Christ's Faithful People
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 preached.
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 obey.
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 labors."
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.
IN PART 2
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 DAY AND FIRST CONTEMPLATION
IT IS ON
AND CONTAINS THE PREPARATORY PRAYER,
THREE PRELUDES, THREE POINTS
AND ONE COLLOQUY
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is to bring up the narrative of the thing which I have to contemplate.
Here, it is how the Three Divine Persons looked at all the plain or circuit of all the world, full of men, and how, seeing that all were going down to Hell, it is determined in Their Eternity, that the Second Person shall become man to save the human race, and so, the fullness of times being come, They sent the Angel St. Gabriel to Our Lady (p. 133).
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place: here it will be to see the great capacity and circuit of the world, in which are so many and such different people: then likewise, in particular, the house and rooms of Our Lady in the city of Nazareth, in the Province of Galilee.
Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want: it will be to ask for interior knowledge of the Lord, Who for me has become man, that I may more love and follow Him.
Note. It is well to note here that this same Preparatory Prayer, without changing it, as was said in the beginning, and the same three Preludes, are to be made in this Week and in the others following, changing the form according to the subject matter.
First Point. The first Point is, to see the various persons: and first those on the surface of the earth, in such variety, in dress as in actions: some white and others black; some in peace and others in war; some weeping and others laughing; some well, others ill; some being born and others dying, etc.
2. To see and consider the Three Divine Persons, as on their royal throne or seat of Their Divine Majesty, how They look on all the surface and circuit of the earth, and all the people in such blindness, and how they are dying and going down to Hell.
3. To see Our Lady, and the Angel who is saluting her, and to reflect in order to get profit from such a sight.
Second Point. The second, to hear what the persons on the face of the earth are saying, that is, how they are talking with one another, how they swear and blaspheme, etc.; and likewise what the Divine Persons are saying, that is: "Let Us work the redemption of the Human race," etc.; and then what the Angel and Our Lady are saying; and to reflect then so as to draw profit from their words.
Third Point. The third, to look then at what the persons on the face of the earth are doing, as, for instance, killing, going to Hell etc.; likewise what the Divine Persons are doing, namely, working out the most holy Incarnation, etc.; and likewise what the Angel and Our Lady are doing, namely, the Angel doing his duty as ambassador, and Our Lady humbling herself and giving thanks to the Divine Majesty; and then to reflect in order to draw some profit from each of these things.
Colloquy. At the end a Colloquy is to be made, thinking what I ought to say to the Three Divine Persons, or to the Eternal Word incarnate, or to our Mother and Lady, asking according to what I feel in me, in order more to follow and imitate Our Lord, so lately incarnate.
I will say an Our Father.
THE SECOND CONTEMPLATION
|Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is the narrative and it will be here how Our Lady went forth from Nazareth, about nine months with child, as can be piously meditated, seated on an ass, and accompanied by Joseph and a maid, taking an ox, to go to Bethlehem to pay the tribute which Caesar imposed on all those lands (p. 135).
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be here to see with the sight of the imagination the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem; considering the length and the breadth, and whether such road is level or through valleys or over hills; likewise looking at the place or cave of the Nativity, how large, how small, how low, how high, and how it was prepared.
Third Prelude. The third will be the same, and in the same form, as in the preceding Contemplation.
First Point. The first Point is to see the persons; that is, to see Our Lady and Joseph and the maid, and, after His Birth, the Child Jesus, I making myself a poor creature and a wretch of an unworthy slave, looking at them and serving them in their needs, with all possible respect and reverence, as if I found myself present; and then to reflect on myself in order to draw some profit.
Second Point. The second, to look, mark and contemplate what they are saying, and, reflecting on myself, to draw some profit.
Third Point. The third, to look and consider what they are doing, as going a journey and laboring, that the Lord may be born in the greatest poverty; and as a termination of so many labors -- of hunger, of thirst, of heat and of cold, of injuries and affronts -- that He may die on the Cross; and all this for me: then reflecting, to draw some spiritual profit.
Colloquy. I will finish with a Colloquy as in the preceding Contemplation, and with an Our Father.
THE THIRD CONTEMPLATION
WILL BE A REPETITION OF THE FIRST AND SECOND EXERCISE
After the Preparatory Prayer and the three Preludes, the repetition of the first and second Exercise will be made, noting always some more principal parts, where the person has felt some knowledge, consolation or desolation, making likewise one Colloquy at the end, and saying an Our Father.
In this repetition, and in all the following, the same order of proceeding will be taken as was taken in the repetitions of the First Week, changing the matter and keeping the form.
THE FOURTH CONTEMPLATION
WILL BE A REPETITION OF THE FIRST AND SECOND
In the same way as was done in the above-mentioned repetition.
THE FIFTH CONTEMPLATION
WILL BE TO BRING THE FIVE SENSES ON THE FIRST AND SECOND CONTEMPLATION
Prayer. After the Preparatory Prayer and the three Preludes, it is helpful to pass the five senses of the imagination through the first and second Contemplation, in the following way:
First Point. The first Point is to see the persons with the sight of the imagination, meditating and contemplating in particular the details about them and drawing some profit from the sight.
Second Point. The second, to hear with the hearing what they are, or might be, talking about and, reflecting on oneself, to draw some profit from it.
Third Point. The third, to smell and to taste with the smell and the taste the infinite fragrance and sweetness of the Divinity, of the soul, and of its virtues, and of all, according to the person who is being contemplated; reflecting on oneself and drawing profit from it.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to touch with the touch, as for instance, to embrace and kiss the places where such persons put their feet and sit, always seeing to my drawing profit from it.
Colloquy. One has to finish with one Colloquy as in the first and second Contemplation, and with an Our Father.
First Note. The first note is to remark for all this and the other following Weeks, that I have only to read the Mystery of the Contemplation which I have immediately to make, so that at any time I read no Mystery which I have not to make that day or at that hour, in order that the consideration of one Mystery may not hinder the consideration of the other.
Second Note. The second: The first Exercise, on the Incarnation, will be made at midnight; the second at dawn; the third at the hour of Mass; the fourth at the hour of Vespers, and the fifth before the hour of supper, being for the space of one hour in each one of the five Exercises; and the same order will be taken in all the following.
Third Note. The third: It is to be remarked that if the person who is making the Exercises is old or weak, or, although strong, has become in some way less strong from the First Week, it is better for him in this Second Week, at least sometimes, not rising at midnight, to make one Contemplation in the morning, and another at the hour of Mass, and another before dinner, and one repetition on them at the hour of Vespers, and then the Application of the Senses before supper.
Fourth Note. The fourth: In this Second Week, out of all the ten Additions which were mentioned in the First Week, the second, the sixth, the seventh and in part the tenth have to be changed.
In the second it will be, immediately on waking up, to put before me the contemplation which I have to make, desiring to know more the Eternal Word incarnate, in order to serve and to follow Him more.
The sixth will be to bring frequently to memory the Life and Mysteries of Christ our Lord, from His Incarnation down to the place or Mystery which I am engaged in contemplating.
The seventh will be, that one should manage as to keeping darkness or light, making use of good weather or bad, according as he feels that it can profit and help him to find what the person desires who is exercising himself.
And in the tenth Addition, he who is exercising himself ought to manage himself according to the Mysteries which he is contemplating; because some demand penance and others not.
All the ten Additions, then, are to be made with great care.
Fifth Note. The fifth note: In all the Exercises, except in that of midnight and in that of the morning, the equivalent of the second Addition will be taken in the following way: -- Immediately on recollecting that it is the time of the Exercise which I have to make, before I go, putting before myself where I am going and before Whom, and summarizing a little the Exercise which I have to make, and then making the third Addition, I will enter into the Exercise.
THE SECOND DAY
Second Day. For first and second Contemplation to take the Presentation in the Temple (p. 137) and the Flight to Egypt as into exile (p. 138), and on these two Contemplations will be made two repetitions and the Application of the Five Senses to them, in the same way as was done the preceding day.
Note. Sometimes, although the one who is exercising himself is strong and disposed, it helps to make a change, from this second day up to the fourth inclusively, in order better to find what he desires, taking only one Contemplation at daybreak, and another at the hour of Mass, and to repeat on them at the hour of Vespers and apply the senses before supper.
THE THIRD DAY
Third Day. How the Child Jesus was obedient to His Parents at Nazareth (p. 139), and how afterwards they found Him in the Temple (p. 140), and so then to make the two repetitions and apply the five senses.
|First Preamble. The example which Christ our
Lord, being under obedience to His parents, has given us for the first state, -- which
consists in the observance of the Commandments -- having been now considered; and likewise
for the second, -- which is that of evangelical perfection, -- when He remained in
the Temple, leaving His adoptive father and His natural Mother, to attend to the pure
service of His eternal Father; we will begin, at the same time contemplating His life, to
investigate and to ask in what life or state His Divine Majesty wants to be served by us.
And so, for some introduction of it, we will, in the first Exercise following, see the intention of Christ our Lord, and, on the contrary, that of the enemy of human nature, and how we ought to dispose ourselves in order to come to perfection in whatever state of life God our Lord would give us to choose.
THE FOURTH DAY
|The one of Christ, our Commander-in-chief and Lord;
the other of Lucifer, mortal enemy of our human nature.
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The First Prelude is the narrative. It will be here how Christ calls and wants all under His standard; and Lucifer, on the contrary, under his.
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be here to see a great field of all that region of Jerusalem, where the supreme Commander-in-chief of the good is Christ our Lord; another field in the region of Babylon, where the chief of the enemy is Lucifer.
Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want: and it will be here to ask for knowledge of the deceits of the bad chief and help to guard myself against them, and for knowledge of the true life which the supreme and true Captain shows and grace to imitate Him.
First Point. The first Point is to imagine as if the chief of all the enemy seated himself in that great field of Babylon, as in a great chair of fire and smoke, in shape horrible and terrifying.
Second Point. The second, to consider how he issues a summons to innumerable demons and how he scatters them, some to one city and others to another, and so through all the world, not omitting any provinces, places, states, nor any persons in particular.
Third Point. The third, to consider the discourse which he makes them, and how he tells them to cast out nets and chains; that they have first to tempt with a longing for riches -- as he is accustomed to do in most cases -- that men may more easily come to vain honor of the world, and then to vast pride. So that the first step shall be that of riches; the second, that of honor; the third, that of pride; and from these three steps he draws on to all the other vices.
So, on the contrary, one has to imagine as to the supreme and true Captain, Who is Christ our Lord.
First Point. The first Point is to consider how Christ our Lord puts Himself in a great field of that region of Jerusalem, in lowly place, beautiful and attractive.
Second Point. The second, to consider how the Lord of all the world chooses so many persons -- Apostles, Disciples, etc., -- and sends them through all the world spreading His sacred doctrine through all states and conditions of persons.
Third Point. The third, to consider the discourse which Christ our Lord makes to all His servants and friends whom He sends on this expedition, recommending them to want to help all, by bringing them first to the highest spiritual poverty, and -- if His Divine Majesty would be served and would want to choose them -- no less to actual poverty; the second is to be of contumely and contempt; because from these two things humility follows. So that there are to be three steps; the first, poverty against riches; the second, contumely or contempt against worldly honor; the third, humility against pride. And from these three steps let them induce to all the other virtues.
First Colloquy. One Colloquy to Our Lady, that she may get me grace from Her Son and Lord that I may be received under His standard; and first in the highest spiritual poverty, and -- if His Divine Majesty would be served and would want to choose and receive me -- not less in actual poverty; second, in suffering contumely and injuries, to imitate Him more in them, if only I can suffer them without the sin of any person, or displeasure of His Divine Majesty; and with that a Hail Mary.
Second Colloquy. I will ask the same of the Son, that He may get it for me of the Father; and with that say the Soul of Christ.
Third Colloquy. I will ask the same of the Father, that He may grant it to me; and say an Our Father.
Note. This Exercise will be made at midnight and then a second time in the morning, and two repetitions of this same will be made at the hour of Mass and at the hour of Vespers, always finishing with the three Colloquies, to Our Lady, to the Son, and to the Father; and that on The Pairs which follows, at the hour before supper.
THE SAME FOURTH DAY LET MEDITATION BE MADE ON
IN ORDER TO EMBRACE WHAT IS BEST
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is the narrative, which is of three pairs of men, and each one of them has acquired ten thousand ducats, not solely or as they ought for Gods love, and all want to save themselves and find in peace God our Lord, ridding themselves of the weight and hindrance to it which they have in the attachment for the thing acquired.
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be here to see myself, how I stand before God our Lord and all His Saints, to desire and know what is more pleasing to His Divine Goodness.
Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want. Here it will be to ask grace to choose what is more to the glory of His Divine Majesty and the salvation of my soul.
First Pair. The first Pair would want to rid themselves of the attachment which they have to the thing acquired, in order to find in peace God our Lord, and be able to save themselves, and they do not place the means up to the hour of death.
Second Pair. The second want to rid themselves of the attachment, but want so to rid themselves of it as to remain with the thing acquired, so that God should come where they want, and they do not decide to leave it in order to go to God, although it would be the best state for them
Third Pair. The third want to rid themselves of the attachment, but want so to rid themselves of it that they have even no liking for it, to keep the thing acquired or not to keep it, but only want to want it or not want it according as God our Lord will put in their will and as will appear to them better for the service and praise of His Divine Majesty; and meanwhile they want to reckon that they quit it all in attachment, forcing themselves not to want that or any other thing, unless only the service of God our Lord move them: so that the desire of being better able to serve God our Lord moves them to take the thing or leave it.
Three Colloquies. I will make the same three Colloquies which were made in the Contemplation preceding, on the Two Standards.
Note. It is to be noted that when we feel a tendency or repugnance against actual poverty, when we are not indifferent to poverty or riches, it is very helpful, in order to crush such disordered tendency, to ask in the Colloquies (although it be against the flesh) that the Lord should choose one to actual poverty, and that one wants, asks and begs it, if only it be the service and praise of His Divine Goodness.
THE FIFTH DAY
Fifth Day. Contemplation on the Departure of Christ our Lord from Nazareth to the River Jordan, and how He was baptized (p. 140).
First Note. This Contemplation will be made once at midnight and a second time in the morning, and two repetitions on it at the hour of Mass and Vespers, and the five senses will be applied on it before supper; in each of these five Exercises, putting first the usual Preparatory Prayer and the three Preludes, as all this was explained in the Contemplation of the Incarnation and of the Nativity; and finishing with the three Colloquies of the three Pairs, or according to the note which follows after the Pairs.
Second Note. The Particular Examen, after dinner and after supper, will be made on the faults and negligences about the Exercises and Additions of this day; and so in the days that follow.
THE SIXTH DAY
Sixth Day. Contemplation how Christ our Lord went forth from the River Jordan to the Desert inclusive, taking the same form in everything as on the fifth.
THE SEVENTH DAY
Seventh Day. How St. Andrew and others followed Christ our Lord (p. 142).
THE EIGHTH DAY
Eighth Day. On the Sermon on the Mount, which is on the Eight Beatitudes (P. 144).
THE NINTH DAY
Ninth Day. How Christ our Lord appeared to His disciples on the waves of the sea (p. 145).
THE TENTH DAY
Tenth Day. How the Lord preached in the Temple (p. 151).
THE ELEVENTH DAY
Eleventh Day. On the raising of Lazarus (p. 149).
THE TWELFTH DAY
Twelfth Day. On Palm Sunday (p. 151).
First Note. The first note is that in the Contemplations of this Second Week, according to the time each one wants to spend, or according as he gets profit, he can lengthen or shorten: if he lengthens, taking the Mysteries of the Visitation of Our Lady to St. Elizabeth, the Shepherds, the Circumcision of the Child Jesus, and the Three Kings, and so of others; and if he shortens, he can even omit some of those which are set down. Because this is to give an introduction and way to contemplate better and more completely afterwards.
Second Note. The second: The matter of the Elections will be begun from the Contemplation on Nazareth to the Jordan, taken inclusively, which is the fifth day, as is explained in the following.
Third Note. The third: Before entering on the Elections, that a man may get attachment to the true doctrine of Christ our Lord, it is very helpful to consider and mark the following three Manners of Humility, reflecting on them occasionally through all the day, and also making the Colloquies, as will be said later.
First Humility. The first manner of Humility is necessary for eternal salvation; namely, that I so lower and so humble myself, as much as is possible to me, that in everything I obey the law of God, so that, even if they made me lord of all the created things in this world, nor for my own temporal life, I would not be in deliberation about breaking a Commandment, whether Divine or human, which binds me under mortal sin.
Second Humility. The second is more perfect Humility than the first; namely, if I find myself at such a stage that I do not want, and feel no inclination to have, riches rather than poverty, to want honor rather than dishonor, to desire a long rather than a short life -- the service of God our Lord and the salvation of my soul being equal; and so not for all creation, nor because they would take away my life, would I be in deliberation about committing a venial sin.
Third Humility. The third is most perfect Humility; namely, when -- including the first and second, and the praise and glory of the Divine Majesty being equal -- in order to imitate and be more actually like Christ our Lord, I want and choose poverty with Christ poor rather than riches, opprobrium with Christ replete with it rather than honors; and to desire to be rated as worthless and a fool for Christ, Who first was held as such, rather than wise or prudent in this world.
Note. So, it is very helpful for whoever desires to get this third Humility, to make the three already mentioned Colloquies of The Pairs, asking that Our Lord would be pleased to choose him to this third greater and better Humility, in order more to imitate and serve Him, if it be equal or greater service and praise to His Divine Majesty.
|First Point. In every good election, as far as
depends on us, the eye of our intention ought to be simple, only looking at what we are
created for, namely, the praise of God our Lord and the salvation of our soul. And so I
ought to choose whatever I do, that it may help me for the end for which I am created, not
ordering or bringing the end to the means, but the means to the end: as it happens that
many choose first to marry -- which is a means -- and secondarily to serve God our Lord in
the married life -- which service of God is the end. So, too, there are others who first
want to have benefices, and then to serve God in them. So that those do not go straight to
God, but want God to come straight to their disordered tendencies, and consequently they
make a means of the end, and an end of the means. So that what they had to take first,
they take last; because first we have to set as our aim the wanting to serve God, -- which
is the end, -- and secondarily, to take a benefice, or to marry, if it is more suitable to
us, -- which is the means for the end. So, nothing ought to move me to take such means or
to deprive myself of them, except only the service and praise of God our Lord and the
eternal salvation of my soul.
TO GET KNOWLEDGE AS TO WHAT MATTERS AN ELECTION OUGHT TO BE MADE ABOUT, AND IT CONTAINS FOUR POINTS AND ONE NOTE
First Point. The first Point: It is necessary that everything about which we want to make an election should be indifferent, or good, in itself, and should be allowed within our Holy Mother the hierarchical Church, and not bad nor opposed to her.
Second Point. Second: There are some things which fall under unchangeable election, such as are the priesthood, marriage, etc. There are others which fall under an election that can be changed, such as are to take benefices or leave them, to take temporal goods or rid oneself of them.
Third Point. Third: In the unchangeable Election which has already been once made -- such as marriage, the priesthood, etc. -- there is nothing more to choose, because one cannot release himself; only it is to be seen to that if one have not made his election duly and ordinately and without disordered tendencies, repenting let him see to living a good life in his election. It does not appear that this election is a Divine vocation, as being an election out of order and awry. Many err in this, setting up a perverse or bad election as a Divine vocation; for every Divine vocation is always pure and clear, without mixture of flesh, or of any other inordinate tendency.
Fourth Point. Fourth: If some one has duly and ordinately made election of things which are under election that can be changed, and has not yielded to flesh or world, there is no reason for his making election anew, but let him perfect himself as much as he can in that already chosen.
Note. It is to be remarked that if such election that can be changed was not made sincerely and well in order, then it helps to make the election duly, if one has a desire that fruits notable and very pleasing to God our Lord should come from him.
FOR MAKING, IN ANY ONE OF THEM, A SOUND
AND GOOD ELECTION
First Time. The first time is, when God our Lord so moves and attracts the will, that without doubting, or being able to doubt, such devout soul follows what is shown it, as St. Paul and St. Matthew did in following Christ our Lord.
Second Time. The second, when enough light and knowledge is received by experience of consolations and desolations, and by the experience of the discernment of various spirits.
Third Time. The third time is quiet, when one considers, first, for what man is born -- namely, to praise God our Lord and save his soul -- and desiring this chooses as means a life or state within the limits of the Church, in order that he may be helped in the service of his Lord and the salvation of his soul.
I said time of quiet, when the soul is not acted on by various spirits, and uses its natural powers freely and tranquilly.
If election is not made in the first or the second time, two ways follow as to this third time for making it.
THE FIRST WAY
TO MAKE A SOUND AND GOOD ELECTION
It contains six Points.
First Point. The first Point is to put before me the thing on which I want to make election, such as an office or benefice, either to take or leave it; or any other thing whatever which falls under an election that can be changed.
Second Point. Second: It is necessary to keep as aim the end for which I am created, which is to praise God our Lord and save my soul, and, this supposed, to find myself indifferent, without any inordinate propensity; so that I be not more inclined or disposed to take the thing proposed than to leave it, nor more to leave it than to take it, but find myself as in the middle of a balance, to follow what I feel to be more for the glory and praise of God our Lord and the salvation of my soul.
Third Point. Third: To ask of God our Lord to be pleased to move my will and put in my soul what I ought to do regarding the thing proposed, so as to promote more His praise and glory; discussing well and faithfully with my intellect, and choosing agreeably to His most holy pleasure and will.
Fourth Point. Fourth: To consider, reckoning up, how many advantages and utilities follow for me from holding the proposed office or benefice for only the praise of God our Lord and the salvation of my soul, and, to consider likewise, on the contrary, the disadvantages and dangers which there are in having it. Doing the same in the second part, that is, looking at the advantages and utilities there are in not having it, and likewise, on the contrary, the disadvantages and dangers in not having the same.
Fifth Point. Fifth: After I have thus discussed and reckoned up on all sides about the thing proposed, to look where reason more inclines: and so, according to the greater inclination of reason, and not according to any inclination of sense, deliberation should be made on the thing proposed.
Sixth Point. Sixth, such election, or deliberation, made, the person who has made it ought to go with much diligence to prayer before God our Lord and offer Him such election, that His Divine Majesty may be pleased to receive and confirm it, if it is to His greater service and praise.
THE SECOND WAY
TO MAKE A GOOD ANY SOUND ELECTION
It contains four Rules and one Note.
First Rule. The first is that that love which moves me and makes me choose such thing should descend from above, from the love of God, so that he who chooses feel first in himself that that love, more or less, which he has for the thing which he chooses, is only for his Creator and Lord.
Second Rule. The second, to set before me a man whom I have never seen nor known, and I desiring all his perfection, to consider what I would tell him to do and elect for the greater glory of God our Lord, and the greater perfection of his soul, and I, doing likewise, to keep the rule which I set for the other.
Third Rule. The third, to consider, as if I were at the point of death, the form and measure which I would then want to have kept in the way of the present election, and regulating myself by that election, let me make my decision in everything.
Fourth Rule. The fourth, looking and considering how I shall find myself on the Day of Judgment, to think how I would then want to have deliberated about the present matter, and to take now the rule which I would then wish to have kept, in order that I may then find myself in entire pleasure and joy.
Note. The above-mentioned rules for my eternal salvation and peace having been taken, I will make my election and offering to God our Lord, conformably to the sixth Point of the First Way of making election.
TO AMEND AND REFORM ONES OWN LIFE
It is to be noted that as to those who are settled in ecclesiastical office or in matrimony -- whether they abound much or not in temporal goods -- when they have no opportunity or have not a very prompt will to make election about the things which fall under an election that can be changed, it is very helpful, in place of making election, to give them a form and way to amend and reform each his own life and state. That is, putting his creation, life and state for the glory and praise of God our Lord and the salvation of his own soul, to come and arrive at this end, he ought to consider much and ponder through the Exercises and Ways of Election, as has been explained, how large a house and household he ought to keep, how he ought to rule and govern it, how he ought to teach and instruct it by word and by example; likewise of his means, how much he ought to take for his household and house; and how much to dispense to the poor and to other pious objects, not wanting nor seeking any other thing except in all and through all the greater praise and glory of God our Lord.
For let each one think that he will benefit himself in all spiritual things in proportion as he goes out of his self-love, will and interest.