Meditations On The Mysteries Of Our Holy Faith/Volume 1/Meditations to obtain purity of soul

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Meditations On The Mysteries Of Our Holy Faith (Volume 1) (1852)
by Luis de la Puente, translated by John Heigham
Part 1: 3. — Meditations, with forms of prayer, to obtain purity of soul and perfect mortification of its vices and passions
Luis de la Puente3988139Meditations On The Mysteries Of Our Holy Faith (Volume 1) — Part 1: 3. — Meditations, with forms of prayer, to obtain purity of soul and perfect mortification of its vices and passions1852John Heigham



1. To obtain perfect purity of soul, which is the constant end of the purgative way, there are ordained certain forms of prayer prescribed in the ninth chapter of the introduction of this book, of which the first contains, for matter of meditation, the seven capital or principal vices, commonly called the seven deadly sins; the ten commandments of the law of God; and the three faculties and five senses of man. And it is very profitable to know more particularly the multitude and greatness of our sins; and to learn how to examine the conscience, as well for sacramental confession as for the daily examination which is every night to be made; and finally, it aids much to dive deep into the knowledge of ourselves, to discover the roots of our sins, and to apply to them their remedies.

2. In the first place, I will set down the meditations of the seven deadly sins; for in them, as in seven heads, the other sins are virtually included^ and for this reason our principal battle must be against them; for whosoever perfectly vanquishes them, vanquishes the dragon with the seven heads which makes war upon the saints, and destroys the seven nations of enemies which hinder the entrance into the land of promise, [1] not earthly, but heavenly, as Cassian largely prosecutes it in those books which he wrote upon this matter. Whence it is, that the principal end of these meditations must not be only to know and abhor the malice and deformity of these vices, but forthwith to begin the work, and to mortify those inordinate passions and affections that have taken deep root in our heart; for, as St. Basil [2] saith, vices are not vanquished nor virtues gained with bare considerations, but with strong exercises of mortification, for which meditation and prayer is a help, moving our will to be willing to be mortified, and obtaining of bur Lord strength to that end. And although it is true that all mortal sins are taken away together and at an instant by contrition and confession, in which one mortal sin is not pardoned without another, yet vicious customs that remain in the soul, and passions of the appetite upon which they are founded, are to be mortified by parcels, and by little and little; for which Moses said to his people — speaking of the seven nations above-mentioned — "Ipse consumet nationes has in conspectu tuo paulatim, atque per partes, non poteris eas delere pariter;" " He will consume these nations in thy sight by little and by degrees: thou wilt not be able to destroy them altogether." [3] The Divine Providence so ordaining it for our exercise and humiliation; because, the war continuing longer, the victory shall be more secure and more profitable.

3. For this cause we will make a special meditation of every one of these vices, teaching the manner how to make war upon them by their contrary acts. To which end we shall consider' in every one three things: i. In what manner a man may sin in every vice, setting down not only great, but also light sins, that those which are desirous of perfection may know more often what things they are to mortify, ii. What is the loss which follows such a vice, and the temporal punishments wherewith Almighty God is wont to chastise it, and the eternal, which in the other life especially correspond to it. iii. What are the great favours and rewards which they enjoy who courageously mortify it, and embrace the contrary virtue, declaring some of its acts and excellences, that fear and love may animate us to mortification.




1. First, I am to consider what pride is, and in what manner a man may sin by it, pondering how contrary it is to all reason, how injurious to God, how prejudicial to our neighbour, and how hurtful to virtue; [4] for all this is discovered in every one, as the fathers have noted. Pride is an inordinate appetite of excellence, [5] and it is twofold. The one is carnal and worldly, which places its excellence in corporal goods, as wealth, parentage, beauty, honourable office, (fee. The other pride is spiritual, which cherishes itself in the spiritual goods of sciences and virtues, and this has four acts. [6] i. The first is to attribute to oneself that which is God's, [7] as if it were his own, due to his nature or acquired by his own industry, without acknowledging God for the author of it ii. The second is, that although one thinks that what he has is from Almighty God, yet he attributes to km own merits that which is of pure grace, iii. The third is, to think of oneself that he has much more good than in truth he has, as well in virtue as in learning and other natural or acquired gifts, and to flatter oneself with them. iv. The fourth is, to think that one is singular and excellent above all in those good parts which he has, or to desire vainly to be so, that all may yield and subject themselves to him.

2. Prom pride spring many other vices [8] with sundry acts of sins, which, like the seven heads of this infernal dragon, we may reduce to

i. The first is her eldest daughter, vain-glory, which is an inordinate appetite to be known, esteemed and praised of men; whose acts are, to boast oneself of what one has, as if one had not received it from Almighty God; to boast of what in truth one has not, or of a thing unworthy of glory, by reason of its being wicked and most base; to desire vainly to delight men, saying or doing things that they may praise one; to rejoice vainly when one is praised, delighting to hear one's own praises, though they be false flatteries. This vain-glory is most abominable in matter of virtues, for it is a sweet poison and a secret thief that robs and destroys them. [9]

ii. The second vice is boasting, whose acts are, to praise oneself, telling of those good parts which one has not, or superfluously exaggerating and blazoning those which one has, or discovering without any necessity those which one should cover. [10]

iii. The third is ambition, inordinately coveting honours and dignities; whose disorder consists in coveting those which one deserves not or in procuring them by evil means [11] or with overmuch affection, having no other end but worldly honour.

iv. The fourth is presumption, presuming great matters of oneself more than one is able to perform, and through one's vanity casting oneself inconsiderately into them.

v. The fifth is hypocrisy, feigning that virtue and good intention which one has* not, to be accounted a holy man, and doing good works to this end with a dissembled goodness.

vi. The sixth is stubbornness in one's own judgment, preferring it before the judgment of others, even although they be one's superiors, in matters wherein it were good for him to subject himself to the opinion of others, not to be beguiled.

vii. The seventh is contempt of others, making small account of them; first of one's inferiors, and then of one's equals, and afterwards of one's superiors, until one come to despise even God himself. For pride, as David says, " ascendeth continually," [12] and begets innumerable other sins, discords, disobediences, maledictions and blasphemies.

3. As I am meditating these vices, I must consider what sins I have committed in each one of them, making of them a humble confession in the presence of Almighty God, saying to Him,

Colloquy. — I accuse myself, O my God, that I am full of pride, that whatsoever I do is vain-glory; my words savour of boasting, and my actions and desires are poisoned with ambition. Oh that I had never fallen into such sins! Pardon me, O Lord, and deliver me from them!

I will also chide myself with these reprehensions, which are frequent in Holy Scripture, saying to myself,

Colloquy. — O vile, silly man, what hast thou that thou hast not received? And if thou hast received, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? Art thou " now full?" Art thou " now become rich?" Wouldst thou "reign" [13] alone, as if thou hadst no need of others? If thou thinkest so, behold, Almighty God will say to thee, as He said to another as proud, " Thou art wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." [14] " Blind," because thou knowest not thyself; " poor" of virtues; " naked" of good works; and " miserable" with grievous sins. Why art thou "proud," "dust and ashes?" [15] Why art thou puffed up, vile worm? Fly, fly from pride! for being "poor" and "proud," [16] thou shalt be abhorred of Almighty God!


Secondly, I am to consider the terrible punishment which Almighty God has inflicted and does inflict upon some proud men in this life, and what He will inflict upon all of them in the other. [17] These chastisements are pointed in that sentence so frequent in Scripture, " Whosoever exalteth himself shall be humbled." [18]

1. In this are included three terrible chastisements of the proud: viz., it deprives them of the excellency they have; it denies them what they desire, and instead thereof it gives them baseness and confusion, which they fear; which is verified in many ways, and may be shown by divers examples that have happened. The angels, through pride, lost the excellences of grace, and obtained not their preeminences in the seats of glory, but were cast from the empyreal heaven to the abyss of hell. [19] With this example I must terrify myself, as Christ our Lord terrified His apostles, when they boasted that the devils obeyed them, saying to them, " I saw Satan like lightning falling from heaven." [20] As if He should say, So shall you fall if you be proud; for pride of angels makes devils, and will make devils of apostles. [21] Through the like chastisements passed Adam, [22] Nabuchodonosor, [23] Cyrus, [24] Herod, [25] and others, who desired to be as God, and gave Him not the glory due to Him.

2. Hence I will go on to consider that the greatest chastisement that Almighty God in this life inflicts upon one sin is, for that one to permit many others, and to take from them the special favours of His grace, which should preserve them from them. 28 And in this manner He chastises pride, which is the cause of those interior drynesses, discomforts and abandonments that happen to us, and through it God permits grievous fallings into luxury and infidelity. Ananias and Saphira,as St. Basil says, [26] for vain-glory sold their goods, in order to be accounted for perfect; and for this Almighty God permitted them to retain half the price, for which they died suddenly, losing with their lives the honour they desired. This struck a great fear into the whole Church, and should strike a fear into me, because the punishment of a few should be a warning for many; and if I be proud I shall be, peradventure, one of those few punished, unless I amend.

3. Then will I consider how, at the least, I cannot escape from the punishments of the other life, where all the proud shall suffer special confusion, with terrible shame to see themselves so contemned. And those who here aimed at the highest place shall there have the lowest, at the feet of Lucifer the king of the proud, and even the devils themselves shall scoff at him, using in mockery that of the prophet Isaiah, " Et tu vulneratus es sicut et nos, nostri similis effectus es, detracta est ad inferos superbia tua;" [27] " Thou also art wounded like as we; thou art become like unto us" in punishment as thou hast been in sin; "thy pride is brought down to hell," and to the deepest lakes thereof. Now, what greater madness can there be than to seek with pride that excellency whose end is eternal confusion? and what greater folly than for a glory which passes like the wind to cast myself into an ignominy that shall never have end?

Colloquy. — O pride, what a great " beam" [28] art thou in the " eye," foolishly blinding it, that it cannot see its own hurt! O humble Jesus, take from my eyes this great beam, that I fall not by reason of it into these so exceeding great losses! Amen.


The third point is to consider the great good that I shall get if I mortify pride and embrace humility, especially for the end that I seek, which is to purify my soul.

1. These benefits are comprehended in our Saviour Christ's promise, when He said, "He that shall humble himself shall be exalted," [29] in which He sets down three great benefits which He does to those who truly humble themselves — freeing them from the miseries into which they have fallen, preserving in them the graces and excellences which they have received, and exalting anew to others that are greater; so that those who humble themselves with a contrite heart for having sinned, are exalted by Christ in the very same respect in which they humble themselves. For He pardons them their sins, frees them from the punishment they deserved, gives them His grace and charity, exalts them to the dignity of the sons of God, hears their prayers, and fills them with great gifts. For "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." [30] King Achab, because he humbled himself before Almighty God, was delivered from the chastisement that was menaced him. [31] The Publican was justified for his humility, the Pharisee being reproved for his pride. [32]

2. In like manner the just, by humbling themselves, are exalted by God in justice itself, augmenting their sanctity, and the gifts of grace and the honour and glory which they merit by it. And hereupon says the Wise man, " The greater thou art the more humble thyself in all things, and thou shalt find grace before God [33] as our blessed Lady the Virgin did, and was exalted to be the mother of Almighty God; [34] and the Son of God Himself became man to destroy pride, and to give example of humility; and because He humbled Himself more than all men He was exalted above all the heavens. [35]

Colloquy. — Therefore, O my soul, fly from pride, if it be but to avoid thy damage, and embrace humility, though it but for thy own profit. For it is a general law, from which thou shalt not be excepted, that whosoever is proud shall be humbled, and that "whosoever humbleth himself shall be exalted." Comply with that which belongs to thee, humbling thyself for thy sins, and God will perform what belongs to Him, exalting thee with His gifts.

3. Lastly, I will examine what degree of pride predominates in my heart, and which of those vices above mentioned holds it in subjection, and that I will manfully endeavour to mortify, exercising the contrary acts, taking away the occasions of stumbling, and applying that particular examen which we shall hereafter set down, beginning by mortification and humiliation in exterior things, which is the most easy; for, as glorious St. Bernard says, " Nihil facilius est volenti, quam humiliare semetipsum [36] " There is nothing more easy to him that hath a will than to humble himself; n for if I would make myself great, many will contradict me, but if I humble myself there will be none to contradict me, and by humbling myself I shall come to be humble; for humiliation is the only means to estrange me from pride, and to obtain the virtue of humility.




1. Gluttony is an inordinate appetite of eating and drinking, and we may sin by it five different ways. [37] i. By eating meats prohibited by the Church, or by breaking fasts, either those which I am obliged to observe by special vow or by the obligation of a regular state, ii. By taking meat or drink in too great quantity, or to the danger of my corporal or spiritual health, [38] which is hindered by it; or in drinking until I lose or trouble my judgment, iii. By procuring meats and drinks of such quality as are much more delicate and precious than my person and state require, for the sake of pampering and sensuality, iv. By eating oftener than is convenient, out of season, and upon an occasion that may do me harm, or in an unsuitable place, or contrary to the prohibition and rule of my religion, v. By eating with too great affection, relishing what I eat only for pleasure, and after an unbecoming and hasty manner, wholly absorbed in what I am doing with thoughts and words of sensuality.

2. Upon these five acts I must examine and accuse myself before Almighty God, bewailing my frailties, and saying,

Colloquy. — Woe to me that do always in a manner sin even in eating and drinking, serving rather my own sensuality than my necessity, and seeking rather the delight of my flesh than the preservation of my life; so that when I pay that debt to my body I pay the tribute of sin to the devil. Have compassion, O God, on my weakness, and succour me with Thy grace, that gluttony may not drag me after it!

3. With this feeling I am to make great resolutions to mortify this vice, observing the rules of temperance in the five things above mentioned, [39] namely, in the precept, quantity, quality, time, and manner, endeavouring to take that quantity of meat and drink which suffices, shunning the two extremes, that it be neither so much as to overload me nor so little as not to support me. And in the quality contenting myself with ordinary meats, rather coarse than delicate, avoiding all singularity, if it be not in a case of manifest necessity. [40] In the manner, I am to aim at that which the Holy Ghost advises, not to suffer myself to be drawn by my appetite; " Be not greedy in any feasting, and pour not out thyself upon any meat [41] so that when the body is eating the spirit be not consumed and swallowed up with the meat: but rather with a controlling heart, to give some food to the spirit that may moderate the covetous desires of the flesh. The consideration of the points here ensuing will much help to move me to this.


Secondly, I must consider the punishments of this vice, reducing them to three classes. Some proceed from gluttony itself, as from an evil tree; others God our Lord has added, and does add in this life, to discover how displeasing this vice is to Him; and others He has reserved for the other life.

1. Gluttony is a chastisement of itself, and pays in ready money with pain the delight of the sin; for it over-charges the body, takes away health, shortens the life, and hastens death. " Watching, and choler and gripes are with an intemperate man." [42] " Who hath wo? Whose father hath wo? Who hath contentions? Who falleth into pits? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? Surely they that pass their time in wine, and study to drink off their cups." [43] " Take heed," says Christ, " lest perhaps your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life." [44] Again, it afflicts the spirit, dulls the understanding, disables for prayer and conversation with Almighty God, and makes the soul incapabfe of spiritual comforts, because it suffers itself to be filled with carnal pleasures; and it enfeebles the heart for great things in God's service, because he that is subjected to this enemy that is the weakest has no courage to combat others that are more strong. [45]

2. Besides this, on gluttony Almighty God has inflicted terrible punishments. For the eating of an apple against the precept of God, Adam and Eve lost their state of innocence and were cast out of paradise. [46] The Israelites inordinately desired to eat flesh in the desert, of whom it is said, " As yet the flesh was between their teeth, neither had that kind of meat failed: when, behold, the wrath of God being provoked against the people, struck them with an exceeding great plague. And that place was called The graves of lust: for there they buried the people that had lusted." [47] Another time the same Israelites from eating and drinking "rose up" to idolatry, God's justice permitting that those should adore a calf who took their belly for their god; for which thirty-three thousand of them were put to the sword. [48] And that which is most astonishing, a holy prophet, for eating in a place that God had prohibited him, was slain by a lion; [49] and nothing excused him, neither the miracles he had done nor the obedience that he first had, nor the necessity that he suffered, nor that he had been beguiled by another who seemed of the same profession.

3. Finally, in the other life, gluttons shall suffer particular torment in their tongue, 14 as the covetous rich man who fared very delicately came into hell to suffer such thirst, that he begged to be refreshed by " Lazarus" with " the tip of his finger" only dipped " in water," [50] and it was not granted him. Thus shall all three suffer the hunger of dogs, raging thirst, pangs, and bitterness of eternal galls, according to the sentence pronounced against Babylon: "As much as she hath glorified herself and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her." [51]

Colloquy. — Then what art thou doing, O my soul? Why not bewail thy gluttonies? why dost thou not amend thyself of them? Behold that temporal fulness and drunkenness shall be chastised with eternal hunger and thirst; and if, like Esau, for a vile dish of meat thou sellest the inheritance [52] of heaven, thou shalt peradventure have no time to recover it. [53] Consider how many have been chastised for this vice, and beware by other men's evils, lest torment light upon thee for thine own!


Of temperance and fasting. — Thirdly, I am to consider the great benefits and rewards that I shall receive of Almighty God, if I mortify gluttony and perfectly embrace temperance and fasting, reducing them also to three classes, opposite to the three punishments of gluttony. Some are proper to themselves, like good fruits of a good tree; others our Lord adds, to show how much this virtue pleases Him; others are rewards of heaven, with which He rewards it.

1. For, first, abstinence pays in ready money the pain which it has in the beginning; for it tempers the body — it preserves from infirmities — it preserves health — it prolongs the life — it recreates the soul, it renders it fit for prayer and receiving celestial comforts— it takes away the arms of its enemy the flesh, and subjects it to the spirit, to encourage it to undertake glorious enterprises in the service of God.

2. Besides this, Almighty God being so liberal and compassionate as He is, does not command that we should live void of some pleasures; [54] and therefore those who abstain from bodily food He refreshes with the food of the soul, and for sensual consolations He gives them spiritual. So that they lose no consolation, but rather increase it, changing it from the flesh to the spirit. To these He communicates celestial illuminations, as He did to Daniel — gives them notable victories, as He did to His three companions against Nabuchodonosor — and exalts them to very high contemplation, as He did Moses and Elias, giving them part in His glorious transfiguration, [55] in reward of their fasting and mortification.

3. Finally, Almighty God rewards them in heaven with a spiritual fulness, setting them with Christ at His table, that they may eat and drink in His kingdom of that food which God Himself eats. Therefore, O my soul, if thou desirest to attain to great sanctity upon earth, and to obtain great rewards in heaven, begin with temperance and fasting, in reward of which God is said to " repress vices, exalt the spirit, grant virtues, and crown with rewards." [56]

Colloquy. — O sweet Jesus, seeing all who are on Thy side ought to "have crucified the flesh with its vices and concupiscences," [57] grant me that I may mortify mine as Thou didst mortify Thine! By that thirst which Thou sufferedst on the cross, and by the gall and vinegar which they gave Thee to drink, grant me, I beseech Thee, a temperance so perfect that in eating and drinking I may satisfy my necessity, and not serve my delight; and a fasting so strict that, like the Ninevites, [58] I may appease Thy wrath, satisfy for my sins, terrify the devils, give joy to the angels, and be made partaker of Thy gifts, world without end. Amen.




Luxury is an inordinate appetite of sensual pleasures, contrary to the order that Almighty God has appointed therein. In this vice we may sin:

1. By thought — consenting with the will to commit this sin, or taking pleasure to think upon immodest things, with that delectation called by the schoolmen "morosa," [59] " dwelling " or "tarrying" — detaining ourselves voluntarily in this delight, or weakly resisting it, or not removing the occasion whence it arises.

2. Secondly, we may sin by word, speaking filthy things; by the ear, delighting to hear them, or to hear music and indecent songs; by the eye, beholding things that excite to immodesty, or looking at such representations or reading books that treat of such things; by the smell and taste, smelling or eating and drinking things that excite to luxury — having in all this sensual delight for the end.

3. Thirdly, we sin by the act committed many ways. If by one's-self alone, it is pollution; if with a single woman, it is fornication; if with a married woman, adultery; if with a virgin, deflowering; if with a kinswoman, incest; if with a religious woman, or contrary to the vow of chastity, it is sacrilege; if with one of the same sex, it is sodomy; if with a beast, beastly brutishness. Touching by one's-self, or by others, for the same end of delight, is reduced to the sin of the act consummated. In this point we are not in prayer to make much pause, reckoning the particular circumstances of these sins, lest they should be an occasion of new temptations, and therefore they are more to be bewailed than thought upon, saying:

Colloquy. — Wretch that I am! my life is so bestial and filthy that I am ashamed to consider it and afraid to look back on it, lest I should anew be infected with the evil odour thereof. Look on it, O my God, with Thine eyes of mercy, that from my eyes may issue fountains of tears, with which I may purify myself from so great uncleanness! Amen.


Secondly, I will consider three other sorts of punishment corresponding to luxury, as before we have said of gluttony, but much greater, because it is a greater sin.

1. The first punishment is innumerable miseries which this vice draws with it, our Lord permitting that an " angel of Satan," who with the " sting of the flesh" overthrows sinners, should cruelly " buffet" them, [60] tormenting their bodies with a thousand crosses — with painful, loathsome, and shameful diseases — with infamies, and a thousand other torments, until they have consumed their wealth, their health, their content and their life. And as St. Paul delivered over to Satan an incestuous Christian [61] to be bodily tormented, so whosoever gives himself over to this vice delivers both his body and soul to this cruel tormentor, who, though he begin with pleasure, yet " in the end he will bite like a snake, and will spread abroad poison like a basilisk." [62]

2. Besides this, Almighty God, to show the hatred He bears to this vice, has inflicted upon it terrible chastisements. On account of this vice principally came the Deluge that drowned the world, [63] and the fire that burned Sodom, [64] and the great slaughter that Moses made of his Israelites — putting, in one day, twenty-four thousand to the sword. [65] And when Phineas, full of great zeal, publicly slew a public fornicator, Almighty God was so much pleased with this chastisement that He forthwith ceased the slaughter. [66] For the sin of pollution God killed a grandchild of the patriarch Jacob; [67] and the sons of Eli the high priest, for their carnalities, died disastrously. [68] It is as well known how dear it cost Samson his sinning with Dalilah; [69] and David his adultery with Bethsabe; [70] and Solomon his over -great affection to strange women. [71] Then if such men were vanquished by luxury, and suffered for that cause so terrible punishments, how is it that thou flyest not from it? Art thou peradventure more strong than Sampson, or more wise than Solomon, or more holy than David, or more privileged than they, that thou shouldst not fall as they fell, nor be chastised as they were? [72]

3. But in hell the luxurious shall suffer excessive torments — the fire of hell with special torment burning those parts of the body which were the instruments of sin. The imagination which was delighted in thinking upon these carnalities will suffer horrid representations; and the five senses, which were five fountains of delight, will be five pools of incredible torment Finally, from head to foot they will be drenched in the lake of fire and brimstone, because during their life they yielded to the odours and allurements of the flesh.

Colloquy. — O my soul, to eschew the flames of this carnal fire, consider well the flames of hell fire! As one nail drives out another, so the fear of the one fire shall expel out of thee the love of the other.

4. Hence I must draw so firm a resolution to fly this vice [73] — which is not vanquished but by flight — that I may avoid even in my mouth taking the name of it, according to that of St. Paul to the Ephesians, speaking of uncleanness and fornication, " Nec nominetur in vobis [74] " Let it not so much as be named among you lest the name bring to your remembrance the thing that is signified.

And as there are two ways to vanquish this vice, one by contenting one's-self with the lawful delights of matrimony, the other much more perfect, abstaining also from them, the point that follows will be principally concerning this second way.


Thirdly, we are to consider six acts comprehended in the perfect mortification of luxury, and in the sovereign virtue of chastity, when it has attained to its due perfection; and other six favours and rewards that Almighty God grants for them. [75] By reason of which chastity in Scripture is compared to the w lily," which has six very white and soft leaves, within which are six little offshoots with their little heads gilded and sparkling like fire, signifying by the six leaves the six acts or degrees of purity, and by the offshoots the six favours — all founded upon the gold and fire of charity, by which this virtue is most amiable and the mortification most sweet; and to this end we are to consider them.

1. Acts of perfect chastity. — i. The first act of chastity is to keep purity in the eye and ear, [76] locking up the doors of these senses, that nothing may enter thereby to awake any evil thought or filthy imagination, in such a manner that my eye must he chaste and my ear chaste, preserving these senses chaste that they may he the guardians of chastity.

ii. The second act is parity in things delectable to the senses of smelling, tasting, and touching, [77] separating myself with great rigour from all those sweet and pleasant things that are any impediment to chastity — labouring to be chaste in my meat and drink, in my apparel and bed — and chaste in all my touchings, flying, as from fire, all things that are otherwise.

iii. The third act is purity in words, speech, and " conversation" [78] — in looks, laughter, and gestures of the body, and in exterior grace and manner, observing in all this such chastity that Christian modesty and decency may be resplendent in all — cutting off whatever may be contrary toil

iv. The fourth act is purity in friendship, and in bring and familiar commerce or conversation with creatures — carefully avoiding any over-great familiarity with any one that may be any occasion of blemishing chastity — neither giving nor receiving any presents or gifts that may be snares or stumbling-blocks to this virtue.

v. The fifth act is purity in separating ourselves from all occasions, as well exterior as interior, which excite to anything that may tarnish or overthrow chastity. And therefore he that is perfectly chaste shuns secret pride, by which Almighty God permits man to fall into manifest luxury [79] — he shuns anger, for it inflames the blood and perturbs the flesh — he shuns idleness, because it opens the gate to fleshly lust — and finally, he shuns all places and persons by whose company he may endanger his chastity; for " he that loveth danger shall perish in it." [80]

vi. The sixth and last degree of chastity is purity in all the thoughts of the heart, and in the motions and pruriency of the flesh — keeping it low and subjected to reason, not only in waking, but as much as in us lies even in our sleeping— endeavouring to give no occasion that the devil should therein delude us with filthy representations or perturbations. [81]

And these are the six pure white leaves of this celestial " lily," which, although it grows among the " thorns" [82] of many temptations and tribulations which the continent man suffers before he comes to be perfectly chaste, yet, if I trust in God's omnipotence and mercy, I may obtain it, [83] in which I shall be furthered by a profound consideration of the six favours and rewards of which we shall now discourse.

2. The favours and rewards of 'perfect chastity. — i. The first favour that God our Lord will do me, if with a generous mind I resolve to fight against the rebellions of the flesh and to embrace perfect chastity, is to send angels to assist and aid me in this war, that I may overcome and get the victory. For the purer a man is, says St Ambrose, [84] the more he is guarded and encompassed with angels, who delight to converse with virgins and chaste men, on account of the likeness that is between them. And as when the three chaste young men were in the fiery furnace of Babylon, "the angel went down" among them who divided the flame, and with a dewy wind assuaged "the furnace," [85] so to those who are in the midst of the furnace of sensual temptations, with a purpose to give no consent to them, do angels favourably repair, so that these flames may not burn them nor touch them in the superior part of their soul; and with the "wind" and "dew" of heaven they quench the heat of the flesh, exciting them to glorify God, for the victory He has given them against it. And therefore, when I shall see myself assaulted with these temptations, I am to call to them, saying:

Colloquy. — O ye glorious angels, guardians of virgins, protectors of the chaste, friends and companions of men that are pure, come and favour me, that the fire that encircleth me may not burn me. Disperse the flame that burneth within my flesh, that it may neither touch nor hurt my spirit; and purchase for me the gentle wind of God's spirit, that it may cool and refresh the heats of my flesh!

ii. The second favour is, that God Himself, by a partieular protection, comes to guard such as are chaste, who by their purity make themselves like not only angels, but even the Lord of angels Himself, the fountain of all purity, who is delighted to converse familiarly with the chaste, and to admit them to His friendship. [86]

O eternal God, who feedest " among the lilies," [87] for it is Thy food and Thy pleasure to converse with chaste souls, endue mine with chastity, that Thou mayest deign to inhabit and to converse with it! Amen. [88]

From these two favours I am to gather a most effectual means to vanquish temptations when they assail me on a sudden and alone, by instantly lifting up the eyes of my soul to the angel who is present, but much more to the presence of God Himself — shaming to do before them what I would not do before men; [89] and with this consideration I shall answer the temptations as chaste Susanna did the shameless old men that solicited her, saying, " It is better for me to fell into your hands without doing it than to sin in the sight of the Lord." [90]

iii. The third favour is, for the carnal marriage which I renounce to admit me to a spiritual; espousing Himself spiritually with my soul, with the espousal of " justice and judgment," " mercy" and " frith," [91] and communicating to me such sovereign delights of the spirit that I shall forget those of the flesh, proving in this His word which He gave when He said that whosoever should leave a wife for His love, renouncing that choice that he had to be married, " shall receive a hundredfold" in this life, that is, a delight so great that should "a hundredfold" exceed the delight he would have had in marriage; [92] for so excellent is the sweetness of chastity that it is impossible to know it but by proving it

Colloquy. — O Spouse of chaste souls, grant me such virtue that thereby mine may be Thy spouse! O my soul, seeing thou art such a lover of delights, renounce liberally the vile delights of the flesh, that thou mayest enjoy the most sweet delights of the spirit! Amen.

iv. The fourth favour is, for those carnal children which I might have had to give me abundance of spiritual children incomparably better, filling me with good works, with rich merits and with many souls gained to Christ by my example and word, of which I may be the spiritual father and mother, fulfilling that which He promised by His prophet when He said, " Let not the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord to the eunuchs," " I will give to them in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which shall never perish." [93]

O happy chaste man, to whom Almighty God grants the sovereign dignity both of a son and of a father; of a son by the singular grace of adoption, and of a father in spirit by the copious fruits of benediction!

v. The fifth favour comprehends many very singular graces and privileges, which He grants them in testimony of the great love He bears to chastity; for as the chaste elevate themselves above the ordinary laws of nature, living in flesh as if they had no flesh; so God will sometimes exalt them above the ordinary laws of grace in honour of their chastity. The Virgin, our blessed Lady, through the rare vow she made of virginity, was exalted to the dignity of the mother of God Himself. The evangelist St. John, for his purity, was much beloved by our Saviour Christ, from whom he received extraordinary favours in the supper and on the cross, and great revelations; in which also, for this reason, Elias, Eliseus, Daniel, and other sons of the prophets were very famous; and the fire of Babylon touched not the three children, because they had vanquished the fire of luxury.

vi. The last favour is that singular privilege to "follow the Lamb" in glory " whithersoever He goeth [94] for whosoever imitates Him in this life, embracing His virginity and purity, shall also imitate Him in the other, participating in His most excellent glory, united to His sweet company with particular joy. [95]

Colloquy. — O most pure and immaculate Lamb, grant me that I may follow Thy purity both in body and spirit, that in issuing out of this strait prison of the world I may with Thee in Thy spacious heaven dilate myself and rejoice! Amen.

3. With the consideration of these six favours I am to arm myself to resist those combats which may happen to me against chastity, saying as chaste Joseph said to the woman who solicited him — God having done me so many benefits and promising me such favours if I live chaste — "Quomodo possum hoc malum facere, et peccare in Deum meum?" "How can I do this wicked thing, and sin against my God?" [96]

Colloquy. — O Lord of heaven and of earth, I will leave, not only my cloak, like Joseph, but my honour, wealth and life, rather than offend Thee. For Thou madest Joseph, for his chastity and loyalty, viceroy of Egypt; but me, for mine, thou wilt make a king in Thy kingdom of heaven.




1. Avarice is an inordinate desire of riches and temporal goods, in which we may sin many ways.

i. In desiring to take that which is another man's, contrary to the tenth commandment of the law of God; or taking in the deed, or retaining it contrary to the seventh, which is, " not to steal."

ii. With niggardliness abusing that which is our own, not sharing it, when the law of justice or of charity and mercy obliges us, amongst the needy, but being hard-hearted against them.

iii. In seeking after these goods with too great care, setting our whole heart upon them, treading underfoot for this reason the commandments of Almighty God and of His Church, and the obligations of our state. Hence spring many sins that are the daughters of avarice; viz., lies, frauds, perjuries, violence, tyrannies, cruelties, suits, discords and innumerable others; upon which the apostle said that " the desire of money is the root of all evils." [97]

iv. Whoever has made a vow of poverty sins against it in usurping to himself (without leave of his superior) what is given him by others, or in alienating what is given him, or in hiding it; or in employing what he has to a prohibited use, or after an appropriating manner, that is, with an affection so inordinate, as if it were his own, being sad or complaining when by just title they deprive him of it.

v. We may sin by doing good works principally for temporal interest, or by omitting obligatory works for the same end, treading under foot the rules of our state and office.

This examination being made, I will consider whether I have anything that may be an idol for my avarice to adore; seeing (as St. Paul says) avarice " is the service " and adoration " of idols." [98] And if I find any such thing in my possession, or in my heart any such affection and desire of it, I will confess these sins before God our Lord, with great shame that I have coveted anything against Him, resolving to root out this affection, and if I can also, to divest myself of that which is its cause. To this end I shall be aided with these considerations ensuing.


Secondly, I am to consider the evils and chastisements of avarice, reducing them to the three kinds that have been spoken of.

1. First, I will ponder that avarice (as St. Paul says) "is the root of" two sorts of "evil," [99] in which are summed all the evils of this life, to wit — transgressions and pains, sins and sorrows; which are joined together to chastise the mother that engenders and sustains them; so that she is the tormenter of herself, putting the covetous man in great vexations and afflictions to gain or preserve riches with a miserable servitude and slavery of them. It is likewise a snare of Satan, with which he drags him through thorns and prickly shrubs of temptations, obscurities of faith, remorses of conscience, and of cares that sting him; and in the end he hangs him, like Judas, between heaven and earth, neither permitting him to enjoy the goods of the earth nor to attain to those of heaven.

2. To these chastisements Almighty God sometimes adds others, to show how much He abhors this vice, and such as sin therein in any of the five ways before-mentioned, of each of which I will set down an example.

Achan, because he took certain things of Jericho, contrary to the 'precept of Josue, was by God's commandment stoned to death, and all his wealth consumed with fire. [100] Nabal, overwhelmed with avarice, denied David the alms he asked; and because he was hard-hearted to him who was needy, he died with his heart as hard as " a stone." [101] Jezabel, with an inordinate desire to have Naboth's vineyard, in order to get possession of it caused him to be put to death; and she was thrown out of a window, and eaten by "dogs." [102] Ananias and Sapphira, because, when they had vowed poverty, they reserved to themselves " part of the price of" the sale of their "land," died disastrously. [103] Giezi, vanquished by covetousness, demanded money of Naaman, for the health that Eliseus the prophet had given him, and was therefore struck with a "leprosy." [104] Finally, Judas, solicited and drawn by his avarice, admitted Satan to enter into him; and not content with stealing what was given to His master, sold Him, and hanged himself. [105]

Colloquy. — O my soul, how is it that thou art not afraid of so fierce a vice that assails and overthrows kings and plebeians, rich and poor, secular and religious, servants of the prophets and primitive Christians, and one of the twelve Apostles?

3. After these chastisements come the eternal punishments of hell, where the covetous shall suffer very great anguish with the knowledge of their terrible necessity, seeing they want all that their avarice desired; and the richer and more covetous they were here, so much the more they shall there be tormented: like the rich covetous man whose abundance ended in horrible misery.

Colloquy. — O omnipotent God, rich in doing mercy, deliver me from this avarice, out of which spring so many miseries, for I had rather without it suffer temporal necessity than with it fall into eternal!


1. Thirdly, I am to consider the great benefits that are included in the perfect mortification of avarice. And as there are two ways of mortifying it — one, keeping still the dominion of my riches, and mortifying only the inordinate affection to them; (in which consists the first degree of poverty of spirit, including the virtue of liberality, which distributes its goods when and as it is convenient, and the virtue of mercy, which remedies the necessities of the poor;) the other, forsaking all the riches that I have or might have, the more to uproot my affections from them (in which consists the voluntary poverty of religion).

i. In both ways are included great benefits. For generally, to all the poor of spirit Christ our Lord promised the kingdom of heaven; as well the kingdom of the other life [106] as that which is enjoyed in this life, which is "justice, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." [107] So that if I mortify and vanquish avarice I shall enjoy three benefits — justice, with abundance of good works; peace, without any noise of disturbance; and spiritual joy, free from gloominess and vexation, because I shall have' taken away the root of the evils that hinder this good.

ii. Besides this, avarice being vanquished, if I am liberal towards God, in giving for His sake what I have, God will be most liberal towards me in giving me His benefits, as well temporal, which shall be expedient for me, as also spiritual, both in this life and in the other. For it is He who said, " Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, and pressed down, and shaken together, and running over shall they give into your bosom," [108] where it will be very secure and much esteemed. He says, " Dabunt," " they shall give," to signify that our gifts are the cause why Almighty God gives us this measure with those four conditions, which, when it is most abundant, it may have. And He adds, that " with the same measure" we " shall mete, it shall be measured to" us "again;" for our liberality increasing towards our neighbours, the liberality of God will increase towards us, so that he that sows much shall reap much.

Colloquy. — Therefore, O my soul, be liberal towards God and for His love towards others, and God in Himself and in others will be liberal towards thee! For " the soul which blesseth shall be made fat that which gives shall be enriched, and " he that in ebriateth, also shall be inebriated himself," [109] receiving much because it gives much.

iii. Hence I will ascend to consider the great benefits that I shall receive if I embrace the second way of mortifying avarice, forsaking all things for Christ, and giving them to the poor; because as this is a much greater liberality towards God, so God will be much more liberal towards me, fulfilling the promise which He made to give in this life " a hundredfold" for what we give Him, and afterwards " life everlasting," [110] with a special promise to give us at the day of judgment thrones of great glory, to judge the tribes of Israel and the nations of the world.

Colloquy. — O happy poverty, which is rewarded with so great riches! O blessed liberality, whose guerdon is a measure so abundant! Oh that I could mortify the love of earthy riches to obtain divine, possessing all things in Almighty God! O most sweet Jesus, who earnest from heaven to earth to give us an example of poverty, by which we may mount from earth to heaven, and chosest to die naked upon a cross, quitting the world without possessing anything of the world, grant me to abhor temporal riches, that I may serve Thee with perfection, and obtain riches everlasting! Amen.

2. From these considerations I must draw a very firm resolution to mortify avarice in all the things which have been spoken of in the first point, observing some sort of poverty conformable to my estate, i. Living content with my estate, though it be but mean, without coveting what is superfluous or what belongs to others, ii. In employing well what I have, and being liberal to those that want, iii. In taking away the too great love of it, possessing it as though I " possessed it not." [111] iv. In delighting sometimes to suffer want of something; to imitate in something the poverty of my Redeemer, v. Endeavouring to serve Him, not in order that He may give me temporal goods, but because He is worthy to be served, with a hope that He will give me goods everlasting. Amen.




1. Anger is an inordinate appetite of revenging injuries, and an inordinate inflaming of the heart on account of things that happen against our liking, whence proceed three sorts of sins. [112]

i. Some of thought, as the hatred of our neighbour, the determination to be revenged of him, desiring some misfortune to him, rejoicing at his mishaps, sorrowing for his good fortune, and taking delight in revenge.

ii. Some sins are of the tongue; to wit, vindictive and injurious words in presence, or murmuring in absence, maledictions, high and harsh words indicating choler, contention and perverseness in order to maintain one's own opinion, and the like.

iii. Other sins there are of deed, contrary to the fifth commandment; as to kill, to strike, or evilly to treat our neighbour against reason and justice, or to do some act only for the sake of revenging an injury, or to require this revenge of the judges not for love of justice but out of rancour and hatred, not to pardon him who has done the injury when he asks pardon, but giving exterior demonstrations of enmity against him. Also discords, processes, brawlings, schisms, factions, and wars proceed from anger, with many other sins that accompany them.

2. Finally, with wrath is joined impatience at the evils that happen to us against our health, honour, or wealth — overcharging ourselves with grief through a vehement and inordinate desire to be delivered from them, from whence are wont to proceed many sins against Almighty God, against our neighbour and against ourselves. Such as are complaints against our Lord, because He afflicts us, with a tendency to blasphemy, want of conformity to His will, distrusts, irksomeness of life, impatient desires of death, and with rage laying violent hands upon ourself; to be ill-tempered, rough, and intractable towards others, giving them occasion of indignation, and living at discord with those of one's own house, being angry even with the beasts and insensible things, as Jonas was angry with the " ivy " that " withered," when the sun oppressed it with heat [113] Considering these sins, and finding myself culpable of them before God, I will turn my wrath against myself only, because I have sinned, [114] beseeching our Lord that He will assist me to vanquish it.

Colloquy. — O infinite God, whose wrath is terrible, but yet just, against those who are angry without measure, clear the eyes of my soul, that, considering the terrible chastisements that proceed from Thy sacred indignation, I may restrain those evil and vehement passions that proceed from mine! Amen.


1. Secondly, I will consider the evils and chastisements of this vice, as well those it brings with it as those which God of His justice adds in this life and in the life to come.

i. Anger destroys our likeness to Almighty God, [115] whose works are full of great tranquillity. It disquiets the conscience, it stops the fountain of God's mercy, it strangles the spirit of devotion and the consolations of the Holy Ghost, who dwells and reposes in the humble and meek-hearted, and flies from the wrathful, whom the evil spirit inhabits. For furious wrath is a frenzy of the soul, a short madness, [116] and a voluntary devil, which possesses the spirit with such agitations as the devil makes when he possesses the body.

ii. Besides this, as our Lord is the God of vengeance, He exercises it with rigorous justice against those that angrily revenge themselves by killing or oppressing their neighbours. For which sentence was given against the first two malicious homicides that were in the world, Cain and Lamech; that of Cain vengeance should be taken "sevenfold," and of Lamech, that was not warned by Cain, "seventy times seven," [117] that is, a vengeance so complete that it comprehends all the kinds of torments that are in this life.

iii. But, above all, I will consider what Christ our Lord said in His gospel against this vice, " Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council, and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire." [118] Thus anger no sooner begins to govern the heart but the tribunal and " council" of the most sacred Trinity begins to treat of vengeance, the rigour of the punishment increasing as the sin grows greater. If anger remains but in the heart the punishment shall be the lesser; if it issue out, giving open signs, with scorn or exterior gestures, upon further deliberation, the punishment shall be the greater; but if it comes to the uttering of grievous and injurious words, and much more if it mounts to an actual revenge, the sentence of eternal fire is already given against it, with which in hell is joined the fire of wrath itself, to be a most cruel tormentor of the soul, for that which there most torments is anger, impatience and rage. And although the fire of purgatory and of hell be all one, yet that is sufferable with patience, but this insufferable with anger. And therefore the wrathful and impatient have two hells; one in this life by their lack of patience in temporal afflictions, and another afterwards by their rage in the eternal.

Colloquy. — O most patient Jesus, deliver me from anger and impatience, seeing there is no greater hell than to live subjected to it! Amen.

2. From these considerations I will draw two resolutions of very much importance for the perfect mortification of this vice. i. To avoid any motion of anger whatsoever, [119] though it come covered with the cloak of justice and zeal, fearing lest with the zeal of correcting or chastising other men's vices I mingle an affection of my own revenge, ii. Speedily to repress the first rising of anger before it increases, [120] for "of one spark," says the Holy Spirit, " cometh a great fire [121] but in the beginning it is an easy thing to appease it, and appeased it will be if I repress the words and exterior signs of anger, [122] our Lord rewarding the mortification of that exterior by giving me victory over the interior.


Thirdly, I will consider the great benefits obtained by the perfect mortification of anger, comprehending the two virtues which oppose it — meekness and patience.

For the first restrains anger from aggravating anyone; the second tolerates the grievances it received. The first serves to make us affable to all — the second, to suffer all; hence proceed three great benefits, to make us perfect in all that pertains to ourselves, to our neighbours and to God.

1. First, meekness and patience give us qniet and peaceable rule, and possession of ourselves and of our passions. For « the meek possess the land " [123] of their heart; and "in patience" we "possess" our "souls," [124] and obtain peace of conscience with cordial alacrity of spirit.

2. Meekness also makes us amiable, and patience admirable. For (says the Wise man) " do thy works in meekness, and thou shalt be beloved above the glory of men;" [125] and he that has courage to repress his anger and to suffer wrong, acquires credit to his own person and edifies his neighbours; for " the patient man is better than the valiant; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh cities." [126] It is in some sort a greater miracle to suffer injuries joyfully than to raise dead men to life. [127]

3. Likewise, meekness and patience make us amiable to Almighty God, and give us entrance to a familiar conversation with His majesty, whereas the want of them bars the gate against us. Moses, for his great meekness, had very inward familiarity with Almighty God; and (as Dionysius [128] says) for failing a little therein the spirit decreased that he had received. And if I will " pray n to God "in every place," and "lift up pure hands" to heaven, it must be "without anger and contention," [129] easing myself with the wings of meekness and patience.

4. Finally, if I be meek and patient, I shall partake eminently the spirit of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who excelled in these two virtues, giving us a rare example of them in His life and passion, like a most meek and patient lamb, that we might imitate Him in them. And to the two apostles who, with a spirit of anger and revenge, cloaked with zeal, desired " fire to come down from heaven " and consume the Samaritans, He said, " You know not of what spirit you are." [130] As if He should say, The spirit of my disciples must not be of anger, but of meekness; not of vengeance, but of sufferance.

Colloquy. — O meek and patient Jesus, who, when " reviled," didst not " revile and, suffering injuries, didst not "threaten;" [131] and receiving most grievous contempt, either didst answer with divine meekness or didst hold Thy peace with admirable silence, aid me, that in imitation of Thee I may vanquish anger, repress impatience, embrace meekness, and, armed with patience, may suffer afflictions willingly, that I may attain to enjoy with Thee eternal repose! Amen.




Envy is an inordinate sadness on account of our neighbour's good, when it excels and obscures our own. [132] It springs from pride and is accompanied with anger, so that the acts of these vices accompany it. The most ordinary are to abhor my neighbour because his prosperity makes me sad, to rejoice at his fall, to grieve at his exaltation, to hear his praise with pain, and dispraise with delight, to murmur at him and his affairs, endeavouring to drown and undervalue them, and using means to attain this end. Envy feeds itself on all kinds, both of good and evil; whence we may collect four sorts of envy.

1. The first and grossest envy is, to see others surpass me in temporal goods of wealth, honour, and dignity, favour with princes, beauty of body, and other such excellences. This is proper to worldlings, and springs from that pride which in the eighth meditation we called worldly pride.

2. Another greater envy is fed on literature, sciences, ability and arts, and in those excellences which touch the understanding. This envy assails those that profess study, and is mixed with obstinacy, contentions, and other unlawful means of a man's exalting his own honour, and abasing and dishonouring that of another.

3. Another envy, much greater, feeds on spiritual virtues and goods, being sad that any other should have excellence in them, or should be honoured and praised as holy men. This proceeds from that pride which we call spiritual pride, and attacks those whose minds are set upon virtue, and is most familiar to beginners and hypocrites.

4. Finally, when this increases, it arrives at the last degree, which is called envy of grace, [133] and brotherly charity, and is one of those sins which are against the Holy Ghost; being sad and grieved that our neighbour should be virtuous, and should have the graces and gifts of the Holy Ghost, wishing that he had them not; whence proceeds the grievous sin of scandal, i.e., to do something to cause our neighbour to lose grace and charity. Such was the envy of the devil against man, by which, says the Wise man, [134] " death came into the world," whom they all imitate who are of his faction.

This might suffice for abhorring so abominable a vice which makes me an imitator of Satan. Confounding myself, therefore, for the sin which I have committed in this matter, I will say to myself.

Colloquy. — Seeing that thou wert called to imitate Christ, imitate not His enemy; for if thou imitate him in envy, thou shalt be partaker of the death that entered by it.


Secondly, I will consider the innumerable evils of sin and pain that spring from envy, by God's just punishment, that itself might be the most cruel tormentor of him that is subject to it, as well in this life as in the other.

1. Envy is a venomous breath of the infernal serpent, by the which he casteth out all his poison together, seducing to most grievous sins, obscuring reason, enraging the soul, corrupting the body, and " is the rottenness of bones [135] and, still more, destroying the strong virtues of the heart

2. On the other side, it is like a disease incurable, or very difficult to be cured: for, as it is a vice infamous, and belonging only to base and servile minds, so we are ashamed to manifest it to the spiritual physician; and whatever success there be, whether prosperous or adverse, it is nourished and increased by it.

All this may be pondered in certain examples of Holy Scripture, in all states of persons, according to the degree of the envy that we speak of. It was through envy, conceived because Almighty God had accepted his brother Abel's sacrifice, that Cain killed him by deceit and cruelty, [136] and even would have covered his sin from Almighty God, and despaired of mercy and remedy. It was through envy that the brethren of Joseph put him in a well, and sold him for a slave; [137] and though he humbled himself they were not appeased. It was envying Aaron and Moses, that Gore, Dathan, and Abiram would have usurped their dignity, and have put the people in a tumult, for which the earth opened and swallowed them alive. [138] It was through envy that Saul persecuted David with such obstinacy, that he lived as if he were possessed with a devil, and killed himself like a man in despair. [139] Finally, it was through envy they bore against our Saviour Christ that the Jews committed the greatest sins, and suffered the greatest punishments, that have happened in the world.

3. From this I will pass on to the punishments of hell, where the envious shall turn with incredible rage against themselves, biting their own flesh, and that cruel worm that gnaws their conscience shall whet their teeth with envy, in remembering what goods they themselves and others have gained; especially when they shall see, after the day of judgment, the glory of the righteous whom they have despised.

4. Finally, envy is so malignant and cruel, that it turns all things to its own hurt. From other men's goods it draws a spirit of grief that " drieth up the bones," [140] and from other men's harm it draws a kind of joy that, with the sin, it makes itself partaker of them. And therefore the good and evil of others will be the proper torments of the envious. This being so, why do I not tremble at this malignant beast? How dare I dwell with this basilisk that kills, and torments me with his eye? Oh, how truly may I apply to myself those words of the Apostle,

Colloquy. — " Woe to me, that have gone in the way of Cain," persecuting for envy my brethren, " and, after the error of Balaam," have given them evil counsel to overthrow them in sin; andlike " Core" have sought to exalt myself by debasing them! [141] I have deserved, O my God, that the earth should swallow me as it did Core; that I should " perish" miserably like Balaam; and that Thou shouldst cast me out of Thy presence for ever like Cain, imitating in pain those whom I imitated in sin. But by Thy grace I differ from Cain in this, that, confessing Thy mercy is greater than my wickedness, I hope to obtain entire pardon of it! Amen.


Thirdly, I will consider the great benefits which are included in the mortification of envy, and in embracing brotherly charity; [142] pondering first the acts of charity as they are contrary to envy, i. The first is to resist evil motions, in such a manner that though I feel myself to be assailed with grief for the prosperity of my neighbour, yet I give not consent to it ii. That it is better to rejoice at his good, as if it were my own, and to congratulate him upon them. iii. The third and most perfect is to wish that many had the same excellences that I have, and even greater, if it should so please God, rejoicing for this cause as if it were my own.

1. To move me to such excellent acts, I am to ponder that it is the generosity of a Christian mind to seek more God's pleasure than its own; and that it may be spread among many, and that in many respects. And if it be His will and for His glory that others should have greater natural or supernatural gifts than myself, it is just that my will also should condescend to it. I must not be like Josue the servant of Moses, who was envious that others should prophesy, but like Moses himself, who said, " Oh that all the people might prophesy, and that the Lord would give them His spirit," [143] that all were wise, were prudent and holy, and all served and glorified Almighty God. I must not be like the disciples of John the Baptist, who were envious that Christ should baptise, and that all should follow Him; but rather as the Baptist himself, who said, " He must increase, but I must decrease." [144] I rejoice that my neighbour is exalted and I humbled, and so it is fitting when Almighty God will have it so.

2. Besides this, brotherly charity, contrarily to envy, draws out of all things good to itself; for in rejoicing at the good of my neighbour I make it my own, and in grieving at his evil I shall free myself from it; for by such acts I dispose myself so that Almighty God may give me the one and deliver me from the other, in such a manner as shall be most convenient for me.

3. Finally, with this charity whose fruit is peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, I shall begin even from earth to taste what is in heaven, where all the blessed are contented, and the least are partakers of their glory that have most, through the joy they receive thereby. And so I shall be partaker of the prosperity and joy of all my neighbours, having so many motives of joyfulness as I shall see good fortunes happen to them.

Colloquy. — O my soul, begin forthwith to exorcise upon earth the life that thou hopest to enjoy in heaven. If thou wilt needs have envy, let it " be zealous for that which is good in a good thing always," [145] endeavouring to excel all not for the sake of being more honoured, but that Almighty God may be more glorified, world without end. Amen.




The vice which we commonly call by the name of sloth, is an inordinate heaviness and fastidious disgust for virtuous exertion. [146] In this we may sin in many ways, through the many vices which accompany it.

i. The first is an over-great apprehension of the labour and the difficulty of virtue, flying from it for that reason; from which proceed faintness and weariness in the exercises of it, so that one performs them with disgust.

ii. The second is pusillanimity and cowardice in undertaking difficult things in God's service, [147] hiding for that reason the talents that Almighty God has given, and not using them when the law of justice or charity obliges me.

iii. The third is sloth and negligence in fulfilling and observing the law of God, the evangelical counsels, the statutes and rules of my state of life and office. So that I do the things by fits, with delays and repugnance, out of fear, and, when I cannot otherwise leave them undone, with base and servile ends and sinister intentions.

iv. The fourth is inconstancy in prosecuting the acts of virtue, and carrying them on to the end with unsteadiness in them; hastily quitting one for another to get rid of tediousness, until I leave off the good I have begun, returning back like a dog to his vomit.

v. The fifth is timidity and distrust of succeeding in endeavours for virtue, or of becoming victorious against temptations, until we fall into the pit of despair.

vi. The sixth is rancour and jealousy of spiritual persons on account of their virtues [148] and good example, which upbraid me; or because I am offended with the advice and correction I receive from them.

vii. The seventh is idleness in losing that precious time which Almighty God has given me to labour; as also overmuch sleep and drowsiness in good works, especially in the spiritual works of prayer, reading, mass, sermons, and discourse concerning Almighty God, through the small delight I take in it

viii. The eighth is wandering amid divers unlawful and vain things to entertain myself; [149] as are voluntary distractions of thought and imagination, gossiping and looseness of tongue in idle words, vain sports, witnessing profane spectacles, curiosity of the senses, lounging of the body, walking up and down the public places here and there for pastime and recreation, and desiring change, being constant in nothing but inconstancy.

ix. Finally, to this vice belong all sins of omission and negligence in God's service, which are innumerable. Nor will you easily find a good work but it has some of these defects, either at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end. Wherefore I should greatly accuse myself before our Lord, saying to Him,

Colloquy. — I confess, O my God, that in this vice alone I have sinned so often that my sins are numberless, and therefore I throw them altogether into the numberless multitude of Thy infinite mercies, that Thou mayest remedy the numberless multitude of my miseries. Amen.


Secondly, I am to consider the most grievous injuries proceeding from sloth, some that spring from itself, others added by the just chastisement of Almighty God, both in this life and in the other.

1. The first are the most grievous. For lukewarmness is painfal, perilous, the shadow of death and near neighbour to hell. It empties the heart of spiritual consolations, fills it with heaviness, and opens the gate to innumerable temptations of the devil, who comes to dwell and settle himself in that soul which he finds idle [150] and vacant, bringing "with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself," [151] which are the multitude of sins; for all gather themselves to the slothful and idle soul, which, as Solomon says, like a " vineyard" or farm which is not cultivated and has no trench nor inclosure, is filled with the " nettles " of sins and the " thorns" [152] of passions and bitterness. It is trodden and trampled upon by the devils and by divers unquiet thoughts, which, like passengers, enter in and issue out by it Thence proceed a wonderful poverty of spiritual goods and an unprofitable beggary; for he that has not in the winter of this life " ploughed" nor laboured " shall beg in the summer" [153] of death, and shall find none to give him what he begs, like " the five foolish virgins " who, through sloth, falling asleep, begged oil for their lamps, and none would be given to them. [154]

2. Besides this, the just sustain very great loss by this lukewarmness, which is, as it were, the canker of virtues, the moth of good works, the ruin of consciences, the banisher of divine consolations, the diminisher of merits, and the augmentor of their labours; for the lukewarm in virtue walk full of fear and desires. "Fear casteth down the slothful " and " desires kill" [155] them. They labour much and thrive but little; for " the burden " [156] of God's laws lies heavy upon them, and they merit but little in bearing it, because of the great repugnance and disgust with which they bear it; so that they live in danger of forsaking it, and of falling into the malediction of Jeremias, which says, "Oursed be he that doth the work of the Lord deceitfully [157] and into that most terrible one with which our Lord threatened a tepid bishop, saying to him, " Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth;" [158] and cast him both from Himself and out of the mystical body of His Church.

3. Finally, as the "slothful servant," who "hid the talent" of his Lord, lost what he had, and was "cast" "into the exterior darkness," where there is perpetual " weeping and gnashing of teeth;" [159] so the slothful shall be punished in torment proportioned to his sloth, taking from him "the talent" of faitfr-and hope which he had buried. And because he lived in idleness and trembled at labour, he shall live in perpetual darkness, not working, but suffering, trembling, and gnashing his teeth for the dreadfulness of the torments which he suffers.

Colloquy. — O eternal God, by whose sentence the fainthearted and slothful perished in the desert without entering into "the land" [160] which Thou hadst promised them, I confess that for my sloth I deserve to be cast out of Thy house, to be excluded from Thy kingdom, and being bound hand and foot, to be cast into "exterior" darkness. I am grieved, O Lord, for my former remissness, deliver me from it for Thy mercy, that I may merit to enter into "the land" of eternal promise! Amen.


Thirdly, I will consider the great benefits that I shall obtain by vanquishing my sloth, and embracing spiritual alacrity and fervour in the service of God.

1. For the works of virtue will be easy and sweet to me; I shall labour little and thrive much in a little time, like those workmen who, coming late into the vineyard, laboured so fervently that they deserved as much in " one hour" as the remiss did that had laboured many hours, bearing " the burden of the day, and the heat," [161] which they would not have felt if they had fervently laboured; for the fervour of the spirit makes the burden of the law easy, and the yoke of it very sweet And, besides this, it augments merit, it doubles the talents received, it causes great peace in the soul, and much confirms perseverance to the obtaining of glory.

2. I may also consider how God our Lord exceedingly delights in being served with zeal and readiness, for as He is essentially alacrity itself, and as all the works He does and the rewards He gives us are done with great joy and fervour, rejoicing [162] to do us good, most justly does He command me to serve Him, and give Him what He requires, not with disgust and sadness, not by force and with repugnance, but with fervency and " exceeding great joy" of heart [163] "Hilarem enim datorem diligit Deus;" "For God loveth a cheerful giver." [164] To such an one He does great favours, and hears the petitions and " requests" of his " heart." [165] And finally He gives him a taste of that alacrity that is enjoyed in heaven, because he fulfils God's will upon earth. And therefore I will most earnestly beg of God our Lord this most noble spirit of joyful fervour in His service, saying to Him with David,

Colloquy. — " Eestore unto me the joy of Thy salvation," and " take not Thy Holy Spirit from me," [166] O Saviour of the world, that rejoicedst as " a giant to run" Thy "way," [167] though it was very rough, grant me that health and alacrity of spirit that Thou gainedst for me, that I may in such manner run my way as to merit to gain an eternal crown! Amen.



i. For the end of this meditation, it will much help to form in the imagination a figure like the vision which the prophet Zacharias [169] had, in which he " saw" " a volume" or parchment extended which was "ten cubits" in breadth and "twenty" in "length," in which were written the sins of him that steals, and " of him that sweareth falsely," and the malediction that shall therefore light upon him, which volume came flying to his house, and destroyed it, until it had consumed all "the timber" and "the stones." In the same manner I will imagine before me a great book or parchment, very broad and long, and on one side of it I will look at the oaths, thefts, murmurings, and all other sins that I have committed against the ten commandments of the law of God; for as I go on writing them in the book of my conscience, God goes on writing them in the book of His justice, to chastise them in His own time. And on the other side I will behold written all the maledictions and punishments that Almighty God threatens against such as break these ten commandments, or any of them, making comparison between the sins and the punishments, in grievousness and continuance. For if my sins are many the punishments will be many, if they be grievous the punishments will be very grievous, and of so long a continuance as to be eternal. Seeing, also, that chastisements, when beheld very far distant, terrify but little, I will imagine that this book of God's justice comes flying very swiftly upon the house of my soul: and it may be that it is already very near, and that it will this day light upon it, death or chastisement seizing suddenly upon it. For if I hasten to sin, God will likewise hasten His punishments, and make desolate my body, soul, honour, wealth, and all that I have. With this wholesome apprehension, I will beseech our Lord to illuminate my soul that I may know the sins that are written in this book, and the chastisements that I have deserved, aiding me with His grace to bewail them bitterly, that by my penance I may blot out my sins, and that His mercy may likewise blot out the maledictions that He had written against them.

ii. This being premised, I will begin the meditation discoursing upon the ten commandments of the divine law, remembering that the commandments of God have, as Cassian says, [170] two senses, the one literal and the other spiritual. The first serves for ordinary people, that intend no more than to save themselves; the second for those that desire greater perfection, who are not content to avoid only mortal and venial sin, but whatsoever imperfection is contrary to the end of the precept. And, according to the second end, I will declare in what manner we sin against every commandment


1. First, I shall consider what Almighty God commands and prohibits [171] in His holy law; and in what manner we sin against it, running through the ten commandments, and through that which, they spiritually include in them.

i. The first commandment commands the principal works that appertain to the virtue of faith, hope, charity and religion; i.e., to adore one only God, to believe firmly all such things as He has revealed to His church, to hope for those which He has promised, and to love Him more than all things that are created. Against this I may sin, i. By idolatry or infidelity, adoring false gods, or denying that which He has revealed, or doubting of it I may also sin, as the Scripture says, in adoring the idols of my own judgment and will, [172] rebelling against the will of Almighty God, or holding as my " God" my " belly" or money; [173] or denying God by my works, or not observing due loyalty towards Him. ii. I sin in despairing to obtain heaven, or pardon for my sins, or that Almighty God will hear my prayers according to His promise; and, on the other hand, presuming to obtain this without using the means that God has ordained for that purpose, iii. Through hatred, or want of love, loving some creature more than Almighty God, or rejecting the will of God 'to fulfil that of the creature; or in being remiss in loving Him with all my heart, mind, and soul, and with all my strength, much forgetting both Him and His benefits.

ii. The second commandment prohibits every defect whatsoever in the truth, justice, reverence, and necessity of an oath, so that I may not, by swearing, affirm anything contrary to my belief, or promise anything without an intention to fulfil it, or anything that is evil, or not fulfil that which is good; nor swear without necessity or utility, nor without considering well what I say; nor without that reverence which is due to the sovereign name of Almighty God, whenever I take it in my mouth. I may also sin in breaking my vow, or in deferring without cause to fulfil it, or in being remiss in the observation of it, so as to diminish the perfection I profess.

iii. In the third, of keeping holy the feasts, I may sin by doing upon them any servile work that is prohibited, or in not hearing a whole mass, or in not assisting at it with due reverence and attention; or by wasting such days in things unworthy of the feasts and of the end for which they were instituted, which is to pray and to glorify God.

iv. The fourth commandment is to honour our parents according to the flesh, to support them in their necessities, and to obey them in their just commands; and in like manner our spiritual fathers, prelates, and other superiors, obeying their ordinance without contradiction, or without perverseness of judgment, without repugnance of will and without delay in the execution. And to carry this out more at large, I am humbly to" esteem others better than" myself, [174] honouring all, and subjecting myself " to every human creature for God's sake." [175]

v. The fifth, not to kill, prohibits all that has been declared in the 22nd meditation, on anger; and (to spiritualise the several ways of killing), i. I may kill my soul by sin, taking away from it the life of grace; ii. I " extinguish" " the spirit" [176] that is, the inspirations of the Holy Ghost, by rejecting those good desires with which He inspires me; iii. I crucify Christ [177] within me, and trample upon His blood, by doing the works for which He might again be crucified if the first crucifixion had not sufficed; iv. I kill the souls of my neighbours by scandal, in being to them a stumbling-block by my evil example, or by not helping them with correction, or counsel, or spiritual alms, when charity obliges me to it: so we call it killing the poor when we succour them not by the corporal works of mercy. [178]

vi. The sixth, not to commit adultery, prohibits all that which is declared in the 20th meditation on luxury. But yet there are other sorts of spiritual adultery and fornication, in forsaking God, who is the true spouse of our souls, to join myself by inordinate love to some creature; or in defiling the works and? words of n Almighty " God," [179] and saying them not to please Him, or to beget spiritual children that may be pleasing to Him, but for my own pleasure or temporal profit; [180] or, finally, by being altogether forgetful of God, and diverting myself with idle occupations.

Vii. The seventh, not to steal, prohibits all that has been spoken of in the 21st meditation on avarice; and, besides this, I commit theft, in a spiritual manner, and destroy many things belonging to others, contrary to the will of their owners. For I rob God of His glory, and play the spendthrift with His gifts; I am prodigal of the time that I had to spend in His service; I pay Him not the debts I owe Him on account of my sins, or of His benefits, by satisfying for those, and being thankful for these. I rob Him of my will, which I delivered to Him by my vow of obedience; and I usurp His authority by arrogating to myself to judge of the secret acts of my neighbours which belong to His tribunal. And, in like manner, I destroy the charity and spiritual riches of my neighbours, aiding the captain of thieves, the devil, who is continually busied in robbing them.

viii. The eighth, not to bear false witness, prohibits all sins of the tongue that are against the honour and fame of our neighbour, of which mention was made in the 22nd meditation, on anger. Also, to judge rashly of his affairs, or to suspect evil of them, taking them in the worst part without a sufficient foundation; or to deceive him by any manner of lie or fiction, as is that of hypocrisy, flattery, worldly compliments and offers, having no purpose to fulfil them. And spiritualising this precept, I bear false witness against Almighty God when I think basely of His goodness and mercy, of His justice and providence, and when by my evil works I defame and discredit His law and His doctrine, and am a cause that His holy " name" is " blasphemed among the Gentiles," [181] or less esteemed and reverenced among the faithful. I also lie to Almighty God when I fulfil not my word, having given it to Him, nor the resolution that I made to do something in His service.

ix., x. The ninth and tenth commandments are declared in the sixth and seventh.

2. After I have considered these sins, I am to charge myself with them before our Lord with great sorrow and shame for having committed them. And although I had broken but one commandment only, I may esteem myself, as the apostle St. James says, " guilty of all;" [182] for in every sin I shall find that which is spiritually prohibited in all: for one mortal sin only in the form that has been declared is as idolatry, infidelity, hatred, adultery, theft, infamy, and homicide. And therefore, reprehending myself, I may call myself by these infamous names, saying:

Colloquy. — Idolater, infidel, adulterer, thief, hypocrite and homicide! how hast thou dared to do injury in so many ways to a God of so infinite majesty? Why dost thou not break thy heart with grief for having broken the just commandments of thy Lord? O God of my soul, that I might say to Thee with David, " My eyes have sent forth springs of waters, because they have not kept Thy law." [183] Grant unto me these tears so abundant that I may wash with them my innumerable sins!


Secondly, I am to consider the maledictions that Almighty God pours out upon the breakers of His law, and the terrible punishments that He threatens to them both in this life and in the other.

1. This I may ponder, discoursing first of the terrible catalogue that Moses makes of these maledictions in two chapters of Deuteronomy, saying to the people that if they broke the law of Almighty God these maledictions should " come upon" them "and overtake n them. [184] "Cursed shalt thou be in the city, cursed in the field." " Cursed shall be the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy ground, the herds of thy oxen, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be in coming in, and cursed going out The Lord shall send upon thee famine and hunger, and a rebuke upon all the works that thou shalt do: until He consume and destroy thee quickly, for thy most wicked inventions by which thou hast forsaken me. May the Lord send the pestilence upon thee until He consume thee out of the land which thou shalt go in to possess. May the Lord afflict thee with miserable want, with the fever and with cold, with burning and with heat, and with corrupted air, and with blasting, and pursue thee till thou perish. Be the heaven that is over thee of brass, and the ground thou treadest on of iron. The Lord give thee dust for rain upon thy land, and let ashes come down from heaven upon thee till thou be consumed. The Lord make thee to fall down before thine enemies," " and be thy carcase meat for all the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the earth, and be there none to drive them away." 17 And in this manner he goes on with other horrible maledictions, which, after he has reckoned up, as if they were but little ones, he says, " God shall increase thy plagues," [185] adding others that are greater. And because the curse of God is not only in word but in deed, there is none of those that infringe His law that will be able to escape what Almighty God will inflict upon him, and finally all be overtaken with that last which Christ our Saviour shall pronounce at the day of judgment, [186] the terribleness of which has already been declared. The effects of these maledictions, the miserable people of the Jews had had experience of in their time, and many of them we experience in ours, which are all admonitions for our amendment; for the desire of this divine Lawgiver is not to entangle us in these maledictions, but to terrify us that we may keep His law, and be delivered from them.

Colloquy. — O most just Lawgiver, I confess that in very great justice "the heaven' should "be to me" of brass, and the ground " of iron," and that I deserve neither the favour of earth nor heaven! I deserve that Thou shouldst "stop" Thy "ears against" [187] my prayer, because I stopped mine against Thy law. I have drunk " iniquity like water," [188] and therefore it is right that malediction should enter "like water into" my "entrails." [189] But remember, O Lord, that Thou didst subject Thyself to the curses which the law cast upon Him who died crucified, [190] to deliver us from the curses that are threatened by the law. Apply to me, then, the fruit of Thy death, pardoning me the sins that I have committed against the law, and freeing me from the maledictions that I have deserved for them! Amen.

2. I may likewise consider the chastisements that Almighty God inflicts upon those that break the ten commandments of His law, as they are represented in the ten plagues of Egypt, [191] with which they are many times punished that rebel against the commandments of Almighty God, as Pharaoh and his vassals did, there coming upon them frogs [192] , flies, sciniphs [193] , murrain [194] , boils [195] , locusts, thunders, lightnings, hail, and thick darkness; yea, and the Angel of God, with his sword drawn, entered their houses, killing their first-begotten [196] , and destroying what they loved most, until at last the sea of tribulations, which gives free passage to the just, drowns [197] and stifles them for their sins, sinking them like lead to the bottom of hell, where they will be burned and tormented in that fire everlasting.

3. And that we may not imagine that these plagues touched only the ancients before the coming of Christ, when our Lord was called the God of vengeance, there is mention also made of them in the Apocalypse. For God's providence, which is benign to the observers of His law, is rigorous against those that infringe it, wherefore He has in readiness "seven angels" with "seven" dreadful "trumpets," and " seven" other, with " seven phials," full of His " wrath" and indignation, which they pour out " upon the earth," [198] striking sinners with dreadful plagues.

Colloquy. — O my soul, why dost not thou tremble to trespass against that law which has such terrible and zealous avengers? How is it that thou art not terrified with the sound of these trumpets? How is it that horror is not caused in thee with the horrible wine of these " phials?" How art thou not affrighted with the dreadfulness of these " plagues?" O most merciful Jesus, who receivedst five wounds on the Cross, and wast wounded on it from head to foot, cure with this precious blood the wounds of my sins, that I may be free from such horrible plagues! Amen.

4. Lastly, I will consider some particular chastisements that Almighty God threatens in Scripture against such as break any special commandments; that is to say, " A man that sweareth much shall be filled with iniquity, and a scourge shall not depart from his house." [199] In this are set down two most grievous evil consequences of this vice, which are, to fill the house of a man with sins and punishments, with spiritual and corporeal wounds, and so lay it even with the foundations, as it is manifest by the malediction of the volume, [200] which we put in the beginning of this meditation. "The eye," also, "that mocketh at his father, and that despiseth the labour of his mother in bearing him, let the ravens of the brooks pick it out, and the young eagles eat it:" [201] for such an one is not worthy of long life, but of an infamous death; and in the other life the infernal ravens and eagles shall pluck out his eyes, blinding him with obstinacy, and eating his bowels with torture.

And in this manner we may consider other chastisements, collected from what has been declared in the seven preceding meditations.


1. Thirdly, I am to consider the blessings that Almighty God pours out upon those that observe His law, as well corporeal as spiritual, and as well temporal as eternal.

i. This I may consider, first running through the catalogue that Moses makes of them in the same book of Deuteronomy, saying to his people, that if they observed the law of God, all these blessings should "come upon" them and " overtake" them. " Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle. Blessed shall be thy barns, and blessed thy stores. Blessed shalt thou be coming in and going out, and in all the works of thy hands." " The Lord will open His excellent treasure, the heaven, that it may give thee rain in due season. And the Lord shall make thee the head and not the tail; and thou shalt be always above and not beneath." "The Lord shall cause thy enemies that rise up against thee to fall down before thy face." " The Lord will raise thee up to be a holy people to Himself." " And all the people of the earth shall see that the name of the Lord is invocated upon thee, and they shall fear thee." [202]

These and other blessings Moses foretold; and although they are temporal and accommodated to the imperfect state and condition of that people, yet they are a sign of others — much greater spiritual things, which Almighty God gives to Christian people (who, besides, want not these temporal), after a most excellent manner; for the providence of our heavenly Father (as His Son Himself promised us) is careful to provide for us those things that are meet, giving them for an addition to those that observe His law. [203] For He that " opens His hand" [204] and fills " with His blessing every living creature," will open it much more to replenish his children.

ii. Hence I will ascend to consider the spiritual blessings which Almighty God gives to those that keep His law, in the keeping of which He has most excellently included three kinds of good, viz. beautiful, profitable, and delightful good, of which David in the eighteenth Psalm makes another sweet catalogue. For, first, " the law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls," [205] replenishing them with wisdom and all virtues. It is also most profitable to obtain all good that may be desired, not only for the soul, but for the body, as " length of days, and years of life and peace." [206] And therefore it is " more to be desired than gold and many precious stones," [207] or more than all the treasures of the earth. It is also delightful, "sweet above honey and the honeycomb," [208] and cheers men's hearts with a greater alacrity than any that can be given by all the sweet things of this life. Hence it is that Almighty God "prevents" beginners with "blessings of sweetness," [209] that they may cheerfully begin the way of His commandments. To those who are proficients, this divine lawgiver gives His blessing, that they may "go from virtue to virtue," [210] until they arrive to the height of perfection. And " upon the head of the just " [211] that are perfect He pours His " blessing " in great abundance, giving them some taste of what they shall enjoy in glory. And, finally, in the day of judgment, He will give them the supreme benediction, saying unto them, " Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you;" [212] as we have meditated already.

2. Considering these blessings, and comparing them with the curses which were declared in the preceding point, I am principally to collect three affections of very great importance.

i. The first is a great sorrow for having broken a law so holy, so profitable, and so sweet, making myself unworthy of its celestial blessing, and incurring the three evils, contrary to the three goods that have been spoken of; for together with the breach of the law go those vices that pollute both body and spirit, all the temporal and eternal woes that body and soul suffer, and all the griefs and bitterness with which our heart is afflicted. ii. The second affection is of confidence, assuredly hoping that, if I observe the law of Almighty God, I shall obtain the blessings which He promises me, calling to mind those memorable words of Ecclesiasticus, who says, " Homo sensatus credit legi, et lex illi fidelis " A man of understanding is faithful to the law of God, and the law is faithful to him [213] which is to say, the just man and the law are faithful one to another. The just is faithful in obeying the law, and the law is faithful in rewarding the just. It defends him in perils; it comforts him in his adversities; it directs him in his prosperity; it counsels him in his doubts; it favours him in his business; it makes his prayers to be heard; it aids him in life; it protects him in death; and, finally, it crowns him in glory.

Colloquy. — O my soul, be "faithful to the law of" Almighty " God," and " the law " shall " be " very " faithful to " thee! Fail not thou in doing what it commands thee, and it will not fail to do what it promises thee! Praise thy sovereign Lawgiver with the "psaltery" [214] of ten strings, keeping His ten commandments, and thou shalt forthwith be partaker of His promises! Say not with the wicked Israelites, " He laboureth in vain that serveth God, and what profit is it that I have kept His ordinances?" [215] Convert thyself truly to our Lord, with a contrite heart for having broken them, and thou shalt see by experience the difference between the just and the sinner, between those that observe His law and those that infringe it!

iii. The third affection must be great love and esteem of the law of God, endeavouring, as Solomon says, to " write " it " in the tables of" my " heart," [216] which are the three faculties of my soul. In my memory, to be always mindful of it; in my understanding, to meditate continually upon it; and in my will, to love it, and, if need were, to lay down my life for it, saying, as Moses to his people, I will " meditate upon them sitting in my house, and walking on" my "journey, sleeping and rising." [217] I will " bind them as a sign on " my " hand," to work after their pattern, and they shall be and move " between " my " eyes," by which to guide myself, saying with David, " Oh, how have I loved thy law, O Lord, it is my meditation all the day." [218]

Colloquy. — O most sweet lawgiver, who, when Thou becamest man, didst forthwith put this "law " in "the midst of" Thy heart, " and by Thy grace " dost write it "in" the "heart" [219] of Thy elect, write it also in my heart, in such a manner as it may never be blotted out, that I may be worthy to be written in the book of life, without ever being blotted out of it, world without end! Amen.


Of all that has been said in this meditation I will collect a brief summary of the chief motives in it, as well to procure great contrition for having broken the law of Almighty God as to animate myself to keep it with perfection.

i. Because it is just and holy, and with great excellence embraces all kind of good. ii. To deliver myself from the maledictions and plagues, both temporal and eternal, which it threatens, iii. To enjoy the innumerable benedictions which it promises in this life and in that to come. iv. And principally for the sake of the Lawgiver who gave it, viz., Almighty God, infinitely good, wise, and powerful; and my infinite benefactor, upon whom depends all my good, both temporal and eternal. And this reason only shall suffice to move me to love a law given by such a Father, and to be infinitely sorry for having broken it

v. The fifth motive is, that the lawmaker Himself, becoming man, put it in the midst of His heart, and came to fulfil it entirely, without omitting any jot or tittle, to move me, by His example, to its perfect accomplishment

vi. The sixth is, the fidelity of the law to those that observe it; and the experience that I myself have of the great good I shall get by observing it, feeling great peace and serenity of conscience, and great alacrity and confidence in Almighty God. And, on the other hand, of the great evil that befalls me when I break it, having my heart broken with sins, excessive fears, remorse of conscience, and many other miseries.

vii. And, finally, because at the hour of death nothing will more torment me than to have broken the law of Almighty God, nor anything more content me than to have observed it; since upon this depends my damnation or salvation. Upon this I will conclude, as Ecclesiastes [220] concluded his book, saying, " Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is all man;" that is to say, in this consists the whole being of man, and the accomplishment of the obligations of the whole man; and whosoever fails in this fails in the integrity and perfection of a man, and acts like a beast.




1. The first point shall be to recall to my remembrance the sins that I have committed by my five tenses and exterior faculties of my body, accusing myself of them before our Lord.

i. First, with my eyes I have sinned, in delighting to see beautiful, vain, curious, or hurtful things, only for vanity, or curiosity, or sensuality, with immodesty and wantonness of flesh, and disedification of others; so that I often sin in the things that I behold, or in the intention with which I behold them, or in the manner of beholding them, carrying lofty eyes, and lightly allowing them to wander on all sides.

ii. My ears I have had open to hear vain and curious talk, impertinent novelties, flattery and praises of myself, murmurings and detractions of others, without reprehending them or stopping them, or so much as showing displeasure of them, when I was obliged to it And having so much relish in hearing these things, I have been disgusted in hearing good talk, and displeased to hear sermons, and the advice and corrections of those that were obliged to give me them.

iii. With the smell, taste, and touchy I have in many ways sinned in gluttony and luxury, as has been declared in the meditations of these vices.

iv. But what shall I say of the sins of the tongue? For some words I have spoken against the due respect to the name of God, some against the honour and fame of my neighbour, and to the great injury of my own soul, as appears by what has been set down in the first points of the preceding meditations. Other words have been vicious, by failing in the due circumstances, speaking things unbecoming my state and profession, or in places and times prohibited, as it is to talk much in the church, at mass or at sermon-time, to the scandal of others; or when, by my rules, if I be a religious, I am obliged to keep silence; or when I speak in an improper manner, hastily, inconsiderately, very affectedly and harshly. In such a manner that, considering the sins of my words, I may affirm with the apostle St. James that my tongue has been " universitas iniquitatis," " a world of iniquity," where every sort has been assembled, and a fire that has inflamed and burned "the wheel of" my "nativity" [221] throughout the whole course of my life.

v. With these sins I may join others of immodesty and disorder in the use of the rest of the members and exterior faculties, as are immoderate laughter, sneering, mocking, and light gestures of the head, feet, or hands; or walking in an affected, disorderly, and too hasty manner, and the like, which show but little gravity. Of which the Wise man says, that " the attire of the body, the laughing of the teeth, and the gait of the man, show what he is," [222] and what virtue he has.

2. Considering these sins, I must greatly confound myself for having so much abused the faculties that God Almighty gave me, using them for my own pleasure, pampering and honour.

Colloquy. — O great God, how hast Thou suffered in me so great disorder! O miserable man, how is it that thou hast dared thus to denounce war against Almighty God!


I will next consider the great injury that comes to me by these senses, ill-guarded and unmortified.

1. For, first, they are the gates and windows by which, as the prophet Jeremias says, the death of sin "is entered into" [223] the house of my soul, destroys the life of grace, and suffocates the vital heat of charity; for by them enter the temptations of the devils, who, like thieves, rob the house of my conscience; spoiling it of the gifts of Almighty God and of all virtue. Whereupon says the same prophet, "My eye hath wasted my soul [224] for, as the eye robbed Eve of her original justice, Dinah of her virginity, and David of his chastity and justice, so it robs me sometimes of my temperance, sometimes of my devotion, and the like does the ear and tongue. For as a city " that lieth open, and is not compassed with walls," [225] when besieged by enemies, is entered, sacked and destroyed, so is the soul that has no guard over its senses.

2. These also give entrance to the images and figures of visible things which disquiet the imagination and memory with distractions and wanderings, these pervert the appetites with disorder of passions, and disturb the heart, casting us out of it. And for this cause likewise it is true that my eye wastes my soul, because it wastes my attention, my thought and affection, causing my soul not to be so much within me as out of me, in the thing that it meditates and loves. And I myself likewise, by these gates, issue out of myself to wander through the whole world, and after me issues out the spirit of devotion, prayer and contemplation. So that when I would return to enter into myself I hit not the right way, nor find any quiet in my own house because of the tumults that I experience in it And hence proceed innumerable defects and damages in prayer and the privation of the favours of heaven; for God is not pleased to put the liquor of his gifts in a vessel that has no cover, and that in five parts is full of " holes." [226]

3. Finally, great are the chastisements that Almighty God has inflicted upon those that have been notably reckless in the guard of their senses and tongue, giving them liberty against the precepts and councils of God's law; as may appear by what has been related in the preceding meditation. Upon which says Ecclesiasticus, [227] "Hedge in thy ears with thorns, hear not a wicked tongue, and make doors and bars to thy mouth. And take heed lest thou slip with thy tongue, and fall in the sight of thy enemies, who lie in wait for thee, and thy fall be incurable unto death." Sometimes to thy temporal death, and sometimes to thy eternal, in hell; where the five senses (as has been noted already) shall suffer incredible torments in chastisement of their unbridled appetites.

Colloquy. — Therefore, O my soul, shut the doors and windows of thy senses, if thou wilt not have death and disorder enter in thereat. Stop, and bridle thy mouth, that thy own tongue do not kill thee. " Hedge in thy ears with thorns," that other men's tongues do not prick thee, drawing from what thou nearest sins of thy own.


1. Mortification of the Senses. — The third point shall be to consider the great good which the holy curbing and mortification of the senses brings with it.

i. Because, besides shutting the door against so many evils as have been spoken of, it opens it for the Spirit of Almighty God to enter into the soul, who willingly inhabits souls mortified to the flesh and to the delights of the senses. It likewise opens it to let in the spirit of prayer, devotion and contemplation; for our Lord loves to converse with souls that are inclosed gardens, and there He speaks to their heart, consorting and communicating unto them His gifts. And for this cause, when we pray, He commands us to " enter into" the " chamber" of our heart, and to " shut the door" [228] of our senses, that nothing may enter in to disturb our prayer and to interrupt the conversation we have with our heavenly Father.

ii. Besides this, the senses, when they perform their acts according to the will of Almighty God, which is the end of their mortification, are the doors and windows by which life enters; and what they see and hear, taste and speak, assists them to obtain the spiritual life of grace and augmentation of it. Hence I am to infer what St James the apostle says, that as " a fountain" sends not " forth" out of the same hole sweet and bitter water, [229] so from the self-same mouth ought not to proceed " blessing and cursing," good words to bless Almighty God, and evil words to curse our neighbour; but all ought to be good words, pleasing to God, profitable to my neighbour, and agreeable to my own conscience. And in like manner, in at the self-same eyes and ears ought not to enter life and death, but they ought always to be shut to all that is an occasion of death, and open to that which should give me life; and in this consists their true abnegation.

iii. To this I should add, that the modesty and mortification of the senses is a sign and testimony of the interior virtues; it much edifies our neighbours, and casts from it such a fragrance that it fills the house of the Church and religion with a good name. For as a good portal honours the house, and causes a desire to enter in to see what is within, so the modesty and composedness of the senses and exterior members is the most beautiful portal of virtue and religious life, making it so amiable that it excites a desire to enter in, [230] to enjoy what interiorly is inclosed within it; upon which St. Paul said, that our " modesty" should "be known to all men," for that "the Lord is nigh" [231] and present with us; and in the presence of so potent a king all we His servants ought to carry ourselves very modestly.

iv. Finally, the five senses shall receive in heaven, as afterwards will be seen, particular crowns of glory, with great pleasure in recompensing the mortification that they suffered on earth. And so, with the hope of all these benefits, I will encourage myself to mortify them with great fervour.

2. I will conclude this meditation with a sweet colloquy with our Lord Christ crucified, considering the mortification of His five senses which He suffered on the cross. This, on one hand, was most holy, casting forth resplendent rays of admirable virtues; and, on the other hand, was most painful, with the mixture of terrible agonies which He suffered for the sins that I have committed with my five senses. And considering how His eyes were obscured with spittle, His ears tormented with blasphemies, His smelling with the smell of Mount Calvary, His taste with gall and vinegar, and His feeling with whips, thorns and nails — compassionating all this, I will say to Him,

Colloquy. — It grieves me, O sweet Saviour, for the sins that I have committed with my five senses, for which Thine were so cruelly tormented! By the pains of which, pardon, I beseech Thee, the many sins of mine! With the blood which issued out of Thy five precious wounds wash the stains that have issued from those my five ulcerous fountains! Stop, now, O Lord, their abominable current, and aid me with Thy grace to restrain it, that, imitating the mortification that Thou didst exercise in Thy life and sufferedst in Thy death, I may merit to obtain Thy glory! Amen.




1. The first shall be to consider the vices and sins that have their particular seat in the understanding, and the injuries that proceed from them; examining that part which appertains to me in every one of them, which may in all be reduced to seven.

i. The first is ignorance of those things that I ought to know, such as those which I ought to believe, to ask, to receive and to do; which are included in the creed and prayer of the " Our Father," in the sacraments, and in the commandments of Almighty God, and in the other obligations proper to every man's state or office, [232] for I can but ill accomplish them not understanding them. And, as St. Paul says, " If any man know not he shall not be known," [233] God saying to him, "I know thee not." With this vice agrees much the culpable forgetfulness of Almighty God, and of His law, and of such things as I may and ought to remember, of which we may likewise say, that whosoever forgets shall be forgotten; for if I sinfully forget Almighty God and His things, God Almighty will be forgetful of me and mine.

ii. The second vice is imprudence, or precipitation and want of consideration in those things that I have to do or say, casting myself into them with violence of passion, without first considering whether they be lawful or unlawful, or without taking convenient counsel concerning them, [234] whence proceed innumerable errors and defects in all matters of virtue.

iii. The third vice is rashness in judging the sayings and doings of my neighbours, condemning them or suspecting amiss of them without sufficient foundation, [235] in which I do injury to Almighty God our Lord by usurping His authority, and interposing myself to judge that secret that is proper to His tribunal. I likewise do injury to my neighbour, in condemning him without sufficient reason; and I do hurt to myself, for ordinarily I come to fall into that which I would rashly judge of.

iv. The fourth vice is inconstancy and changeableness in the good [236] that I have determined, easily altering my opinion; whence proceeds failure in the good resolutions that I had purposed, that I do not keep my word with Almighty God and with men, and the easy giving credit to the temptations of the devil and to the flattering deceits of the flesh; and with this inconstancy is joined changeableness of thoughts, suffering myself to be carried by foolish imagination, which blunts the understanding and renders it wild and inconsiderate in thinking upon divers things without any order. Hence also proceeds mutability in good exercises, skipping from one to another only to satisfy my own pleasure, and by the novelty of them to take away their tediousness.

v. The fifth vice is perverseness and obstinacy in my own judgment and opinion, being unwilling to yield or submit it to the judgment of my superiors [237] or those that are more wise, whom I ought to obey and give credit to. This is the idol of discords, whence spring many sins of disobedience and rebellion against our superiors, many brawlings and contentions in disputations, and great errors and illusions of the devil; for, as it is said in Job, " My own counsel shall cast" me " down headlong." [238]

vi. The sixth vice is cunning, or carnal prudence and worldly wisdom, craftily inventing means to accomplish my carnal and worldly intentions, [239] whence spring frauds and deceits in words and deeds, and hypocrisies. This vice is wont to go accompanied with foolishness, silliness, or dulness of understanding in judging and discerning the things of Almighty God and the spiritual good of our souls, estimating them meanly, measuring them by the vain rules of the world and not by those of Almighty God; for, as the apostle says, the sensual man perceives not " those things that are of the Spirit of God, for it is foolishness to him;" and because "he cannot understand them" [240] he "blasphemes them." [241]

vii. The seventh vice is curiosity, desiring inordinately to know that which is not meet for me; [242] as to desire to know things hurtful to my soul or which exceed my capacity, by evil means; or things that are unprofitable and vain, and unsuitable to my state and profession; or, if they are suitable, to desire to know them with an inordinate affection, and only out of curiosity or vanity, contrary to that of the apostle: " Desire not to be more wise than it behoveth to be wise, but be wise unto sobriety." [243] 2. These are the seven vices of the understanding, in which, if I examine myself, I shall find myself very culpable; and of that I am to accuse myself humbly before Almighty God, gathering hence what a state my poor soul is in if her understanding, which is that which guides her, be so miserable. For, as our Saviour Christ says, " If thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome; "[244] and "If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit," [245] falling from the internal darkness into the eternal of hell. And therefore I should very carefully endeavour, partly by penance, partly by mortification, to purify myself of these seven vices, that my understanding may be like " silver" "refined" seven times, [246] beseeching the Holy Ghost, with His seven gifts, [247] to purify me from them.

Colloquy. — O most divine Spirit, illustrate my soul with the gift of " wisdom," against my ignorance and dulness! Give me the gift of " counsel," against my imprudence; the gift of " understanding," against my " rashness;" the gift of " knowledge," against the perverseness of my judgment; the gift of " fortitude," against my mutability; the gift of " godliness," against carnal prudence; and the gift of " fear," to oppose to my curiosity; that being free from these vices and illuminated with these gifts, I may begin a new [248] spiritual and perfect life, following Thy divine inspiration, without ever dividing myself from it! Amen.


1. The second point shall be to consider the sins that spring from my own will, and what injury I receive by following it, considering well,

i. That it is my own will; for this alone is sufficient to abhor it. My own will is that which tends only to the seeking my own pleasure, omitting that of Almighty God and of my neighbours; and it is called my oumb ecause my will being the workmanship of Almighty God, created to conform itself with His divine will, I rebel against this, and appropriate it to myself alone, as if it were my own, and use it to seek only that which is to my own liking. For what theft is more unjust and what robbery more tyrannical than to steal and rob from Almighty God the will that He gave me, and by that means to rebel, always contradicting His will? And what wickedness is there more horrible than that my will, entering into conflict with the will of God, mine should remain vanquisher and God's will be vanquished, treading His mil under foot in regard of my own? [249]

Colloquy. — O omnipotent God, by Thy infinite mercy, permit not in me such injustice!

2. Then consider how self-will is the root of all the vices and sins that I commit and of all that are committed in the world; all which we may reduce to three heads, i. The first is, a general disobedience to all that Almighty God commands by Himself or by His ministers, so that our own will is the capital enemy of all laws, both divine and human, but especially of religious laws; for all religion is founded upon the mortification of self-will, which if it lives religion dies, and if religion is to live self-will must die. ii. The second vice is, to wrest and make abortive the intention, in the good that it does; doing it, not because it is the will of Almighty God, but for other ends of its own vain, interested, and sensual pleasures, by which the good is converted into evil, and that which might have been pleasing to Almighty God becomes displeasing [250] to Him. As our Lord Himself said by the prophet Isaias, " In the day of your fast your own will is found." iii. The third vice is, to appro

prate all things to ourselves that we may, without considering what injury may follow from it to others. Whence spring innumerable acts of injustice, avarice, cruelty, contention, processes, oppressions and discords; treading under foot all the laws of justice and of mercy towards our neighbours, as also the laws of charity, which, as St. Paul says, " seeketh not her own; " [251] and therefore self-will is the poison and total destruction of charity.

3. Whence it is, that as self-will is the queen and mistress of all vices and sins, so it is that which peoples hell and is the fuel of those eternal fires. Upon which says St. Bernard, [252] "Let self-will cease and there will be no sins, and then what need is there of hell?" And besides this, if there be any hell in this life, our own will is a hell to itself, for all the miseries of this life so far are the causes of extreme affliction and heaviness as they are contrary to our own will, which if it cease, by conforming ourselves to God's holy will, that which is hell is turned into purgatory and into augmentation of merit and of crowning in heaven. Upon which says St. Ambrose, " Our own will is blind in desires, puffed up in honours, full of anguish in cares, and restless in suspicions; more careful of glory than of virtue, a greater lover of fame than of a good conscience, and much more miserable enjoying the things that it loves than when it wants them, for experience augments her misery." [253] From all this I will conclude how great my misery has been in having subjected myself to my own will, contrary to the will of Almighty God, bewailing my blindness, and purposing firmly to abhor it and to deny it, in imitation of our Lord Christ, " who came down from heaven, not to do" His " own will, but the will of Him that sent" [254] Him. And being in the heaviness and agonies of death, He said to His father, "Not my will, hut Thine be done." [255]

Colloquy. — O Sovereign Master, I confess that I am not worthy to he called Thy disciple, because I have not profited by Thy example. May the sorrows and agony of death come upon me for the times that I have said against Thee, " Not Thy will, but mine be done!" Separate, O my Saviour, from my mouth so cursed a word, and favour me with Thy grace to mortify my own will, that I may entirely accomplish Thine. May I henceforth seek not that which is mine, but what is Thine and my neighbours; [256] seeking their profit and Thy glory, world without end! Amen.


" 1. The third point shall be to consider the sins and disorders of the other interior faculties of the soul, which are the imagination and sensitive appetites, with the evil that proceeds from them.

i. I will consider that my imaginative faculty is like a hall painted with many images and figures; some foul, some profane, and others ridiculous, monstrous and deformed, entertaining itself in painting them, taking pleasure in beholding them, soliciting the understanding to gaze upon them, and oftentimes drawing it after it to cogitate upon them; whence originally spring many sins, which they call " delectatio morosa," a continuing or " lingering delight," in matter of carnality, revenge, ambition and avarice, delighting myself with the imagination of these things as if they were present.

ii. Then will I consider how my appetitive faculties are like a rough, troubled sea, combated with eleven waves of passions encountering one with another; [257] that is to say, love and hatred, desiring and shunning, grief and joy, hope and despair, fear and audacity, and anger. All which, for the most part, I apply to evil, with great disorder; for I love that which I ought to abhor, and I abhor that which I ought to love; I desire that which I ought to shun, and I shun that which I ought to desire; I rejoice in that for which I ought to be sorrowful, and I am sorry for that in which I ought to rejoice. Whence grievous sins arise; for the appetites, with these affections, solicit the will, and carry it after them, that with them it may give its consent.

2. On this account it is that these passions are the arms and snares of the devils to combat us, and to entangle us in great sins; [258] for in seeing any passion rise up they are joyful to see it, and presently make use of it to frame their temptation; so that I myself give to my enemy the principal arms with which he combats, persecutes, and destroys me. Besides this, these passions are my torturers and tormentors, for they make war within me against the poor spirit, molesting me, to make me will what I would not, [259] to do according to the desires of my flesh. And so likewise they are one contrary to another; for the passion of delight makes me desire that which the desire of honour abhors, and the desire of honour that which the passion of avarice shuns. For I am one who (as the Wise man says) always " willeth and willeth not" [260] I will virtue because it is good; and I will it not because it is laborious; I will vice because it is delectable; and I will it not because it is dishonest. And these willings and not willings of my passions are the tormentors of my miserable heart

Colloquy. — Oh, with what great reason may I lament to myself, saying to our Lord, " Why hast Thou set me opposite to Thee, and I am become burdensome to myself?" [261] Unhappy man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? [262] Let Thy grace, O Lord, favour me, to deliver me from so great a misery!

3. From this consideration I should draw a very resolute determination, together with my own will, to mortify these passions; for this gives life to my passions, and my passions give life to it; and therefore they must die together, in order to be vanquished, according to the counsel of Ecclesiasticus, who says, " Go not after thy lusts, but turn away from thy own will." For " if thou give to thy soul her desires, she will make thee a joy to thy enemies." [263]

(To put this in execution, we shall be assisted with the examinations that shall be set down in the meditations ensuing.)



One of the most effectual means to purify the soul is, the continual use of examining the conscience every day, before we go to bed, which the holy fathers and spiritual masters very earnestly recommend to us.[264] That form of making this examination which was taught us in five points by our glorious father St Ignatius is the most profitable of all I have seen, since it contains a most excellent form of prayer for all sorts of persons.

1. For the understanding of which, I briefly premise that every day. we newly charge ourselves with two debts to our Lord, although very different, and for very diverse respects, i. The first debt is for the innumerable benefits we receive of Him. ii. The second, for the innumerable sins we commit against Him. The first is paid with thanksgiving, the second with sorrow. And it is reason that in the end of every day we should pay them both, beginning with the first debt, as well because it disposes to pay well the second, as also because (as St Basil [265] says), when we go to prayer, we are not always to enter begging immediately for our own profit; for in that it seems that we give it to be understood that we seek in it principally our own interest; but sometimes we must begin with the praises of Almighty God, giving Him thanks for the favours He has done us; for hereby we give it to be understood that we principally seek the glory of God, and that we esteem it more than all other things. The same thanksgiving will also serve us (as St. Thomas says) [266] for a means to obtain our petitions, for Almighty God willingly gives us what we ask Him, when He sees that we are thankful to Him for what He has given us.

2. Besides this, since I am about to stir up the offensive sink of my sins, lest they should cause me such despair and grief as should swallow and consume me, it is good (as St. Bernard says) [267] to foreguard myself with the remembrance of God's benefits, praising Him for them, taking (as Isaiah says) this "bridle" of "praise" which He puts in my mouth, "lest" I be thrown down headlong and " perish." [268] And although it is true (as St. Bonaventure says) [269] that it is not always necessary to observe this order in the beginning of prayer, yet in this present exercise it comes much to the purpose for the reasons declared.


The first point shall be briefly to call to memory the benefits I have received of our Lord, as well general as special, and particularly those that He has done me this very day, giving Him very hearty thanks for them all, acknowledging how great they are, as well for the greatness of Him that bestows them with so great love, as for the baseness of him that receives them without meriting them. And reckoning them one by one, I may say, "I give Thee thanks, O my God, that Thou createdst me of nothing, and hast to this day preserved my life! I thank Thee that Thou redeemedst me with Thy precious blood, and madest me a Christian and a member of Thy Church! Blessed be Thou, that Thou hast this present day fed me and clothed me, and delivered me from great perils of body and soul, and given me many good inspirations, aiding me to fulfil some works of obligation, &c. All the good that is in me is Thine, and to Thee belongs the glory of it; and for it all the thanks that I can I render to Thee with the whole affection of my heart. And I beseech the choirs of angels, and all the blessed spirits, to praise Thee for me, and to give Thee thanks for the favours Thou hast done me!

(Of this point we shall speak largely in the sixth part.)


The second point shall be to ask of our Lord, with great earnestness, light to know my sins, and grace to be contrite for them; alleging to Him three pleas of my great necessity and misery in this behalf, i. The first is, the great forgetfulness of my memory, ii. The second, the great blindness of my understanding, iii. The third, the great coldness of my mill. Whence it proceeds that the devil holds me strongly tied with a threefold cord of my sins, which I can hardly break, because some sins I forget with the same facility that I commit them; others, through ignorance, I know not; and those which I do know, through my great coldness I deplore not as I ought

Colloquy. — Therefore, O my God, by Thy inspiration remedy my forgetfulness; with Thy light illuminate my darkness; and with Thy fire of love chase away my coldness, that I may know my sins, and in such manner bewail them that I may obtain pardon of them! Amen.


1. This petition being made, I will lift up my heart to Almighty God, beholding Him as a Judge that is to judge me with great rigour, searching (as Sophonias says) the corners of "Jerusalem," (which is my soul and its faculties,) " with lamps," [270] discovering all the sins that are therein, be they never so small; examining (as David says) not only my injustice, but also my "justices" [271] and good works, with which evil circumstances are wont to be mixed.

2. With this consideration, full of a holy fear in the presence of God, I will begin to examine all the sins which I have committed in that day by thought, word, and deed, and by omission or negligence; and I will very attentively endeavour to find out whether I have any of those which David calls "hidden sins," [272] having committed them through ignorance or culpable inconsiderateness, or by the illusion and deceit of the devil, holding them for works of virtue, as if I should hold for zeal that which is anger. To this examination, that will help much which has been said in the first points of the meditations upon the seven deadly sins, and upon the commandments, senses, and faculties of the soul; for in them all that may be matter for a very frequent and diligent examination is set down.

3. The manner of making this examination shall be, dividing the day into parts, and considering what I did in the two first hours of the day; then, in the other two, separating the precious from the vile; and if I find any good, I will with thanks attribute the same to Almighty God; and the evil I will attribute to my corrupted liberty; and of all together, with a very deep shame and confusion, I will make an humble confession before Almighty God, fulfilling that of David, "I said, I will confess against myself my injustice to the Lord f [273] that is to say, I have determined to confess my sins before Almighty God, not to excuse, but to accuse myself; not lightening, but aggravating my sins, and pondering much the injustice I did against Almighty God in committing them; for this is the way to obtain pardon of them.


1. The fourth point shall be, to procure so great a sorrow for my sins that it may come to be contrition, sorrowing for them principally for being offences against Almighty God, my "summum bonum" " chief good," whom I desire to love, and do love, above all things; for with this so perfect sorrow sins are remitted, if there is a purpose in fit time to confess them; as it happened to David himself, who, in saying " I will confess against myself my injustice," [274] he presently added, "And Thou hast forgiven the wickedness of my sin." And hardly had he pronounced this word before Nathan the prophet, " I have sinned against the Lord," when the prophet answered him, " The Lord also hath taken away thy sins." [275] So that if in the examination at night I say to Almighty God with all my heart, " It grieveth me, O my God, that I have offended Thee, because I love Thee above all created things, and would willingly have lost them all rather than have sinned; and with Thy grace I purpose to confess all my sins, with a determination never more to return to them," at that very instant I remain justified. And if that night I should die suddenly, without being able to confess myself, although I had committed many mortal sins, I should not be condemned for them. From which is seen the importance of this sorrow before my going to bed; for if I have sinned mortally, and death assault me in my sleep, (as it has assaulted many,) with this sorrow I shall be saved, and without it I shall be damned.

2. To excite myself to this contrition, it is very available to compare that of the first point with that of the third, that is, the great benefits that in this day Almighty God has done me with the sins that I have committed, (IS) being ashamed of myself for having offended so good a God and so liberal a benefactor, and grieving that I have answered such benefits with such offences.

(To this end the meditation of sins which we have set down, especially the fifth, will conduce; and that which will be declared in the thirty-first meditation.)


The fifth point is, to make a very effectual purpose, by God's grace, to amend the day following, and not to fall into the like sins, with that earnestness with which the Prophet David says, " I have sworn, and am determined to keep the judgments of Thy justice " [276] eternally; not for a day, nor for two, but throughout all my life and all eternity. And that this purpose may be such, it is necessary, besides that which will be declared in the meditation following, to examine the occasions that I had of falling, by reason of such a place, or such a person, or such a business; and, besides, to determine to separate myself from this occasion, if I can leave it; and, if not, to resolve to use greater circumspection, and to enter into it with precaution. But since our resolutions are very weak and mutable, if our Lord with His grace do not fortify and establish them, I must beseech Him that, seeing He gave me "to will," He will likewise give me grace to accomplish it; [277] and so I will conclude with the prayer of the " Our Father," making a pause with affection, in the three last petitions of it, forming, in this manner, an amorous colloquy.

Colloquy. — I acknowledge, O my God, the two debts with which I am charged for Thy benefits, and for my sins. All that I have here done is but little to satisfy for them; for that which is wanting I offer to Thee the most precious blood of Thy Son, shed with infinite love and thankfulness, and with excessive sorrow and pain. For which, I beseech Thee, pardon the debts of my sins, and aid me that I may no more return to them. Permit me not to fall into the temptations that shall assail me, but deliver me from all evil for the glory of Thy holy name! Amen.



Besides the general care which we ought to have to cleanse the soul of all her vices and sins, it is very convenient (as the holy fathers say, and especially Cassian[278]) to employ a particular study to eradicate some one vice of those that tend most to endanger us; for with this so special care it will be the more easily vanquished, and this vanquished, we may take heart to get the victory over another, until we have vanquished them all, as the seven nations that were enemies to the Israelites were vanquished by little and little, and by degrees. [279] To this end our glorious father Ignatius taught us a form of making a particular examination of one vice, in which is included another very profitable form of prayer, divided into three times of the day, viz., morning, noon, and night, which are much celebrated in sacred Scripture by that which David says of himself: "Evening, and morning, and at noon, I will speak and declare my miseries; and He shall hear my voice. He shall redeem my soul from them." [280] And of Daniel the Scripture says: " He knelt down three times a-day, and adored, and gave thanks before his God," [281] making acknowledgment before Him of His divine praises and his own sins. According to this, we will divide this form of prayer into three points, which may serve for the three times aforesaid.


1. First, in the morning, in dressing myself, kneeling on my knees like Daniel, and putting myself in the presence of Almighty God, I will adore Him, giving Him thanks for my life, rest and sleep, which He has given me the night passed, and for the perils from which He has delivered me; and, by the way, I will likewise examine if, since I lay down, sleeping or waking, anything that might be a sin has happened to me, and with all my heart to be sorry for it.

2. Then I will make an offer to our Lord of all things whatsoever that I shall do that day, ordaining them purely to His honour and glory; begging of Him perseverance in this pure intention till the end of the day, and of my life; and beseeching Him to accept my works, in union with those which His only-begotten Son offered to Him for me in this life.

3. This done, I will make a courageous and determined resolution that day, by God's holy grace, to separate myself from all kind of sin, after the manner that David did, when he said that "in the morning" he "put to death all the wicked of the land [282] not with a sword of steel, but with a very steeled and courageous resolution to destroy them all, in so far as they were adversaries to Almighty God, desiring that in the city of my soul there may live nothing to offend Him. But, particularly, I must most resolutely determine to depart from that vice which I desire to eradicate from my heart, conceiving against it a holy hatred for the injury that it does me.

4. That this purpose may be effectual, it will help me much not to take things in the gross, being ignorant of their difficulties, but to provide against them with the eyes of prudence, and in the morning to imagine all the difficulties, vexations, contempts, and occasions of stumbling that probably may be offered to me that day, considering the quality of my person, state, and office, and the affairs and persons with whom I am to converse. Having considered this, I will endeavour willingly to accept, for the love of our Lord God, whatsoever shall happen against my liking, determining, by God's grace, for no such occasions to fail in humility and patience; nor to admit anything that may be a sin, founding this purpose not upon my own strength, but upon the strength that Almighty God shall give me, and upon some strong reasons that may convince me and make me prompt in heart to execute it; as Christ our Redeemer, in the garden of Gethsemane, set before His eyes all the torments He was to suffer the day following, and accepting them with great love, wrestled against fears and sorrows with reasonings and prayers, as we shall see hereafter in its place. [283]

5. And if those who are very zealous will yet pass farther and excel more in virtue, they may take the counsel that a holy abbot (as Cassian [284] reports), gave to those who by living solitary have no occasions to exercise humility and patience, that they should imagine terrible sorrows, injuries, contempts, and torments to come upon them by the hands of their enemies, or of their companions, under the pretext of piety, such as were those which the martyrs and holy confessors have suffered, and to accept them all very heartily, and even to desire that they might be offered them, and to beg them of our celestial Father with those words of David, "Prove me, O Lord, and try me; burn my reins and my heart, for Thy great mercy is before my eyes," [285] and therein I trust thou wilt aid me; and with this confidence I may say to Him,

Colloquy. — Oh, if in this day somebody would strike me upon one cheek, how willingly for Thy love would I offer Him the other! Or if anyone would speak to me any injurious word, or bear false witness against me, how heartily would I be silent, and suffer it for Thy love! Oh that my superiors would command me some very hard and difficult thing, that in accomplishing it I might show the love that I bear Thee!

With such purposes as these virtues are much augmented, and the heart becomes strong to resist vices; but yet the imperfect and lukewarm must walk warily in such meditations, lest, perhaps, through their imbecility, that which should have been a means of their good turn into a snare of temptation.


1. Secondly, at noon, before dinner, setting myself in the presence of Almighty God, and having asked of Him light to come to the knowledge of my sins, I will examine those which I have committed that morning in that particular vice, which, if they were many, I should be ashamed that I have not fulfilled the resolution that I made, nor kept my word which I gave to Almighty God, accusing myself of infidelity, inconstancy, and mutability, and being sorrowful for my transgressions in this, on account of their being against a God that is so faithful and constant in benefiting me, and in accomplishing whatsoever He purposes to do for my good. I must reprehend myself (as Cassian [286] says), saying to myself, " Art thou he that this morning didst purpose such great matters, and offered thyself to suffer very terrible things? Then how comes it that so light an occasion has overthrown thee? Thou didst purpose to kill all the enemies of Almighty God, and thou hast surrendered thyself to the least of them! Be ashamed of thy cowardice, humble thyself before Almighty God, and turn anew to resolve, trusting with more liveliness in His mercy, that it may aid thy great imbecility!" I will likewise examine the cause and occasion of having failed in order to avoid it or to prevent it, wholly resolving upon amendment the rest of the day.

2. I may likewise at this time remember that Christ our Lord was crucified at midday, and continued a great part of the evening, suffering most grievous pains upon the cross with constancy, until He gave up the ghost. And in thankfulness for this benefit I must purpose to be very constant in not yielding to the appetite of my flesh, nor to my own will in that vice, that it may die in me, or I may die fighting against it, until I vanquish it. Again, sometimes I may call to mind that it was likewise at midday that Christ our Lord ascended above all the heavens to enjoy the fruit of His labours.

And with this consideration I may animate myself to fight anew against my passions; and with both considerations I may say to Him that of the Canticles:

Colloquy. — "Show me, O Thou whom my soul loveth," with Thy celestial light, "where Thou feedest" Thy sheep, "where Thou liest in the midday," [287] that I may there fix my heart and my desires, and not go wandering any more to seek after vices!


1. At night 9 before I sleep, I will make another examination like that which I made before dinner, comparing the times that I sinned in the morning with those that I sinned in the evening; and if they were fewer I will give thanks to Almighty God for this amendment, because it has come from His hand; but if they were more, I am to confound myself to see that, instead of going forward, I turn back. But yet I am not to be dismayed, but purpose anew a very hearty amendment; for with such a battle the victory is obtained. For upon this, said the Holy Ghost, " a just man shall fall seven times, and shall rise again." [288] Giving it to be understood that, falling and yet rising again, he shall come by God's favour to stand upright The same comparison I should make between the sins of one day and those of another, according to the counsel of St. Basil; [289] and between those of one week and those of another, according to the counsel of St Dorotheus, helping my memory by noting them with two lines or strokes for every day in the week, putting in the one line as many dots as I have sinned times in the morning, and in the other those of the evening.

2. It will likewise help me to give myself a stroke on the breast when I fall into this sin, both to remember the times that I have sinned by the times that I have stricken my breast, and also forthwith to move me to contrition for my sin, and to obtain pardon of it For in this sense also said the Holy Ghost, " A just man shall fall seven times, and shall rise again." [290] Giving it to be understood, that when he falls he has light to know that he has fallen; and if he falls while it is day, he stays not to rise up at night; rather if he fall " seven times," he rises seven times as soon as he has fallen, sorrowing for his fall, and purposing amendment; and in this manner his frequent falling will be turned into frequent praying, and into good affections and purposes, which, with new grace, repair the injury of the fall.

(Other means of examining and reflecting upon our works shall be inserted in the sixth part in the meditation of what Almighty God said when having finished the work of the creation of the world.)

  1. Deut. vii. 1; kem coHat. v. c. 6.
  2. Regula 7, exfasio.
  3. Deut. vii. 22.
  4. S. Th. 2, 2, q. clxii.
  5. Cassian fib. xii. c. 2; collat. v. e. 12.
  6. S. Greg. lib. xxxiv., mor. c. 18; S. Greg. xxv. moral, c 7.
  7. Ps. xi. 5; ha x. 13.
  8. S. Th. 2, 2, q. cxxxii.
  9. S. Basil de constit monast. c. xi., et orat. 17.
  10. S. Th. 2, 2, q. cxii; Jer. xlviii. 13, 30.
  11. S. Th. 2, 2, q. craxi.
  12. Ps. lxxiii. 23.
  13. 1 Cor. iv. 7.
  14. Apoc. iii. 17.
  15. Ecclus. x. 2.
  16. Ecclus. xxv. S.
  17. Prov. xvi. 5, 18, 19; xviii. 12.
  18. Matt, xxiii. 12; Lac. xiv. 11; xviii. 14.
  19. Isa. my. 12.
  20. Luc. x. 18.
  21. Joan. vi. 71.
  22. Gen. iii. 17.
  23. Dan. iv. 28.
  24. Ezek. xxviii. 6.
  25. Act. xii. 23.
  26. Orat xvii. de humii. et vana gloria; Act. v. 5.
  27. Isa. xiv. 10.
  28. Matt. vii. 3; S. Bern, in Apol. ad Guliel. Abbat.
  29. Mat. xxiii. 12; Luc. xi?. 11; xviii. 24.
  30. Jac. iv. 6.
  31. 3 Reg. xxi. 29.
  32. Luc. xviii. 10.
  33. Ecclus. iii. 20.
  34. Luc. i. 48.
  35. Phil. ii. 9.
  36. Serm. ii. in quadrag.; S. Bernard, epist. 78.
  37. S.Th. 2,2, q. cxlviii.
  38. S. Greg. lib. m. moral, cap. 26.
  39. S. Basil, lib. de vera virg.
  40. S. Bern. serm. xxx. in cantica, et ad. fratres de monte Dei.
  41. Ecclus. xxxvii. 38.
  42. Ecclus. mi. 23.
  43. Prov. xxxii. 29, 30.
  44. Luc. xxi. 34.
  45. Cas. lib. t. c. 13 et 20; et coll. 5.
  46. Gen. iii. 17.
  47. Ps. lxxvii. 30; Num. xi. 33.
  48. Exod. xxxii. 6, 27, 28
  49. 3 Reg. xiii. 24. 14 S. Basil, ser. de abdicatione verum.
  50. Lue. xvi. 24.
  51. Apoc. xviii. 7.
  52. Gen. xxv. 33.
  53. Heb. xii. 17.
  54. S. Bern, ad fratrea de monte Dei.
  55. Matt. xvii. 3.
  56. Ecclesia in praefet. quadrag.
  57. Gal. v. 24.
  58. Jonse ii. 10; iii. 11.
  59. S.Th. 2,2,q. cliii.
  60. 2 Cor. xii. 7.
  61. 1 Cor. v. 5.
  62. Prov. xxiii. 32.
  63. Gen. vi. 12.
  64. Gen. xix.
  65. Num. xxv. 9.
  66. Num.v. 8.
  67. Gen.xxxviii. 7.
  68. 1 Reg. S. 22; iv. 17.
  69. Judic. xvi. 21.
  70. 2 Reg. xii.
  71. 3 Reg. xi. 11.
  72. S. Hier. in reg. mona. c. de castit.
  73. 1 Cor. vi. 18.
  74. Eph. v. 3.
  75. S.Bona. in dietasalut. iv. c.4.
  76. Job xxxi. 1.
  77. S. Basil, lib. de tctb rirg.
  78. 1 Pet. iii. 2.
  79. S. Greg. lib. xi. mor. c. 8.
  80. Eccles. iii. 27.
  81. Cas.col. xii. c. 8.
  82. Cant. ii. 2.
  83. Cas. cit. c. xi.; S. Th. 2, 2, q. cbr.
  84. Lib. i. de virg. ad sororem.
  85. Dan. iii. 49.
  86. S. Basil in lib. de vera virg.
  87. Cant. ii. 16.
  88. S. Greg, ibid., et S. Hier. epiat. ad Demetriadem.
  89. Cas. collat. xii. c. 8, et lib. vi. c. 9.
  90. Dan. xiii. 23.
  91. Osee ii. 19.
  92. Matt. xix.; ita Cas. coll. xii. c. 12, 13.
  93. Isa.lvi. 3.
  94. Apoc. xiv. 4.
  95. S. Aug. lib. de vera virg. c. xxvii.; S. Hier. lib. de laude virginit.
  96. Gen. xxxix. 9.
  97. 1 Tim. vi. 10.
  98. Eph. v. 5; Col. iii. 5.
  99. 1 Tim. vi. 9.
  100. Jos. vii. 26.
  101. 1 Keg. xxv. 27.
  102. 3 Reg. xxi. 23; 4 Reg. ix. 36.
  103. Act. v. 1; Aug. serm. xxvii., de verbis apost.; Belar. torn. 1, lib. ii. de monach., c. 20.
  104. 4 Reg. v. 27.
  105. Joan. xii. 6; Act. i. 18.
  106. Matt. v. 3.
  107. Rom. xiv. 17.
  108. Luc. vi. 38.
  109. Prov. xl 25.
  110. Matt. xix. 28.
  111. 1 Cor. vii. 30.
  112. S. Th. 2, 2, q. chriii., et 1, 2, q. xhiii.
  113. Jonse iv. 9.
  114. Ps.iv.5.
  115. S. Greg. lib. v. mor. c. SO, circa illud Job. v. 2; " stultum mterficit iractmdia."
  116. S. Basil, hom. de ira.
  117. Gen. iv. 15, 24.
  118. Matt. v. 22.
  119. S. Aug. in Ps. cxlix.
  120. S. Doroth. serm. viii.
  121. Ecchis. xi. 34.
  122. Ps. xxxviii. 2.
  123. Matt. v. 4.
  124. Luc. xxi. 19.
  125. Ecclus. iii. 19.
  126. Prov. xvi.32.
  127. Cass, collat. xii. c. 13.
  128. Epist. viii. ad Demophi.
  129. 1 Tim. ii. 8.
  130. Luc. ix. 55.
  131. 1 Pet. ii. 23.
  132. S. Th. 2, 2, q. xxxvi.
  133. S. Th. 2, 2, q. xxxvi. art. 4, ad. 2, ct q. xiv. art. 1.
  134. Sap. ii. 24.
  135. Prov. xiv. 30.
  136. Gen. iv. 8.
  137. Gen. xxxvii. 24.
  138. Numb. xvi. 31.
  139. 1 Reg. xxxi. 6.
  140. Prov. xvii. 22.
  141. Judae 11.
  142. S. Bern. serm. xlii. in cant.
  143. Numb. xi. 27, 29.
  144. Joan.iii.26.
  145. Gal. iv. 18.
  146. S. Th. 2, 2, q. xxxv.
  147. S. Th. 2, 2, 25, q. cxxxiii.
  148. S. Greg. lib. xxxi. moral, c. 31.
  149. Cass. lib. xx. c. 2.
  150. S. Bern. 3 et 5 de ascens.
  151. Luc. li. 25.
  152. Prov. xxiv. 30; Ecclus. xxxiii. 29.
  153. Prov. xx. 4.
  154. Matt. xxv. 8.
  155. Prov. xviii. 8; xxi. 26.
  156. Matt. xx. 12.
  157. Jer. xlviii. 10.
  158. Apoc. xii. 16.
  159. Matt. xxv.
  160. Numb. xiv. 23—30.
  161. Matt. xx. 12.
  162. Ps. ciii. 81.
  163. Ps. xcix. 2.
  164. 2 Cor. ix. 7.
  165. Ps. xxxvi. 4.
  166. Ps. l. 13, 14.
  167. Ps. xviii. 6.
  168. S. Th. 1, 2, q. c. art. 4, et 5 seq.
  169. Zach. v.
  170. Collat. xiv. c. 11, et S. Bonav. opusc. de dicta sal. lib. iii., et serm. dc decern preceptis, torn. ii.
  171. Ex. xx. 3.
  172. 1 Reg. xv. 23.
  173. Phil. iii. 19; Tit. i. 16.
  174. Phil, ii. 3.
  175. 1 Pet. ii. 13.
  176. 1 Thess. v. 19.
  177. Heb. vi. 6.
  178. S. Ambrose, die. 16, "pasce fame morientem; si nonpavisti,occidisti."
  179. 2 Cor. ii. 17.
  180. Cass.collat. xiv. c.ll.
  181. Isa. lii. 5 ; Rom. ii. 24.
  182. Jac. ii. 10.
  183. Ps. cxviii. 136.
  184. Dent, xxvii. 15; et xxviii. 16, et seq.
  185. Deut. xxviii. 59.
  186. Matt. xxv. 41.
  187. Prov. xxi. 13.
  188. Job xv. 16.
  189. Ps. cviii. 18.
  190. Gal iii. 13.
  191. Ex. vii. 20.
  192. Ex. viii. 6.
  193. Ex. viii. 17, 24.
  194. Ex. ix. 3, 6.
  195. Ex. ix. 10, 23; x. 13, 22.
  196. Ex. xii. 29.
  197. Ex. xiv. 24.
  198. Apoc viii. 2; xv. 6; xvi. 1.
  199. Ecdus. xxiii. 12.
  200. Zach. v. 1.
  201. Prov. xxx. 17.
  202. Deut, xxviii. 8.
  203. Matt. vi. 26.
  204. Ps. cxliv. 16.
  205. Ps. xviii. 8.
  206. Prov. iii. 2.
  207. Ps. xviii. 11 .
  208. Ecclus. xxiv. 27.
  209. Ps. xx. 4.
  210. Ps. lxxxiii. 8.
  211. Prov. x. 6; Ps. xxiii. 5.
  212. Matt. xxv. 34.
  213. Ecclus. xxxiii. 3.
  214. Ps. xxxii. 2.
  215. Mai. iii. 14.
  216. Prov. iii. et vii.
  217. 7.
  218. Ps. cxviii. 97.
  219. Ps. xxxvi. 31; Jer. xxxi. 33.
  220. Eccles. xii. 13.
  221. Jac. iii. 6.
  222. Ecclus. xix. 27.
  223. Jer. ix. 21.
  224. Thren, iii. 51.
  225. Prov. xxv. 28.
  226. Hag. i. 6.
  227. Ecclus. xxviii. 28, 30.
  228. Matt. ix. 6.
  229. Jac. iii. 11.
  230. S. Ambr. lib. ii. de virginibus.
  231. Phil. iv. 5.
  232. S. Th. 2, 2, q. lxxvii.
  233. 1 Cor. xiv. 38.
  234. S. Th. 2, 2, q. liii.
  235. S. Th. 2, 2, q. lx. art. 3.
  236. S. Th. 2, 2, q. liii. art. 5.
  237. Cass, collat. xxvii. o. 5 et 27.
  238. Job rviii. 7.
  239. S. Th. q. lv. art. 3.
  240. 1 Cor. ii. 14.
  241. Jude in Epist. canon, v. 2.
  242. S. Th. 2, 2, q. cxvii.
  243. Rom. xii. 3.
  244. Matt. vi. 25.
  245. Matt. xv. 14.
  246. Ps. xi. 7.
  247. Isa. xi. 2.
  248. Rom. xi. 20; vi. 4; vii. 6.
  249. Cass, collat. xix. c. 8.
  250. S. Bern. serm. lxxi. in cant.; Isa. lviii. 3.
  251. 1 Cor. xiii. 5.
  252. S. Bern. serm. de resurrect.
  253. S. Amb. lib. i. de vocatione gentium, c. 8.
  254. Joan. vi. 38.
  255. Luc. xarii. 42.
  256. 1 Cor. x.
  257. S. Th. 2, 2, q. xni. art. 4.
  258. S. Amb. lib. i. offic cap. 4.
  259. Rom. vii. 15.
  260. Prov. xiii. 4.
  261. Job vii. 20.
  262. Rom. vii. 24
  263. Ecclus. xviii. 30.
  264. S. Basil, sera. 1, de instit. monach.; S. Chrys. hom, in Ps. iv.; S. Bern, et alii.
  265. De const, monast.
  266. S. Th. 2, 2, q. lxxxiii. art. 17.
  267. Serm. 1 1, in cant. c. 48, 9.
  268. Is.xlviii.9.
  269. In speco disciplinae,p.2, c.6.
  270. Sophon. i. 12.
  271. Ps. lxxiv. 3.
  272. Ps. xviii. 13.
  273. Ps. xxxi. 5.
  274. Ps. xxxi. 5.
  275. 2 Reg. xii. 13.
  276. Ps. cxviii. 106.
  277. Phil. ii. 13.
  278. Collat.v.c.14.
  279. Deut. vii. 22.
  280. Ps. liv. 18.
  281. Dan. vi. 10.
  282. Ps. c. 8.
  283. In meditatione xxii. part 4.
  284. Cass, collat. xix. c. 14.
  285. Ps. xxv. 2, 3.
  286. Collat. xix. c.14.
  287. Cant. i.
  288. Prov. xxiv. 16.
  289. Serm. de abdic. rerum ser. x.
  290. Prov. xxiv. 16.