THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
TRANSLATED FROM THE AUTOGRAPH BY FATHER ELDER MULLAN, S.J.
Facultatem concedimus ut liber cui titulus "The
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola translated from the
Autograph by Father Elder Mullan, S.J.," typis edatur, si iis ad quos
spectat ita videbitur. Franciscus Xav. Wernz Praepositus Generalis
THE present translation of the
Exercises of St. Ignatius has been made from the Spanish Autograph of
St. Ignatius. The copy so designated is not indeed in the handwriting of
the Saint, but has a good number of corrections made by him and is
known to have been used by him in giving the Exercises.
St. Ignatius of Loyola was a man without any great pretensions to
education at the time he wrote this book. His native language was not
Spanish, but Basque. His lack of education and his imperfect
acquaintance with pure Spanish are enough to make it clear that a
refined use of any language, and more especially of the Spanish, or, in
general, anything like a finished or even perfectly correct, style is
not to be expected in his work. Literary defects he removed to some
extent, perhaps, as he continued to use and apply the book, but he is
known never to have been fearful of such faults. His corrections found
in this text are clearly made with a view to precision more than to
anything else. The Autograph of St. Ignatius was translated by Father
General Roothaan into Latin and was reproduced by Father Rodeles in his
edition of the Spanish text. But the original was not available to
ordinary students. In 1908, however, Father General Wernz allowed the
entire book to be phototyped, and in this way it was spread throughout
the Society of Jesus in a large number of copies. It is one of these
which has been chiefly employed by the present translator, who has,
besides, made frequent use of the Manuscript itself.
After considerable study of the matter, it seemed best to make this
translation as faithful and close a reproduction of the Spanish text as
could be. To do so it was necessary at times to sacrifice the niceties
of style, but it was thought that those who would use the book would
easily forego the elegancies of diction if they could feel sure they
were reading the very words of St. Ignatius. Any other form of
translation than the one adopted could hardly be kept from being a
partial expansion, illustration or development of the original, and
would therefore have proved, to some extent, a commentary as well as a
translation. This the translator has earnestly sought to avoid,
preferring to leave the further work of commentary to another occasion
or to other hands.
Another reason for aiming at absolute fidelity rather than style
was the fact that the Exercises are mostly read, not continuously for
any time, but piecemeal and meditatively. Literary finish would
therefore not be much sought or cared for in the book, but accuracy is.
For this a certain neglect of style seemed pardonable in the
translation, if only the real meaning of the writer could be made clear.
Perhaps some may even find a charm in the consequent want of finish,
seeing it reproduces more completely the style of St. Ignatius. The
process of translating in this way the Autograph text is not as simple
as it might seem. The first difficulty is to make sure of the exact
meaning of St. Ignatius. This is obscured, at times, by his language
being that of nearly 400 years ago and being not pure Spanish.
Occasionally, in fact, the Saint makes new Spanish words from the Latin
or Italian, or uses Spanish words in an Italian or Latin sense, or
employs phrases not current except in the Schools, and sometimes even
has recourse to words in their Latin form. To be sure, then, of the
meaning, one must often go to other languages and to the terms adopted
in Scholastic Philosophy or Theology. The meaning clear, the further
difficulty comes of finding an exactly equivalent English word or
phrase. In accomplishing his task, the translator has made free use of
other translations, especially of that of Father General Roothaan into
Latin, that of Father Venturi into Italian, and that of Father
Jennesseaux into French, and has had the use of the literal translation
into Latin made, apparently, by St. Ignatius himself, copied in 1541,
and formally approved by the Holy See in 1548.
Besides the last-mentioned Manuscript and printed books, the
translator has to acknowledge, as he does very gratefully, his
obligations to the Very Rev. Father Mathias Abad, Father Achilles Gerste
and particularly Father Mariano Lecina, Editor of the Ignatiana in the
MONUMENTA HISTORICA S.J., for aid in appreciating the Spanish text, to
Fathers Michael Ahern, Peter Cusick, Walter Drum, Francis Kemper and
Herbert Noonan for general revision of the translation, and above all to
Father Aloysius Frumveller for an accurate collation of the translation
with the original.
In conclusion, it is well to warn the reader that the Spiritual
Exercises of St. Ignatius are not meant to be read cursorily, but to be
pondered word for word and under the direction of a competent guide.
Read straight on, it may well appear jejune and unsatisfactory; studied
in the actual making of the Exercises, the very text itself cannot fail
to yield ever new material for thought and prayer.
ELDER MULLAN, S.J.
GERMAN COLLEGE, ROME,
Feast of St. Ignatius, 1909.
PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION
Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it. For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.
THE CALL OF THE TEMPORAL KING;
IT HELPS TO CONTEMPLATE THE LIFE OF THE KING ETERNAL
Prayer. Let the Preparatory Prayer be
the usual one.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is a composition, seeing the
place: it will be here to see with the sight of the imagination, the
synagogues, villages and towns through which Christ our Lord
Second Prelude. The second, to ask for the grace which I want: it
will be here to ask grace of our Lord that I may not be deaf to His
call, but ready and diligent to fulfill His most Holy Will.
First Point. The first Point is, to put before me a human king
chosen by God our Lord, whom all Christian princes and men reverence and
Second Point. The second, to look how this king speaks to all his
people, saying: "It is my Will to conquer all the land of unbelievers.
Therefore, whoever would like to come with me is to be content to eat as
I, and also to drink and dress, etc., as I: likewise he is to labor
like me in the day and watch in the night, etc., that so afterwards
he may have part with me in the victory, as he has had it in the
Third Point. The third, to consider what the good subjects ought to
answer to a King so liberal and so kind, and hence, if any one did not
accept the appeal of such a king, how deserving he would be of being
censured by all the world, and held for a mean-spirited knight.
The second part of this Exercise
consists in applying the above parable of the temporal King to Christ
our Lord, conformably to the three Points mentioned.
First Point. And as to the first Point, if we consider such a call
of the temporal King to his subjects, how much more worthy of
consideration is it to see Christ our Lord, King eternal, and before Him
all the entire world, which and each one in particular He calls, and
says: "It is My will to conquer all the world and all enemies and so to
enter into the glory of My Father; therefore, whoever would like to come
with Me is to labor with Me, that following Me in the pain, he may also
follow Me in the glory."
Second Point. The second, to consider that all those who have
judgment and reason will offer their entire selves to the labor.
Third Point. The third, those who will want to be more devoted and
signalise themselves in all service of their King Eternal and universal
Lord, not only will offer their persons to the labor, but even, acting
against their own sensuality and against their carnal and worldly love,
will make offerings of greater value and greater importance, saying:
"Eternal Lord of all things, I make my oblation with Thy favor and help,
in presence of Thy infinite Goodness and in presence of Thy glorious
Mother and of all the Saints of the heavenly Court; that I want and
desire, and it is my deliberate determination, if only it be Thy greater
service and praise, to imitate Thee in bearing all injuries and all
abuse and all poverty of spirit, and actual poverty, too, if Thy most
Holy Majesty wants to choose and receive me to such life and state."
First Note. This Exercise will be made twice in the day; namely, in
the morning on rising and an hour before dinner or before supper.
Second Note. For the Second Week and so on, it is very helpful to
read at intervals in the books of the Imitation of Christ, or of the
Gospels, and of lives of Saints.
THE FIRST CONTEMPLATION AT MIDNIGHT IS HOW
CHRIST OUR LORD WENT FROM BETHANY TO JERUSALEM
TO THE LAST SUPPER INCLUSIVELY
(p. 152); and it contains the Preparatory Prayer, three Preludes, six Points and one Colloquy.
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is to bring to memory
the narrative; which is here how Christ our Lord sent two Disciples from
Bethany to Jerusalem to prepare the Supper, and then He Himself went
there with the other Disciples; and how, after having eaten the Paschal
Lamb, and having supped, He washed their feet and gave His most Holy
Body and Precious Blood to His Disciples, and made them a discourse,
after Judas went to sell his Lord.
Second Prelude. The second, a composition,
seeing the place. It will be here to consider the road from Bethany to
Jerusalem, whether broad, whether narrow, whether level, etc.; likewise
the place of the Supper, whether large, whether small, whether of one
kind or whether of another.
Third Prelude. The
third, to ask for what I want. It will be here grief, feeling and
confusion because for my sins the Lord is going to the Passion.
First Point. The first Point is to see the persons of the Supper, and, reflecting on myself, to see to drawing some profit from them.
Second Point. The second, to hear what they are talking about, and likewise to draw some profit from it.
Third Point. The third, to look at what they are doing, and draw some profit.
The fourth, to consider that which
Christ our Lord is suffering in His Humanity, or wants to suffer,
according to the passage which is being contemplated, and here to
commence with much vehemence and to force myself to grieve, be sad and
weep, and so to labor through the other points which follow.
The fifth, to consider how the Divinity
hides Itself, that is, how It could destroy Its enemies and does not do
it, and how It leaves the most sacred Humanity to suffer so very
Sixth Point. The sixth, to consider how He suffers all this for my sins, etc.; and what I ought to do and suffer for Him.
Colloquy. I will finish with a Colloquy to Christ our Lord, and, at the end, with an OUR FATHER.
Note. It is to be
noted, as was explained before and in part, that in the Colloquies I
ought to discuss and ask according to the subject matter, that is,
according as I find myself tempted or consoled, and according as I
desire to have one virtue or another, as I want to dispose of myself in
one direction or another, as I want to grieve or rejoice at the thing
which I am contemplating; in fine, asking that which I more
efficaciously desire as to any particular things. And in this way I can
make one Colloquy only, to Christ our Lord, or, if the matter or
devotion move me, three Colloquies, one to the Mother, another to the
Son, another to the Father, in the same form as was said in the SECOND
WEEK, in the meditation of the THREE PAIRS, with the Note which follows
THE FIRST CONTEMPLATION HOW CHRIST
OUR LORD APPEARED TO OUR LADY
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude
is the narrative, which is here how, after Christ expired on the Cross,
and the Body, always united with the Divinity, remained separated from
the Soul, the blessed Soul, likewise united with the Divinity, went down
to Hell, and taking from there the just souls, and coming to the
Sepulchre and being risen, He appeared to His Blessed Mother in Body and
Second Prelude. The second, a composition,
seeing the place; which will be here to see the arrangement of the Holy
Sepulchre and the place or house of Our Lady, looking at its parts in
particular; likewise the room, the oratory, etc.
Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I
want, and it will be here to ask for grace to rejoice and be glad
intensely at so great glory and joy of Christ our Lord.
First Point, Second Point, and Third Point. Let the first, second and third Points be the same usual ones which we took in the Supper of Christ our Lord.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to consider how the
Divinity, which seemed to hide Itself in the Passion, now appears and
shows Itself so marvellously in the most holy Resurrection by Its true
and most holy effects.
Fifth Point. The fifth is to consider the
office of consoling which Christ our Lord bears, and to compare how
friends are accustomed to console friends.
Colloquy. I will finish with a Colloquy, or Colloquies, according
to the subject matter, and an OUR FATHER.
First Note. In the following
Contemplations let one go on through all the Mysteries of the
Resurrection, in the manner which follows below, up to the Ascension
inclusive, taking and keeping in the rest the same form and manner in
all the Week of the Resurrection which was taken in all the Week of the
Passion. So that, for this first Contemplation, on the Resurrection, let
one guide himself as to the Preludes according to the subject matter;
and as to the five Points, let them be the same; and let the Additions
which are below be the same; and so in all which remains, he can guide
himself by the method of the Week of the Passion, as in repetitions, the
five Senses, in shortening or lengthening the Mysteries.
Second Note. The second note: Commonly in
this FOURTH WEEK, it is more suitable than in the other three past to
make four Exercises, and not five: the first, immediately on rising in
the morning; the second, at the hour of Mass, or before dinner, in place
of the first repetition; the third, at the hour of Vespers, in place of
the second repetition; the fourth, before supper, bringing the five
Senses on the three Exercises of the same day, noting and lingering on
the more principal parts, and where one has felt greater spiritual
movements and relish.
Third Note. The third: Though in all the
Contemplations so many Points were given in certain number -- as three,
or five, etc., the person who is contemplating can set more or fewer
Points, according as he finds it better for him. For which it is very
helpful, before entering on the Contemplation, to conjecture and mark in
certain number the Points which he is to take.
Fourth Note. In this FOURTH WEEK, in all the
ten Additions the second, the sixth, the seventh and the tenth are to be
changed. The second will be, immediately on awaking, to put before me
the Contemplation which I have to make, wanting to arouse feeling and be
glad at the great joy and gladness of Christ our Lord. The sixth, to
bring to memory and think of things that move to spiritual pleasure,
gladness and joy, as of heavenly glory. The seventh, to use light or
temporal comforts -- as, in summer, the coolness; and in winter, the sun
or heat -- as far as the soul thinks or conjectures that it can help it
to be joyful in its Creator and Redeemer. The tenth: in place of
penance, let one regard temperance and all moderation; except it is
question of precepts of fasting or of abstinence which the Church
commands; because those are always to be fulfilled, if there is no just
CONTEMPLATION TO GAIN LOVE
Note. First, it is well
to remark two things: the first is that love ought to be put more in
deeds than in words.
The second, love consists in interchange between the two parties;
that is to say in the lover's giving and communicating to the beloved
what he has or out of what he has or can; and so, on the contrary, the
beloved to the lover. So that if the one has knowledge, he give to the
one who has it not. The same of honors, of riches; and so the one to the
THREE METHODS OF PRAYER AND FIRST ON THE COMMANDMENTS
The first Method of Prayer is on the Ten Commandments,
and on the Seven Deadly Sins, on the Three Powers of the Soul and on
the Five Bodily Senses. This method of prayer is meant more to give
form, method and exercises, how the soul may prepare itself and benefit
in them, and that the prayer may be acceptable, rather than to give any
form or way of praying.
I. The Ten Commandments
First let the equivalent of the second Addition of the
SECOND WEEK be made; that is, before entering on the prayer, let the
spirit rest a little, the person being seated or walking about, as may
seem best to him, considering where he is going and to what. And this
same addition will be made at the beginning of all Methods of Prayer.
Prayer. A Preparatory Prayer, as, for example, to ask grace of God
our Lord that I may be able to know in what I have failed as to the Ten
Commandments; and likewise to beg grace and help to amend in future,
asking for perfect understanding of them, to keep them better and for
the greater glory and praise of His Divine Majesty.
For the first Method of Prayer, it is well to consider and think on
the First Commandment, how I have kept it and in what I have failed,
keeping to the rule of spending the space of time one says the OUR
FATHER and the HAIL MARY three times; and if in this time I find faults
of mine, to ask pardon and forgiveness for them, and say an OUR FATHER.
Let this same method be followed on each one of the Ten Commandments.
First Note. It is to be noted that when one comes to think on a
Commandment on which he finds he has no habit of sinning, it is not
necessary for him to delay so much time, but according as one finds in
himself that he stumbles more or less on that Commandment so he ought to
keep himself more or less on the consideration and examination of it.
And the same is to be observed on the Deadly Sins.
Second Note. After having finished the discussion already mentioned
on all the Commandments, accusing myself on them and asking grace and
help to amend hereafter, I am to finish with a Colloquy to God our Lord,
according to the subject matter.
II. On Deadly Sins
About the Seven Deadly Sins, after the Addition,
let the Preparatory Prayer be made in the way already mentioned, only
with the difference that the matter here is of sins that have to be
avoided, and before of Commandments that have to be kept: and likewise
let the order and rule already mentioned be kept, and the Colloquy.
In order to know better the faults committed in the Deadly Sins,
let their contraries be looked at: and so, to avoid them better, let the
person purpose and with holy exercises see to acquiring and keeping the
seven virtues contrary to them.
III. On the Powers of the Soul
On the three powers of the soul let the same order and
rule be kept as on the Commandments, making its Addition, Preparatory
Prayer and Colloquy.
IV. On the Bodily Senses
About the five bodily senses the same order
always will be kept, but changing their matter.
Note. Whoever wants to imitate Christ our Lord in the use of his
senses, let him in the Preparatory Prayer recommend himself to His
Divine Majesty, and after considering on each sense, say a HAIL MARY or
an OUR FATHER. And whoever wants to imitate Our Lady in the use of the
senses, let him in the Preparatory Prayer recommend himself to her, that
she may get him grace from Her Son and Lord for it; and after
considering on each sense, say a HAIL MARY.
RULES FOR PERCEIVING AND KNOWING IN SOME
MANNER THE DIFFERENT MOVEMENTS WHICH ARE
CAUSED IN THE SOUL; THE GOOD, TO RECEIVE
THEM, AND THE BAD TO REJECT THEM. AND
THEY ARE MORE PROPER FOR THE FIRST WEEK.
First Rule. The first Rule: In the
persons who go from mortal sin to mortal sin, the enemy is commonly
used to propose to them apparent pleasures, making them imagine sensual
delights and pleasures in order to hold them more and make them grow in
their vices and sins. In these persons the good spirit uses the opposite
method, pricking them and biting their consciences through the process
Second Rule. The second: In the persons who are
going on intensely cleansing their sins and rising from good to better
in the service of God our Lord, it is the method contrary to that in the
first Rule, for then it is the way of the evil spirit to bite, sadden
and put obstacles, disquieting with false reasons, that one may not go
on; and it is proper to the good to give courage and strength,
consolations, tears, inspirations and quiet, easing, and putting away
all obstacles, that one may go on in well doing.
Third Rule. The third: OF SPIRITUAL
CONSOLATION. I call it consolation when some interior movement in the
soul is caused, through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of
its Creator and Lord; and when it can in consequence love no created
thing on the face of the earth in itself, but in the Creator of them
all. Likewise, when it sheds tears that move to love of its Lord,
whether out of sorrow for one's sins, or for the Passion of Christ our
Lord, or because of other things directly connected with His service and
praise. Finally, I call consolation every increase of hope, faith and
charity, and all interior joy which calls and attracts to heavenly
things and to the salvation of one's soul, quieting it and giving it
peace in its Creator and Lord.
Fourth Rule. The fourth: OF SPIRITUAL
DESOLATION. I call desolation all the contrary of the third rule,
such as darkness of soul, disturbance in it, movement to things low
and earthly, the unquiet of different agitations and temptations, moving
to want of confidence, without hope, without love, when one finds
oneself all lazy, tepid, sad, and as if separated from his Creator and
Lord. Because, as consolation is contrary to desolation, in the same way
the thoughts which come from consolation are contrary to the thoughts
which come from desolation.
Fifth Rule. The fifth: In time of desolation
never to make a change; but to be firm and constant in the resolutions
and determination in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or
in the determination in which he was in the preceding consolation.
Because, as in consolation it is rather the good spirit who guides and
counsels us, so in desolation it is the bad, with whose counsels we
cannot take a course to decide rightly.
Sixth Rule. The sixth: Although in desolation
we ought not to change our first resolutions, it is very helpful
intensely to change ourselves against the same desolation, as by
insisting more on prayer, meditation, on much examination, and by giving
ourselves more scope in some suitable way of doing penance.
Seventh Rule. The seventh: Let him who is in
desolation consider how the Lord has left him in trial in his natural
powers, in order to resist the different agitations and temptations of
the enemy; since he can with the Divine help, which always remains to
him, though he does not clearly perceive it: because the Lord has taken
from him his great fervor, great love and intense grace, leaving him,
however, grace enough for eternal salvation.
Eighth Rule. The eighth: Let him who is in
desolation labor to be in patience, which is contrary to the vexations
which come to him: and let him think that he will soon be consoled,
employing against the desolation the devices, as is said in the sixth
Ninth Rule. The ninth: There are three
principal reasons why we find ourselves desolate. The first is, because
of our being tepid, lazy or negligent in our spiritual exercises; and so
through our faults, spiritual consolation withdraws from us. The
second, to try us and see how much we are and how much we let ourselves
out in His service and praise without such great pay of consolation and
great graces. The third, to give us true acquaintance and knowledge,
that we may interiorly feel that it is not ours to get or keep great
devotion, intense love, tears, or any other spiritual consolation, but
that all is the gift and grace of God our Lord, and that we may not
build a nest in a thing not ours, raising our intellect into some pride
or vainglory, attributing to us devotion or the other things of the
Tenth Rule. The tenth: Let him who is in
consolation think how he will be in the desolation which will come
after, taking new strength for then.
Eleventh Rule. The eleventh: Let him who is
consoled see to humbling himself and lowering himself as much as he can,
thinking how little he is able for in the time of desolation without
such grace or consolation. On the contrary, let him who is in desolation
think that he can do much with the grace sufficient to resist all his
enemies, taking strength in his Creator and Lord.
Twelfth Rule. The twelfth: The enemy acts like a
woman, in being weak against vigor and strong of will. Because, as it
is the way of the woman when she is quarrelling with some man to lose
heart, taking flight when the man shows her much courage: and on the
contrary, if the man, losing heart, begins to fly, the wrath, revenge,
and ferocity of the woman is very great, and so without bounds; in the
same manner, it is the way of the enemy to weaken and lose heart, his
temptations taking flight, when the person who is exercising himself in
spiritual things opposes a bold front against the temptations of the
enemy, doing diametrically the opposite. And on the contrary, if the
person who is exercising himself commences to have fear and lose heart
in suffering the temptations, there is no beast so wild on the face of
the earth as the enemy of human nature in following out his damnable
intention with so great malice.
The thirteenth: Likewise, he acts as a licentious lover in wanting
to be secret and not revealed. For, as the licentious man who, speaking
for an evil purpose, solicits a daughter of a good father or a wife of a
good husband, wants his words and persuasions to be secret, and the
contrary displeases him much, when the daughter reveals to her father or
the wife to her husband his licentious words and depraved intention,
because he easily gathers that he will not be able to succeed with the
undertaking begun: in the same way, when the enemy of human nature
brings his wiles and persuasions to the just soul, he wants and desires
that they be received and kept in secret; but when one reveals them to
his good Confessor or to another spiritual person that knows his deceits
and evil ends, it is very grievous to him, because he gathers, from his
manifest deceits being discovered, that he will not be able to succeed
with his wickedness begun.
Fourteenth Rule. The fourteenth: Likewise, he
behaves as a chief bent on conquering and robbing what he desires: for,
as a captain and chief of the army, pitching his camp, and looking at
the forces or defences of a stronghold, attacks it on the weakest side,
in like manner the enemy of human nature, roaming about, looks in turn
at all our virtues, theological, cardinal and moral; and where he finds
us weakest and most in need for our eternal salvation, there he attacks
us and aims at taking us.
RULES FOR THE SAME EFFECT WITH GREATER
DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS; AND THEY HELP
MORE FOR THE SECOND WEEK
First Rule. The first: It is proper to God and
to His Angels in their movements to give true spiritual gladness and
joy, taking away all sadness and disturbance which the enemy brings on.
Of this latter it is proper to fight against the spiritual gladness and
consolation, bringing apparent reasons, subtleties and continual
Second Rule. The second: It belongs to God our
Lord to give consolation to the soul without preceding cause, for it is
the property of the Creator to enter, go out and cause movements in the
soul, bringing it all into love of His Divine Majesty. I say without
cause: without any previous sense or knowledge of any object through
which such consolation would come, through one's acts of understanding
Third Rule. The third: With cause, as well the
good Angel as the bad can console the soul, for contrary ends: the good
Angel for the profit of the soul, that it may grow and rise from good to
better, and the evil Angel, for the contrary, and later on to draw it
to his damnable intention and wickedness.
Fourth Rule. The fourth: It is proper to the
evil Angel, who forms himself under the appearance of an angel of light,
to enter with the devout soul and go out with himself: that is to say,
to bring good and holy thoughts, conformable to such just soul, and then
little by little he aims at coming out drawing the soul to his covert
deceits and perverse intentions.
Fifth Rule. The fifth: We ought to note well
the course of the thoughts, and if the beginning, middle and end is all
good, inclined to all good, it is a sign of the good Angel; but if in
the course of the thoughts which he brings it ends in something bad, of a
distracting tendency, or less good than what the soul had previously
proposed to do, or if it weakens it or disquiets or disturbs the soul,
taking away its peace, tranquillity and quiet, which it had before, it
is a clear sign that it proceeds from the evil spirit, enemy of our
profit and eternal salvation.
Sixth Rule. The sixth: When the enemy of human
nature has been perceived and known by his serpent's tail and the bad
end to which he leads on, it helps the person who was tempted by him, to
look immediately at the course of the good thoughts which he brought
him at their beginning, and how little by little he aimed at making him
descend from the spiritual sweetness and joy in which he was, so far as
to bring him to his depraved intention; in order that with this
experience, known and noted, the person may be able to guard for the
future against his usual deceits.
Seventh Rule. The seventh: In those who go on
from good to better, the good Angel touches such soul sweetly, lightly
and gently, like a drop of water which enters into a sponge; and the
evil touches it sharply and with noise and disquiet, as when the drop of
water falls on the stone. And the above-said spirits touch in a
contrary way those who go on from bad to worse. The reason of this is
that the disposition of the soul is contrary or like to the said Angels.
Because, when it is contrary, they enter perceptibly with clatter and
noise; and when it is like, they enter with silence as into their own
home, through the open door.
Eighth Rule. The eighth: When the consolation
is without cause, although there be no deceit in it, as being of God our
Lord alone, as was said; still the spiritual person to whom God gives
such consolation, ought, with much vigilance and attention, to look at
and distinguish the time itself of such actual consolation from the
following, in which the soul remains warm and favored with the favor and
remnants of the consolation past; for often in this second time,
through one's own course of habits and the consequences of the concepts
and judgments, or through the good spirit or through the bad, he forms
various resolutions and opinions which are not given immediately by God
our Lord, and therefore they have need to be very well examined before
entire credit is given them, or they are put into effect.
IN THE MINISTRY OF DISTRIBUTING ALMS
THE FOLLOWING RULES SHOULD BE KEPT
First Rule. The first: If I make the
distribution to relatives or friends, or to persons for whom I have an
affection, I shall have four things to see to, of which mention was
made, in part, in the matter of Election. The first is, that that love
which moves me and makes me give the alms, should descend from above,
from the love of God our Lord, so that I feel first in me that the love,
more or less, which I have to such persons is for God; and that in the
reason why I love them more, God appears.
Second Rule. The second: I want to set before
me a man whom I have never seen or known, and desiring all his
perfection in the ministry and condition which he has, as I would want
him to keep the mean in his manner of distributing, for the greater
glory of God our Lord and the greater perfection of his soul; I, doing
so, neither more nor less, will keep the rule and measure which I should
want and judge to be right for the other.
Third Rule. The third: I want to consider, as
if I were at the point of death, the form and measure which then I
should want to have kept in the office of my administration, and
regulating myself by that, to keep it in the acts of my distribution.
Fourth Rule. The fourth: Looking how I
shall find myself on the Day of Judgment, to think well how then I
should want to have used this office and charge of administration; and
the rule which then I should want to have kept, to keep it now.
Fifth Rule. The fifth: When some person feels
himself inclined and drawn to some persons to whom he wants to
distribute alms, let him hold himself back and ponder well the
above-mentioned four Rules, examining and testing his affection by them;
and not give the alms until, conformably to them, he has in all
dismissed and cast out his disordered inclination.
Sixth Rule. The sixth: Although there is no
fault in taking the goods of God our Lord to distribute them, when the
person is called by God our Lord to such ministry; still in the quantity
of what he has to take and apply to himself out of what he has to give
to others, there may be doubt as to fault and excess. Therefore, he can
reform in his life and condition by the above-mentioned Rules.
Seventh Rule. The seventh: For the
reasons already mentioned and for many others, it is always better and
more secure in what touches one's person and condition of life to spare
more and diminish and approach more to our High Priest, our model and
rule, who is Christ our Lord; conformably to what the third Council of
Carthage, in which St. Augustine was, determines and orders -- that the
furniture of the Bishop be cheap and poor. The same should be considered
in all manners of life, looking at and deciding according to the
condition and state of the persons; as in married life we have the
example of St. Joachim and of St. Ann, who, dividing their means into
three parts, gave the first to the poor, and the second to the ministry
and service of the Temple, and took the third for the support of
themselves and of their household.
THE FOLLOWING NOTES HELP TO PERCEIVE AND
UNDERSTAND SCRUPLES AND PERSUASIONS OF OUR ENEMY
First Note. The first: They commonly call
a scruple what proceeds from our own judgment and freedom: that is to
say, when I freely decide that that is sin which is not sin, as when it
happens that after some one has accidentally stepped on a cross of
straw, he decides with his own judgment that he has sinned. This is
properly an erroneous judgment and not a real scruple.
Second Note. The second: After I have
stepped on that cross, or after I have thought or said or done some
other thing, there comes to me a thought from without that I have
sinned, and on the other hand it appears to me that I have not sinned;
still I feel disturbance in this; that is to say, in as much as I doubt
and in as much as I do not doubt. That is a real scruple and temptation
which the enemy sets.
Third Note. Third: The first scruple -- of the
first note -- is much to be abhorred, because it is all error; but the
second -- of the second note -- for some space of time is of no little
profit to the soul which is giving itself to spiritual exercises;
rather in great manner it purifies and cleanses such a soul, separating
it much from all appearance of sin: according to that saying of Gregory:
"It belongs to good minds to see a fault where there is no fault."
Fourth Note. The fourth: The enemy looks much
if a soul is gross or delicate, and if it is delicate, he tries to make
it more delicate in the extreme, to disturb and embarrass it more. For
instance, if he sees that a soul does not consent to either mortal sin
or venial or any appearance of deliberate sin, then the enemy, when he
cannot make it fall into a thing that appears sin, aims at making it
make out sin where there is not sin, as in a word or very small thought.
If the soul is gross, the enemy tries to make it more gross; for
instance, if before it made no account of venial sins, he will try to
have it make little account of mortal sins, and if before it made some
account, he will try to have it now make much less or none.
Fifth Note. The fifth: The soul which desires
to benefit itself in the spiritual life, ought always to proceed the
contrary way to what the enemy proceeds; that is to say, if the enemy
wants to make the soul gross, let it aim at making itself delicate.
Likewise, if the enemy tries to draw it out to extreme fineness, let the
soul try to establish itself in the mean, in order to quiet itself in
Sixth Note. The sixth: When such good soul
wants to speak or do something within the Church, within the
understanding of our Superiors, and which should be for the glory of God
our Lord, and there comes to him a thought or temptation from without
that he should neither say nor do that thing -- bringing to him apparent
reasons of vainglory or of another thing, etc., -- then he ought to
raise his understanding to his Creator and Lord, and if he sees that it
is His due service, or at the least not contrary to it, he ought to act
diametrically against such temptation, according to St. Bernard,
answering the same: "Neither for thee did I begin, nor for thee will I
TO HAVE THE TRUE SENTIMENT WHICH WE
OUGHT TO HAVE IN THE CHURCH MILITANT
Let the following Rules be observed.
First Rule. The first: All judgment laid aside,
we ought to have our mind ready and prompt to obey, in all, the true
Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our holy Mother the Church
Second Rule. The second: To praise
confession to a Priest, and the reception of the most Holy Sacrament of
the Altar once in the year, and much more each month, and much better
from week to week, with the conditions required and due.
Third Rule. The third: To praise the hearing of
Mass often, likewise hymns, psalms, and long prayers, in the church
and out of it; likewise the hours set at the time fixed for each Divine
Office and for all prayer and all Canonical Hours.
Fourth Rule. The fourth: To praise much Religious Orders, virginity and continence, and not so much marriage as any of these.
Fifth Rule. The fifth: To praise vows of
Religion, of obedience, of poverty, of chastity and of other perfections
of supererogation. And it is to be noted that as the vow is about the
things which approach to Evangelical perfection, a vow ought not to be
made in the things which withdraw from it, such as to be a merchant, or
to be married, etc.
Sixth Rule. To praise relics of the Saints,
giving veneration to them and praying to the Saints; and to praise
Stations, pilgrimages, Indulgences, pardons, Cruzadas, and candles
lighted in the churches.
Seventh Rule. To praise Constitutions about
fasts and abstinence, as of Lent, Ember Days, Vigils, Friday and
Saturday; likewise penances, not only interior, but also exterior.
Eighth Rule. To praise the ornaments and the buildings of churches; likewise images, and to venerate them according to what they represent.
Ninth Rule. Finally, to praise all precepts of
the Church, keeping the mind prompt to find reasons in their defence and
in no manner against them.
Tenth Rule. We ought to be more prompt to find
good and praise as well the Constitutions and recommendations as the
ways of our Superiors. Because, although some are not or have not been
such, to speak against them, whether preaching in public or discoursing
before the common people, would rather give rise to fault-finding and
scandal than profit; and so the people would be incensed against their
Superiors, whether temporal or spiritual. So that, as it does harm to
speak evil to the common people of Superiors in their absence, so it can
make profit to speak of the evil ways to the persons themselves who can
Eleventh Rule. To praise positive and
scholastic learning. Because, as it is more proper to the Positive
Doctors, as St. Jerome, St. Augustine and St. Gregory, etc., to move the
heart to love and serve God our Lord in everything; so it is more
proper to the Scholastics, as St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, and to the
Master of the Sentences, etc., to define or explain for our times
the things necessary for eternal salvation; and to combat and explain
better all errors and all fallacies. For the Scholastic Doctors, as they
are more modern, not only help themselves with the true understanding
of the Sacred Scripture and of the Positive and holy Doctors, but also,
they being enlightened and clarified by the Divine virtue, help
themselves by the Councils, Canons and Constitutions of our holy Mother
Twelfth Rule. We ought to be on our guard in
making comparison of those of us who are alive to the blessed passed
away, because error is committed not a little in this; that is to say,
in saying, this one knows more than St. Augustine; he is another, or
greater than, St. Francis; he is another St. Paul in goodness, holiness,
Thirteenth Rule. To be right in everything, we
ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the
Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our
Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Bride, there is the same
Spirit which governs and directs us for the salvation of our souls.
Because by the same Spirit and our Lord Who gave the ten Commandments,
our holy Mother the Church is directed and governed.
Fourteenth Rule. Although there is much truth
in the assertion that no one can save himself without being predestined
and without having faith and grace; we must be very cautious in the
manner of speaking and communicating with others about all these things.
Fifteenth Rule. We ought not, by way of custom,
to speak much of predestination; but if in some way and at some times
one speaks, let him so speak that the common people may not come into
any error, as sometimes happens, saying: Whether I have to be saved or
condemned is already determined, and no other thing can now be, through
my doing well or ill; and with this, growing lazy, they become negligent
in the works which lead to the salvation and the spiritual profit
of their souls.
Sixteenth Rule. In the same way, we must be on
our guard that by talking much and with much insistence of faith,
without any distinction and explanation, occasion be not given to the
people to be lazy and slothful in works, whether before faith is formed
in charity or after.
Seventeenth Rule. Likewise, we ought not to
speak so much with insistence on grace that the poison of discarding
liberty be engendered. So that of faith and grace one can speak as much
as is possible with the Divine help for the greater praise of His Divine
Majesty, but not in such way, nor in such manners, especially in our so
dangerous times, that works and free will receive any harm, or be held
Eighteenth Rule. Although serving God our Lord
much out of pure love is to be esteemed above all; we ought to praise
much the fear of His Divine Majesty, because not only filial fear is a
thing pious and most holy, but even servile fear -- when the man reaches
nothing else better or more useful -- helps much to get out of mortal
sin. And when he is out, he easily comes to filial fear, which is all
acceptable and grateful to God our Lord: as being at one with the Divine