectation you do principally seek yourself in these, your soul is not the chaste spouse of Christ, but the most base servant of sin; I might say, the devil’s impure hackney.

Ubiquae ergo simplicitatem mentis charam habeto. Si parvulus es in Christo, et non vales Mariam mente sublimia penetrantem adsequi, imitare saltem eamdem humilioribus intentain: imitare eam pedes Domini lacrymis affectuosissime rigantem: imitare eam verba Domini dulcissime excipientem: imitare eam Dominum in sepulchro amorosissime requirentent. Nam et in his simplicitatem mentis habuit: unum amavit, unum cogitavit, unum quaesivit. Imitare autem, non tam ut delecteris, quam ut ipsi Domino placeas. Si enim per oblectationem sensualem, principaliter teipsum in his quaeris, non est pudica sponsa Christi anima tua: sed est vilissima serva peccati, ne dicam spurcissima meretrix diaboli.

You shall at length merit to be admitted to the apprehension of higher mysteries by these that are more low, if I may so call them, which, indeed, are not low, but of a wondrous height.

Ad sublimiorum apprehensionem per hujusmodi humiliora nonnunquam ad mitti mereberis: si tamen ea convenit humiliora appellare. Neque enim humilia, sed prorsus altissima sunt.

In all things that differ not from the sincerity of a monastic life, conform yourself to the Community, still avoiding vicious irregularity. And because you live among Monks that live laudably according to the sweet austerity of a holy Rule, be not singular in abstinence and watching; neither exceed the rest of the Monks therein, unless by the 80revelation of the Holy Ghost you know it to be the will and pleasure of God.

In omnibus, qure a sinceritate status monastici aliena non sunt, conforma te communitati, vitiosam singularitatem ubi.que vitans. Et quia habitas inter fratres secundum suavissimam sanctre Regulae austeritatem laudabiliter viventes, abstinentiae, vigiliaeque singulares tibi omnino suspectffl sint: neque notabiliter in eis prae caeteris confratribus excedas, nisi, Spiritu Sancto revelante, cognoveris Dei esse voluntatem et beneplacitum.

Neither attempt anything without the counsel and consent of your Superior, lest, while you presume of your own head to afflict your body beyond measure, you make yourself unable for good works, and wholly deprive yourself of the fruit of your labour. God requireth of you purity of mind, not the overthrow of your body. He would that you should subject it to the spirit, not oppress it. Therefore, as well in external exercises as internal, temper the fervour of your mind with a holy discretion.

Sed nec absque Superioris consilio et consensu aliquid attentes: ne, dum corpus ultra mensuram ex tuo sensu affligere priesumis, et ipsum ad bona opera reddas inutile, et te fructu laboris tui penitus prives. Deus puritatem cordis a te requirit, non corpusculi destructionem. Vult ut ipsum spiritui subjicias, non vult ut opprimas. Igitur in externis, sicut et in internis exercitiis, animi fervorem sancta discretione tempera.

If your will, being more slow to virtue. and remiss, do, as it were, sleep, rouse it up, spur it forward. But if, having too much bridle, it run too fast, repress and check it. Always assist it with holy fear in the presence of God. And let these words always resound in the ears of your heart—“Look to thyself.” Consider not over-curiously the deeds of others, what are their manners and behaviour, unless it belong unto you as an officer. Let your curiosity and business be about yourself. Howbeit, think not in this that I would have you make no account of the excesses or sins of others, or neglect to amend them as much as in you lieth, or procure them to be amended. For we condemn curiosity, not holy zeal of justice. We commend not what in this case is not against mature stability, or contrary to the sincere love of your neighbour.

Si voluntas ad virtutem pigrior, remissiorque veluti dormitat, excita eam et adde calcar: si vero habenis excussis fertur impetu, reprime et coerce eam. Sempei cum sancto timore in praesentia Dei tui assiste: semper in auribus cordis tui hmc verba resonent: Attende tibi. Non multum curiose consideraveris quid alii agant, quales sint mores et gestus eorum, nisi forte ex officio tibi incumbat. Circa teipsum sit curiositas et occupatio tua. Ubi tamen non dicimus, ut aliorum excessus et peccata parvipendas, eaque quantum in te est, emendare, vel emetidanda procurare negligas. Curiositatem enim dainnamus, non charitatem et sanctum justitiae zelum. Quod in hac parte contra maturam animi stabilitatem, et sinceram proximi dilectionem non est, hoc non vituperamus.

These vices that you see in others, or hear of them, either think them not to be simply true, or interpret them in the better part; but if they be so manifest that no interpretation can qualify them, endeavour to separate your sight both of body and mind from them, and reflecting on your own sins, if you have leisure, humbly pray to God both for yourself and them. For so shall you more easily avoid unquiet suspicions and rash judgements.

Ipsa vitia, quae in aliis vides, et de aliis audis, aut non esse omnino vera simpliciter putato, aut certe in meliorem partem ea interpretare. Quod si tam manifesta sunt, ut in bOnam partein interpretari nulla ratione possint, adspectum tuum, cogitationemque tuam ab illis separare stude: sed et ad tua ipsius peccata conversus, tam pro te, quam pro eis, Deum humiliter deprecare, si datur opportunitas. Sic enim suspiciones inquietas, et temeraria judicia facilius effugies.

But beware that with consent of reason you rejoice not at another’s sin, though of small moment, or of any adversity; but mourn for your brother before our Lord, calling to mind that we are members one of another, all one body, and redeemed all with the same blood. Learn not to be angry, but to pity the defects of others, and patiently to bear with them, whether they be defects of body or mind.

Cave item summopere ne de alicujus peccato etiam leviori, aut tle quavis adversitate unquam gaudeas, ratione con sentiente: verum ingemisce coram Domino pro fratre tuo, recogitans quia sumus invicem membra et unum corpus, omnes eodem sanguine redempti. Disce non indignari, sed compati defectibus aliorum, eosque aequanimiter portare, sive corporum, sive animorum defectus sint.

For it is written, “Bear one another’s burdens;” and so you shall fulfil the law of Christ. Let not the heavenly grace which you observe in others excite you to satanical envy, but to a faithful imitation and godly congratulation. And although you have not the spiritual good that you know another to be blessed with, yet rejoice in heart that God is honoured by it: as readily thank our Lord for it as if it were your own.

Scriptum est enim: Alter alterius onera portate, et sic adimplebitis legem Christi. Quidquid autem ccelestis gratice in aliis animadvertis, id non ad livorem satanicum, sed ad fidelem imitationem piamque aggratulationem te excitet. Et quamvis spirituale bonum,' quod alium possidere cognoscis, ipse non possideas, Itetare tamen apud temetipsum, quod Deus per illud honoretur: neque segnius gratias egeris Domino, quam si tuum foret bonum.

And, indeed, it will be to your own good, and you shall be crowned for another’s as for your own. Nay, more; it shall become your own. So order your mind that you desire not to please the world, nor fear to displease it. In man, although very nearly allied, love nothing but good, or the grace and workmanship of good. And again, hate nothing but vice.

Et revera tuum efficietur bonum, coronaberisque de alieno tanquam de proprio: imo vero et proprium erit. Sic animum institue, ut mundo neque placere affectes, neque displicere perti mescas. In homine etiam propinquissimo dilige prtesertim Deum, seu Dei gratiam atque opfficium: et rursus nihil oderis proeter vitia.

Offend not God willingly, either for kinsmen, friends, or any other body’s sake, though never so well deserving at your own hands; neither favour, flatter, or applaud any one in any sin. Do not earnestly desire the presence or speech of any man unless it be for some spiritual good; and yet a perplexed earnestness is neither, then, good. Love all men, but spiritually, not sensually. For so it will come to pass, that you will not be inordinately troubled at the corporal absence of such as are 83virtuous or your friends, nor afflicted at the corporal presence of such as are vicious or your enemies.

Nullus sit, quantumvis affinis, familiaris, aut de te bene meritus, in cujus gratiam paratus sis etiam levissime Deum offendere, vel cui in aliquo peccato favere, adulari et applaudere velis. Nullius hominis paesentiam aut alloquium anxie expetieris, nlsl spiritualis profectus gratia: quamquam ne sic quidem perplexa anxietas bona erit. Omnes ama, sed spiritualiter, non sensualiter. Ita enim fiet, ut neque de corporali absentia justorum vel amicorum inordinate angaris, neque de corporali praesentia peccatorum aut inimicorurn indecenter affligaris.

Nay, esteem no man your enemy, but love even your persecutors, as the most dear furtherers of your salvation. Whatsoever you see, hear, or perceive in creatures to be delightful and worthy of singular admiration, either by their natural disposition, or the art and industry of man, refer it to the praise of the great Creator, or the use of eternal beatitude, that you may be delighted in our Lord. Always be afraid of sensual delectation, whencesoever it has its beginning. For if you seek yourself by that and cleave to it, you will be entangled and defiled.

Imo nullum habebis inimicum, sed etiam persecutores tuos, tamquam carissimos salutis tute promotores, diliges. Quidquid in creaturis, vel ex naturali dispositione vel ex hominum arte seu  industria delectabile, singularique admiratione dignum conspicis, audis et percipis, id ad summi creatoris laudem, aut ad æeternæe heatitudinis statum refer, ut delecteris in Domino. Semper tibi suspecta sit delectatio sensualis, undecumque etiam emersit. Nam si per eam te quoesieris, illique inhmseris, inviscaberis et maculaberis.

Utterly detest the love of all sinners, yea, even of the very least. By which, notwithstanding, if, peradventure, being overreached, you fall out of frailty, afflict not yourself unreasonably with inordinate pusillanimity, but humbly confess your fault before our Lord, and renewing your good purpose and piously taking heart, cast all your defects into the unsearchable profundity of His mercies or His most holy wounds. As long as you live in this clay building of your body, you may mortify in yourself the affections of lesser sinners, but wholly avoid to slip into them you cannot.

Omnium peccatorum, etiam levissimo rum, affectum prorsus detestare: quibus tamen forte przeoccupatus si ex fragilitate decideris, uoli inordinata pusillanimitate teipsum intempestive aftligere, sed humiliter confitere culpam coram Domino; et renovato proposito, fiduciaque pie resumpta, omnes defectus tuos in abyssum misericordiarum ejus, aut in sacrosancta vulnera ipsius affectuose projice. Quamdiu in luteo isto corporis habitaculo degis, minorum peccatorum affectus in te mortificare potes, lapsus in totum cavere non potes.

Godly Monks, although they slip sometimes, yea, very often, yet they hate sinning and beware of it, and grieve after they have offended; but perverse Monks sin without hating, without bewailing of it. For they take no pains to extinguish the affections of lesser faults, nor to avoid the occasion of them. They desire the liberty of a more loose life; they love to be absent from Divine Office and other conventual acts; they desire delicate and superfluous meat and drink; they espy out opportunities of trifling; they affect inordinate laughter. They, delight in secular businesses, to see vanities, to have curious things for their own use: self-complacence, foolish joy, idleness, vain talk, fables, fantastic behaviour, and such other vices are with them not at all, or scarcely accounted, faults; in their conscience they make no bones of them. For being made insensible, they think themselves whole when they are deeply wounded, and, therefore, neither care for lamenting their sins, nor amending their life. But what say they? These, say they, are no wounds, or if they be, they are very little ones, and as much as nothing. O wretched Monks! O mad Monks! O Monks, not Monks! For although they seem little, yet, because they are not afraid to receive them, and after receipt of them defer to cure them, they become mortal. I speak nothing of their falling into pride, rebellion, disobedience, murmurings, fury, detractions, hatred, envy, contempt, gluttony, with other hideous sins, and all by this negligence. Do not, Brother, do not imitate these; for they are not disciples of the Crucified, and the beloved friends of God; neither ever shall be, unless they leave off to be what they are. Look you better to yourself, leave, remove, cast aside whatsoever may any way hinder you from the true love of God.

Pii monachi etsi nonnunquam vel  etiam m frequenter delinquunt, delinque re tamen et oderunt, et cavent semper, dolent que postquam offenderint. Perversi vero monachi et delinquunt, et delinquere nec oderunt, nec cavent. Leviorum enim culparum nec affectus extinguere, nec occasio nes vitare laborant. Libertatem laxioris vitge desiderant: a divino Officio, caeterisque actionibus conventualibus abesse gandent: delicatum superfluumque cibum aut potum percipere gestiunt: opportnnitates nugandi exquirunt, inordinati risus solatia affectant: secularia audire, vana videre, curiosa in suos particulares usus accipere ardent: propriam complacentiam, ineptam ketitiam, otium, vaniloquia, fabulas, gestus incompositos, cceteraque hujusmodi vitia, aut non esse vitia, aut vix esse vitia judicant, sine scrupulo conscienthe ea admittunt. Nimirum insensibiles effecti, vulneribus acceptis, se sanos existirnant: ob idque nec mala sua plangere, nec vitam corrigere student. Sed quid dicunt? Non sunt, inquiunt, vulnera; aut si sunt vulnera, admodum parva, et fere nulla sunt, 0 monachos infelices! o monacbos dementes! o monachos non monachos! Nam quantumlibet parva vulnera videantur, quia tamen nec cavent ne ea suscipiant, nec postquam susceperint, debitam curam adhibent, omnino mortifera redduntur: ut interim omittam, quod etiam ex tali negligentia frequenter ipsi in superbiam, rebellionem, inobedientiam, murmurationem, furorem, detractionem, odium, invidiam, contemptum, gulam et alia enormia peccata corruant. Noli, frater, noli hos imitari: neque enim ex veris Crucifixi discipulis, et dilectis Dei amicis sunt: sed nec poterunt, quamdiu non desierint tales esse, quales sunt. Tu tibi melius prospice: relinque, amove, dissipa, respue qutecumque te a divino amore vel minimum retardare possunt. Per omnimodam tui mortificationem, tamquam per certum unicumque compendium, ad perfectionem vitm festina.

CH 11


By mortification, as by a certain and compendious way, hasten to perfection of life.


 Compendium on perfection, mortification, and what exercise ought to conclude a holy day.

CAPUT VIII. [p. 405]
 Compendium ad perfectionem, mortificatio; et quomodo exercitia diei sancte terminari debeant.

WOULD you like to hear in a few words what this generality of mortification is? Will you know that only certain short cut? I will tell you I will show you. Give ear therefore. Put off all propriety. Behold this short way. Put off all propriety. And what is the meaning of this? Lay aside all you own will and seeking put off all the old man.

Vis paucis audire quae sit omnimoda tui mortificatio? Vis audire certum illud compendium? ego dicam, ego monstrabo intende igitur: Omnem proprietatem exue, rieodo. ecce compendium, omnem proprietatem exue. Et quid est hoc? Omnem propriam voluntatem, seu quaesitionem exue: totum veterem hominem exue.

But that you may the better understand what is spoken, I will propose the same a little more plainly.

Sed, ut melius intelligas quod dicitur, ego idem paulo diffusius proponam

Have you bound yourself to the observance of poverty? Why, then, be poor. Poor, how is that? Be poor in the desire of wealth and passions of the mind, poor in spirit. If you love and desire anything by propriety of affection and sensuality; if as yet you seek yourself in anything, you are yet voluntary, you are not yet truly poor; you cannot yet, with St. Peter, say to God, “So we have left all, and have followed You.” Strip yourself, leave all, put off all propriety. Whatsoever is not God, let not abide in your heart by cleaving to it, or inordinately loving it. Be free from all things that are besides God; insomuch, that I would have you neither foolishly to rejoice for any good news, nor to be inordinately dejected for any bad; and whether you have not received what you yet have not, or have lost what you have, every way keep a stable and quiet state of mind.

Adstrinxisti te ad paupertatis observantiam? Pauper esto. Quomodo pauper? Pauper rebus, magis tamen pauper rerum affectibus, et animi passionibus: pauper spiritu. Si adhuc aliquid per proprietatem affectus atque sensualitatis amas aut desideras, si adbuc in aliquo te quaeris, non dum voluntarie, nondum vere pauper es: nondum cum beato Petro dicere Deo potes: Ecce nos reliquimus omnia, et secuti sumus te. Expedi te, relinque omnia, exue omnem proprietatem. Quidquid Deus non est, id in corde tuo per adhaesionem, sive inordinatam implicationem non sit. Ab omnibus quae citra Deum sunt, liber esto: ita ut neque inepte gaudeas propter laata, neque inordinate dejiciaris propter tristia; et sive non acceperis quee nondum habes, sive perdideris qute jam habes, stabilem tranquillumque mentis statum utrobique serves.

For God’s sake utterly deny all sensible things, yea, even yourself. Which is as much as to say, mortify in yourself the force of concupiscence, delight, anger, and natural indignation; and as well in adversity as prosperity resign yourself over to God’s divine pleasure, without any contradiction of will.

Omnia, inquam, sensibilia et teipsum prorsus abnega propter Deum. Quod pe rinde est, ac si diceretur: Vim concupiscentim, delectationis, irte, indignationisque naturalis in te mortifica: et in omnibus tam adversis quam prosperis, te in divinum beneplacitum sine aliqua voluntatis contradictione resigna.

I have showed you that this short way and general mortification of yourself in none other than the general casting away of all propriety, that is, a humiliation of yourself in all kinds. For, indeed, perfect humility itself is that shortest way, by which you go straightforward to the port of perfection.

Demonstravi compendium, ostendique omnimodam tui mortificationem, omnimodam esse proprietatis abjectionem, hoc est, omnimodam tui humiliationem. Revera enim perfecta humilitas, ipsa est istud compendium, per quod recta ad perfectionis arcem pervenies. Hoec autem arx, perfecta charitas seu puritas est.

Now this port is perfect charity, or purity. You will demand how you may know whether you have attained to that port. I will give you manifest instructions. If always abiding in silence of heart, as in a most quiet haven, you affectionately direct and incline towards God your mind, being free from all inordinate care, affection, and earnest imagination of things that are below you, and, in a word, from all disquiet and tumult, so that your memory, your understanding, your will—that is, your whole spirit—possessing the above-named port, be happily united to God.

Et quo, inquis, pacto, cognoscam, an ad eam arcem pervenerim? Ego etiam id tibi manifesto. Si in silentio cordis tui in portu tranquillissimo, assidue commanens, mentem ab omni inordinata cura, affectione, pressiorique imaginatione rerum infimarum, ab omni denique inquietudine et tumultu absolutam, in Deum affectuose dirigis ac reclinas: ita ut memoria tua, intellectus tuus, voluntasque tua, id est, totus spiritus tuus ipsi Deo feliciter uniatur, preedictam arcem tenes. Ista enim totius perfectionis summa est.

This is the sum of all perfection. For although, being clothed with this corruptible flesh, we cannot always by present insight and memory stick to the theory and speculation of God, yet here we ought always to be fixed by our intention; and hither, as to a mark, we ought carefully to recall our mind as often as we waste ourselves by unseasonable, light, and unsettled cogitations. As long as by reading, meditating, hearing, or speaking, we profitably and sincerely treat of any contemplative and spiritual matter, we are not separated from God. Neither when, occasion, requiring, we do with the like sobriety and sincerity speak or think of external matters in their due time, do we go far from God.

Quamvis autem Dei theorim et speculationi per preesentem intuitum atque memoriam jugiter inkerere non possimus carne corruptibili adhuc circumamicti hic tamen nos per intentionem semper fixos esse convenit, et huc, veluti ad scopum, sedulo mentem revocare debemus, quoties per intempestivas, leves, incompostasque cogitationes defluimus. Quando legendo, meditando, scribendo, audiendo, loquendo, qutelibet theoretica et spiritualia  utiliter sinceriterque tractamus, non elongamur a contemplatione Dei: sed nec  quando externa queeque cum simili since ritate et sobrietate suis temporibus pro necessitate audimus, loquimur et cogitamus, procul a Deo recedimus.

Oh, what a brave philosopher, what a wise man, what an excellent divine shall I account you oh, how happy and blessed, if you convey these things by your corporal ears into the ears of your heart, and, being stirred up to the true mortification of yourself, do lay the axe to the root of the tree. But what tree is this? It is propriety, of which we spake a little before. But what is the axe, then? It is the fervour of spiritual and internal exercise. But chiefly the daily handling of our Lord’s Passion, and often aspirations to God, with prompt obedience and a reasonable sobriety of diet, are this axe. It is certainly a sharp axe, a blessed axe, a most grateful axe, an axe that brings with it all good and all purity, a golden axe, and decked with precious stones.

0 te eximium philosophum o te sapientem! o te insignem theologum! o ter quaterque felicem et beatum, si haec non tantum aure corporis, verum etiam aure cordis percipis, atque ad veram tui mortificationem accensus, radici arboris securim admoves! Quoenam est btec arbor? Ipsa proprietas, de qua paulo ante loquebamur. Quaenam est securis? Ipse fervor spiritualis internique exercitii. Proecipue tamen assidua Dominicm passionis pertractatio, et crebroe ad Deum adspirationes, cu m prompta obedientia, rationabilique victus sobrietate, securis sunt. Profecto securis acuta, securis benedicta, securis gratissima, securis omnium bonorum totiusque puritatis conciliatrix, securis auro fulgens et gemmis ornata.

But the tree is a cursed tree, a tree full of most bitter fruits, a tree of all evil, a tree that produces and nourishes all inordinateness, a tree of obscurity and darkness. This tree is in you, as also in all others, and as long as it abides in you, your cannot have perfect light. If, therefore, you desire clearly. to behold the bright beams of the Sun of Justice, cut down this tree and cast it from you. It is a very thick and hard tree, not to be cut down at the first blow, nor the first day, nor, perchance, the first year; no, nor peradventure in a long time together. Wherefore, perseverance and patience are requisite.

Arbor vero, arbor maledicta, arbor amarissimis fructibus plena, arbor omnium malorum, omnisque inordinationis productrix et nutrix, arbor obscura et tenebrosa. In te est ista arbor, sicut et in coeteris omnibus: in te est, et quamdiu permanserit in te, perfecta lux non erit in te. Si igitur serenissimum Solis justitiae jubar clarius intueri desideras, detrunca arborem, et projice abs te. Crassa duraque admodum est, non primis ictibus, nec primo die, nec forte primo anno, nec forte multo tempore prorsus dejicietur: perseverantia et longanimitate opus est.

Now, as gold, if there be no let, naturally goes downwards, and the flame of fire is carried upwards, so the mind that is purged and purified from the dross of propriety, and seeks only the will of God, is naturally elevated to her beginning, which is God, and is more freely united to Him; but the mind that is partly purged of it, although she tend to her beginning, and be in some sort illustrated from above by the brightness of eternal light, yet, notwithstanding, because all impediment is not taken away, she cannot have free passage nor flow to, nor be swallowed up in, the bottomless depth of eternal light; that is, she cannot freely be united to God, her principal and greatest good.

Quemadmodum autem aurum deorsum, et flamma ignis sursum, ablato obice, natale turaliter fertur: ita mens, quae ab omni proprietate jam defmcata, depurataque est, et solum divinum beneplacitum quoerit, naturaliter in suam originem, nempe Deum, elevatur, eique liberius unitur. Mens vero, qute aliqua ex parte tantum nudata est, quamvis et ipsa in suam originem tendat, candoreque lucis teternae desuper aliquo modo illustretur: quia tamen impedimentum omne necdum ablatum est, non potest libere in ipsam lucis aeternte abyssum transire, fluere et absorberi; hoc est, non potest libere uniri Deo summo bono suo.

Furthermore, although God out of His bounty be pleased sometimes to lift up some to His love by a more easy way without many temptations, yet let no man, although enriched with spiritual gifts, easily believe that he has attained to the perfect resignation of himself, unless in very deed he has endured many most grievous adversities, and has kept a perfect quietness and liberty of mind in the toleration of them

Porro licet benignissimus Deus aliquos ad amorem sui placidiori quadam via, absque multis tentationibus nonnumquam sublevet, nemo tamen, quantumvis donis spiritualibus ditetur, facile confidat, se ad consummatam resignationem sui pervenisse: nisi reipsa plurimas gravissimasque adversitates sustinuerit, et in earum toleratione perfectam mentis quietem libertatemque servaverit.

There are many that, as long as they feel no checks, no injuries, no losses, no temptations, no troubles, seem devout, patient, and humble; but, as soon as they are once touched by them, they proudly show, by murmuring, indignation, and impatience, how little they are mortified. Wherefore, before any one can be thought to have attained to the true abnegation of himself, he must necessarily endure many adversities with a voluntary and quiet mind.

Multi sane, quamdiu nullas increpationes, nullas injurias, nulla damna, nullas tentationes et molestias accipiunt, devoti, patientes, humilesque videntur; sed ubi increpationibus, injuriis, damnis, tentationibus, atque molestiis attacti fuerint, mox per murmurationem, indignationem et impatientiam, superbe demonstrant, quam intus immortificati sint. Ergo priusquam aliquis ad veram sui abnegationeni pertigisse credi possit, necesse est eum multifarias adversitates animo voluntario et tranquillo perpeti.

And as for one who has been exactly tried by God in afflictions, let him think that he has not yet gone so far as that he is able to endure them; for if he had, without doubt he should not want occasions of diverse tribulations; for God rejoices to adorn the soul more secretly and perfectly joined to Him with manifold afflictions, as it were with so many precious pearls, and so to bring it to the true similitude of Jesus  Christ .

Qui nondum affiictionibus exacte a Deo probatus est, cogitet se nondum eo promovisse, ut eas perferre possit. Nam si eo promovisset, ipsi procul dubio occasiones diversarum tribulationum non deessent. Gaudet namque Divinitas animam secretius perfectiusque sibi junctam multiplicibus allectionibus, tamquam pretiosissimis margaritis exornare, et ita eam ad veram Jesu Christi similitudinem perducere.

He, therefore, that, rejecting propriety in all things, conforms his will to the divine will and ordinance, being equally prepared to undergo any adversity, confusion, subtraction of internal sweetness for God’s sake, as he would the affluence of any prosperity, honour, and devotion; he, I say, that is come to that pass, that he can endure all temptation and tribulation with a certain internal sweetness and joy, this man has found a precious pearl; this man has attained to the highest degree of perfection; he is everywhere, and in all occasions, united to God, and most sweetly poureth his soul to Him.

Qui ergo, proprietate exuta, voluntatem suam voluntati ordinationique divinae omnibus omnino conformat, æque paratus quamlibet adversitatem, confusionem, ac dulcedinis interme substractionem propter Deum suscipere, sicut cujusvis prosperitatis, honoris et devotionis affluentiam: qui, inquam, ad hoc pervenit, ut omnem tentationem ac tribulationem cum quodam sapore interno et gaudio portare possit, is pretiosam margaritam invenit, is ad supremum perfectionis culmen pertigit. In omni namque loco et negotio Deo unitus est, menteque in eum dulcissime fluit.

He doth purely, quietly, simply, joyfully, and sweetly walk all the day long in the light of our Lord’s countenance and can adhere to highest contemplation when he pleaseth with the same facility that he doth live and breathe. What in this vale of misery he may receive from Heaven, and to what God will be pleased familiarly to admit him, it lieth not in our power to speak, for, indeed, they are things unspeakable. Let him that is such glorify God, and confess that Jesus  Christ  has raised up the needy from the earth, and lifted up the poor out of the dung, since that of an impure man here on earth He has made an Angel like to God.

Tota die purus, tranquillus, simplex, leetus, et suavis in lumine vultus Domini ambulat: tantaque facilitate summ contemplationi inhoerere potest, dum inhxrere vult, quanta facilitate vivit et spirat. Quid in hac valle miseriae ccelitus accipiat, et ad quae Deus familiariter eum admittat, non est nostrum dicere: ineffabilia enim sunt. Det gloriam Deo qui talis est, fateaturque quia Jesus Christus suscitavit a terra inopena, et de stercore erexit pauperem, quando de homine immundo hic in terris Angelum fecit deiformem.

CH 12


A Monk or Nun, by virtue of their profession, is bound to tend to perfection


YOU will, peradventure, say, Oh, this perfection is too much above me, therefore will I not stretch myself, nor endeavour to apprehend it, lest I should labour in vain. But my answer is, that if you do according to your words, you are no Monk; for, although you are not bound to attain to perfection, yet are you bound, as much as in you lieth, to endeavour to attain to it. Flatter yourself how you will, persuade yourself as you will, fain and pretend what excuses you will, you are bound with might and main to tend to perfection. It is even so and not otherwise. If hitherto you have been ignorant of it, henceforth ignorance cannot excuse you; you have bound and obliged yourself, and so you shall remain.

Dicis tu forte mihi: Perfectio hmc exaltata est a me: ideo non extendam me neque conabor illam apprehendere, ne in vanum laborare videar. Ego vero tibi respondeo, quia si hoc facis quod dicis, monachus non es. Quamvis namque obligatus non sis ad perfectionem pervenire: es tamen ex professione obligatus adniti, quantum in te est, ut ad illam pervenias. Blandire tibi sicut blandiri vis, persuade tibi quod persuadere vis, confinge et preetexe excusationes quas confingere vis; obligatus es ad perfectionem pro viribus tendere. Sic est, et aliter non est. Si id hactenus ignorasti, ecce jam non ignoras. Adstrinxisti te, obligasti te: adstrictus et obligatus permanebis.

But you will say, I cannot attain to such perfection. What mean you by this distrust? Are you ignorant that the divine power can do more than human infirmity can imagine?

Non possum, inquis, ad tantam perfectionem pervenire. Quid sibi vult ista diffidentia? An ignoras divinam virtutem plus posse efficere, quam humana infirmitas possit vel cogitare?

I confess that of yourself you cannot attain it, but God is able to bring you. Believe God, hope in God, not in yourself. Trust in the grace and help of God, not in your own endeavours. Nevertheless, that God may be with you, be not you wanting to yourself by sloth. Do what lieth in your power, put forth your hands, stretch out your arms, confirm your mind to the destruction of vice, to the perfect abnegation of yourself; recollect your heart, produce affection, elevate your mind to the contemplation of those things that are eternal, and accustom yourself everywhere to attend the presence of God: which that you may the better perform, propose to yourself according to the above demonstrated example every day some part of our Lord’s Passion, and carefully cast your internal eyesight upon the same; in the meantime sweetly conversing with Jesus , or with your soul concerning Him.

Fateor, non potes per te pervenire, sed Deus potest te perducere. Crede Deo, spera in Deo, non in te: confide in gratia et adjutorio Dei, non in conatu tuo. Verumtamen ut Deus tibi adsit per gratiam, vide ne tibi desis per socordiam. Fac quod in te est: exsere manus, extende bracbia, confirma animum ad vitiorum destructionem, ad perfectam tui abnegationem; collige cor,, produc affectum, eleva mentem ad teternorum contemplationem, prcesentiam Dei ubique attendere consuesce. Quod ut melius praestare possis, lis diebus aliquam Dominicm passionis partem sicut exemplo in medium ad ducto, superius commonstravimus, tibi propone, et ad eam internum intuitum sedulo dirige: dulcia interim cum Jesu, vel cum anima tua de Jesu miscens colloquia.

Always, I say, busy your cogitations (as much as commodiously you may) in some divine matter. Let this be your scope; let this be the determination of your mind. Labour for this without rest with a quiet and pleasing care. And 95although every moment (as I may say) you be distracted and stray from your intention, be not dejected; let not that breed pusillanimity, but be constant, and ever return to what you are resolved. By your indefatigable labour you shall overcome all trouble of difficulty. Nay, in a little while you will find this labour more easy and pleasant; and being regenerate to the newness of an unknown light, you will begin to taste of the delights laid up for the Saints; you will not be the same as you were before; but, being happily changed into another man, and clothed with angelical grace, you will highly esteem what before you despised, and despise what before you highly esteemed. That which before did evilly please you will now displease you; what before evilly displeased you will now please you: you will promptly and willingly endure what before seemed insufferable.

Tuam, inquam, cogitationem in re aliqua divina jugiter, quantum commode fieri potest, occupa. Hic sit scopus tuus, litec sit destinatio mentis tuae, ad boc quieta placidaque sollicitudine labora indesinenter. Et quamvis vel singulis, ut ita dicam,   momentis distraharis, decidasque ab in. tentione; non id te frangat, non in pusillanimitatem adducat: sed constans esto, dit.  et semper in idipsum revertere. Omnino laboris improbitate vinces difficultatis molestiam. Quin etiam ipsum laborem brevi mitiorem et gratiorem experieris: regeneratusque in novitatem inexpertte lucis, gustare incipies delicias Sanctis repositas. Non jam eris qui prius eras: sed feliciter mutatus in alterum virum, et angelica quadam gratia investitus, magni facies qute prius contemnebas, et contemnes quee prius magni faciebas. Quod male placuerat, displicebit: quod male displicuerat, placebit: promptissime gratanterque portabis, quae antea importabilia videbantur.

O pleasant metamorphosis! O change proceeding from the right hand of the Most High. At last, this laudable custom growing into a second nature, and the divine love more perfectly possessing you within, you will not feel any labour; and as before without labour you did think on filthy, impure, absurd, foolish, vain, and dream like things, so now you will without labour adhere to God and divine things. For, of necessity, the mind must daily reflect on that which the heart dearly loveth.

0 jucundam metamorphosim! o mutationem dexterae ExceIsi! Tandem vero laudabili consuetudine in naturam transeunte, divinoque amore intima perfectius occupante, nec laborem quidem seuties; sed quemadmodum prius sordida, impura, absurda, inepta, vana, instabilia, somnioque similia, sine labore cogito,xx.s: ita jam Deo divinisque rebus sine labore inheerere poteris. Necesse est namque mentem in id assidue reflecti, quod cor impense diligit.

Woe, woe unto perverse, tepid, and negligent Monks—Monks in .name, but not in life—who, contemning the reverence of their state, and violating their vows, are neither ashamed, nor fear to wallow in the dirt and dung of sloth, vanity, and passions.

Irae, et iterum vre perversis, tepidis, negligentibusque monachis, monachis nomine, vita non monachis: qui status sui reverentia contempta, votisque violatis, in torporis, vanitatis et passionum sterquilinio jacere neque erubescunt neque formidant!

But blessed, yea, ten times triple blessed, are those Monks and Religious men who, albeit they are of little estimation and imperfect, do, notwithstanding, with might and main aspire and tend to perfection; for they are certainly the adopted sons of God, whom our pious Saviour doth comfort, saying, Fear not little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you a Kingdom. They may surely expect death, although they are yet but in the beginning of their holy purpose. Because it shall be precious in the sight of our Lord, surely may they expect death; and yet not death, but the sleep of peace, the period of death and the passage from death to life.

Beati autem, et iterum beati monachi illi, qui etsi pusilli imperfectique sunt, ad perfectionem tamen pro viribus adspirant et contendunt! Nam et ipsos ex adoptivis Dei filiis esse constat: quos pius salvator desus consolatur dicens: Nolite timere, pusillus grex, quia complacuit Patri vestro dare vobis regnum. Securi exspectent mortem, etiamsi adhuc in initiis sancti propositi sint: quia pretiosa erit in conspectu Domini. Securi exspectent mortem; imo non mortem, sed somnum pacis, sed terminum, transitumque de morte ad vitam.

What say you, Brother? Are you yet in doubt? Do you yet stagger? Take courage, I pray you, and being emboldened through so great a confidence in Our Lord’s goodness, going on the way of salvation without a fear, preparing your soul against temptations. Let no manner of difficulty affright you. In all adversity which you happen to endure, either at home or abroad, say gratefully the will of our Lord be done. Although you must sweat much and long, and wrestle strongly before you can overcome and supplant the old man, let not that trouble you consider not the labour, but the fruit of the labour.

Quid ais, mi frater? Adhuc dubitas? Ex.tim., adhuc fluctuas? Age precor, et tanta securitate accepta, viam salutis arripiens, animam tuam intrepide ad tentationes praepara. Nulla difficultatis species te abstereat. In omni adversitate, quam vel intus vel foris sustinere contigerit, dic gratanter: Voluntas Domini fiat. Etiamsi multum diuque sudare, et graviter eluctari oportuerit, priusquam veterem hominem prorsus pervincas ac supplantes, ea res nequaquam te conturbet: non laborem, sed laboris fructum attende.

Believe me, the supernal piety will be present at your labours, and will still most lovingly succour you, will comfort you when you fear, will confirm you when you stagger, will defend you being assailed, will uphold you when you slip, will comfort you in your sorrow and will now and then infuse the most precious ointment of internal sweetness into you.

Aderit, mihi crede, aderit laboranti superna pietas, et ubique benignissime subveniet: metuentem confortabit, vacillantem confirmabit, impulsum suscipiet, labantem apprehendet, lapsum eriget, mcestum consolabitur: infundet subinde dulcedinis internae unguentum pretiosissimum.

If you persevere, the force of temptations must of necessity yield to the force of divine love; temptations and tribulations will no more be grievous and bitter to you, but light and sweet. Then shall you see all good, and shall find a paradise even in this life.

Quod Si perseveraveris, vires tentatio num viribus divini amoris necessario cedent: jamque ipsae tentationes et tribulationes non graves et amarae, sed leves et suaves erunt: tunc dcmum videbis omne bonum, Paradisumque etiam in hac vita invenies.

This, I say, will come to pass if you persevere and be not of the number of them that begin well, but, being deluded by the allurements of Satan, or wearied with the troubles of temptations and labours, do afterwards lightly leave their good purposes. They will not be pressed with the weight of tribulation, and, therefore, in time of affliction are scandalized in our Lord, and going back from Him, do, as it were, seem to say: This saying is hard, and who can bear it?

Hoc, inquam, fiet, si perseveraveris, et ex eorum numero non fueris, qui bene quidem incipiunt, verutn satanicis illecebris delusi, vel tentationem laborumque molestia fatigati, leviter postea deserunt propositum. Pondere tribulationis premi volunt: ideoque tempore afflictionis scandalizantur in Domino, et recedentes ab eo quasi dicere videntur: Durus est hic sermo: et quis potest eum audire—ca nt nimirum, non super firmam petram,

They build not on the firm rock, but on the unstable sand; and, therefore, their buildings do easily fall down at every puff of wind and pushes of the floods. And would to God they would consider their ruins, and not so give over, but make haste to renew the decayed building, no more laying their foundations upon the sands, but committing them to the firmness of the rock..

sed super arenam instabilem: ob idque ad ventorum flatus et fluminum impetus, facile corruit eorum tedificium. Utinam tamen ruinas ipsi suas attendant, et ne  sic quidem abjiciant animum; sed collap  sam structuram innovare festinent, jam non in arena, verum super petram fundamenta jacientes

Dear Brother, if (which God forbid) your building be fallen, renew your overthrown work, and build again more happily than you did before. If it fall twice, or ten, or a hundred, yea, a thousand times, or more, repair it as often as it falleth.

Mi frater, si (quod Deus avertat) contituum tedificium collabi, instaura  statim opus disjectum: et felicius   fica, quam prius mdificaveras. Etiamsi bis, etiamsi decies, etiamsi centies, etiamsi millies et smpius corruerit, toties repara, quoties corruet.

Never despair of God’s mercy; for the innumerable multitude of horrible and hideous sins doth not make God so implacably angry with us as desperation alone; for he that despaireth of forgiveness denieth the mercy and omnipotency of God and blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost

Nunquam de Dei misericordia desperaveris. Neque enim innumerabilis horrendorum enormiumque criminum multitudo sic Deum nobis reddit implacabilem, sicut unica desperatio. Nam qui diffidit de venia, Deum misericordem et omnipotentem esse negat, in Spiritum Sanctum blasphemus est.

We cannot be so ready to sin as our Lord is to pardon, if we abuse not His patience; .that is, if we will truly and in time do penance. Thus ought every Christian to think. But, lest prolixity make my treatise displeasing, I think it best for me to withdraw my pen, and to stop the course of my begun navigation. In the meanwhile we take down our sails, it will not be amiss briefly to touch what you ought to do at every day’s end.

Non tam parati ad peceandum esse possumus quam ipse Dominus paratus est ad miserendum, si modo longanimitate ejus non fuerimus abusi; id est, si vere et tempestive pcenitere voluerimus. Ita sentire debet quicumque christianus est. Sed ne nimia prolixitate displiceant qum a nobis dicuntur, retrahendus calamus et cursus cceptm navigationis sistendus est. Interim autem, dum vela complicantur, non fuerit inutile breviter perstringere, quid in fine cujuslibet diei agere debeas.

Every day, therefore, before you go to bed, seriously, but without inordinate discipline of mind, consider in what you have that day offended, and ask pardon of our most merciful God, purposing thenceforth to live better, and more carefully to avoid all vice. Then pray that He will vouchsafe to keep you that night from all pollution, both of body and mind, commending to Him and to His sacred Mother and your holy Angel your soul and body to be guarded and kept.

Quotidie igitur, priusquam quieti nocturnm te tradas, serio quidem, sed absque mentis inordinata dissipatione, recogita in quibus eo die deliqueris: veniamque a misericordissimo Deo precare, proponens deinceps melius vivere, omneque vitium vitare diligentius. Deinde ora ut in ipsa nocte te conservare dignetur ab omni inquinamento mentis et corporis, commendans illi, sacraeque ejus Genitrici ac sancto Angelo custodiendam animam tuam et corpus tuum.

Having gone to bed, arm yourself with the sign of our Lord’s Cross, and having honestly and chastely composed your body, sigh to your Beloved, thinking upon some good thing until sleep gently spreads over you; which, if it is too deep will be burdensome rather than refreshing to your body; if, similarly, by slippery illusions it excites or produces anything savoring of dishonesty, do not be overcome by sadness, but humbly groan before our Lord, and with humble prayers beseech Him to grant you sobriety of diet and senses, which are commonly followed by sobriety of sleep and purity of body.

Lectulo tandem conscenso, muni te signaculo Dominicae crucis: et corpusculo boneste pudiceque composito, suspira ad dilectum tuum, aliquid divinum pertractans, donec somnus placide se infundat. Qui somnus si profundior fuerit, ipsique corpori gravamen potius quam requiem praestiterit; si etiam per lubricas illusiones, aliquid minus honestum excitaverit aut produxerit, non absorbearis tristitia, sed humiliter ingemisce coram Domino; supplicique oratione postula, ut tibi concedat victus sensuumque sobrietatem, quam somni sobrietas corporisque puritas consequi solet.

This , dear Brother, is all I have to send you. You desired a mirror; see whether you have received a mirror. If I have any way satisfied your desire, God be praised; if not, howsoever, God be praised. I have given you what our Lord has given me; but, be they better or worse, I desire you sometimes to read them over. Fare you well, and pray for me.

Haec habui, mi frater, qum tibi transmitterem. Speculum petisti: vide an speculum acceperis. Si tuo desiderio vel in minimo satisfactum est, benedictus Deus! sin minus, etiam benedictus Deus! Dedi qum dedit mihi ipse Dominus. Caeterum qualia qualia sint, rogo ut ea nonnumquam relegas. Vale et ora pro me.



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