Christ's Faithful People
THE FIRST CONTEMPLATION AT MIDNIGHT IS
|(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.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to consider that which Christ our Lord is suffering in His Humanity, or wants to suffer, according to the passage which is being contemplated, and here to commence with much vehemence and to force myself to grieve, be sad and weep, and so to labor through the other points which follow.
Fifth Point. The fifth, to consider how the Divinity hides Itself, that is, how It could destroy Its enemies and does not do it, and how It leaves the most sacred Humanity to suffer so very cruelly.
Sixth Point. The sixth, to consider how He suffers all this for my sins, etc.; and what I ought to do and suffer for Him.
Colloquy. I will finish with a Colloquy to Christ our Lord, and, at the end, with an Our Father.
Note. It is to be noted, as was explained before and in part, that in the Colloquies I ought to discuss and ask according to the subject matter, that is, according as I find myself tempted or consoled, and according as I desire to have one virtue or another, as I want to dispose of myself in one direction or another, as I want to grieve or rejoice at the thing which I am contemplating; in fine, asking that which I more efficaciously desire as to any particular things. And in this way I can make one Colloquy only, to Christ our Lord, or, if the matter or devotion move me, three Colloquies, one to the Mother, another to the Son, another to the Father, in the same form as was said in the Second Week, in the meditation of the Three Pairs, with the Note which follows The Pairs.
IN THE MORNING
IT WILL BE
|Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer
First Prelude. The first Prelude is the narrative and it will be here how Christ our Lord went down with His eleven Disciples from Mount Sion, where He made the Supper, to the Valley of Josaphat. Leaving the eight in a part of the Valley and the other three in a part of the Garden, and putting Himself in prayer, He sweats sweat as drops of blood, and after He prayed three times to the Father and wakened His three Disciples, and after the enemies at His voice fell down, Judas giving Him the kiss of peace, and St. Peter cutting off the ear of Malchus, and Christ putting it in its place; being taken as a malefactor, they lead Him down the valley, and then up the side, to the house of Annas.
Second Prelude. The second is to see the place. It will be here to consider the road from Mount Sion to the Valley of Josaphat, and likewise the Garden, whether wide, whether large, whether of one kind, whether of another.
Third Prelude. The third is to ask for what I want. It belongs to the Passion to ask for grief with Christ in grief, anguish with Christ in anguish, tears and interior pain at such great pain which Christ suffered for me.
First Note. In this second Contemplation, after the Preparatory Prayer is made, with the three Preludes already mentioned, the same form of proceeding will be kept through the Points and Colloquy as was kept in the first Contemplation, on the Supper.
And at the hour of Mass and Vespers two repetitions will be made on the first and second Contemplation, and then, before supper, the senses will be applied on the two above-said Contemplations, always prefixing the Preparatory Prayer and the three Preludes, according to the subject matter, in the same form as was said and explained in the Second Week.
Second Note. According as age, disposition and physical condition help the person who is exercising himself, he will make each day the five Exercises or fewer.
Third Note. In this Third Week the second and sixth Additions will in part be changed.
The second will be, immediately on awaking, to set before me where I am going and to what, and summing up a little the contemplation which I want to make, according as the Mystery shall be, to force myself, while I am getting up and dressing, to be sad and grieve over such great grief and such great suffering of Christ our Lord.
The sixth will be changed, so as not to try to bring joyful thoughts, although good and holy, as, for instance, are those on the Resurrection and on heavenly glory, but rather to draw myself to grief and to pain and anguish, bringing to mind frequently the labors, fatigues and pains of Christ our Lord, which He suffered from the moment when He was born up to the Mystery of the Passion in which I find myself at present.
Fourth Note. The Particular Examen on the Exercises and present Additions, will be made as it was made in the past Week.
Second Day. The second day at midnight, the Contemplation will be from the Garden to the house of Annas inclusive (P. 154), and in the morning from the house of Annas to the house of Caiphas inclusive (P. 155), and then the two repetitions and the application of the senses, as has been already said.
Third Day. The third day, at midnight, from the house of Caiphas to Pilate, inclusive (p. 155); and in the morning, from Pilate to Herod inclusive (p. 156); and then the repetitions and senses, in the same form as has been already said.
Fourth Day. The fourth day, at midnight, from Herod to Pilate (p. 157), doing and contemplating up to half through the Mysteries of the same house of Pilate, and then, in the Exercise of the morning, the other Mysteries which remained of the same house; and the repetitions and the senses, as has been said.
Fifth Day. The fifth day, at midnight, from the house of Pilate up to the Crucifixion (p. 158), and in the morning from His being raised on the Cross until He expired (p. 158), then the two repetitions, and the senses.
Sixth Day. The sixth day, at midnight, from the Descent from the Cross to the Tomb, exclusive (p. 159) and in the morning from the Tomb, inclusive, to the house where Our Lady was, after her Son was buried.
Seventh Day. The seventh day, a Contemplation on the whole Passion together, in the Exercise of midnight and of the morning, and in place of the two repetitions and of the senses one will consider all that day, as frequently as he can, how the most holy Body of Christ our Lord remained separated and apart from the Soul: and where and how It remained buried. Likewise, one will consider the loneliness of Our Lady, whose grief and fatigue were so great: then, on the other side, the loneliness of the Disciples.
Note. It is to be noted that whoever wants to dwell more on the Passion, has to take in each Contemplation fewer Mysteries; that is to say, in the first Contemplation, the Supper only; in the second, the Washing of the Feet; in the third, the giving of the Blessed Sacrament to them; in the fourth, the discourse which Christ made to them; and so through the other Contemplations and Mysteries.
Likewise, after having finished the Passion, let him take for an entire day the half of the whole Passion, and the second day the other half, and the third day the whole Passion.
On the contrary, whoever would want to shorten more in the Passion, let him take at midnight the Supper, in the morning the Garden, at the hour of Mass the house of Annas, at the hour of Vespers the house of Caiphas, in place of the hour before supper the house of Pilate; so that, not making repetitions, nor the Application of the Senses, he make each day five distinct Exercises, and in each Exercise take a distinct Mystery of Christ our Lord. And after thus finishing the whole Passion, he can, another day, do all the Passion together in one Exercise, or in different ones, as it will seem to him that he will be better able to help himself.
TO PUT ONESELF IN ORDER FOR THE FUTURE
|First Rule. The first rule is that it is well
to abstain less from bread, because it is not a food as to which the appetite is used to
act so inordinately, or to which temptation urges as in the case of the other foods.
Second Rule. The second: Abstinence appears more convenient as to drinking, than as to eating bread. So, one ought to look much what is helpful to him, in order to admit it, and what does him harm, in order to discard it.
Third Rule. The third: As to foods, one ought to have the greatest and most entire abstinence, because as the appetite is more ready to act inordinately, so temptation is more ready in making trial, on this head. And so abstinence in foods, to avoid disorder, can be kept in two ways, one by accustoming oneself to eat coarse foods; the other, if one takes delicate foods, by taking them in small quantity.
Fourth Rule. The fourth: Guarding against falling into sickness, the more a man leaves off from what is suitable, the more quickly he will reach the mean which he ought to keep in his eating and drinking; for two reasons: the first, because by so helping and disposing himself, he will many times experience more the interior knowledge, consolations and Divine inspirations to show him the mean which is proper for him; the second, because if the person sees himself in such abstinence not with so great corporal strength or disposition for the Spiritual Exercises, he will easily come to judge what is more suitable to his bodily support.
Fifth Rule. The fifth: While the person is eating, let him consider as if he saw Christ our Lord eating with His Apostles, and how He drinks and how He looks and how He speaks; and let him see to imitating Him. So that the principal part of the intellect shall occupy itself in the consideration of Christ our Lord, and the lesser part in the support of the body; because in this way he will get greater system and order as to how he ought to behave and manage himself.
Sixth Rule. The sixth: Another time, while he is eating, he can take another consideration, either on the life of Saints, or on some pious Contemplation, or on some spiritual affair which he has to do, because, being intent on such thing, he will take less delight and feeling in the corporal food.
Seventh Rule. The seventh: Above all, let him guard against all his soul being intent on what he is eating, and in eating let him not go hurriedly, through appetite, but be master of himself, as well in the manner of eating as in the quantity which he eats.
Eighth Rule. The eighth: To avoid disorder, it is very helpful, after dinner or after supper, or at another hour when one feels no appetite for eating, to decide with oneself for the coming dinner or supper, and so on, each day, the quantity which it is suitable that he should eat. Beyond this let him not go because of any appetite or temptation, but rather, in order to conquer more all inordinate appetite and temptation of the enemy, if he is tempted to eat more, let him eat less.