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CHAPTER XIX.

OF MEDITATION ON OUR LORD’S PASSION.

I ADVISE thee, above all things, faithfully to exercise thy mind in reflecting on those things which our Lord Jesus Christ did for us, which He said, and which He suffered for us: for thou wilt nowhere find so prompt a remedy against the allurements of vanities and trifles, against the corruption of vicious passions and affections, against the storms of temptations and calamities, against the depression of sadness and pusillanimity; nowhere wilt thou find so certain a means of attaining to all virtue and to the perfection of all virtue, as in the Life of our Saviour. By the frequent consideration of it the mind is most efficaciously purified from the stains of sins and vices, and, being brought to a certain holy confidence and intimate familiarity with our Lord Himself, it is illuminated with celestial light. For this same Jesus to 49whom it clings, is “a consuming fire” (Deut. iv. 24), making purgation of sins (Heb. i. 3); the same Jesus whom it loves is “the true light which enlighteneth every man ” (St. John i. 9).

Therefore, according to the grace that is given thee, do thou study the Life of the Lord Jesus; meditate upon it, delight in it. Let this be thy repose in labour, thy solace amid difficulties, thy defence against temptations, thy joy under contumely. Keep it hid den day and night, like a precious pearl, in the secret of thy heart; bear it about with thee everywhere; look upon it lovingly with the eyes of thy mind, whether thou art at home or abroad, according to the gift of God, by which He insinuates Himself into thy heart.

Thou shalt not run through the sacred history at intervals nor in haste; but keep thyself present in spirit, as if thou couldst see before thine eyes the things that were done, and couldst hear the things that were, said. Receive and embrace them all with a grateful mind, for they all have the power, if thou art attentive, to relieve and diminish greatly the sorrows of thy exile. No greater benefit has been be stowed on us by God than that which He conferred when He willed to be made man and to suffer for us; wherefore it is but just that we should very frequently dwell in thought upon the dispensation of our redemption, and sedulously give thanks for it; for this is most pleasing to God, and most advantageous to ourselves.

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