Imitation: Book 1, Chapter 13
Of resisting temptations
As long as we live in this world, we cannot be without temptations and tribulations. Hence it is written in Job
“Man’s life on earth is a temptation.” Everyone therefore should he solicitous about his temptations and watch in prayer lest the devil find an opportunity to catch him: who never sleeps, but goes about, seeking whom he can devour. No one is so perfect and holy as sometimes not to have temptations and we can never be wholly free from them. Nevertheless, temptations are very profitable to man, troublesome and grievous though they may be, for in them, a man is humbled, purified and instructed. All the Saints passed through many tribulations and temptations and were purified by them. And they that could not support temptations, became reprobate, and fell away.
Many seek to flee temptations, and fall worse into them. We cannot conquer by flight alone, but by patience and true humility we become stronger than all our enemies. He who only declines them outwardly, and does not pluck out their root, will profit little; nay, temptations will sooner return and he will find himself in a worse condition. By degrees and by patience you will, by God’s grace, better overcome them than by harshness and your own importunity. Take council the oftener in temptation, and do not deal harshly with one who is tempted; but pour in consolation, as thou wouldst wish to be done unto yourself. Inconstancy of mind and little confidence in God, is the beginning of all temptations. For as a ship without a helm is driven to and fro by the waves, so the man who neglects and gives up his resolutions is tempted in many ways.
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)