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before and after confession and communion, for preparation and thanksgiving.

The fourth means is to hear Mass every morning. When we assist at Mass, we give more honour to God than all the angels and saints in heaven give him, because their honour is only that of creatures: but in the Mass we offer to God Jesus Christ, who gives him infinite honour. Read Sect. IV. of the following chapter, where you will find a method of hearing Mass with great profit.

The fifth means is to visit the Blessed Sacrament every day, Jesus Christ remains upon so many altars in so many churches to bestow favours upon all those who come to visit him; and hence those who practise this beautiful devotion derive innumerable benefits from it. In Sect. V. of the next chapter you will find a prayer to be said when visiting the Blessed Sacrament. The graces which you should particularly seek for in your visits, are the love of God and holy perseverance to the end of your life.

The sixth means, which above all others I recommend you to practise, is holy prayer. It is certain that we cannot, without the help of God, do the least good for our souls: and God declares he will not bestow on us his help unless we ask him for it: Ask, and it shall be given to you. St. Matt. vii. 7. Hence St. Teresa says: "he who asks not, "receives not." Hence also that common sentence of the holy Fathers and divines with St. Thomas, that without prayer it is impossible to persevere "in the grace of God and to be saved." But he who prays is secure of God's assistance; we have his word for it, which cannot fail, and repeated many times in the Sacred Gospels: All things, whatsoever you ask, when ye pray, believe that you shall receive; and they shall come untoyou. St. Mark xi. 24. Every one that asketh, receiveth. St. Luke

xi. 10. Amen, amen, I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in my name, he will give it you. St. John xvi. 23. God grants whatever is asked for in the name of Jesus Christ. If then we would be saved, we must pray, and this too with humility, confidence, and above all with perseverance. And hence it is that meditation is of so much use; because by it we are reminded to pray; we should otherwise forget it, and thus should be lost. St. Teresa writes, that through the desire which she had that all might be saved, she could have wished to ascend a high mountain, and thence to make herself heard by all men, saying only this word: Pray, pray." The ancient fathers of the desert, in their conferences, concluded that there was no better way of obtaining salvation than to repeat continually that prayer of David: " Incline unto

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my aid, O God; O Lord make haste to help me." Let us endeavour to do this. Or let us repeat that beautiful ejaculation of the Venerable Father Leonardo da Porto Maurigio: "O my Jesus, mercy!" The two principal graces we should always seek for (as I have said above) are the love of God and holy perseverance. And these graces we should ask for through the intercession of the most holy Mary, who is called the dispenser of all the divine graces; and when we pray to her she will obtain them for us from God. Hence St. Bernard exhorts all: "Let us seek grace, and let us seek it through

Mary; because what she seeks she finds, and "cannot be refused."

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Chapter Second.

ACTS OF PIOUS PRACTICES TO BE OBSERVED.

SECT. I.-Acts on rising in the morning.

MAKE the sign of the cross and say: 1. "O my God, I adore thee and give thee thanks for all thy "benefits, and especially for having preserved me "during the night which is just past. 2. I love "thee with my whole heart, and I offer to thee "whatever I shall do or suffer in the course of this day, in union with the sufferings of Jesus and of 'Mary, and with an intention of gaining all the indulgences I am able. 3. I will endeavour to "avoid all kinds of sin, and I beseech thee for the "love of Jesus to grant me perseverance. I will endeavour, particularly in such things as shall be contrary to my inclinations, to unite myself to "thy blessed will, saying: Lord, thy will be done. "O Jesus, extend thy hands over me this day. "Most holy Mary protect me. Faithful guardian, 'my good angel, and you my holy advocates, "saints in heaven, assist me. Our Father, Hail Mary, and I believe in God," with three Hail Maries" in honour of the purity of the Blessed Virgin.

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At the beginning of your employments for the day, say: “O Lord, I offer all to thee." Before meals: "O my God, bless me and the food which "I am about to take, that I may not commit any "excess, but may do all for thy glory." After meals: "I give thee thanks, O Lord, for having bestowed thy benefits upon me who have been "thine enemy. When the clock strikes: "O my Jesus, I love thee; never suffer me to offend thee "any more." In the time of temptations frequently

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repeat: "Jesus, Mary." When conscious or doubtful of having sinned: "O my God, I am sorry for "what I have done, and will do so no more." And if you should sin grievously, go to confession as soon as possible.

SECT. II. Method of mental prayer.

MENTAL prayer consists of three parts: Preparation, Meditation, and Conclusion. The preparation consists of three acts: of faith in the presence of God, of humility with a short act of contrition, and of supplication for divine light. Saying thus: For the first "O my God, I believe that thou art "present with me, and I adore thee with all the "devotion of my soul." For the second-" O Lord, "I have deserved, on account of my sins, to have "been long since in hell; O infinite goodness, I "am grieved with my whole heart for having ever "offended thee." For the third-"O my God, for "the love of Jesus and of Mary, enlighten me in "this my prayer, that I may derive advantage from "it." Then say a “Hail Mary” to the Blessed Virgin, to obtain light, and for the same purpose a Glory be to the Father," to St. Joseph, to your angel guardian, and to the Saints, your advocates. Make these acts with attention, but briefly, and then proceed to the meditation.

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In meditating, make use of some pious book, at least in the beginning, and lay it aside when you come to any part which particularly strikes you. St. Francis of Sales says, that, in this, you must imitate bees, which settle upon flowers so long as they find honey in them, and then pass on to others. The fruits to be derived from meditation are three: affections, prayers, and resolutions; in the exercise of these consist the great advantage of mental prayer. After you have meditated upon some

eternal truth, and God has spoken to your heart, you must then speak to God: First, by raising your affections to him, in acts either of faith, of gratitude, of humility, or of hope; but above all, in repeated acts of love and contrition. St. Thomas says: "Every act of love merits for us life eternal." And every act of contrition obtains for us the same. Acts of love are: "O my God I love thee above all things. Ilove thee with my whole heart. I de"sire to do thy holy will in all things. I rejoice "that thou art infinitely happy," and the like. For an act of contrition it will suffice to say: "O infi"nite goodness, I am sorry for having offended "thee."

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Secondly.-Pray to God for light, humility, or any other virtue, for a happy death, for eternal salvation, but above all, for his love and holy perseverance. And when your soul is in great dryness, repeat: "Help me, O my God: O Lord, have pity

on me: My Jesus, mercy." And if you do nothing more than this, your prayer will still be very advantageous.

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Thirdly. Before you finish your prayer, make some particular resolution, such as to avoid some sinful occasion, to bear with what may be disagreeable to you in another person, to overcome some defect, and the like.

In concluding make three acts. First.-Thank God for the lights he has bestowed upon you. Secondly.-Be determined to keep the resolutions you have made. Thirdly.-Ask God's help for the love of Jesus and of Mary to adhere to your good purposes. And end your prayer by recommending to God the souls in purgatory, the prelates of the Church, sinners and all relations and friends with "Our Father," and "Hail Mary." St. Francis of Sales advises that whatever sentiment may have particularly prevailed in this kind of prayer should

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