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Holy Ghost upon me, to come and strengthen me to do and to suffer something for thy love, before death overtake me. Suffer me not, Ó Lord, to depart out of this life cold and ungrateful, as I have hitherto been. Give me strength to love sufferings, on account of the many sins by which I have deserved hell. O my God, who art all goodness and all love, thou desirest to dwell in my soul, from which I have so often expelled thee: come and take possession of it, dwell within it and make it all thine own. I love thee, O my Lord, and if I love thee thou art with me, as St. John assures me: He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him. 1 St. John iv. 16. Since therefore thou art with me, increase the flames, the chains of thy love, that I may neither desire, nor seek, nor love any other but thee, and thus bound by thy love never separate myself from thee any more. I desire, O Jesus, to be thine, to be all thine. O Mary, my Queen and advocate, obtain for me love and holy perseverance.

Meditation Seventh.

On divine Love inducing God to dwell in our souls.

THE Holy Ghost is called: The soul's delightful guest. The great promise made by Jesus Christ to those who should love him, was this: If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Paraclete, that he mag abide with you for ever. St. John xiv. 15. Hence the Holy Ghost will never abandon the soul, if the soul does not drive him away: He does not forsake, unless he be forsaken.

God then dwells in our souls when we love him,

but he declares that he is not satisfied with us unless we love him with our whole hearts. St. Augustin writes that the Roman senate would not admit Jesus into the number of their gods, because, said they, he is a proud god, who will have no other adored but himself. And so it is: he will not admit a companion in the heart that loves him; he must dwell there alone and be the only object loved. And when he sees that he is not the only object loved, he is jealous, as it were, as St. John Chrysostom writes, of those creatures which divide with him a heart which he desires to have entirely to himself. Do you think that the Scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the spirit covet which dwelleth in you. St. James iv. 5. In a word, as St. Jerome says, Jesus becomes jealous. Hence the heavenly spouse praises the soul which, as the turtle dove, lives alone and hidden from the world: Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtle dove's. Cant. i. 9.: because he desires that the world should not take part of that love which he desires to have entirely himself. Again, the spouse is praised because she is, a garden closed up. Cant. 5. A garden closed up against all worldly love. Can it be that Jesus does not deserve all our love? "He gave his whole self "to thee," says St. John Chrysostom, "leaving nothing for himself." He has given thee his blood and his life; nothing more remains for him to give thee.

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Affections and Prayers.

O MY God, I see that thou desirest that I should be all thine. I have many times expelled thee from my soul, and yet thou disdainest not to return to me and to unite thyself to me. Oh do thou now take possession of my whole self. Now do I give myself entirely to thee; accept of me, O Jesus, and

may never live one Thou seekest me, Thou desirest my

grant that, for the future, I moment deprived of thy love. and I seek no other but thee. soul, and my soul desires no other but thee. Thou lovest me, and I love thee; and because thou lovest me, bind me in such manner to thee, that I may never more be separated from thee. O Queen of heaven, pray for me.

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Meditation Eighth.

On divine Love as a sacred bond which binds us.

AS the Holy Ghost, who is increated love, is the indissoluble bond which unites the Father with the Word Eternal, so also he unites the soul with God: "Charity is a virtue," says St. Augustine, "uniting us with God." Hence St. Laurence Justinian with great joy exclaims: "O Love, how strong is thy bond, which is capable of uniting "us with God!" The bonds of the world are bonds of death; but the bonds of God are bonds of life and salvation: Her bonds are a healthful binding. Eccl. vi. 31.: because the bonds of God by means of love unite us with God, who is our true and only life.

Before the coming of Jesus Christ men fled from God, and being attached to the earth refused to be united with their Creator; but our loving Lord has drawn us to him by the bonds of love, as the prophet Osee foretold: I will draw them with the cords of Adam, with the bonds of love. xi. 4. These

bonds are his benefits, his lights, his calls to love him, and his promises of heaven; but above all, they are the gifts which Jesus Christ has bestowed upon us in giving us himself in the sacrifice of the

cross and in that of the altar, and ultimately in sending down upon us the Holy Ghost. Hence the prophet Isaias exclaims: Loose the bonds from off thy neck, O captive daughter of Sion. lii. 2. O my soul, thou who art created for heaven, loose from off thy neck the bonds of the earth, and unite thyself to God by the bonds of love. Have charity, which is the bond of perfection. Coloss. iii. 14. Love is a bond which unites with itself all other virtues and makes the soul perfect: "Love," says St. Augustin, "and do what thou pleasest:" because he who loves God, carefully avoids giving any offence to his beloved, and seeks in all things to please him.

Affections and Prayers.

My dear Jesus, thou hast indeed done too much to oblige me to love thee, too dearly hast thou paid to purchase my love; too ungrateful therefore should I be, if I were to love thee but little, or to divide my heart between thee and creatures, after thou hast shed thy blood and laid down thy life for me. I desire to detach myself from all things else, in order to give my whole affections to thee. But I am too weak of myself to execute this desire; do thou, who inspirest me with it, give me strength to execute it. Pierce my poor heart, O Jesus, with the sweet dart of thy love, that I may ever languish with the desire of thee, and be dissolved with the love of thee. May I ever seek only thee, desire only thee, and find only thee! O Jesus, I desire thee alone. Grant that I may ever repeat during life, and especially at the hour of my death: I desire thee alone. O Mary, my Mother, pray that from henceforth I may never desire any thing but God.

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Meditation Ninth.

On divine Love as a treasure containing every good.

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LOVE is that treasure, which, the Evangelist says, we should leave all things to purchase: for love makes us partakers of the friendship of God: An infinite treasure to men, which they that use, become the friends of God. Wis. vii. 14. "Oman, says St. Augustin, "whither goest thou in search "of good things? seek the one only good, in whom are all good things." But we cannot find the only good, namely God, unless we renounce the things of the earth. St. Teresa writes: "Detach 'thy heart from creatures, and thou shalt find God." He who finds God, finds all that he can desire. Delight in the Lord, and he will grant thee the desires of thy heart. Ps. xxvi. 4. The human heart is continually seeking after good things, such as may make it happy; but if it seek them from creatures, how many soever it may acquire, it will never be satisfied with them; but if it seek only God, God will satisfy all its desires. Who but the saints are the most happy in this world? and why? because they desire and seek only God. A certain prince, going to the chase, saw a solitary running swiftly through a wood, and asked him what he was seeking for in that desert. The solitary replied: "And "thou, O prince, what art thou in quest of?" The prince: "I am going in quest of wild beasts." "And I," said the hermit, "am going in quest of "God."

The tyrant offered to St. Clement gold and gems, if he would renounce Jesus Christ; on which the Saint exclaimed with a deep sigh: "Alas, God is "put in competition with a little dirt!" Happy is he who knows the value of the treasure of divine

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