Tuesday, February 9, 2010


O MY God, for the love of Thee, I heartily detest my sins. I am truly sorry for having offended Thee, because Thou art infinitely good. I firmly resolve never to offend Thee again, and by the help of Thy grace to amend my life.

Thank God for all Favors and Offer Yourself to Him.

MY God, Thou hast made me out of nothing, Thou hast redeemed me by the death of Thy Son, Thou hast sanctified me by the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, Thou hast favored me by a call to the religious life, Thou has sent me so many blessings through the Holy Eucharist, Thou hast preserved me and brought me happily to the beginning of another day: I thank Thee, my Lord, most humbly and earnestly for these benefits and for all the graces which Thou hast bestowed upon me. I offer and consecrate to Thee my whole being, and in particular all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings this day, beseeching Thee that through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ, my Saviour, they may all be pleasing and acceptable in Thy sight. May Thy divine love animate them, and may they all tend to Thy greater glory.

Resolve to Avoid Sin and to Practise Virtue.

ADORABLE Jesus, my Saviour and Master, model of all perfection, I resolve and will endeavor this day to imitate Thy example, to be, like Thee, mild, humble, chaste, obedient, charitable, and resigned. I will redouble my efforts that I may not fall this day into any of those sins which I have heretofore committed (here name my besetting sin), and which I sincerely desire to forsake.

Ask God for the Necessary Graces.

O MY God, Thou knowest my poverty and weakness, and that I am unable to do anything good with out Thee; deny me not, O God, the help of Thy grace: proportion it to my necessities; give me strength to avoid anything evil which Thou forbiddest, and to practise the good which Thou hast commanded; and enable me to bear patiently all the trials which it may please Thee to send me.

Let us pray for the Holy Church.

O GOD, hear our prayers in behalf of our Holy Father, Pope...., our bishops, our clergy, and for all that are in authority over us. Bless all Religious; bless the whole Catholic Church; convert all heretics and unbelievers; have mercy upon our country. Pour down Thy blessings, O Lord, upon all our friends, relatives, and benefactors. Help the poor and sick, and those who are in their last agony. O God of mercy and goodness, have compassion on the souls of the faithful in purgatory; put an end to their sufferings; and grant to all those for whom we are particularly bound to pray, eternal light, rest, and happiness.

V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.


O MY God, relying on Thy infinite power, goodness, and promises, I hope to obtain the pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.


O MY God, I love Thee above all things, and with my whole heart, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee.


O MY God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these, and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.


Suscipe, Domine, universam meam libertatem. Accipe memoriam, intellectum, atque voluntatem omnem. Quidquid habeo vel possideo mihi largitus es; id tibi totum restituo, ac tuae prorsus voluntati trado gubernandum. Amorem tui solum cum gratia tua mihi dones, et dives sum satis, hec aliud quidquam ultra posco.

Receive, O Lord, all my liberty. Take my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. Whatsoever I have or possess Thou hast bestowed upon me; I give it all back to Thee and surrender it wholly to be governed by Thy Will. Give me love for Thee alone along with Thy grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.


In the name of the Father + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Place Yourself in the Presence of God, and adore His holy Name.

MOST holy and adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I believe that Thou art here present; I adore Thee with the deepest humility, and render to Thee, with my whole heart, the homage which is due to Thy sovereign majesty. Blessed be the holy and undivided Trinity, now and for ever. Amen.


ANIMA Christi, sanctifica me.
Corpus Christi, salva me.
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.
Aqua lateris Christi, lava me.
Passio Christi, conforta me.
O bone Iesu, exaudi me.
Intra tua vulnera absconde me.
Ne permittas me separari a te.
Ab hoste maligno defende me.
In hora mortis meae voca me.
Et iube me venire ad te,
Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te
in saecula saeculorum.

SOUL of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Separated from Thee let me never be.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
At the hour of death, call me.
To come to Thee, bid me,
That I may praise Thee in the company
Of Thy Saints, for all eternity.


O MY God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and for all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me, I beseech Thee, all the negligence and all the distractions of which I have been guilty. Give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue... avoid this fault... perform this action... to Thy honor. Help me to do this, O sweet Virgin Mary; and do thou, my good angel, recall these good resolutions to my memory, if I should ever forget or neglect them.

Omnia ad majorem Dei gloriam!


MY God, I most humbly thank Thee for having permitted me to be so long in Thy holy presence, although so unworthy. I thank Thee for the light? and good affections which I have received from Thy Holy Spirit. I beg Thy pardon for the distractions which I have had during this meditation. I consecrate anew to Thee my whole being, my thoughts, my words, and my actions.

O holy Virgin Mary, my dear Mother and my good Patroness, obtain for me from Jesus, thy Son, the grace to put my good resolutions into practice. O my good angel, my holy patrons, and all ye saints, pray for me, that I may preserve in my heart the truths upon which I have meditated, and that I may regulate my life in accordance with them. Amen.


COME, O Holy Spirit! fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.

O GOD, Who has taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolation through Christ our Lord.

O ETERNAL Father! shed upon us, we beseech Thee, the plenitude of Thy divine Spirit, and grant us an entire and perfect submission to the inspirations of Thy grace. We renounce every thought and affection which may withdraw us from Thy adorable presence, and we most earnestly implore, through the merits and sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as also through the intercession of His immaculate Mother Mary, of our guardian angels, and of our patron saints, that this meditation may be conducive to Thy greater glory, and to our eternal salvation.




O God, I offer Thee these resolutions: that I may be faithful to them, I must have Thy blessing. From Thy goodness, then, I hope to obtain this blessing, which I ask of Thee in the name and through the merits of Jesus, my divine Savior.

Holy Virgin, Mother of my God, who art also my Mother, my guardian angel, and my holy patron saints, obtain for me the grace to keep these resolutions with perfect fidelity.


Pater and Ave.

MY God, I believe that Thou art here truly present, that Thy divine eyes penetrate the secrets of my heart. Thou seest all its miseries.

I adore Thee in union with holy Mary, all the angels and saints, and all holy souls upon earth.

I deeply grieve for all my sins, especially for those which wound Thy Sacred Heart, and render my heart most unlike Thine.

I offer Thee, O Lord, all I possess: my soul with all its faculties, my body with all its senses. Miserable as this offering is, my God, it is all I have; and in return I ask the light of the Holy Spirit, that I may know Thy will and Thy grace, that I may do it.

I beseech Thee, grant that I may draw fruit from this prayer. Holy Mary, blessed Mother of Jesus, refuge of poor sinners, and my dear Mother, pray for me.

St. Joseph, St. Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier, pray for us.


MY Jesus, I desire to enter into Thy Sacred Heart, and to make my prayer there, that I may pray with Thee and through Thee, and adore the Father in spirit and in truth. I desire to unite myself as closely as possible to this source of all graces and blessings, that my heart may be inflamed, my mind enlightened, and all my deficiencies supplied. Amen.


MY God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. Thou dost penetrate my heart, and dwell therein as in Thy living temple:- I offer Thee my profound adoration and beseech Thee to give me the grace of perfect union with Thee now and for ever. Amen.

My Lord, I can do nothing of myself; I can not even have a good thought; therefore I beseech Thee, in this meditation, to direct all the powers of my soul to Thy service and glory, and to my sanctification. Amen.


MY God, I firmly believe Thou art everywhere present, and seest all things. Thou seest me in all my actions; Thou seest me in this, my meditation. I bow down before Thee and worship Thy divine majesty with my whole being. Cleanse my heart from all vain, wicked, and distracting thoughts. Enlighten my understanding and inflame my will, that I may pray with reverence, attention, and devotion.

My Lord and my Creator! look graciously on Thy child, the work of Thy hands, and mercifully grant me the help of Thy grace, that all my intentions and acts during this meditation may be directed purely to the service and praise of Thy divine majesty; through Christ our Lord. Amen.



V. Venite, adoremus Dominum qui fecit nos. V. Come, let us adore the Lord Who
made us.
R. Venite, adoremus. R. Come, let us adore Him.


On Christmas Day

V. Christus natus est nobis; venite adoremus. V. Christ is born to us; come, let us adore Him.
R. Venite, adoremus. R. Come, let us adore Him.

On Maundy Thursday

V. Christus factus est pro nobis obediens V. Christ became obedient for us
usque ad mortem. unto death.

On Good Friday and Holy Saturday

V. Christus factus est pro nobis obediens V. Christ became obedient for us usque ad mortem; mortem autem crucis. unto death;
even the death on the cross.

On Easter Day

V. Surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia. V. The Lord is risen indeed,
R. Alleluia, Alleluia. R. Alleluia, Alleluia.

On Ascension Day

V. Alleluia; Christum Dominum ascendentem V. Alleluia; come, let us adore in coelum; venite adoremus, Alleluia. Christ, our Lord,
ascending into heaven, Alleluia.
R. Venite, adoremus, Alleluia. R. Come, let us adore Him, Alleluia.


V. Alleluia, Spiritus Domini replevit orbem V. Alleluia, the Spirit of; the Terrarium, venite, adoremus, Alleluia. Lord hath filled the whole
earth; come, let us adore Him,
R. Venite, adoremus, Alleluia. R. Come, let us adore Him,


I. Aspirations and Invocations.
II. Mental Prayer.
III. Vocal Prayer.

On Awaking and Arising


In the name of the Father + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


SANCTUS, Sanctus, Sanctus, HOLY, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts:
Dominus Deus; exercituum: the earth is full of Thy glory.
Plena est terra gloria tua: Glory be to the Father,
Gloria Patri, gloria Filio, glory be to the Son,
gloria Spiritui Sancto. glory be to the Holy Ghost.

Indulgence of 100 days, once a day. Clement XIV., June 6, 1769.

Omnia ad majorem Dei gloriam!


CLOTHE me, my Lord, with the robe of innocence; invest me, O most loving Jesus, true Spouse of my soul, with the wedding-garment of charity. Permit not that I appear stripped of good works before Thy face. Let me ever be loyal to Thee, and faithful to my promises.

Or, the following may be said:

CLOTHE me, my Lord, with the robe of innocence, and adorn my heart, O divine Spouse of my soul, with all the virtues that are pleasing to Thee; especially with humility, obedience, purity, charity, and an exact fidelity to my holy rules and vows.


GOOD Jesus, divine Spouse of my soul, I thank Thee for this cherished token of my allegiance to Thee; and I beseech Thee, that, with Thy grace, I may preserve unsullied the wedding-garment with which Thou didst invest my soul on the blessed day of my consecration to Thee.

In spirit cast yourself into the Sacred Heart of Jesus and say some ejaculatory prayer.


Our divine Lord said to St. Mechtilde: When you awake in the morning, let your first act be to salute My Heart, and to offer Me your own.

I ADORE, praise, and salute Thee, O most sweet Heart of Jesus Christ, fresh and gladdening as the breath of spring, from which, as from a fountain of graces, sweeter than the honeycomb floweth evermore all good and all delight. I thank Thee with all the powers of my heart for having preserved me throughout this night, and for having rendered to God the Father praises and thanksgivings on my behalf. And now, O my sweet Love, I offer Thee my wretched and worthless heart as a morning sacrifice; I place it in Thy most tender Heart, and entrust it to Thy keeping; beseeching Thee that Thou wouldst deign to pour into it Thy divine inspirations, and to enkindle it with Thy holy love. Amen.


I BELIEVE that my Redeemer liveth, and that I shall rise again on the last day. Grant, O my God, that my resurrection be a glorious one. This hope rests in my heart. Replenish it, O God, so copiously with Thyself, that space be no longer found therein for creatures, for myself, or for earthly things. Permit me not, O Jesus, to fall from bodily into spiritual sleep, but awaken my heart, my spirit, and my will unto Thy love, in which I desire to persevere, like the angels, without interruption. O my divine Spouse, unite me so intimately with Thee that nothing shall be able to sever me from Thee. Thou art my life, my treasure, and my sole consolation. Let external occupations withdraw me not a moment from Thy holy presence, but let them rather be the means of a closer union with Thee.

O SACRED Heart of Jesus! O Heart of love! Wilt Thou have my poor heart? Take it, and plunge it into Thy Heart, that burning furnace of divine love, that it may be inflamed with charity.

O MOST amiable Heart! I love Thee because Thou art goodness itself. I offer Thee my heart and my whole being, in order to honor and glorify Thee now and for ever. Let me never displease Thee ; help me ever to do what is most pleasing to Thee.


MAY the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.

Indulgence of 100 days, once a day. Pius IX., Feb. 29, 1868.





1. Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
2. A Prayer of St. Ignatius to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Preparatory Prayer.
4. Prayer to obtain the grace of understanding the true end of man.
5. Prayer to excite one s self to Repentance.
6. The Triple Colloquy.
7. Colloquy on God s Mercy.
8. Prayer to Jesus Christ that we may obey His call.
9. Prayer for aid in contemplating the scenes of the Gospel.
10. Prayer to attain the three degrees of Humility.
11. Prayer on the Three Classes.
12. Prayer that we may be received under the Standard of our divine King.
13. Prayer before Election.
14. Prayer in Desolation.
15. Prayer to unite ourselves with Christ s Sufferings,
16. Prayer to Our Lord risen from the Dead.
17. Prayer to excite love for God.


SOUL of Christ, sanctify me;
Body of Christ, save me;
Blood of Christ, inebriate me;
Water from the side of Christ, wash me;
Passion of Christ, strengthen me;
O good Jesus, hear me ;
Within Thy wounds hide me;
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee;
From the evil enemy defend me;
In the hour of my death call me,
And bid me come untc Thee,
That with all Thy saints I may praise Thee
For all eternity. Amen.


O BELOVED Word of God, teach me to be generous, to serve Thee with that perfection which Thy majesty claims, to give without calculation, to fight with out heeding wounds, to labor without repose, to expend myself in Thy service without thought of other reward than that of knowing that I do Thy most holy will. Amen.


LORD, it is for the purpose of conquering myself that by Thy grace I have undertaken these holy exercises. It is my rebel will that I desire to vanquish and overcome, my unruly and disordered affections which I desire to put in order, so that my soul may be attentive simply to the seeking and finding of Thy will, and to the following of it alone, in the ordering and disposing of my life.

Give me a generous heart, a heart truly liberal, which, giving itself to Thee, may abandon itself without any reservation to Thee, its Lord and Redeemer.

Lord, so great to all Thy servants, dispose of my life, of my liberty, of all that surrounds me. O my Creator, speak to Thy creature. Behold my soul before Thee: my will is as a scale in a state of perfectly equal balance, which shall only waver to one side or the other when Thou placest in it the weight of Thy will or wish. I ignore all natural inclination; my will is suspended and in a state of perfect indifference. I have but one will and desire, to obey and please Thee. I promise Thee fidelity to my exercises of piety, and to the full time meditation. I foresee the furious assaults of the devil, but I am firmly resolved to yield nothing on this point to his importunities.

I promise Thee to exert my earnest efforts. It is for me to exercise myself, and to labor, even at the cost of suffering if necessary; to examine my soul and to rectify its ways; to call on Thee, to listen to Thee, to obey Thee.

I promise Thee to preserve silence; not only shall my lips remain silent, but my mind shall be drawn off from the cares of life, from the agitations of the world, and from all vanities. I know that this interior and exterior solitude possesses great merit in Thy sight. But above all it leaves me in greater liberty to find that which I so ardently desire; it enables me to approach closely to Thee, to lose none of Thy words, to be better disposed for the receiving of the gifts of Thy divine and supreme goodness.


MAN was created for this end to praise, reverence, and serve the Lord his God, and by this means to arrive at eternal salvation. All other beings or objects placed around man on earth have been created for him, to serve as means to assist him in the pursuit of the end for which he was created.

We must, then, above all things, endeavor to establish in ourselves a complete indifference with regard to all created things, even those of which the use is not forbidden us; not preferring, as far as depends on us, health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to humiliation, a long life to a short one; since good order requires that we wish for and choose, in everything, what will lead us most surely to the end for which we were created. (Text of St. Ignatius)

For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark viii. 36, 37)

Jesus said: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment." (Matt. xxii. 37, 38)

Jesus said: "The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve." (Matt. iv. 10)

Lord, Thou hast created me, Thou hast created me for Thyself to praise Thee, to reverence Thee, to serve Thee. It is by applying myself to Thy service that I shall save my soul. All other things placed around me in this world are there as so many means whereby I may be conducted to the great final end of my creation, which is twofold yet one: to serve Thee and save myself.

Teach me, O Lord, to do my duty, my only duty in this world, which is for the fulfilling of Thy intentions and designs, to discern amongst Thy creatures 1st, those which may aid me, so as to use them so long as they may be of service to me: 2d, those which may be harmful to me, so as to reject them inasmuch as they may be injurious to me. If I accept some and reject the others, may it be solely with the view of glorifying Thee, and of being always within the order of Thy will.

But since my courage may give way, since my heart may be fascinated by these extraneous creatures, defend it, O my God, and assure to it safety and freedom from the seductions of the world. Grant that, indifferent to all that is not commanded by Thee, indifferent to all those creatures the use of which Thou hast not even forbidden, my heart may neither desire nor seek amongst the multiplicity of creatures and the vicissitudes of life aught but what is needful for the fulfilling of Thy will.

May health or sickness, riches or poverty, honors or contempt and humiliations, leave my soul, if not insensible, at least in that state of holy indifference to which I desire to attain for Thy greater honor and glory; for this I pray. I will and desire that it should be thus with me, and I firmly resolve continually to restore my will to this necessary equilibrium, so that it may always be inclined solely by the motive-power of Thy holy will


I BESEECH Thee, O Lord, to grant me the grace which I need, and which I earnestly desire to obtain. I ask it with confidence, since I know I ought to have a deep contrition and abiding and sincere sentiments of sorrow for my sins. I ask of Thee that feeling of shame which should make me blush for myself. Many souls have been lost by a single mortal sin. How many times have I not merited this judgment for my many and great sins?

I ask of Thee an intense sorrow for having committed them, tears to weep over them, a broken and contrite heart at the memory of them.

What a sight for me, a sinner, to behold Jesus Christ living and in agony on the tree of the cross! O my Creator and Redeemer, how great was Thy love when Thou didst will to exchange heaven for earth, the glory of Thy heavenly life for this life of pain, and to suffer a death of infamy for me for my sins.

Look, O my soul; look at and consider thy past life what hast thou done for Jesus Christ in the past at this present time what art thou doing for Jesus Christ in the future what wilt thou do for Jesus Christ ? Speak, O my soul, with Jesus crucified; tell Him thy thoughts, tell them to Him with all simplicity; tell them to Him just as thou thinkest them.

Pour out thyself, O my heart, to thy God. Let thy thoughts turn from Him to thyself; thy prayer is always good and fervent when it is true and sincere, when it speaks as a friend speaks to his friend, as a subject speaks to his king, as a slave speaks to his master. Accuse thyself, O my soul, of the evil thou hast done, declare all thy wounds, thy weakness, thy doubts, thy waverings, thy most secret thoughts.

May the Lord, my Creator, cure me and shelter me beneath His pardoning grace.


O MOTHER of my Saviour, my blessed Lady, my Queen, vouchsafe to intercede for me with thy divine Son, thy Lord, and obtain for me these three graces:

The grace to know with a full knowledge, to feel profoundly, to deplore and to detest my sins;

The grace to feel and realize the disorder of my life, to hold it in horror, to reduce it to rule, and amend it, and to correct myself;

The grace to know and detest the world, to put away from my soul, and keep out of it, all worldly and vain thoughts, and to renounce for ever the world and all its vanities.

Hail Mary

2. O LORD Jesus Christ, for the sake of Thy blessed Mother, obtain for me from the eternal Father these three graces:

The grace to know with a full knowledge, to feel profoundly, to deplore and to detest my sins;

The grace to feel and realize the disorder of my life, to hold it in horror, to reduce it to rule, and amend it, and to correct myself;

The grace to know and detest the world, to put away from my soul, and keep out of it, all worldly and vain thoughts, and to renounce for ever the world and all its vanities.

Anima Christi

3. ETERNAL God, Father Almighty, in the Name of the Word made flesh; I beseech Thee to grant me these three graces I implore of Thee:

The grace to know with a full knowledge, to feel profoundly, to deplore and to detest my sins;

The grace to feel and realize the disorder of my life, to hold it in horror, to reduce it to rule, and amend it, and to correct myself;

The grace to know and detest the world, to put away from my soul, and keep out of it, all worldly and vain thoughts, and to renounce for ever the world and all its vanities.

Our Father


Thanksgiving of the Sinner

O LORD God, Thou art infinitely wise, I adore Thee Who hast borne with my ignorance; Thou art infinitely just, I adore Thee Who hast not chastised my iniquity; Thou art infinitely powerful, I adore Thee Who hast deigned to spare my weakness ; Thou art infinitely good, I adore Thee Who hast pardoned me all my malice and sins.

I thank Thee that the angels, who are the avenging swords of Thy justice, have not slain me. I thank Thee because the saints, who are Thy friends, have prayed and made intercession for me who was Thine enemy. I thank Thee that Thy heavens, Thy stars, Thy sun have not refused to shine on me. I thank Thee for having placed the whole of creation at my service; I have caused it to groan beneath the burden of my sin, and yet it has not risen up against me. I thank Thee that the very earth has not opened beneath my feet to precipitate me into the lowest depths of hell, where I indeed deserve to be eternally.

I behold before me, O my God, the mystery of the infinite abyss of Thy mercy. I return Thee thanks for having preserved my life until this day, for having granted to me repentance for my sins; how great has been and how incomprehensible remains Thy pity for me!

Pardon, O perfections of my God, for having preferred imperfect and vile creatures to Thee! Pardon, O justice of my God, for having outraged Thee by my crimes! Pardon, O holiness of my God, pardon for having so long stained the purity of Thy sight by my sins! Pardon, O mercy of my God, for having so long despised Thy merciful voice! In deep sorrow and contrition I cast myself at Thy feet have mercy on me!

"Show mercy to a poor penitent, whom Thou hast so long spared in his impenitence."
(St. Bernard)


MY Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast said to me: "My will is to subject the infidel world to My empire. If any one desires to follow Me, he must be content to abide beneath My tent, to eat at My table, to drink from the same cup with Me; he must also be willing to labor as I labor and with Me; he shall share with Me the fruits of the victory in proportion to the manner in which he shall have shared with Me the fatigues of the conflict." I have reflected upon this Thy call; I have asked of Thee, O Jesus Christ, and I still ask of Thee, the grace not to be deaf to Thy call, but to answer it joyfully, and to give all that Thy most holy will awaits from me.

Now, after mature consideration, this is what I freely offer Thee with my whole heart, protesting it to be my firm inward resolution, my determined will, which is fixed and will be, I trust, unalterable and steady, and which I shall never repent or regret.

I have understood that the infidel lands to be conquered are my soul, my heart, the world, and the devil: that the enemies to Thy domain are my sensuality, my pride, the spirit of the world ever living and working within me ; these are the enemies that I must fight against. I have taken the resolution of doing this, and I desire to distinguish myself in Thy service.

I ardently desire to join Thee in this great enterprise in which Thou, my Lord Jesus Christ, art leader, and the apostles, martyrs, penitents in a word, all the saints, are my illustrious companions.

O eternal King, O Christ, Our Lord and Ruler; under Thy protection, by Thy grace, with the memory of Thy infinite mercy, at Thy feet, in the presence of Thy glorious Mother and of all the saints who adorn Thy heavenly court I offer and consecrate myself to Thee and to Thy service alone; I give myself to Thee without any reserve. I am resolved to imitate Thee, I am resolved to follow Thee, and to distinguish myself as a follower of Thee, to be there where Thou art, if Thy divine Majesty will but deign to choose me and to receive me as one of Thy faithful and devoted followers.

Acknowledging my utter unworthiness, I humbly beg of Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, to be graciously pleased to accept my whole self as a full and entire oblation. Grant that I may live and die at the post where the interests of Thy glory and my salvation and Thy divine call may have placed me.


I BEG of Thee, O God, the grace which I desire to obtain: an intimate knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so that, knowing Him more clearly, I may love Him more dearly; that loving Him more dearly, I may follow him more nearly; and that following Him more nearly, I may attain to a high degree of perfection by imitating Him in all things.

Open, O my God, the eyes of my soul; grant me to contemplate in the silence of respect, of prayer, and of adoration the eternal Word made flesh (John i. 14), placed in the manger (Luke ii. 7), adored by Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the Magi, and the angels (Matt, ii. n). Permit me to contemplate and consider the demeanor of Jesus; His actions His divine perfection in the smallest actions, His voluntary obedience, His toil: His bearing its dignity, what modesty in all His gestures, His movements, His steps: His looks their serenity and sweetness. Let me consider Him in His sleep. In His prayer what fervor, what recollectedness. When He works what admirable resignation and humility. When seated at the humble table of Joseph. Let me follow Him when, with the blessing of His Mother, He departs to receive baptism by St. John when He retires into the desert calls together His disciples teaches the multitude.

Grant, O Lord Jesus, that I may be attentive to Thy thoughts, to Thy teachings, to Thy holy will. If Thou speakest, may I never lose a single word from Thy lips; if Thy lips are silent, grant to me to know and understand the workings of Thy Sacred Heart; may I be attentive alike to what Thou sayest and to what Thou mightest say. May Thy voice vibrate through my soul, may it enter my heart and be as a salutary food to nourish, vivify, and invigorate it.

Above all, grant that I may love, that I may feel, that I may taste, that I may breathe forth to some extent the infinite sweetness and gentleness of holiness, the exquisite fragrance of virtue; and that I may follow the example which Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us by His life and teachings.

Holy cave of Bethlehem, blessed walls of Nazareth, where my Jesus, lived, let my lips kiss in spirit these wit nesses of the virtues of Christ! Would that I could press my lips to all the traces of Thy steps, the earth, the walls sanctified by Thy presence, O Jesus! If Thou wilt permit me to approach yet nearer to Thyself, I would fain, in the purity and ardor of my love, kiss, as did the stricken woman of the Gospels, the hem of Thy garment.


MY Lord, I beseech of Thee to grant me a grace absolutely necessary for the eternal salvation of my soul. It is that I may always have sufficient humility, dependence, and submission to obey in all things Thy holy law, and that I may never hesitate before an order, or break any command of Thine, or of those appointed by Thee to command me, which obliges me, under pain of mortal sin, not even if by so doing I might preserve my life or obtain possession of the whole world. May I sacrifice my life, or renounce the empire of the entire world, before I willingly transgress any of Thy precepts.

2. Lord, I ask of Thee a greater grace than that of never offending Thee by mortal sin: may I always have sufficient humility and submission never to give way to the temptation of committing a single deliberate venial sin, even if by so doing I might save my life or acquire possession of the whole world. My heart will falter; it will often hesitate before the thought of venial sin, if it is not indifferent between riches and poverty, between honor and shame, between life and death. Grant me, O God, this perfect indifference of soul.

3. O Lord, I ask of Thee a still greater grace than that of never offending Thee by venial sin. May my soul be so humble, so entirely submissive, that it may no longer have aught but one desire: to imitate Thee and to follow Thee, its Lord and its God.

Even if the interests of the glory of God are not involved or affected, in order to resemble more closely Our Lord Jesus Christ, I will and desire to be poor with Jesus Christ in His poverty rather than to be rich, since Jesus Christ was not rich. I will and desire to be covered with ignominy rather than to be honored by the world, since Jesus Christ was not honored by it. I will and desire to be looked upon as a being useless to all, of little interest, of little repute, of little influence, of little learning and wisdom, since such was the estimation in which the world held Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Grant me, O Lord, to arrive at this third and highest degree of perfection, and the grace of a perfect renunciation of myself after Thine example.


LORD, I beg of Thee the grace not to belong to that class of Christians, who, convinced of the truth of religion, are not converted or sanctified, because they will not make use of the means by which sanctity may be acquired and their conversion assured. Grant that I may not be with those who give Thee desires only, and who put off, from day to day, the means necessary for holiness and salvation, and who do nothing until the day of their death.

Lord, I ask of Thee the grace not to belong to that class of men who indeed desire holiness, but who at the same time will not make the sacrifice at all, who can not bring themselves to renounce certain passions, who will only give to Thee certain works, who would have Thee and at the same time retain possession of certain worldly advantages, who will not choose the most certain means of holiness. They are very willing that Thou shouldst come to them, but they can not persuade themselves to go to Thee; and yet what a happy lot would be theirs if they had but the courage to give themselves unreservedly to Thee! With what superabundant graces dost Thou reward the sacrifices of generous souls, O my God!

Lord, I ask of Thee to grant me the grace of being in the class of those whose will is in a state of such perfect equilibrium, that it neither accepts nor rejects anything except as Thou inspirest it to accept or reject it.

I desire nothing, O my God, unless Thou first wiliest it; I wish for nothing except to serve Thee, my Creator and my Savior; and if the voice of nature asks anything different of me, it is my will and desire to go against this voice of nature, this natural repugnance. And I pray and beseech Thee to grant and vouchsafe to me, though in opposition to my natural inclination, and notwithstanding the reluctance of nature, that I may have the grace accorded me of always acting solely for the greater honor and glory of Thy infinite Majesty, the grace of always choosing what is for Thy greater glory; and to this end I beseech of Thee the grace of perfect and effective detachment


LORD, behold me a suppliant praying before Thee. I come to implore of Thee a grace which is repugnant to my nature and which I dread to obtain. Alas, my heart is not indifferent: on the contrary, it rebels at the thought of voluntary poverty, and the contempt of men. It is to master my natural inclinations, to vanquish self, and to conquer my heart, to extinguish in it every spark of that self-love which is not in accordance with the rule these exercises place before me, that I entreat Thee to receive me under Thy standard.

May Thy divine Majesty deign to shelter me beneath me folds of this Thy holy standard, to give me the spirit of poverty and detachment, and to call me even to the practice of actual and perfect poverty, if such is Thy good pleasure. Lord Jesus, in order that I may resemble Thee more closely, grant me a share, I beseech Thee, in Thy humiliations, and in the injustices that Thou didst meet with, provided that I can bear them without committing any sin, without ever displeasing, in any way, Thy divine Majesty.

O Blessed Virgin, Mother of my God, obtain for me from Thy divine Son the grace to be received and to march under His standard.

Hail Mary

O Eternal Word, for the love Thou bearest Our Lady, Thy blessed Mother, obtain for me from the Father the grace to be received and to march under Thy standard.

Anima Christi

O Father, for the love Thou bearest the most holy Virgin Mary, for the sake of Thy Son, Our Lord, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to be received and to march under the standard of Jesus Christ.

Our Father


GRANT, O Lord, to the eyes of mine understanding the light of a pure, upright, and single intention; may I always be mindful of the end for which Thou hast created me Thy glory and my eternal salvation. Help me, O God, to keep this end in view, enlighten my spirit, and incline my will toward the calling I should choose.

Before proceeding to my decision, I will with Thy help behold present to me in heaven the throne of the most Holy Trinity, of my Redeemer and Savior, the most blessed Virgin Mary, the angels, the saints, and all the elect of God.

May my resolution have their approval and assent! Above all, O my Creator and my God, I beseech Thee to communicate Thyself to my soul, and to bind it by ever closer ties to Thee and to Thy holy service.

Grant me the grace to come to my decision and to act- as I should act if I were now at the hour of my death as I should counsel another, a stranger, or a friend, to act under similar circumstances to mine to decide as at the day of judgment, before Thy tribunal, I should then wish I had now decided.

Before all, O my God, impress well upon my mind this important maxim, that the measure of my progress in spiritual things will be that of my abnegation of self, and that so much the more as I shall go out of myself, as I shall trample on my self-love, my self-will, my natural disposition, as I shall ignore and leave behind me that self, so much the more closely shall I approach to Thee, be united to and resemble Thee.

O Lord, if Thou hast approved of my decision, if it is agreeable to Thee, accept and bless it, confirm me in it, and grant to me steadfastly to persevere in it, in peace of mind, without regrets or doubts, to Thy greater honor and glory. Amen.


MY Lord and my God, I am tempted and in desolation; my soul is sad and languishes within me; my spirit droops; I am as if separated from Thee, with out hope, without love. I am anxious, agitated, and uneasy; my heart is troubled. I am tormented, I falter, I am languid, overwhelmed, and weary with the conflict. Inferior and terrestrial things are enticing me, they charm and draw me to them.

O my God, help! Come to my assistance, give me courage, give me strength, allow me not to be overcome by the assaults of the evil one; discover to me his snares and artifices.

If Thou hast left me, it is because I have been tepid and negligent in my exercises of piety. My faults have deprived me of Thy consolations.

Perhaps also it is that Thou wiliest to show me how little I can do when left to myself how little I can do alone, for Thy service, for Thy glory how weak and powerless I am when deprived of Thy aid. Or Thou art proving me; Thou wiliest to see how I employ myself for Thy service and glory when Thou dost not bestow on me every day the rewards of Thy Spirit in gifts and sensible graces. Thou desirest to prove what I am, and if I serve Thee for Thyself, or only for the reward of Thy divine consolations. Or perhaps Thou wiliest to detach my heart from a certain self-confidence, and thus to hold it back from the pitfall of pride and self-love, so dangerous to our salvation; to forbid it to seek elsewhere than in Thyself its repose, its security, and its peace.

But what I do know is, that with Thy grace, which Thou wilt never refuse me, and of which Thou wilt never deprive me although I may not always be sensible or conscious of its presence, I shall be able to resist and overcome all my enemies; therefore, establishing my confidence on Thy divine strength, I will not lose courage.

It only remains for me to humble myself, to abase myself to the very dust at the sight of my nothingness, and to persevere in my former resolutions made in the day of consolation, awaiting in patience and calm for, and looking with hope and confidence to, Thy next visit; for I know that the day of desolation will pass, and that consolation will not be long in coming.

Give me patience and hope, give me the courage to remain fixed in my resolutions, to attack and fight with the enemy without making any change in my former decisions; but, in order to dissipate this desolation, let me change myself, by being more recollected, more attentive, more silent, more mortified; above all, by applying myself more fervently to prayer and meditation.


AT the foot of the cross I ask of Thee, O my God, the grace which I should first of all seek to obtain in considering the Passion of Our Lord. I ask an intense sorrow with Jesus Christ overwhelmed by sorrows; I ask for a broken heart in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in its agony. I beg of Thee tears to weep over the grief of Jesus Christ, a deep and sincere sympathy and compassion for the sufferings of Jesus Christ, and a lasting remembrance of all the profound sorrows and pains He endured for me.

I beg of Thee, O God, a lively contrition for my sins, and for the agony and sufferings they have caused Our Lord, and a tender love for Jesus Christ suffering for me.

Ah, it is for my sins, my Lord Jesus Christ that Thou dost advance to meet these torments. I have looked upon Thy bruised and wounded body, I have listened to Thy words in Thy affliction and distress, so full of tenderness and love, so full of sorrow and of pain; I have followed Thee along all the paths of Jerusalem: from the room of the Last Supper to the Garden of Gethsemane, from the Garden of Gethsemane to the house of Caiphas, the high priest, from the high priest to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, from Herod back to the Roman governor, from the governor s hall to Calvary, and there I have gazed on Thee nailed to the cross!

Behold what Thou hast suffered, O my God! and Thou wouldst suffer it all again and still more for me were it necessary! So great is Thy love that it is, as it were, more insatiable and cruel to Thyself than even the hate of Thy executioners!

May my eyes pour forth tears at this sad sight! O my soul, let the waters of tribulation overwhelm thee; make every effort, strive with thyself, if necessary, to keep alone before thy sight thy crucified Savior, to compassionate Him, to mourn, to sorrow, to lament and bewail with Jesus crucified.

Where, O where is Thy Divinity hidden, O my Jesus? Why does not it arise to scatter and annihilate all Thy enemies? Why does it permit Thy most holy Humanity to suffer such indignities, such excruciating torments, torments beyond all bound and measure?

O God, I realize it! All these terrible sufferings are necessary for the effacing of my sins! Behold to what a state they have reduced Thee! Behold what Thy love has found needful to suffer for me! What does it now behoove me to suffer for Thee?

Consider, my soul, what gifts thou wilt offer at the foot of the cross: what wilt thou do and suffer for Thy God.

How can I refuse aught to Thee, my Lord and my Creator, Who hast done and suffered so much for my sake; Thou hast given all Thou hast to me; Thou hast given Thy labor, Thy toil, Thy thoughts, Thy love, Thy life, the very last drop of Thy Heart s blood for me. Ah! let me give Thee all I have all my affections, all my love, all my desires, my whole heart, my work, my efforts, my sorrows, my joys, my life, my whole self.


GIVE me, O Jesus, the grace I seek in this meditation on Thy glorious Resurrection; it is that I may rejoice with Thee, that I may exult over, and participate in, Thy joy and Thy glory.

How beautiful art Thou, O my well-beloved! How beautiful and radiant are the wounds in Thy hands and Thy feet! And still more beautiful and still more radiant is the wound in Thy Sacred Heart! What ineffable sweetness, what light in Thy words! Happy Peter, happy Magdalen! still happier thou, O blessed Mother of Our Lord, united to Him in the glory of His triumph!

Let me contemplate, O my Jesus, the splendor of Thy Divinity. It seemed to hide itself during Thy Passion, but now that Thou art risen, how clearly does it shine, how evident it is to me as I recognize and confess it, and the truth and holiness of Thy presence, and of Thy apparitions which brought such peace and consolation with them!

What so overjoys and fills me with gratitude in contemplating Thee, O Lord Jesus, is the loving care Thou hast to bring -consolation to Thy servants. This tender care and loving thought for those who are Thine fills me with a great joy, and deep love and gratitude. O Jesus Christ, the Consoler, Thou Who so well knowest how to fulfil this office, this royal ministry of Thy love; how immense is the difference, how great the contrast between what friends can say to console their friends, and what Thou sayest and dost to console Thy disciples!

O divine Consoler, be Thou my consoler! Give to me that true consolation, that consolation which is the increase of faith, of hope, and of charity.

I congratulate thee, O most holy Virgin Mother, on thy happiness, and I participate in thy joy.

Regina Coeli

I adore Thee, O Jesus, in the glory of Thy Resurrection, in the immutability of Thy beatitude, and I consecrate myself to Thee anew, my Savior and my King.

Glory be to the Father


LORD, I ask of Thee the grace to realize intimately the greatness and excellence of Thy blessed benefits which Thou hast so lavishly poured forth on me; I beg of Thee that I may realize the full extent of Thy generosity, the prodigality of Thy Heart, so that measuring my gratitude by Thy marvelous generosity, it may make that return which justice and love require by serving Thee in and by Thy gifts, and consecrating myself to Thy love and service.

It is from Thee that I have received the benefits of creation, and all those special gifts of grace which never fail me in my dangers and my difficulties. How good hast Thou been to me in particular above so many others, who are more worthy than I am.

Let me reflect upon the past! Thy love, never satisfied with giving, would always give more. Ah, my God, I am confident, I know that in Thy love Thou wilt never be satisfied, until Thou hast given me Thyself entirely and for ever in heaven.

And now in my turn, what can I do for Thee? What is meet, just, and right that I should offer to Thy divine Majesty? I have nothing of myself, I hold all from God; what else, then, can I do but offer Thee all that I have, all that I am?

Suscipe, Domine: Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will. All that I am, all that I have, Thou hast given me, and I restore it all to Thee, to be disposed of according to Thy good pleasure. Give me only Thy love and Thy grace; with these I am rich enough, and I desire nothing more.

But Thou art present, Thou dwellest in all these Thy benefits, in all creatures, in myself. It is Thou who didst create and dost give existence to the elements; Thou who causest them to be Thou who dost give life to the plants, and causest them to grow. Thou who hast given to animals sensation. Thou who hast given man intelligence, the power of thought, an immortal soul. Thus Thou hast united all Thy gifts and given them all to me, life, sensation, reason. I have been created in Thy likeness, and am as an image of Thy divine Majesty. In the most noble and excellent manner Thou dwellest in me, Thou dost dwell in me as in Thy temple, as in a sanctuary, seeing in me Thine own image, and finding in me an intelligence, capable of knowing and loving Thee. What then can I do to honor in His gifts Him Who presents them to me and Who maintains them by His power? What can I do except treat them with an infinite respect, and walk always in the presence of God, thinking and acting in His presence which surrounds and penetrates even within me.

Thou, my Benefactor, art always with me; Thou art more intimately united to me than is my soul to my body; help me then, O my God, help me to keep myself before Thee as a child in the presence of a tenderly-loved father, studying the slightest sign of Thy will and Thy wish.

O my God, not only dost Thou dwell in the whole of creation, not only art Thou present in the entire universe, but Thou dost act continually in all Thy creatures, and dost work in them for ever, for my service.

Yes! Divine Artificer, Thine infinite power, occupying itself in the heavens, the elements, the fruits of the earth, becomes as it were the servant of my needs; Thou dost light my path, enlighten me with the light of day; Thou dost nourish me with the productions of the earth, and serve me by each one of the creatures I use! Thy bounty, wisdom, and power, are placed at my service, and exercised for my wants and pleasures.

Help me, O my God, to serve Thee, acting always solely for Thee, and in Thy presence, uniting work with recollection, calm contemplation of Thee with activity in Thy service; let me think always of Thee, but without ceasing to act, and let me act, but in such a manner as not to be distracted and without ceasing to think of Thee. That I may attain to this perfection in all that I do, grant that I may seek but one end in the diversity of my occupations Thy good pleasure and holy will, O my God.

So Thou art in all these gifts which I receive from Thee; it is in them and by them that Thou dost serve me.

Behind the veil of these creatures I discern Thy fatherly hand which presents them to me, and fashions them to my service. If then, they come from Thee to me, it is but just that from me they should return to Thee. It is with this intent that I have offered all to Thee; for the future I will to see in creatures only the good and useful means they may offer of serving and praising Thee, and to use them only so long as, and inasmuch as, they shall serve to this end. I will to be detached from creatures and myself; this double detachment will give me true liberty of spirit, which consists in being no longer bound either to creatures or myself, and in reposing perfectly and solely on Thy love.

I will to be detached from creatures because they have only very limited perfections; the most perfect being but as a weak and rude image of Thy perfections. What they have of the good and beautiful is but an emanation of Thy Divinity, which rests on them as the rays of the sun rest on the moon and glorify it; but as the moon is pale in the presence of the sun, shining as it does with but a borrowed light, so creatures have but a very faint reflection of Thy perfections.

I will to be detached from myself, because all my being and happiness depend not on myself but on Thee; if I leave myself I shall find Thee, and in Thee I find as in their source and in an infinite degree all perfections. In Thee and in Thee alone shall I find my happiness and my being. "Thou hast made us, O Lord, for Thyself, and our hearts can not rest until they rest in Thee" (St. Augustine;. Thou hast said, O Lord: "He that loveth his life shall lose it: and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal" (John xii. 25).

O give me then, my Lord, this perfect detachment, since in that state my soul will be absolutely indifferent to all that is not Thee. I shall then have but one thought to please Thee in all my actions; but one desire soon to quit this world, in order fully to possess Thee, my God, in heaven.

The little that I am flows from a Being so infinitely-elevated above me; from Thee, O eternal Source, descend justice, comfort, sweetness, piety, gentleness, goodness. O pour down into my soul Thy gifts, inundate me with Thy perfections, and grant me such entire conformity to Thy will that I may attain to perfect repose in Thee.

O living Light, O heavenly Sun, the source from whence proceed all those beams of light which illuminate the souls of the saints, flooding them with an effulgence of celestial radiance, let me be engulfed and lose myself in Thee! May I forget myself, and leave myself; may I strip myself of all love of creatures to love Thee alone, my Creator and my God. May I leave both creatures and myself in order to attach myself only to Thee, my Lord and my God. May I see Thee alone in the whole of creation, serving Thee and Thee only, reposing and rejoicing for ever in Thy most holy will. Amen.


O Father, O Son, O Holy Ghost!
O Most Holy Trinity! O Jesus! O Mary!
Ye blessed angels, and all ye saints of paradise, obtain for me these graces, which I ask through the merits of the most precious blood of Jesus Christ.

1. Always to do the will of God.
2. To be always in union with God.
3. To think only of God.
4. To love God alone.
5. To do everything for God.
6. To seek only the glory of God.
7. To make myself a saint for God s sake alone.
8. To know my own nothingness.
9. To know more clearly the will of God.
10. (Insert what you specially desire.}

O most holy Mary, offer to the eternal Father the most precious blood of Jesus Christ for my soul, for the holy souls in purgatory, for the needs of holy Church, for the conversion of sinners, and for the whole world.


From "First Lessons in the Science of the Saints," by R. Meyer, S.J.

WHAT is the subject-matter of the Particular Examination? According to St. Ignatius, it is "the particular sin or defect," that is, imperfection of any kind, "of which one wishes to correct himself." The same idea is conveyed by the words which the priest says at the Offertory of the Mass, when he prays: "Accept, O holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, this immaculate victim which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer Thee for my innumerable sins, and offences, and negligences."

Sins, in this connection, are faults properly so called in thought, word, deed, and omission and into which we frequently and deliberately fall. Offences are faults less properly so called, which we are wont to commit through human frailty and inadvertence, just as a traveler walking upon slippery ground is apt to fall, when he is ever so little off his guard. Negligences are shortcomings which can not properly be classed with sins of omission, and which do not wholly vitiate our actions, but which dim their luster and mar their perfection. Such, for example, are all those shortcomings, which result from a lack of fervor, of a pure intention, of full correspondence with the lights and graces vouchsafed us, and of other qualities which ought to shine forth in our actions and in our whole lives. The Particular Examination, therefore, should be directed: first, towards avoiding all deliberate sins; secondly, towards diminishing the number of our lesser offences, and, as far as possible, avoiding them; thirdly, towards diminishing the number of our negligences, and, as far as possible, avoiding them. In all these cases, there is question of amending some fault, whether it be a sin strictly so called, or a want of perfect fidelity and correspondence on our part. Hence St. Ignatius very properly mentions only sins and defects, as the subject matter of the Particular Examination of Conscience, yet it is obvious, that we can not avoid those shortcomings called negligences, except by the practice of the missing virtue or perfection. For instance, if the negligence consists in the lack of a pure intention in our actions, the only way to correct it is to be careful in future to have such an intention, and this implies positive acts of virtue. In general, sins or evil habits may be overcome, either directly by repressing them, or indirectly by practicing the contrary virtues. The former is called the negative, and the latter the positive method. Both methods are indicated by the. author of the Imitation, when he writes: "Two things particularly conduce to a great amendment; these are, forcibly to with draw one’s self from that to which nature is viciously inclined, and earnestly to labor for the good which one wants the most."

But, whether we pursue the negative or the positive method, it is essential to full success that the subject-matter be sharply denned. Not only must we aim at the correction of our vice, or the acquisition of one virtue at a time, but often we must subdivide the matter into several parts, corresponding to the different ways in which either the vice or the virtue shows itself. For example, if we wish to apply our Particular Examination to rooting out pride and implanting humility in our hearts, it is not sufficient to propose to ourselves in general, not to take pride in anything and to humble ourselves in everything. Thus proposed, the subject- matter is altogether too comprehensive. For pride may betray itself in ambitious thoughts, in boastful words, in haughty deeds; humility, on the other hand, may manifest itself in lowliness of spirit, in meekness of speech, in modesty of demeanor. And each one of these subdivisions furnishes ample matter for the Particular Examination of Conscience.

So much being presupposed, we may ask: What should we take as the subject of our Particular Examination? To this question no general answer can be given. It is a matter which the advice of a prudent confessor or director, aided by the self-knowledge derived from prayer and especially from the General Examination, must determine for each one of us, according to circumstances. However, as a guide for the confessor or director, as well as for the penitent, spiritual writers lay down the following rules:

1 . Strive to subdue your vice before you apply your self to the acquisition of virtue. "The husbandman frees his field from briars, nettles, and noxious weeds, before he scatters the good seed over it. In like manner, he that tills the soil of his heart, should begin by rooting up his vices, and then devote himself to cultivating the virtues which will bear fruits of holiness, while at the same time they will check the undergrowth of vice." The first subject, therefore, of the Particular Examination should be deliberate sins. Until they have been cleared away, we look in vain for a healthy growth of virtues.

2. Correct your external faults before others which are purely internal. The latter easily escape the scrutiny of one who has little experience in the spiritual life. They may not be voluntary, because not all our internal actions are under the control of the will; and so it often happens, that the beginner is unable to tell how far, if at all, he is to blame. Begin, therefore, with external actions, which are more easily governed, and more readily recognized as culpable, when they deviate from the laws of God and of right reason. By thus regulating your external actions, you will gradually weaken the vices in which they have their origin. For instance, if the high opinion which you have of yourself, shows itself in haughty or boastful words, the effort to check them will make itself felt in your heart, and will deaden the sentiment of egotism which finds expression in them.

3. If you are subject to a, variety of external faults, try to free yourself first from such as are more likely to give scandal or to detract from the esteem which a life of virtue ought to inspire ii\ others. For example, if you are accustomed to speak hastily, thoughtlessly, sharply, and thereby perhaps wound the feelings or in jure the reputation of your neighbor, reason and charity requite you to correct these defects before others which, in themselves, may be far more serious.

4. Again, amend your deeds before your words; because, as St. Ignatius teaches in the General Examination of Conscience, sins of deed are more serious than others, for a threefold reason: namely, "on account of the greater length of time, the greater intensity of the act, and the greater number scandalized or injured."

5. Beware, however, of being so intent on the correction of external faults, as to pass your whole life therein. After all, it is not external propriety, but internal purity, that we must propose to ourselves as our ultimate aim. We are engaged in a conflict with vice, and vice is rooted in the heart.

Find out, therefore, by means of the General Examination, what is the vice that has the upper hand in you; in other words, find out what is the chief disorder introduced into the soul by your predominant passion. There is your danger, there is the spot which your enemy will attack, there is the traitor, ready to take sides with him and to deliver you into his hands, there is the Goliath, whose head you must cut off in order to free yourself from the hands of the Philistines.

If several vices or disorderly passions of different kinds hold sway in your soul, see of what nature they are. Some vices may be spiritual, because they seem, as it were, to spring up from the soul itself. Such a vice is pride, with all its varieties of vainglory, ambition, haughtiness, disdain, and the like. Other vices, on the contrary, are wholly carnal, because they proceed more directly from the sinful appetites of the body. Such a vice is sensuality under all its forms of impurity, gluttony, sloth, and so forth. These carnal vices, if not restrained, are a source of great and imminent danger; and, therefore, a person who is molested by them should subdue them before he undertakes the combat against spiritual vices, which may indeed inflict many slight wounds upon the soul, but which do not easily kill it.

6. In case you are not troubled by any vice in particular, or have so far subdued them that your faults are few and light, it is well for you to change from the negative method to the positive, and to take, as the subject of your Particular Examination, the virtue which you desire especially to acquire. For though, as already stated, the immediate object of the Particular Examination is the correction of your faults, it is not well to spend your whole time in this alone. He that is engaged in weeding a garden, is well employed; but it does not follow therefrom that he must never do anything else. On the contrary, the object he should have in view in pulling up the weeds, is to plant flowers in their place. In like manner, when you spend your Particular Examination in rooting up the vicious inclinations of your soul, you should propose to yourself to plant the sweet-scented flowers of virtue in their stead.

What should move you, above all, to adopt the positive method, when your passions rarely rise in open or violent revolt against reason, is that otherwise you will derive little or no profit from your Particular Examination. In fact, the occasions of combat being rare, you are apt to forget the subject altogether and to imagine that your enemies have surrendered when they have only withdrawn into their stronghold. You fancy, for sooth, that you have subdued the passion of anger, because nothing has occurred to ruffle your temper. But you are greatly deceived. It is not astonishing that the sea is smooth when there is not a breath of air to disturb the calm. Neither is it astonishing that you are quiet, when chere is not a living soul to arouse your wrath. Your passions seem to be dead; but, in reality, they are only asleep. Unless you strengthen and arm yourself then, while they leave you a little respite, they "will assault you all the more violently, when they awake.

Instead, therefore, of laboring to correct a defect which you seldom commit, aim at acquiring the opposite perfection. Do you wish to guard against ever treating others with haughtiness or contempt? Learn to look upon yourself as the least of all; and take, as the subject of your Particular Examination, the practice of humiliation. Do you wish to make sure of not repining when adversity will come to try you? Endeavor to see the hand of God in all the occurrences of life; and take, as the subject of your Particular Examination, the practice of perfect conformity to the divine will. Whatever virtue you select, let it be genuine, solid, supernatural, capable of bearing the stress of trying circumstances and of being carried to the highest degree of perfection. Let it be the virtue which is most opposed to your pre dominant passion, the virtue which you need most in your present state and condition of life, or the virtue which will unite you most closely to God, the source and centre of all holiness and perfection.

Having thus determined the subject-matter, we perform the Particular Examination, together with the General Examination, as an adjunct and auxiliary to it. That we may do so with the best possible results, St. Ignatius, who was the first to reduce the Particular Examination to a systematic form and to promote its practice throughout the world, gives us some valuable directions. "The daily Particular Examination," he writes, "embraces three times and two sittings. The first time is straightway in the morning on rising, when a person resolves to guard diligently against the particular sin or defect, which he desires to correct. The second time is in the middle of the day, when, after begging light to know how often he has offended Almighty God, he begins the scrutiny of his conscience, as explained in the General Examination, by first demanding an account of his soul concerning the particular fault in question... from the hour at which he rose down to the present.

Then he marks in a book prepared for the purpose, how many times he has fallen; and, when he makes the act of contrition and purpose of amendment for his sins, he includes, in an especial manner, the particular fault in question.

"The third time is in the evening, when he makes a second sifting in like manner ; and, after marking in his book, how many times he has fallen, he again says an act of contrition and resolves to be more on his guard in future, especially against the particular fault in question."

These practices, and especially that of marking the number of one s falls, will perhaps be looked upon by some as childish minutiae, calculated only to hamper the spirit. But they are not so regarded by those who are experienced in the spiritual life. As a proof, it may be allowed to refer, in passing, to two eminent ecclesiastics, now departed, who were well known to some readers of these lines, and who were highly esteemed by all that knew them for their sound, practical judgment, no less than for their manly virtue. One of these spoke of the little book of the Particular Examination, as the pass-book, in which we daily note our current account with heaven, and which, if faithfully kept to the last, we may present with confidence at the judgment-seat of God. The other, a much-beloved prelate, who had resigned the dignity of office for the lowliness of a religious life, on perceiving that the hour for the usual examination of conscience had come, took leave of the friends with whom he was conversing, and, drawing forth from his pocket the booklet of his Particular Examination, shook it playfully in their faces, with the remark: "For me this is very necessary." These words, said with an air and tone of earnest conviction, are quite as applicable to all of us as to the speaker. Not that the success of the Particular Examination depends essentially upon recording, even to the last unit, the exact number of our daily failings; but that neglect in marking with becoming diligence the result of the Examination, gradually leads to forgetfulness, if not to complete disuse, of this important exercise in a fervent Christian s life.

The object of this marking of our faults is to fix the attention, and to prevent us from relaxing our efforts during the course of the day. The same is true also of other practices recommended by St. Ignatius, under the head of "Four useful additions, for the easier and quicker extirpation of any particular sin or defect." "The first is, that each time a person falls into that particular sin or defect, he lay his hand on his breast, and grieve for his fault. This he can do even in the presence of others, without their perceiving it."

"The second is, that at night, after making the second scrutiny of his conscience, he compare it with the first, "and observe if any amendment has taken place."

"The third is that he compares the examination of the first and second day, and sees if there has been any improvement."

"The fourth is, that he compare one week with another, and note if, in the present week, he has improved on the preceding." Made in accordance with these directions, the Particular Examination can not fail to produce the happiest results. "It owes its great efficacy," writes an experienced director of souls, " to these three things: first, it divides our enemies, and brings all our forces to bear upon one of them at a time; secondly, it attacks our disorders and sinful habits at the root; thirdly, it keeps us at work all day and calls for the exercise of every power of the soul." And thus it becomes the specific for inveterate and radical defects, which resist all other means of self-reform.

Deep-seated and chronic evils, it is true, are not cured speedily, nor by the ordinary remedies; but it is also true, that no spiritual evils, however obstinate, can resist the persevering efforts of a resolute will aided by the grace of God. "Let no one then despair," says St. Basil, "because of his sinful inclination; rather, let him bear in mind that, as skilful culture can change the qualities of trees and shrubs, so zeal and industry in the pursuit of virtue can check and correct all the vicious affections of the soul."

In a similar manner, one of the ancient fathers of the desert counseled and encouraged an anchoret, who had grown so remiss in the discharge of all his spiritual duties, that lukewarmness seemed to have become his normal condition; so much so that though moved to lead a life more worthy of his calling, he thought his case too desperate to begin the work of self-reform. The venerable patriarch, desiring to give additional force to his advice, put it in the form of a parable, somewhat as follows: "A certain man, having a field all overrun with thorns, briars, and tares, told his son to stub and clear it. The youth, therefore, set out one day to do the work assigned him; but immediately upon beholding it, he lost heart, threw himself upon the ground, and spent his time in sleep. The next day he went out again, and did likewise. Questioned at night how he was progressing, he frankly confessed that he had not the courage to undertake what appeared to him a hopeless task. Whereupon his good father reproved him, saying: You do wrong, my son, to look upon your work in the gross, as if you had to do it all at once. Mark out for yourself, in the morning, as much as you can easily do in a day, and address yourself with a will to your appointed task. Before long you will find that it is not so hopeless as you now fancy to yourself. The son followed his father’s advice, and full soon the whole field was cleared."

Let us all apply this parable to ourselves, and mark out, every morning, a definite amount of work to do in the field which our heavenly Father has given us to cultivate. Let us daily clear away some of the thorns, briars, and tares which overrun it and hinder the growth of the good grain. In other words, let us make strenuous and persevering efforts to free our souls from the sins, offences, and negligences into which we are wont to fall, and which we recognize as the greatest impediment in the way of a Christian life.

With this object in view, let us diligently perform the Particular Examination of Conscience. It is a most efficacious means of self-amendment and spiritual progress. For it is a combat carried on against our faults, until the vices from which they spring have been subdued and replaced by the opposite virtues; and, as the pious author of the Imitation assures us, "if every year we rooted out one vice, we should soon be perfect men."


THERE are two kinds of examination (or examen) general and particular. The object of the first is to discover all the faults we have committed.

The second or particular examination has for its object one single fault or bad habit, which we have resolved to correct.

It is made every day in the following manner:

1. In the morning, on rising, resolve to avoid this sin or defect.

2. Toward noon, ask of God the grace to remember how often you have fallen into it, and to avoid it for the future. Then examine, thinking over the time passed since your rising, ascertaining the number of faults committed, and marking them by so many points in the first line of a table like the following:

Days of the Week

1st day _____________________________
2nd day ___________________________
3rd day _________________________
4th day _______________________
5th day _____________________
6th day ___________________
7th day _________________

This done, renew your resolutions for the rest of the day

3. In the evening, after supper, or at nightfall, a new examination like the first, marking the faults on the second line for the day.


1. At each fault against the resolutions you have taken, as soon as you recollect, yourself, put your hand on your heart and repent of your fall.

This can be done without being observed by any one.

2. At night, count the points of the two examinations, and see if from the first to the second you have made any amendment or progress.

3. Compare in the same way the day or the week, which is ending, with the preceding day or week. The lines of the record diminish in length, from the 1st to the 7th day, because it is reasonable to expect that the number of the faults should likewise diminish.

4. The subject of the particular examen should be ordinarily the predominant passion that is, the one which is the source of the greater number of faults that you commit, and which consequently is the great obstacle to your sanctification.

5. This examination on the predominant passion should be continued, until it is entirely overcome, or, at least, notably weakened.

Bishop Bellord’s Summary of a Method of Meditation


1. Read the meditation over-night.
2. Review it at intervals till next morning.
3. Affections of love and joy up to the meditation.


1. Place yourself in the presence of God.
2. Act of humility: acknowledge your unworthiness-
3. Confess your incapacity: ask for aid.


I. Adoration.

1. Contemplate the subject in God the Father, or in Jesus Christ, with reference to His (i.) Dispositions, (ii.) Words, (iii.) Actions.

2. Offer Him, with respect to the subject, (i.) Adoration, (ii.) Admiration, (iii.) Praise, (iv.) Love, (v.) Joy, (vi.) Gratitude.

II. Reflection.

Transfer to yourself what you have contemplated in God, considering:

1. What example, or warning, or knowledge, is to be gathered with a view to your own case?
2. What are your past negligences, present deficiencies, future needs?
3. What grace do you require from God?

III. Action.

1. Petition.

(i.) Simple petition.

(ii.) With obsecration (through the merits of Christ, the Blessed Virgin, etc.).
(iii.) With thanksgiving,
(iv.) With intercession for others.

N.B. Your petitions must be (i.) Humble; (ii.) Confident; (iii.) Persevering.

2. Resolutions.

(i.) Let them be practical,
(ii.) For immediate use.
(iii.) Adapted to your special case,
(iv.) Efficacious.

3. Colloquies.

With God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin, your Guardian Angel, etc.


1. Thanksgiving.

(i.) For admission to God s presence,
(ii.) For ability to pray,
(iii.) For lights received.

2. Contrition.

For faults committed, with a brief examination of the meditation.

3. Oblation.

Offer the meditation to God by the hands of the Blessed Virgin for the supplying of all defects.

4. Spiritual Bouquet.

Sum up the meditation in a maxim or ejaculation to be recalled during the day.



1. Remote Preparation:

Detachment from sin
Mortification of the passions
Control of the interior and exterior senses

2. Proximate Preparation:

On the preceding evening and in the morning to think over the subject of meditation, and, in particular

(a) What we should consider in Our Lord;
(b) The motives proper to convince us;
(c) The resolutions we should take.

To keep strict silence from the evening till the next morning after prayer.
To go to prayer with gladness and humility.

3. Immediate Preparation:

To put one’s self in the presence of God by acts of faith and adoration.
To acknowledge one s self unworthy to appear before God and to be suffered in His presence, making acts of humility, contrition, and union with Our Lord.

To acknowledge one s self incapable of praying, on account of blindness of intellect and perverseness of the will.
To invoke the Holy Ghost.


First Point: Adoration

To consider in Our Lord the subject proposed for meditation His sentiments, His words, His actions.
To discharge toward Him our duties of adoration, admiration, praise, thanksgiving, love, and joy or compassion.

Second Point: Communion

Consideration of the motives leading to virtue and withdrawing from vice; consideration of the circumstances of the mysteries.

Reflection on one s self, with sentiments of contrition for the past, confusion for the present, and desire for the future.

Petition, with humility, confidence, and perseverance.

Third Point: Cooperation

To take resolutions definite, present, efficacious.
To have great distrust in one s self.
To put entire confidence in Our Lord.


To thank God for having suffered us in His presence and for the graces He gave us during prayer.
To beg His pardon for the faults we may have committed during prayer.
To beg His blessing on our resolutions, the present day, our life, and our death.
To place ourselves and the fruit of our prayer under the protection of the Blessed Virgin.
To make the spiritual nosegay "Sub tuum praesidium." "O Jesu, vivens in Maria."


SUB tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Amen.

WE fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

V. Dignare me laudare te, virgo sacrata.
R. Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.

V. Benedictus Deus in sanctis suis.
R. Amen.

V. Make me worthy to praise thee, holy Virgin.
R. Give me strength from thine enemies.

V. Blessed be God in His saints.
R. Amen.


O Jesu, vivens in Maria, veni et vive in famulis tuis, in Spiritus sanctitatis tuae, in plenitudine virtutis tuae, in veritate virtutum tuarum, in perfectione viarum tuarum, in communione mysteriorum tuorum, dominare omni adversae potestate in Spiritu tuo ad gloriam Patris. Amen.

O Jesus, who dost live in Mary, come and live in Thy servants, in the spirit of Thine own holiness, in the fulness of Thy power, in the reality of Thy virtues, in the perfection of Thy ways, in the communion of Thy mysteries, - have Thou dominion over every adverse power, in Thine own Spirit, to the glory of Thy Father. Amen.


Very Rev. A. Magnien, S.S., D.D., former Superior of the Theological Seminary of St. Sulpice, Baltimore, in his introduction to Father Hamon’s "Meditations," writes:

This work is based upon the Method of Mental Prayer, which is followed in all Sulpician seminaries and in many other religious communities throughout the world. This method is extremely logical and as simple as it is logical.

Many, however, have been trained in the Ignatian method, and do not readily take to any other.

The Sulpician method of meditation consists essentially of three parts, the first of which is called the Preparation, the second the Body of the Prayer, and the third the Conclusion. We shall devote a few words to the explanation of each. All spiritual writers presuppose in those who practice meditation a preparation known as remote. By the very nature of the case, the lives of those who aim at perfection should be characterized by detachment from worldly things as such, and by the spirit of mortification. The method proper, then, opens with the proximate preparation. This should be made on the preceding evening and in the morning, continuing until the moment we are ready to begin our prayer. In its main outlines it is a summary of the whole Meditation, and is so styled in Father Hamon’s work. After dwelling upon the goodness of God as evidenced in each particular subject, we consider what we ought to do for Him in return, and what means it were best to adopt in view of the desired end. The resolutions flow naturally from these considerations, and are determined in their character by them.

We have now to deal with the Body of the Prayer, which in Father Hamon’s work falls under the title Meditation for the Morning. In the first part, called Adoration, we study the subject in our blessed Lord, calling to mind His words, His actions, and the spirit of His life. The mystery or virtue as seen in Him will induce us to render to Him our duties of adoration, admiration, praise, thanksgiving, love, joy, or compassion, according to circumstances. The second part (including points 1 and 2) supplies us with motives and means of practicing virtue, and suggests, in each case, that we reflect upon our conduct in order to see whether, and to what extent, we possess the particular virtue recommended. Our neglect and consequent failure will inspire us with sorrow for the past, confusion for the present, and desire for the future. Recognizing that God only can give effect to our desires, we earnestly implore Him to grant us the virtue upon which we have been meditating. That nothing may be wanting to success, we in the third part of the Body of the Prayer make definite resolutions for the present day, thus insuring our own cooperation.

What we have termed the Conclusion is made up of acts in which we thank God for the graces which He has bestowed upon us during prayer, and beg His pardon for any faults of which we may have been guilty whilst holding commune with Him.

The Spiritual Nosegay is a text taken from the Sacred Scriptures, or from the Fathers, or from the Office of the Church, which both summarizes and suggests the considerations and resolutions of the morning. Those who desire more intimate acquaintance with this excellent method will find an admirable exposition of its several parts in Father Faber’s treatises: "Growth in Holiness" in the chapter on Prayer.