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deep into your heart. Pause awhile upon such places as touch you most; and from time to time excite affections and resolutions in your soul suitable to the subject which you are reading.
Consider, that as when you pray you speak to God, so when you read or hear his Word he speaks to you. As, then, you desire that he should hear you when you speak to him, so take care to hearken faithfully to him when he speaks to you; and lay up carefully in your heart the seed of his divine Word, that it may not be picked up by the fowls of the air, your infernal foes, or carelessly trodden under your feet.
Hear the Word of God as often as you have an opportunity, call upon God in the beginning, and purify your soul as much as you can from all vain curiosity. Mind not the eloquence or action of the preacher, but attend to the truths which he delivers; do not say within yourself, How well does this or that suit with this or that person! but consider what suits with yourself, and lay it up in your mind for your guidance for the time to come. Remember that the Word of God, heard and read, and not put in practice, will one day rise in judgment against you.
If you are master or mistress of a family, see that those under your charge want not the advantage of frequent reading or hearing what is good; taking care, at the same time, to banish from yourself and family all lewd and irreligious books, and such as may be of dangerous consequence either to faith or morals.
TO BE EXERCISED EVERY DAY. 1. Humility : by keeping yourself always little, and as a mere nothing in the sight of God, looking upon him as the Author of all your good, and humbling yourself to every neighbour. 'In order to this, always remember what you have deserved by your sins; that it is a mercy of God you are not in hell; and if you had your due, all God's creatures onght either to fy and abhor you for your foul treasons against their Maker, or avenge his cause by joining together in punishing you; and therefore the least service you receive from any of them is more than you deserve, and that affronts and contempt are your just due.
2. Penance : by frequent acts of repentance for your past sins, and calling continually upon God to show you mercy; often presenting yourself at his feet in prayer like St. Mary Magdalene, and striking your breast with the publican. Offer up also to God, in a penitential spirit, whatever pains, crosses, or sufferings you daily meet with, yea, death itself, with all its agonies, whensoever it shall come; and make it your study, by frequent mortifications and self-denials, to chastise yourself, and to offer up daily some satisfaction to God, acceptable through Jesus Christ, for the many injuries you have done him by your sins.
3. Resignation and Conformity to the will of God in all events; ever remembering that nothing happens without his pleasure or permission, and that this or that cross is what God in his infinite wisdom and goodness from all eternity designed for you. And as in all your sufferings you must embrace the will of God, and cheerfully submit to it, so in all your undertakings you must consult his holy will, and in all your actions conform to it as the rule and motive of all you do.
4. Recollection: by calling to mind, as often as you can in the day, the presence of God, making frequent aspirations and ejaculations of love to him, offering frequently in the day your whole being, all the powers of your soul, all your senses and faculties, with all your thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings, to him; and banishing as much as you can from you all anxious cares and irregular affections; that so your heart may easily find him, freely embrace him, and quietly repose in him.
ASPIRATIONS AND EJACULATIONS,
THAT MAY BE MADE IN THE MIDST OF OUR DAILY
Lord, increase my faith. Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief. (), let me rather die than consent to the least doubt of thy sacred truths.
In thee, O Lord, is all my hope. O, let me never be confounded.
Hide me, dear Jesus, in thy wounds; bathe my soul in thy precious blood.
O Fountain of mercy, have mercy on me.
0, let nothing in life or death ever separate me from thee.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.
Lord, be thou my keeper, and keep me from sin. Lord, look well to me, or I shall betray thee.
0, rather let me die a thousand deaths than offend thee mortally! 0, when shall sin have an end ?
O my God, teach me to love thee; teach me to serve thee as I ought.
0, that I had the hearts and tongues of all the world, that I might worthily praise thee, and love thee.
O divine Love, how little art thou loved in this wicked world! O, take possession at least of my heart, and let thy sacred flames ever burn there.
Too late have I known thee, O ancient Truth! too late have I loved thee, O ancient Beauty!
O the God of my heart, and my portion for ever. My God and my all! I desire to be dissolved, and to be with thee.
Who will give me the wings of the dove! and I will fly and repose in thee.
As the hart pants after the fountains of waters, so pants my soul after thee, my God.
My soul hath thirsted after my God, the Fountain of life eternal. O, when shall I come and appear in the presence of my God!
My heart and flesh rejoice exceedingly in the living God.
O Lord, enlighten my eyes, that I may never sleep in death.
The sins of my youth and my ignorances, remember not, O Lord.
From my secret sins cleanse me, O Lord; and from the sins of others, spare thy servant.
Not unto us, ó Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give glory.
Into thy hands, O Lord, I recommend my spirit. Lord, save me, or I perish. Lord, make haste to help me.
Let God arise, and let his enemies be put to flight. Say to my soul, I am thy salvation.
I hope to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living
Let the name of the Lord be ever blessed.
My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready. I have desired thy law in the midst of my heart.
I will keep my strength, O Lord, for thee. Turn away my eyes, that they may not look on vanity. Thou art just, O Lord, and thy judgment is right.
Lord, I have said, Now I begin; let this be the change of the right hand of the Most High. The mercies of our Lord I will sing for ever.
All ye works of our Lord, bless our Lord, praise him and magnify him for ever.
These, and such-like short acts of virtue, may be proper in the midst of your ordinary actions and employments, to be secretly repeated in your hearts, sometimes of one sort, sometimes of another, as occasion shall require and the Spirit of God shall suggest.
ACTS OF THE LOVE OF GOD.
Pius VII., by a rescript, August 11, 1818, granted an indulgence of three hundred days to all the faithful who should recite, with a contrite heart, a succession of acts of the love of God, arranged in form of a crown, with five Gloria Patris, as below. By saying them ten times a month for a whole year, a person may gain a plenary indulgence on any day he may choose ; con. fession, communion, and prayers according to the Pope's intentions being supposed.
1. My God, my sovereign 2. I should consider it a hapgood, would that I had always piness to give my blood, in orloved thee!
der that all men may love thee. 2. My God, I detest the time 3. Blind are they who love in which I loved thee not. thee not.
3. How have I lived so long 4. Enlighten them, O my without thy holy love!
God! 4. And thou, my God, how 5. Not to love thee, O Sovehast thou borne with me? reign Good, is the only evil to
5. I thank thee, O my God, be feared. for so much patience.
6. Never will I be of the num6. Now I desire to love thee ber of those blind souls who love for ever.
thee not. 7. I would rather die than 7. Thou, O my God, art my cease to love thee.
joy and all my good. 8. My God, deprive me of 8. I desire to be wholly thine life rather than permit that I for ever. should cease to love thee.
9. Who shall ever be able to 9. The grace I ask of thee is, separate me from thy love? that I may always love thee. 10. Come, all created beings :
10. With thy love I shall be come, all of you, and love my bappy.
God. Glory be to the Father, &c. Glory be to the Father, &c.
1. My God, I desire to see thee loved by all men.
1. My God, would that I had a thousand hearts to love thee!