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But let it be thy great care, that whether thy superior, or inferior, or equal, desire any thing of thee, or hiut at any thing, thou take all in good part, and labour with a sincere will to perform it.

Let one man seek this, another that; let this man glory in this thing, another in that, and be praised a thousand thousand times: but thou, for thy part, rejoice neither in this, nor in that, but in the contempt of thyself, and in my good pleasure and honour alone.

This is what thou oughtest to wish, that whe ther in life or death, God may be always glorified in thee.

CHAP. xlii.

How a desolate Person ought to offer himself into the Hands of God.

O LORD God, O holy Father, be thou now and for ever blessed; for as thou wilt, so it has happened and what thou dost is always good..


Let thy servant rejoice in thee, not in himself, nor in any other: for thou only art true Joy, thou my Hope and my Crown, thou my gladness and my Honour, O Lord.

What hath thy servant but what he hath received from thee, and this without any merit on his side? All things are thine which thou hast given, and which thou hast made.

I am poor, and in my labours from my youth: and my soul is grieved even unto tears sometimes, and sometimes is disturbed within herself by reason of the passions which encompass her.

I long for the joy of peace; I beg for the peace of thy children, who are fed by thee in the Light of thy consolation.

If thou givest peace, if thou infusest holy joy,

the soul of thy servant shall be full of melody, and devout in thy praise.

But if thou withdraw thyself, as thou art very often accustomed to do, he will not be able to run in the way of thy commandments; but rather must bow down his knees, and strike his breast, because it is not with him as it was yesterday, and the day before, when thy lamp shined over his head, and he was covered under the shadow of thy wings from temptations rushing upon him.

O just Father, holy, and always to be praised, the hour is come for thy servant to be tried.

O Father, worthy of all love, it is fitting that thy servant should at this hour suffer something for thee.

O Father, always to be honoured, the hour is come which thou didst foresee from all eternity:

That thy servant for a short time should be oppressed without, but always live within to thee; that he should be a little slighted, and humbled, and should fall in the sight of men; that he should be severely afflicted with sufferings and diseases, that so he may rise again with thee in the dawning of the new light, and be glorified in heaven.

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O holy Father, thou hast so appointed, and such is thy will; and that has come to pass which thou hast ordained.

For this is a favour to thy friend, that he should suffer and be afflicted in this world for the love of thee; how often soever, and by whom soever, thou permittest it to fall upou him.

Without thy counsel and providence, and without cause, nothing is done upon earth.

It is good for me, O Lord, that thou hast humbled me, that I may learn thy justifications, (Ps.cxviii.) and that I may cast away from me all pride of heart and presumption.

It is advantageous for me that shame has covered my face, that I may rather seek my comfort from thee, than from men.

I have also learnt hereby to fear thy impene trable judgments, who afflictest the just together with the wicked, but not without equity and justice.

Thanks be to thee that thou hast not spared me in my sufferings, but hast bruised me with bitter stripes, inflicting pains, and sending distress, both within and without.

And of all things under heaven, there is none to comfort me but thou, O Lord, my God, the heavenly physician of souls, who woundest and healest, bringest down to the brink of the grave, and raisest up again.

The weight of thy law is upon me, and thy very rod shall instruct me.

Behold, dear Father, I am in thy hands, I bow myself down under the rod of thy correction.

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Strike thou my back and my neck, that I may bend my crookedness to thy will.

Make me a pious and humble disciple of thine, as thou wert wont well to do, that I may always walk at thy beck.

To thee I commit myself, and all that is mine, to be corrected by thee: it is better to be chastised here than hereafter.

Thou knowest every thing, and there is nothing in man's conscience hidden from thee.

Thou knowest things to come before they are done and thou hast no need to be taught or admonished by any one of those things that pass upon earth.

Thou knowest what is expedient for my pros gress, and how serviceable tribulation is to rub away the rust of sin.

Do with me according to thy good pleasure; It is what I desire; and despise not my sinful

life, to no one better or more clearly known than to thyself alone.

Grant, O Lord, that I may know what I ought to know; that I may love what I ought to love; that I may praise that which is most pleasing to thee; that I may esteem that which is valuable in thy sight; that I may despise that which is despicable in thy eyes.

Suffer me not to judge according to the sight of the outward eye, nor to give sentence according to the hearing of the ears of men, that know not what they are about; but to determine both of visible and spiritual matters with true judgment, and above all things ever to seek thy good will and pleasure.

The sentiments of men are often wrong in their judgments; and the lovers of this world are deceived in loving visible things, alone.

What is a man the better for being reputed greater by man?

One deceitful man deceives another: the vain deceives the vain, the blind deceives the blind, the weak the weak, whilst he extols him; and, in truth, doth rather confound him, whilst he vainly praiseth him.

For how much each one is in thy eyes, so much he is, and no more, saith the humble St. Francis.

CHAP. xliii.

¶ That a Man ought not to esteem himself worthy of Consolation, but rather deserving of Punishment.

LORD, I am not worthy of thy consolation, or any spiritual visitation; and therefore thou dealest justly with me, when thou leavest me poor and desolate.

For if I could shed tears like a sea, yet should I not be worthy of thy comfort.

Since I have deserved nothing but stripes and punishment, because I have grievously and often offended thee, and in very many things sinned against thee.

Therefore, according to all just reason, I have not deserved the least of thy comforts.

But thou, who art a good and merciful God, who wilt not have thy works perish, to shew the richness of thy goodness towards the vessels of mercy, vouchsafest beyond all his deserts, to comfort thy servant above human measure.

For thy consolations are not like the consolations of men.

What have I done, O Lord, that thou shouldst impart thy heavenly comfort to me?

I can remember nothing of good that ever I have done; but that I was always prone to vice, and very slothful to amend.

It is the truth, and I cannot deny it. If I should say otherwise, thou wouldst stand against me, and there would be none to defend me.

What have I deserved for my sins, but hell and everlasting fire? In truth I confess that I am worthy of all scorn and contempt, neither is it fitting that I should be named among thy devout servants. And though it goes against me to hear this, yet for truth's sake I will condemn myself for my sins, that so I may the easier obtain thy


What shall I say, who am guilty and full of all confusion?

I have not the face to say any thing but this one word: I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned; have mercy on me, and pardon me.

Suffer me a little, that I may mourn out my grief, before I go to the darksome land that is covered with the dismal shade of death. (Job x.)

What dost thou chiefly require of a guilty and

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