Imitation: Book 1, Chapter 18
Outwardly they suffered want, but within they were refreshed with grace and Divine consolation. They were aliens to the world; they seemed as nothing and the world despised them; but they were precious and beloved in the sight of God. They persevered in true humility, they lived in simple obedience, they walked in charity and patience, and so every day they advanced in spirit and gained great favour with God. They were given for example to all religious, and ought more to excite us to advance in good, than the number of lukewarm to induce us to grow remiss. Oh! how great was the fervour of all religious in the beginning of their holy institute! Oh, how great was their devotion in prayer, how great was their zeal for virtue! How vigorous the discipline that was kept up, what reverence and obedience, under the rule of the superior, flourished in all! Their traces that remain still bear witness, that they were truly holy and perfect men who did battle so stoutly, and trampled the world under their feet. Now, he is thought great who is not a transgressor; and who can, with patience, endure what he has undertaken. Ah, the luke-warmness and negligence of our state! that we soon fall away from our first fervour, and are even now tired with life, from slothfulness and tepidity. Oh that advancement in virtue be not quite asleep in thee, who has so often seen the manifold examples of the devout!
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)