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give glory." (Ps. cxiii. 1-9.) And lest he should fail before his adversaries, he exclaims: “Be thou my helper," O Lord, “ forsake me not.” (Ps. xxvi. 9.) And lest he should be ever ungrateful, he says: “ Blessed be the name of the Lord, from henceforth, now, and for ever. (Ps. cxii. 1.)
CHAP. IX.-ON POVERTY OF SPIRIT, FOR CHRIST's sake. 1. “Tanquam nihil habentes," in hoc mundo, " et omnia possidentes," cum Christo. (2 Cor. vi. 10.)
“ As having nothing,” in this world, “ and possessing all things," with Christ.
O holy poverty of spirit, to be beloved above all the honours and riches of this world, which Christ taught and kept unto the end of his life, and forsook all things entirely, for our example.
For this, how many wise and noble, how many rich and powerful have forsaken all to follow Christ, and made a voluntary choice of it, for the sake of the kingdom of heaven ?
O how great is the liberty of the pure soul, that, for the love of Jesu, desireth to have none of the pomp and circumstance of this vain world!
Verily, what great security of conscience, and joy of heart it is to live in subjection and obedience, and for the sake of Jesu Christ crucified to deny oneself even unto death!
0, how heavenly is the manna, hid to the proud, but revealed unto the humble, growing up in the innocent, and tasted by the devout, who for their special consolation worship Christ who suffered and was cruci. fied for them!
CHAPTER X.-On The SIMPLE BROTHER'S STUDY OF THE PASSION OF
“Salus tua ego sum, dicit Dominus.” (Ps. xlvii. 7.) “I am thy salvation, saith the Lord.”
The simple and innocent brother findeth more sanctity and purity, and more knowledge and prudence, against all the wickedness of the devil, the errors of the world, and the filth of vices, in the life and passion of our Lord, than does the lofty speculator and subtle disputant, in the consideration of the whole mechanism of the world.
Let us learn, then, to imitate the life and passion of Christ ; for to
speculate on the machine of this world, without God's praise and glory, is vanity and folly; and it is better to pray humbly to God, than search subtilely into heaven.
2. For it is the part of God, who created all, to govern all; but it is the part of man to keep his commandments, and to beware of sin. We should all be saints if we did these things : but because there are many who do them not, and live not well, therefore do many evils happen to them by the just judgment of God.
Fly, then, from the world, my brother; enter with gladness into thy cloister, and in soundness follow Christ by the strait and narrow way.
It is good for thee to enter heaven with one eye, rather than with two to be cast into hell, where, for all thy wicked deeds, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth for ever. Alas for them !
1. “Estote rationabiles sine dolo.” (1 Pet. ii. 2.)
“ Desire the rational milk without guile.” O sweet and holy word, that cometh from the mouth of St. Peter the Apostle ; for these following are most pleasing unto God and his angels : chastity with humility ; knowledge without being puffed up; prudence without presumption; eloquence without vain glory; gladness without extravagance; sorrow without bitterness ; patience without murmuring; speaking without falsehood; replying without deceit; promises fulfilled without procrastination ; praise without vituperation; love without vice; prayer without weariness ; gratitude to God for all good, without end ; meditation without wandering; contemplation without obscurity ; work without defilement; repose without sloth ; the union of the soul with God, without intermission. “ Behold a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile."
“O how good is God unto Israel, unto such as are right of heart!” Say, then, with David in the Psalm ; cast aside all earthly good, and with all thy heart pray with him, saying: “It is good for me to adhere unto God; it is good for me to put my hope in the Lord.” (Ps. xlvi. 7.) “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” I wish, I desire nothing but Thee, O Lord, alone, for all my labour, and my reward in heaven. Amen.
CHAP. XII.-ON THE PRAISE OF GOD, OUT OF THE MOUTH OF
“ Rectos decet laudatio.” (Ps. xxxiv. 1.) “Praise becometh the upright."
Blessed is he who doeth all things with a pure intention, simply for the praise of God.
Blessed is he who at all times directeth his heart to the good pleasure of God, and seeketh after no private convenience in the end.
Blessed is he who casteth far from him all the impure idols of the enemy, but in his straits flies humbly to the arms of Christ crucified,
Well shall he go on, and Jesus shall be with him, whithersoever he goeth, till he come with him to his eternal country.
2. O sweet name of Jesu, above the names of all the saints in heaven or on earth, to which every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, of things on earth, and of things under the earth, of angels and men! Thou art the way of the just, the glory of the blessed, the hope of
the health of the sick, the lover of the devout, and the comforter of all in tribulation.
Be unto me my help and my protector in my need, for thy holy name's sake, which is blessed for ever.
When I am poor, I shall praise thee; when I am sorrowful, 1 shall praise thee.
When I am joyful, I shall praise thee ; wheresoever I may be, I shall praise thee. Amen.
CHAP. XIII.-ON KEEPING A STRICT WATCH OVER THE HEART
1. “ Cor mundum crea in me, Deus.” (Ps. 1. 12.) “ Create in me a clean heart, O God.”
This prayer is very profitable and powerful against every vice, whether of long temptation, or rushing suddenly into the heart.
Nothing is more laborious, but at the same time more useful, than to keep the heart from vain imaginings, and the mouth from idle words.
Nothing is more fruitful, than to give one's self to spiritual exercises, in prayer or meditation, in study or singing psalms, or in doing the works of charity with a willing mind.
Few words are enough for our need; many words are superfluous :
words of levity bring on vanity; words of curiosity bring in detraction; harsh words excite trouble; haughty words beget pride; simple words show humility; words of truth bring pleasantness; words of falsehood provoke indignation; good words deserve praise; evil words deserve punishment; a holy life deserves eternal glory. Wherefore, he that keepeth a good watch over his heart, watcheth over the door of his lips, lest he lose the grace of interior devotion, by the carelessness of his external speech.
CHAP. XIV.ON FREQUENT PRAYER.
“Quoniam oportet semper orare.” (St. Luke xviii.) “ That we ought always to pray."
O how sweet and salutary an admonition; how pure and holy is prayer, touching the heavens, and deserting the earth ; speaking with God, but silent with men !
This same word Christ teacheth to his Apostles, and to all religious. For as the body liveth and is nourished by earthly food, so is the soul strengthened by sacred words, by prayers, and by meditation. Great sorrow of heart for sins committed, and humble confession of thy sins, with a firm resolution of amendment, give great confidence to prayer ; for nothing is so rich as a good will, nor so acceptable to God, nor so salutary to our salvation.
For as often as you pray to God, so often do you sigh and mourn over your sins; and because you sin daily, therefore you ought daily to pray and mourn, and implore forgiveness for thine offences.
2. You pray much, if you mourn much; you pray little, if you mourn little. You obtain little, if you give but little attention to what you read and sing.
In many things there is excess, but daily prayer, a groaning of the heart, with the fervour of the Holy Spirit, purgeth away all languor. He that prayeth not, nor mourneth over his daily faults, increaseth his punishment in the world to come. Be not, then, slothful in prayer, nor in devout thanksgiving to God, who never ceaseth to shower down his blessings upon us.
3. Wherefore, no place, no time, no work, no labour, no sorrow, ought to prevent us from praying, upon whom the eyes of God are ever open, here and everywhere, for ever.
For as often as you call to mind the Lord your God, and mourn, so often do you speak with him in secret and prayer.
If you cannot do so always with your mouth, yet you can and ought in mind and desire to call upon God, to sigh and to weep before him. For he ever prayeth unto God who thinketh what is good, speaketh what is good, and doeth what is good, for the honour of God. Amen.
CHAP. XV.--ON DESERVING THE REWARD OF ETERNAL LIFE.
1. “Ecce merces vestra multa est in coelo.” (St. Matt. v. 12.) “For your reward is very great in heaven !”
All present joy is short, and, alas ! involved in much evil, but the kingdom of God is ever full of joy, and is eternal, exalted high above sense and intellect. This no one can give unto thee, nor take away, but the only God, the Creator of all, the Judge of the living and the dead, that rendereth to every one according to his works.
Wherefore, in order to follow after, deserve and eternally obtain this kingdom, we must strive with fortitude; we must pray fervently; fast often ; sigh often ; mourn often: confess often; communicate often; we must minister devoutly; celebrate the adorable mysteries devoutly; sing Psalms devoutly; we must study diligently ; we must keep silence strictly; we must serve gladly: we must obey readily.
2. We must bear all things patiently; we must cast out all carnal desire instantly; we must shun all worldly intercourse particularly ; we must fly from all that is base; follow all that is honourable; hate all that is vicious; love all that is virtuous; we must cut off all that cometh of curiosity; we must forsake all that is earthly, and cleave sovranly to all that is heavenly.
This is the way of the heavenly life; and the form of the renunciation of this world in a religious state ; that leadeth the little children, the meek and the chaste, to the beatitude of eternal life, and to the glory of the saints, to be enjoyed with Christ, for all eternity. Amen.
Feast of the Presentation of the B. V. M. 1842.
THE END OF THE MANUAL OF THE LITTLE ONES.