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FIFTEENTH MEDITATION.77   [The genuineness of this and the two following meditations has been questioned. They certainly do constitute twenty-two chapters out of sixty-eight of a work printed in the appendix to the Benedictine edition of St. Augustine, under the title De Vitâ Eremeticâ. But if internal evidence is to be trusted, they cannot possibly be St. Augustine’s.
   On the other hand, there is no internal evidence whatever, apart from their style, which can justify us in saying that they are not St. Anselm’s. It is true that their author wrote them for an only sister, and that that sister was a nun. It is true, also, that St. Anselm [see Epp. iii. 67] towards the end of his life gave us to understand that he was the only brother of his married sister Richera; but it does not follow that she was his only sister; still less does it follow that he had never had another. On the contrary the probability is, that as she had had several children (iii. 43), only one of whom was at that time left to her, so she had had other brothers and sisters, of whom St. Anselm was the sole survivor. In short, there is no reason whatever for supposing, on the ground of internal evidence, as apart from that of style, that St. Anselm is not the author of these meditations, the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth.

   And, as to style and manner, the translator can only say that the more he reads of St. Anselm, the less disposed is he to say that the sixteenth is not his, and the more constrained he is to believe that the seventeenth is his; whilst the fifteenth presents no peculiarities which may not be accounted for by the fact that it was written for the edification of one person, a sister in religion.]

OF THE MEMORY OF PAST BENEFITS FROM CHRIST, OF THE EXPERIENCE OF PRESENT BENEFITS, AND OF THE HOPE OF FUTURE.

[§ 75. On the subjects of meditation.] No one should be tired of listening to what may rouse us to the love of God. Now we read in the Gospel that there were two sisters who loved their Lord with an ardent devotion; and although each of 198the two loved both God and her neighbour, yet Martha’s special occupation was to attend upon her neighbours, whilst Mary drank from the very Fount itself of love.

Now to the love of God there appertain two things: devotion in heart, and devotion in act. And act consists in the practical exercise of virtues, whilst the heart’s devotion revels in the taste of spiritual sweetness. The exercise of virtues has its praise in a fixed rule of life, in fasts, in vigils, in labour, in reading, in prayer, in silence, in poverty, and the rest; whereas affective devotion is nourished by salutary meditation.

And that the dearest love of Jesus may grow by affection in your heart, you have need of a three fold meditation; a meditation, that is to say, on 199things past, things present, and things to come; a meditation based on our remembrance of the past, our experience of the present, and our contemplation of the future.

[§ 76. The Annunciation.] When, therefore, your mind has been purged from tumultuous thoughts by that practical exercise of virtues, then turn your cleansed eyes back to the past, and first of all enter with blessed Mary into her chamber, and unroll the sacred books in which are foretold a virgin’s maternity and the birth of Christ. Then wait, expecting the arrival of the angel, that you may see him enter, and hear him salute her; that then, trans ported with ecstasy and wonder, you may with the greeting angel greet Mary, thy dearest Queen, saying with heart and voice, ‘Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee!’ (St. Luke i. 27.) Say it over and over again, and ask yourself what this fulness of grace may be, whence all the whole world has gathered grace; what may be the meaning of ‘the Word was made Flesh.’ O muse, and wonder that the Lord who fills earth and heaven is shut up in that, a maiden’s, womb, whom the Father has sanctified, the Son taken for His mother, the Holy Ghost overshadowed. O dearest 200Queen, with what draughts of sweetness wast thou filled, with what fires of love wast thou inflamed, when in thy soul and in thy flesh thou didst own the Presence of so great a Majesty, He of thy flesh taking Flesh to Himself, and after the model of thy sacred limbs clothing Himself with limbs, wherein dwelt corporally all the fulness of the Godhead. And all this, virgin, in your behalf, that you might love the Virgin whom you have taken as a pattern for imitation, and the Virgin’s Son, to whom you are espoused.

[§ 77. The Visitation, Nativity, and Adoration of the Kings.] And now, go up with your dearest Queen into the mountainous country: watch the embrace of the Virgin and of her that was barren, and note the lowly salutation by which the servant recognised his Lord, the herald his Judge, the voice the Word, shut up in the womb of an aged mother, owned, I say, the Lord, the Judge, the Word, owned Him enshrined in the Virgin’s womb, owned and greeted Him with an unspeakable joy. O blessed wombs, in one the Saviour of the world is rising to enlighten it; in the other, joy that shall know no end speaks with prophetic voice of clouds of sorrow banished from the sky. 201Hasten, I pray you, hasten; take your share in joys such as these; throw yourself at the feet of each; embrace your Spouse in the holy shrine of the one, and in the other’s womb venerate the Bridegroom’s friend.

With all devotion follow our Mother after this to Bethlehem, and attend her as she turns aside into the inn; bow yourself down all reverently while she brings forth her Child; and when the Babe is placed in the manger, break forth in cries of exultation, and sing with Isaias, ‘A Child is born to us: and a Son is given to us’ (Is. ix. 7), and embrace that dear crib of His. Let love temper bashfulness, and devotion banish fear, and so press your lips to those holiest Feet, and imprint kisses on His Knees. And then recall in imagination the watches of the shepherds, and marvel at the troops of angels, and mingle your prayers with the heaven-taught melody, singing in your heart and singing with your lips, ‘Glory to God in the highest!’ (St. Luke ii. 14.)

Nor must you in your meditation pass over the Magi and their offerings; nor leave Him to fly into Egypt unescorted. Let the eye of your devotion watch the Baby Jesus sweetly sucking the sweet breasts of the glorious Virgin-Mother, 202and after a child’s wont laying His Hand on His Mother’s bosom, and looking up and smiling at her. What sweeter sight? what more delightful? See Him Who IS, the Infinite, clinging with tiny arms to a mother’s neck; and say, ‘O happy, and more than happy, I, to see Whom kings desired to see, and saw not!’ ‘Worthy indeed to be seen is He, for He is beautiful above the sons of men’ (Ps. xliv. 3).

[§ 78. The flight into Egypt.] Think, and think again, with what thoughts and what meditations that dearest Mother was entranced, as, all joyous and full of rapture, she held Him, her Lord, at once so great and so little, in her arms; kissed over and over again her little Infant, as He gambolled in her lap; or consoled Him in His tears with what lullaby she could, rocking Him on her knees; or, again, soothed Him with industrious care, as maternal love prompted her, according to His changeful wants. You may think the story to be true which relates that in the course of His journey He was seized by bandits, and res cued by the kindness of a certain youth. This lad, so the legend runs, was the son of the robber chief; who, on obtaining his share of the booty, 203and gazing on the Face of the little Child in His Mother’s lap, descried in His all-lovely Face so bright a majesty as that, not doubting Him to be more than human, he was inflamed with love of Him, and embracing Him exclaimed, ‘O most blessed Babe, should ever time come to Thee for having pity on me, remember me then, and for get not this time.’ They say that this lad was in after time the thief, who, hanging crucified at the right hand of his God, rebuked the blasphemy of his fellow with the words, ‘Neither dost thou fear God’ (St. Luke xxiii. 40); but turning to the Lord, and discerning in Him the selfsame majesty that once gleamed on the Baby brow, and mindful of the ancient compact, said, ‘Lord, remember me when Thou shalt come into Thy Kingdom’ (ib. 42). I think there can be no indiscretion in using this pious legend as an incentive to love, without rashly affirming it to be true.

[§ 79. The early life, baptism, fasting, and ministry of our Lord.] And think you that no access of sweetness will be yours if you contemplate Him a Boy with boys at Nazareth; or watch Him waiting on His Mother, helping His foster-father? And what will you not feel if, on His going up to 204Jerusalem with His parents when twelve years of age, and staying behind while they returned, not aware that He was in the city, you go with His Mother on her three days’ search for Him? O, in what showers your tears will fall when you hear the Mother chiding the Son in words of, so to say, sweet reproof! ‘Son, why hast Thou done so to us?’ (St. Luke ii. 48.)

But if it delight you to follow your Virgin Spouse whithersoever He goeth (Apoc. xiv. 4), pry into His loftier heights and secreter retirements, and at the wave of Jordon hear the Person of the Father in the Voice, see the Person of the Son manifest in the Flesh, and the Holy Ghost under the figure of the Dove.

Passing thence, your dearest Jesus consecrated for you retirement and solitude, and for you sanctified the endurance of fasts, showing you how to fight with your crafty foe. What He did here He did for you, and pay careful heed to His way of doing it. Love Him by whom was done what was done; and what was done, that imitate.

Now, then, let the woman who was taken in adultery be present to your recollection, and recall what Jesus did, what He said, when asked to pass sentence on her. He cast His eyes to the earth, 205lest haply by looking at the woman He should too much abash her; and when by writing on the earth He had declared her accusers to be earthly and not heavenly, He said, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her’ (St. John viii. 7). O the wonderful, the unquenchable kindness of Christ! He might justly have condemned her; see how mercifully, and yet how prudently, He set her free! For when by that one sentence He had rebuked them, and banished them the temple, think then what merciful eyes He lifted on her, think with what sweet and gentle voice He pronounced the sentence of His absolution. Imagine His sighs, picture to yourself His tears as He said, ‘Hath no man condemned thee’ (ib. viii. 10.) Happy, let me say it, happy was that adulterous woman, absolved of the past, and made secure for the future. For, O good Jesus, when Thou sayest, ‘Neither will I condemn thee’ (ib. 10), who—who shall do so? God is He who justifieth. Who is he that shall condemn? (Rom. viii. 33, 34.) Yet, yet again let Thy voice be heard, ‘Go, and now sin no more’ (St. John viii. 11).

[§ 80. Our Lords works of mercy.] Nor will you pass that house unvisited where they are letting 206down the paralytic through the tiles before the feet of Jesus; and where power and pity are met together: ‘Son,’ He says, ‘thy sins are forgiven thee’ (St. Mark ii. 5). O wonderful kindness, O unspeakable mercy! Happy he; he received what he asked not for, remission of sins; a remission unpreceded by confession, unmerited by satisfaction, undemanded by contrition. It was the body’s healing, not the soul’s, that he craved; and, lo, he gained health of body and of soul! Of a truth, O Lord, in Thy will is life; if Thou decree to save us, no one can stay Thy hand. If Thou decree otherwise, there is none that dare say, Why doest Thou this? Why, Pharisee, dost thou murmur? ‘Is thy eye evil because I am good?’ (St. Matt. xx. 15.) Certainly ‘He hath mercy on whom He will’ (Rom. ix. 18); let us cry to Him, and pray to Him, that He may be pleased to will. And more than this, let our prayer be enriched, and our devotion deepened, and our love quickened by good works. Let pure hands be lifted up in prayer, hands which blood of impurity has not stained, nor unlawful touch defiled, nor avarice hardened; and with the pure hands let a heart without anger and strife be lifted up, a heart calmed by tranquillity, composed by peace, and washed by purity of conscience. 207But the paralytic is not said in the account to have satisfied any of these conditions, and yet we do read that he merited remission of all his sins. Such, however, is the virtue of His unspeakable mercy, on which it is the height of folly to presume, even as it is blasphemy to derogate from it. He is able to say efficaciously to whomsoever He will what He said to the paralytic, ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee.’ But whoever expects to hear these words spoken to him without labour on his own part, without contrition, without confession, or even without prayer, that man’s sins never are remitted.

[§ 81. Bethany and the Cœnaculum.] But we must go hence and make our way to Bethany, where the most sacred bonds of friendship are consecrated by our Lord’s authority; for ‘Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus’ (St. John xi. 5); and no one can doubt that this is told us with a view to the special and sacred law of friendship, a law which bound them close in a common familiar attachment. Witness those sweet tears which lie wept with the weeping sisters, and were interpreted by all the people as the token of His love: ‘Behold how He loved him’ (ib. 36).

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And, lo, now they make Him a supper. ‘Martha served, but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with him’ (St. John xii. 2, 3). Mary therefore took an alabaster box of precious ointment. Rejoice, I pray you, to take part in this feast. And distinguish the parts played by the several per sons. Martha served; Lazarus reclined at table; Mary anoints her Lord. Be this last part yours; break in that supper-room the alabaster of your heart; and whatever you have of devotion, what ever of love, whatever of desire, whatever of affection, pour all of it on the head of your Spouse, adoring God in the Person of Man, and Man in the Personal God. If the traitor chides, if he murmurs, if he is jealous, if he calls your devotion extravagance and waste, heed it not. ‘To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much,’ &c. (St. Matt. xxvi. 8, 9). The Pharisee murmurs, for he is jealous of the penitent. Judas murmurs, for he begrudges the pouring out of the ointment; but the Judge receives not the accusation, and acquits the accused: ‘Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon Me’ (ib. 10). Let Martha toil, let her serve, let her provide shelter for the wanderer, food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty; I alone 209am Mary’s, and she is Mine. She gives Me all she has; let her expect from Me whatever she desires. What? Do you play Mary’s part in forsaking the feet she so delightedly kisses, in turning your eyes from that loveliest of faces that she gazes on, and in shutting your ears to that sweet voice of His with which she is refreshed? Still, let us rise and go hence. Whither, do you say? Why, surely let us go, that you may accompany the Lord of heaven as He advances seated on an ass; and that, marvelling that such great things should be done for you, you may add your praises to the praises of the little children, crying out and saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’ (St. Matt. xxi. 9).

And now go up with Him to the large dining-room furnished (St. Mark xiv. 15), and find it your joy to be present at the supper of salvation. Let love conquer bashfulness, and devotion shut out fear, that at least He may give an alms to the beggar from the crumbs that fall from the table; or else stand at a distance, and, like a pauper awaiting a rich man’s pleasure, stretch out your hand to receive something. When, however, rising from supper He has girded Himself with a towel and poured water into a basin (St. John xiii. 4, 5), think what majesty it is, what might 210it is, that is washing the feet of men and wiping them; what condescension it is that touches with so sacred hands the feet of the betrayer. Look, watch, wait, and then offer Him your feet to wash, for whom He washes not shall not have part with Him (St. John xiii. 8).

But why in such haste to go? Stay a moment. Pray do you see who it is that has just reclined himself on His breast and lays his head in His bosom? Happy he, whoever he may be!

O yes! I see now certainly who it is; John is his name. O John, what sweetness, what grace and joy, what light and devotion didst thou draw to thee from that Fountain! In that Fountain, of a truth, are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. ii. 3). There is the fountain of mercy, there is the very home of compassion, there is the honeycomb of everlasting sweetness. And why hast thou all this, O John? Art thou sublimer than Peter, or holier than Andrew, or more highly graced than all the rest of the apostles? This is the special privilege of virginity; ’tis because thou art a virgin, elect of the Lord, and of all more loved than all. Now, then, virgin sister, leap for joy, go near, and delay not to claim some little portion of this sweetness; and if you 211cannot assay a higher part, intrust your heart to John as he fills himself with the wine of joy in contemplation of the Godhead, and then hie thee to thy Lord and draw milk from the fountains of His Humanity; and as He speaks the while, committing His disciples to the Father in that all-holy prayer, ‘Holy Father, keep them in Thy name’ (St. John xvii. 11), bow down your head to merit to hear the words, ‘I will that where I am, they also whom Thou hast given Me may be with Me’ (ib. 24).

[§ 82. Gethsemane and the high-priest’s palace.] It is good for you to be here, but we must go. He will lead the way to Olivet; you must follow. And albeit He takes Peter and the two sons of Zebidee and retires to the recesses of the garden, still do you watch from far, and see how He takes upon Him the necessity of our state; see how He whose are all things begins to grow sorrowful and very sad, saying, ‘My soul is sorrowful even unto death’ (St. Matt. xxvi. 38). Why is this, O my God? Thou dost so feel for and with me, in displaying Thyself Man, as that Thou seemest in a certain sort to forget that Thou art God. Fallen prostrate on Thy face Thou prayest, and, lo, Thy 212Sweat is turned to Blood trickling down upon the ground (St. Luke xxii. 44). Why, my sister, do you delay? Run, run to Him, lap up those dearest drops, and lick the dust of His feet. Do not sleep with Peter, lest you merit to have it said to you as to the rest, ‘What! would you not watch one hour with Me?’ (St. Matt. xxvi. 40).

But, lo, the traitor advances with the impious crowd behind him; Judas offers the kiss; they lay hands on Jesus; they hold their Lord fast bound; they manacle those dear hands of His. Who could endure it? Pity, I know, fills all your heart now, and zeal inflames all your inmost parts. Let Him alone, I pray you; let Him suffer; He is suffering for you. Why do you want a sword? why does your anger burn? why are you filled with indignation? For if, like Peter, you cut off an ear of one of them; if you draw the sword and sever a foot from its limb, He will restore everything; nay, should you even kill one of them, without doubt He will raise him to life again.

No; better follow Him to the high-priest’s palace, and that loveliest face of His, which they besmear with spittings, wash, O wash it with your tears.

See with what pitiful eyes, with what a merciful 213and what an efficacious glance He turned and looked on Peter, now for the third time denying Him; and Peter turning back to Him, and returning into himself, wept bitterly. O, good Jesus, would that that dear eye would look on me, that have so often denied Thee by the worst of actions and of desires at the voice of a pert serving-maid, my flesh.

[§ 83. The Prætorium.] And now, for it is morning, He is delivered up to Pilate, before whom He is accused and holds His peace, for He was led as a sheep to the slaughter (Is. liii. 7, Acts viii. 32). Mark Him, how He stands before the governor, with Head bent down, with Eyes turned to the ground, with Face all peace; He speaks little and seldom, He is ready for insults, and goes all eagerly to be scourged. You cannot bear more of this, I know; you cannot bear to see there before your very eyes that dearest Back furrowed by the thongs, that Face bruised with blows, that sensitive Head crowned with thorns; that Eight Hand, which rules heaven and earth, dishonoured with a reed. But see, they are leading Him out; the scourging is over; He wears a crown of thorns, and a purple garment; and Pilate cries, ‘Behold 214the Man!’ (St. John xix. 5.) Man in very truth, who can doubt it? Witness the stripes the rods have made, the livid wounds, the filthy spittings.

Know now, at last, thou Devil,88   [Zabule. Probably for Diabole; either a corrupted form or a corrupt reading.] that He is a man. ‘I grant you,’ you say, ‘He is a man.’ But yet you say, ‘What is He?’ Ay, what is He? For amid so many injuries He is not angry, as a man would be; He is not moved, as a man would be; He is not indignant against His torturers, as a man would be. Then surely He is more than man. But if so, who owns more than man? He is owned, I grant, as man in His endurance of the judgments of the wicked of the earth; He will be owned as God when He comes to pass judgment. Too late, O Devil; you have found it out too late. Why have tried to work by Pilate’s wife to procure His discharge? You spoke not quick enough. The judge is on the bench; the sentence is pronounced already.

[§ 84. The Crucifixion.] Now He is led forth to death, carrying His Cross. O what a spectacle is this! Do you see it? Lo, the government is upon His shoulders (Is. ix. 6). See, here is His rod of 215equity, His rod of empire. Wine mingled with gall is given Him to drink. He is stript of His garments, which are divided among the soldiers; but His tunic is not rent, but passes by lot to one of them. His dear Hands and Feet are bored with nails; and He, stretched on the Cross, is hung up between thieves. Of God and men the Mediator, He hangs in the midst between heaven and earth; joining lowest things and highest, earthly things and heavenly; and heaven is bewildered, and earth condoles.

And what of you? No wonder if, while the sun mourns, you mourn also; if, while the earth shakes, you tremble; if, while rocks rend, your heart is torn; if, while the women beside the Cross are all in tears, you cry aloud with them.

And O, amidst it all, think of that sweetest Heart of His, how pitifully still It kept Itself, recking not contumely, heeding 110 pain, refusing to feel insults and reproaches. Nay, rather, at whose hands He suffers, He compassionates them; by whom He is wounded, He heals them; by whom He is slain, He procures them life. O with what sweetness and self-devotion of heart and soul, with what abundant overflowing charity He cries, ‘Father, forgive them!’

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O Lord, look on me; here I am, worshipping Thy Majesty, not slaying Thy Flesh; adoring Thy death, not mocking Thy sufferings; musing on Thy mercy, not contemning Thy weakness. Let, therefore, Thy sweet Humanity interpose in my behalf, and Thy unspeakable compassion commend me to Thy Father; and do Thou say, dear Lord, ‘Father, forgive him.’

But you, virgin, who can presume on a more intimate nearness to the Son of the Virgin than the women that stand far off; come with the Virgin-Mother and the virgin-disciple, come close to the Cross, come close and gaze upon that Face, suffused with pallor. What, my dear sister, will you all-tearless watch your Lady’s tears? Do you stand with dry eyes whilst the sword of grief goes through her soul? Will you heave no sigh when you hear Him say to His Mother, ‘Woman, behold thy Son;’ and to John, ‘Behold thy Mother.’ And just as He gave His disciple a Mother, so did He give Paradise to a robber.

‘Then one of the soldiers opened His Side with a spear’ (St. John xix. 34). O hasten, linger not; eat thy honeycomb with thy honey; drink thy wine with thy milk (Cant. v. 1). The Blood 217from His Side is made wine for thee, that thou mayest drink thy fill, and the Water turned into milk for thy nourishment; and rivers are made thee in the rock, wounds in His Limbs, and a cavern in the wall of His Body. Hide thee in those gaps, and nestle in them like a dove; and kiss over and over first one and then another; and stained with His Blood thy lips shall be ‘as a scarlet lace, and thy speech shall be sweet’ (Cant. iv. 3).

[§ 85. The Entombment and Resurrection.] But wait, wait awhile for the coming of the noble counsellor to draw out the nails, and loosen the Hands and Feet. See how he folds the Corpse in those his happiest arms, and clasps It to his bosom. Then could that holy man exclaim, ‘A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me’ (Cant. i. 12). And as for you; follow you the dearest Treasure of earth and heaven, and support His Feet, or hold up the Hands and the Arms; or at least gather up all carefully the drops of the most precious Blood, as they slowly trickle from him, and lick the dust that His Feet have touched. And notice besides how tenderly and lovingly the blessed Nicodemus lays his fingers on the all-holy Limbs, bathes Them with unguents, and assisted by St. 218Joseph, lays Him wound round with linen in the sepulchre (St. John xix. 38-40).

And now that this is over, leave not Mary Magdalene, but court her society, help her to prepare the spices, and come with her betimes to the Lord’s sepulchre. O, may you merit to see with the eye of the soul, as she did by bodily vision, now an angel sitting on the stone which he had rolled away from the door of the monument; and now again, within the monument, two, one at the head, and one at the feet, preaching the Resurrection and its glories; and yet again Jesus Himself, refreshing the sad and tearful Magdalene with eyes so gentle, and saying with voice so sweet, ‘Mary.’ At this word all the cataracts of her soul are broken loose, and tears are distilled from her very marrow, and sighs and sobs from her heart’s in most recess. ‘Mary.’ O happy thou! What were thy thoughts, thy heart, thy soul, when, in answer to this word, flinging thyself at His Feet, and greeting Him in return, thou saidst ‘Rabboni!’ What were the emotions, what the yearnings, what the ardours of thy soul, when thou saidst ‘Rabboni’? Tears prevent more, emotion chokes thy voice, and excess of love absorbs every sense of mind and body. But why, my dear Jesus, dost Thou drive 219me, loving Thee as I do, from Thy sacred and so longed-for Feet? ‘Touch Me not,’ Thou sayest. Why, O Lord, why? Why may I not touch those all-desired Feet of Thine, that were burrowed through with nails and drenched with Blood? Why may I not touch them, and caress them with a thousand kisses? What! is He less my Friend now that He is more glorious? See, I will not let Thee go; I will not leave Thee; I will not spare my tears; my heart shall break with sighs and sobs unless I touch Thee. But He says, ‘Touch Me not.’ This blessing shall not be refused thee, though it be delayed; go only, and tell My brethren that I have risen again. She ran quickly, wishing to return quickly; she returns, but not alone; there are other women with her. And Jesus goes to meet them, and with gentlest greeting raises them from their dejection and consoles their sorrow. And see; what was deferred before is granted now. For ‘they came up, and took hold of His Feet, and worshipped Him’ (St. Matt. xxviii. 9). Linger here, virgin, as long as you can, and neither let sleep break in upon your joys, nor any exterior distraction interrupt it.

But because in this life of sorrows there is no thing stable, nothing eternal, nor does man ever 220remain in the same state, need is that our soul, so long as we live in the flesh, be fed with some variety of nourishment. Let us, then, pass from our memories in the past to our experiences in the present, that from these too we may learn how de serving God is of our love.

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