Imitation: Book 1, Chapter 25
And, whatever you see that is worthy of blame, take care that you do not do yourself; or if you have ever done so, study to amend as soon as possible. As your eye observes others, so again, you are observed by others. How pleasant and sweet it is to see brethren fervent and devout, well-mannered and well-disciplined! How sad and afflicting to see them disorderly, and not practising the things they are called to do. How mischievous it is to neglect that purpose of their vocations, and to turn their minds to what is not their business. Be mindful of the purpose you have undertaken, and place before you the image of the Crucified. Well may you be ashamed when looking into the Life of Jesus Christ, that as yet you have not studied more to conform yourself to Him, long as you have been in the way of God.
The religious who exercises himself earnestly and devoutly in the most holy life and Passion of our Lord shall find there abundantly all that is useful and necessary for him, nor need he seek out of Jesus, for anything better. Oh, if the Crucified Jesus, should come into your heart, how quickly and sufficiently learned would you be. The fervent and diligent man is ready for all things. It is harder labour to withstand our vices and passions then to toil at bodily labours. He that shuns not small defects, little by little, falls into greater ones. You will always be glad in the evening if you spent the day profitably. Watch over yourself, stir up yourself, and whatever may become of others, neglect not yourself. In proportion as you do violence to yourself, the greater progress will you make. Amen . . .
PRAYERS TO BE RECITED DURING THESE FIRST TWELVE DAYS
Come, O Creator Spirit blest!
And in our souls take up thy rest; Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid, To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Great Paraclete! To Thee we cry, O highest gift of God most high! O font of life! O fire of love! And sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts art known, The finger of God’s hand we own; The promise of the Father, Thou! Who dost the tongue with power endow.
Kindle our senses from above,
And make our hearts o’erflow with love; With patience firm and virtue high The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread, And grant us Thy true peace instead; So shall we not, with Thee for guide, Turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know,
And Thee through endless times confessed Of both the eternal Spirit blest.
All glory while the ages run
Be to the Father and the Son
Who rose from death; the same to Thee, O Holy Ghost, eternally. Amen.
AVE MARIS STELLA
Hail, bright star of ocean, God’s own Mother blest, Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.
Taking that sweet Ave Which from Gabriel came, Peace confirm within us, Changing Eva’s name.
Break the captive's’ fetters, Light on blindness pour, All our ills expelling, Every bliss implore.
Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.
Virgin all excelling,
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us, Pure and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless, Make our way secure, Till we find in Jesus Joy forevermore.
Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.
(Indulgence of three years. Plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, if recited daily for a month. Preces et Pia Opera, 292.)
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me; and holy is His name.
And His mercy is from generation to generations, to them that fear Him.
He hath showed might in His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat; and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy.
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, etc.
(Indulgence of three years. Plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, if recited daily for a month.-Preces et Pia Opera, 291)
END PART 1