How the Soul chooses the Devout Life.
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God.2. Humble yourself before Him,
and ask His Aid.
1. Once more imagine yourself in an open plain, alone with your
guardian Angel, and represent to yourself on the left hand the Devil
sitting on a high and mighty throne, surrounded by a vast troop of
worldly men, who bow bareheaded before him, doing homage to him by the
various sins they commit. Study the countenances of the miserable
courtiers of that most abominable king:–some raging with fury, envy
and passion, some murderous in their hatred;–others pale and haggard
in their craving after wealth, or madly pursuing every vain and
profitless pleasure;–others sunk and lost in vile, impure affections.
See how all alike are hateful, restless, wild: see how they despise one
another, and only pretend to an unreal self-seeking love. Such is the
miserable reign of the abhorred Tyrant.
2. On the other hand, behold Jesus Christ Crucified, calling these
unhappy wretches to come to Him, and interceding for them with all the
Love of His Precious Heart. Behold the company of devout souls and
their guardian Angels, contemplate the beauty of this religious
Kingdom. What lovelier than the troop of virgin souls, men and women,
pure as lilies:–widows in their holy desolation and humility; husbands
and wives living in all tender love and mutual cherishing. See how such
pious souls know how to combine their exterior and interior duties;–to
love the earthly spouse without diminishing their devotion to the
Heavenly Bridegroom. Look around–one and all you will see them with
loving, holy, gentle countenances listening to the Voice of their Lord,
all seeking to enthrone Him more and more within their hearts.
They rejoice, but it is with a peaceful, loving, sober joy; they love,
but their love is altogether holy and pure. Such among these devout
ones as have sorrows to bear, are not disheartened thereby, and do not
grieve overmuch, for their Saviour’s Eye is upon them to comfort them,
and they all seek Him only.
3. Surely you have altogether renounced Satan with his weary miserable
troop, by the good resolutions you have made;–but nevertheless you
have not yet wholly attained to the King Jesus, or altogether joined
His blessed company of devout ones:–you have hovered betwixt the two.
4. The Blessed Virgin, S. Joseph, S. Louis, S. Monica, and hundreds of
thousands more who were once like you, living in the world, call upon
you and encourage you.
5. The Crucified King Himself calls you by your own name: “Come, O my
beloved, come, and let Me crown thee!”
1. O world, O vile company, never will I enlist beneath thy banner; for
ever I have forsaken thy flatteries and deceptions. O proud king,
monarch of evil, infernal spirit, I renounce thee and all thy hollow
pomp, I detest thee and all thy works.
2. And turning to Thee, O Sweet Jesus, King of blessedness and of
eternal glory, I cleave to Thee with all the powers of my soul, I adore
Thee with all my heart, I choose Thee now and ever for my King, and
with inviolable fidelity I would offer my irrevocable service, and
submit myself to Thy holy laws and ordinances.
3. O Blessed Virgin Mother of God, you shall be my example, I will
follow you with all reverence and respect.
O my good Angel, bring me to this heavenly company, leave me not until
I have reached them, with whom I will sing for ever, in testimony of my
choice, “Glory be to Jesus, my Lord!”