Book Talk Tuesday, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 1, Chapter 17
CHAPTER XVII. NINTH MEDITATION.
On the Choice upon to you between Heaven and Hell.
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God.2. Humble yourself before Him,
and ask His inspiration.
1. Imagine yourself alone with your good angel in an open plain, as was
Tobit on his way to Rages. Suppose the Angel to set before you
Paradise, full of delights and joys; and on the other hand Hell, with
all its torments. Contemplate both, kneeling in imagination before your
guardian Angel. Consider that you are most truly standing between Hell
and Paradise, and that both the one and the other are open to receive
you, according to your own choice.
2. Consider that the choice you make in this life will last for ever in
3. Consider too, that while both are open to receive you according to
your choice, yet God, Who is prepared to give the one by reason of His
Justice, the other by reason of His Mercy, all the while desires
unspeakably that you should select Paradise; and your good Angel is
urging you with all his might to do so, offering you countless graces
on God’s part, countless helps to attain to it.
4. Consider that Jesus Christ, enthroned in Heaven, looks down upon you
in loving invitation: “O beloved one, come unto Me, and joy for ever in
the eternal blessedness of My Love!” Behold His mother yearning over
you with maternal tenderness–” Courage, my child, do not despise the
Goodness of my Son, or my earnest prayers for thy salvation.” Behold
the Saints, who have left you their example, the millions of holy souls
who long after you, desiring earnestly that you may one day be for ever
joined to them in their song of praise, urging upon you that the road
to Heaven is not so hard to find as the world would have you think.
“Press on boldly, dear friend,”–they cry. “Whoso will ponder well the
path by which we came hither, will discover that we attained to these
present delights by sweeter joys than any this world can give.”
1. O Hell, I abhor thee now and for ever; I abhor thy griefs and
torments, thine endless misery, the unceasing blasphemies and
maledictions which thou pourest out upon my God;–and turning to thee,
O blessed Paradise, eternal glory, unfading happiness, I choose thee
for ever as my abode, thy glorious mansions, thy precious and abiding
tabernacles. O my God, I bless Thy Mercy which gives me the power to
choose–O Jesus, Saviour, I accept Thine Eternal Love, and praise Thee
for the promise Thou hast given me of a place prepared for me in that
blessed New Jerusalem, where I shall love and bless Thee for ever.
2. Dwell lovingly upon the example set before you by the Blessed Virgin
and the Saints, and strive to follow where they point you. Give
yourself up to your guardian Angel, that he may be your guide, and gird
up your courage anew to make this choice.