St. Francis Borgia, Confessor
(by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876)


St. Francis Borgia, a bright example of virtue, both for ecclesiastics and laymen, was born in 1510, at Gandia, in Spain. His father was John Borgia, the third Duke of Gandia; and his mother, Joanna of Aragon, grand-daughter to Ferdinand the Catholic. Francis, when only a child, was already remarkable for his virtue and piety. When scarcely seventeen years, old he came to the Court of the Emperor Charles V., where, notwith standing the many and great dangers to which he was exposed, he preserved his innocence by frequently partaking of the Blessed Sacrament, by great devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and the practice of mortification. His talents and his edifying life gained him the esteem of the Emperor; hence the Empress gave him in marriage a very virtuous lady, who was a great favorite of hers. Francis was then made chief equerry to the Emperor, and created Marquis of Lombay. The court which Francis kept after he was married might have served as a model to all Christian princes. He distributed the hours of the day, so that certain times were devoted to prayer, to business, and to recreation. He, at the same time, began the praiseworthy practice of selecting every month a Saint for especial veneration.

He was much opposed to gaming, and did not allow his servants to indulge in it. He used to say: "Gaming is accompanied by great losses; loss of money, loss of time, loss of devotion, and loss of conscience." The same aversion he had for the reading of frivolous books, even if they were not immoral. He found his greatest delight in reading devout books, and said: "The reading of devout books is the first step towards a better life." At the period in which he lived the principal enjoyments of the higher classes were music and hawking; and, as he could not abstain from them entirely, he took care, at such times, to raise his thoughts to the Almighty, and to mortify himself. Thus, when he went hawking, he closed his eyes at the very moment when the hawk swooped; the sight of which, they say, was the chief pleasure of this kind of hunting.

The Almighty, to draw His servant entirely away from the world, sent him several severe maladies, which made him recognize the instability of all that is earthly. He became more fully aware of this after the death of the Empress, whose wondrous beauty was everywhere extolled. By the order of the Emperor, it became the duty of Francis to escort the remains to the royal vault at Granada. There the coffin was opened before the burial took place, and the sight that greeted the beholders was most awful. Nothing was left of the beautiful Empress but a corpse, so disfigured, that all averted their eyes, whilst the odor it exhaled was so offensive that most of the spectators were driven away.



St. Francis was most deeply touched, and when, after the burial, he went into his room, prostrated himself before the crucifix, and having given vent to his feelings, he exclaimed: "No, no, my God! in future I will have no master whom death can take from me." He then made a vow that he would enter a religious order, should he survive his consort. He often used to say afterwards: "The death of the Empress awakened me to life." When Francis returned from Granada the Emperor created him Viceroy of Catalonia, and in this new dignity the holy Duke continued to lead rather a religious than a worldly life. He had a fatherly care for his subjects, and every one had at all hours admittance to him. Towards the poor he manifested great kindness. He daily gave four or five hours to prayer. He fasted almost daily, and scourged himself to blood. He assisted at Mass, and received Holy Communion every day. When he heard that disputes had arisen among the theologians at the universities, in regard to the frequent use of Holy Communion, he wrote to St. Ignatius, at Rome, and asked his opinion on the subject. St. Ignatius wrote back to him, approving of the frequent use of Holy Communion, and strengthening him in his thoughts about it.

Meanwhile, the death of his father brought upon him the administration of his vast estates, without, however, in the least changing his pious manner of living. Soon after his pious consort, who was his equal in virtue, became sick. Francis prayed most fervently to God for her recovery. One day, while he was thus praying, he heard an interior voice, which said these words: "If thou desirest that thy consort should recover, thy wish shall be fulfilled, but it will not benefit thee." Frightened at these words, he immediately conformed his own will in all things to the Divine will. From that moment the condition of the Duchess grew worse, and she died, as she had lived, piously and peacefully. St. Francis, remembering his vow, determined to execute it without delay. Taking counsel of God and of his confessor, he chose the Society of Jesus, which had recently been instituted. Writing to St. Ignatius, he asked for admittance, which was cheerfully granted. But, to settle his affairs satisfactorily, he was obliged to remain four years longer in his offices. Having at length, by the permission of the Emperor, resigned his possessions to his eldest son, he took the religious habit, and proceeded to Rome. Scarcely four months had elapsed since his arrival, when he was informed that the Pope wished to make him a cardinal; and, to avoid this dignity, he returned to Spain. Being ordained priest, he said his first Mass in the chapel of the Castle of Loyola, where St. Ignatius had been born; and then spent a few years in preaching and instructing the people. It would take more space than is allowed to us to relate how many sinners he converted, and how much he labored for the honor of God and the salvation of souls.

During this time he visited Charles V., in the solitude which this great Emperor had chosen to pass his last days, after he had abdicated his throne. At length, St. Francis was recalled to Rome, where he was, much against his will, elected General of the Society of Jesus. He fulfilled the many and arduous duties of this office with the utmost diligence; his greatest care being to further the honor of God and the salvation of souls. To effect this he founded colleges in many cities, and sent apostolic men into all parts of the world to convert the heathen. In all the persecutions of the Society he placed his trust in God. He used to say that the Society was hated and persecuted, first by the heretics and infidels; secondly, by those who led a godless life; and thirdly, by those who were not well informed as to the end and aim which its members had in view. When he had for seven years most wisely governed the Society, the Pope sent him, on most important business of the Church, to Spain, Portugal, and France.

This long and painful journey, with the labors of his mission, exhausted his strength so that he fell ill before he had reached Rome on his return. Perceiving the danger in which he was, he made all possible haste, but visited on his way the holy house of Loretto, to commend himself to the protection of the Blessed Virgin. When at last he arrived at Rome, more dead than alive, he prepared himself without delay to receive the last Sacraments. The time still left him on earth he passed in devout exercises; and therefore declined to receive the visits even of bishops and cardinals, saying that he had now to do only with God, the Lord of life and death. Before his death, while silently praying, he fell into an ecstasy; and after it, full of confidence and hope, he gave his soul into the hands of his Heavenly Father, in the year 1572. His body was looked upon and honored as that of a Saint, by the prelates of the Church, as well as by the laity; and God approved their veneration by many miracles.

Still clearer proofs of the holiness of the Saint were the virtues by which he shone as well in his religious life, as while he was in the world at his father's house and at Court. Those who frequently made use of his advice, among whom was St. Teresa, looked upon him as a Saint; and this was also the opinion of many others, who knew his holy manner of living. We have not space to speak of all his virtues; but one of them we cannot pass over in silence. This is the virtue of humility, or of despising all worldly honors. His humility was as deep and admirable as his birth and the dignities conferred upon him were high. It was through humility that he, more than once, refused the Cardinal's hat. As much as others desire praise, so much did he prefer to be despised. He was never heard to say a word in praise of himself, neither would he allow others to extol him. His signature to his letters was generally, "Francis, the sinner." He esteemed himself worthy of no honor, but only of punishment and disdain. When, in travelling, he was taken to a miserable inn and ill served, he uttered not a word of complaint, but said that it was better than he deserved.

As General of the Society, he performed the lowest work in the house. He served the cook, gave food to the poor at the door, swept the house, and carried baskets of bread and other food to the indigent. The many wrongs and injuries which God permitted to be done him; the many persecutions which he innocently suffered; the pains of several maladies,--all these he bore, not only with Christian patience, but with joy and a desire to suffer still more. He often prayed most earnestly to God to give him still greater crosses, as he believed that his sins deserved more punishment. This admirable humility was the result of his severe and daily mortification. Hence it came that he was indefatigable in practising penance. He was very corpulent as Duke, but afterwards became so reduced by fasting that he could fold his skin, in the breadth of a yard, like a coat around him. He made the food he took disagreeable by adding to it several bitter herbs. When sick he took his remedies very slowly, the longer to taste their bitterness. He scourged himself daily most mercilessly, and it was known that he gave himself as many as eight hundred strokes. Around his body he constantly wore a sharppointed iron girdle. In one word, there was no kind of humiliation and mortification which he could think of that he did not practise. Hence it is not to be wondered at that God, Who exalts those who humble themselves, gave to St. Francis the gifts of prophecy, of freeing the possessed, curing the sick, and of working other miracles.



PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

I. St. Francis instituted at his court, before he entered a religious life, the veneration of the Saints of the Month. Every Catholic, besides worshipping the Almighty, ought to honor the Saints. We should especially honor the Divine Mother, as the Queen of all the Saints; then, the foster-father of Christ, St. Joseph; and further, our Guardian Angel and Patron Saint. Besides this, we ought to select some special Patrons for whom we feel particular esteem and love. It is also very beneficial to adopt the practise of the monthly Patrons. This consists in selecting, on the last day of every month, a Saint whose festival will be celebrated during the following month. Daily should he be invoked and honored. If possible his life should be read and something from it be selected for imitation. We may also approach the Sacraments on his festival, or on the Sunday after it; and employ a little more time than usual in good works. It is known that several great servants of God, at the end of their days, called upon the Saints whom they had honored as their monthly Patrons during life, and it cannot be doubted that they received benefit and comfort. "Every one," says St. Bonaventure, "ought to venerate an especial Saint with great devotion. To him he ought daily to commend himself, and practise some good work in his honor."

II. The contemplation of the corpse of the empress who had been celebrated for her beauty, caused St. Francis to despise the world, and to make the heroic resolution to serve God alone. Oh! that those blind persons, who are so enchanted by the beauty of a mortal being, that they forfeit for it their souls and their salvation, would earnestly reflect how the body of that human being will look, after the soul has left it. Nobody can then remain near it; it awakens the disgust of all who look at it. They hurry it out of the house and bury it under the ground; and then happens what Holy Writ says: "For when a man dies, he shall inherit serpents and beasts and worms ;" (Eccl. x.) and at last it will be reduced to dust and ashes. Is it possible that one can know and believe this, and yet forfeit heaven for the love of so perishable a body? And if you take pride in your own beauty, think how you will look in a short time. Your body will not fare better than the corpse of the beautiful empress. Worms will devour it. How blindly do you therefore act, if you are now more anxious for its beauty and comfort, than for your immortal soul. Ah! determine, after the example of St. Francis, to be more concerned for your salvation. Resolve to serve God constantly and with more zeal. "Why are you so solicitous to indulge, to adorn your body, which, in a few days, will be the food of worms? Why do you give so little care to the welfare and beauty of your soul, which must appear before the Lord, your God?" asks St. Bernard. "Consider well, that your body, which you nourish now with delicious food, will shortly be food for worms, and the stench of it will be so much more horrible," says St. Peter Damian.



Prayer
from the Liturgical Year, 1903

"O Lord Jesus Christ, the pattern and reward of true humility, we beseech Thee, that as Thou didst make blessed Francis a glorious follower of Thee in the contempt of worldly honour, so thou wouldst grant us to be partakers of the same imitation and glory." Such is the prayer the Church offers through thee to her divine Spouse. She knows that the Saints always have great power with God; but especially when they would obtain for their devout clients the virtues they themselves more particularly cultivated when on earth.

How precious is this prerogative in thy case, O Francis, for it concerns the virtue which attracts God's grace in this life, and wins such glory hereafter! Since pride has hurled Lucifer into the abyss, and the self-abasement of the Son of God has led to His exaltation above the heavens,--humility, whatever men may now say, has lost nothing of its inestimable value; it is still the indispensable foundation of every durable edifice, whether spiritual or social; the basis, without which the other virtues, and even charity the Queen of them all, could not subsist a single day. Therefore, O Francis, obtain for us this humility; thoroughly convince us of the vanity of this world's honours and false pleasures. May the holy Society, which thou after St. Ignatius didst render still more valuable to the Church, cherish this spirit of thine, so that it may deserve more and more the esteem of heaven and the gratitude of earth. Amen









Litany in Honor of the Saints of the Society of Jesus


Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us. *

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, *
God the Holy Ghost, *
Holy Trinity, one God, *
Jesus, most ardent lover of men, *
Jesus, most humble, *
Jesus, most meek, *
Jesus, most poor, *
Jesus, most obedient, *
Jesus, most chaste, *
Jesus, our love, *
Jesus, mirror of life, *
Jesus, model of all virtues, *
Jesus, in Whose Name we glory, *

Holy Mary,
Pray for us. **

Holy Mother of God, **
Our Mother, **
Holy Virgin of virgins, **
St. Joseph, **
Holy Father Ignatius, **
St. Francis Xavier, **
St. Robert Bellarmine, **
St. Francis Borgia, **
St. John Francis Regis, **
St. Francis de Hieronymo, **
St. Peter Claver, **
St. Peter Canisius, **
St. Aloysius, **
St. Stanislas, **
St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, **
Ye holy Martyrs, Paul, **
John and James, **
SS. Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, and ye holy Martyrs of North America, **
St. Andrew Bobola, **
St. John Nepomucene, **
Blessed John de Britto, **
Blessed Peter Faber, **
Blessed Anthony Baldinucci, **
Bl. Ignatius Azavedo and ye holy Martyrs of Brazil, **
Bl. Charles Spinola and ye holy Martyrs of Japan, **
Bl. Edmund Campion and ye holy Martyrs of England, **
Bl. Rudolph Aquaviva and ye holy Martyrs of the Indies, **
Blesseds James Sales and William Saultemouche, **
Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, **
Bl. Bernardine Realino, **
Blesseds Stephen and Melchior, **
Bl. Mark Crisinus, **
Bl. John Ogilvie, **
St. Catherine de Ricci, **
St. Pulcheria, **
St. Margaret Mary, **
Blessed Mary Anne of Jesus, **


O Jesus, we Thy companions: Beseech Thee to hear us.
That we may never offend God by any grievous sin,
We beseech Thee, hear us. ***

That we may perform true penance for our sins, ***
That we may not expose ourselves to the danger of sin, ***
That we may be free from its punishment and from all error, ***
That we may be faithful to God and persevere in our holy vocation, ***
That we may love, honor and reverence the Blessed Virgin Mary as a mother, ***
That we may always live in charity, ***
That Thou vouchsafe to grant us an ardent desire for the divine glory and zeal for souls, ***
(That we may be most exact in the observance of our rules,) ***
That we may continually advance in the virtues of our state of life, ***
That, always adhering to God, we may defend His cause and that of His Holy Church, ***
Jesus, our King, ***


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.


Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Our Father (secretly). Hail, Mary (secretly).


Let us pray:

O God, Who hast drawn our hearts from the alluring vanities of the world and still inflamest them with the desire of obtaining the reward, of our holy vocation: come and purify our hearts and grant us the grace of persevering in Thy holy service, that being aided by Thy grace we may fulfill the promises we have made to Thee, and being perfect masters of our holy vocation, we may obtain the reward Thou hast been pleased to promise to those who persevere. Amen.



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On the Means of loving God and of becoming a Saint
by St. Francis Borgia

The more we love God, the more holy do we become. St. Francis Borgia says that it is prayer that introduces divine love into the human heart; and it is mortification that withdraws the heart from the earth, and renders it capable of receiving this holy fire. The more there is of the earth in the heart, the less room there is for holy love: "Wisdom is not to be found in the land of them that live in delights " (Job xxviii. 12, 13). Hence the saints have always sought to mortify as much as possible their self-love and their senses. The saints are few; but we must live with, the few, it we will be saved with the few. "



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The Spiritual Works of Saint Francis Borgia

St. Francis Borgia was preparing himself to leave the world and join the Society of Jesus, when he composed, in his retreat at Gandia, the following little treatises. He wrote them for his own direction, not thinking that they would he beneficial to others besides himself. But God did not permit that the lights which He had communicated to His servant should he long hidden. The writings of the Duke of Gandia were published at Salamanca by the celebrated Dr. Michel de Torres, who, later, became himself one of the lights of the Society of Jesus in Spain. From Salamanca, these writings spread in a very short time through all the towns of Spain. They were translated into different languages, and everywhere produced admirable fruits of grace. But that which ought to make us esteem them most, is that they have been the means by which God has been pleased to raise St. Francis Borgia to that eminent sanctity which makes him venerated throughout the world. In them can be clearly seen the character of his virtue, and that spirit of penitence and humility by which he was led, and which he preserved to the end of his life. These pages, written by a saint, have, in their simplicity, a divine eloquence. Through them the Duke of Gandia confides to us his inmost thoughts. We hear the favourite of Charles the Fifth, at the highest point of fortune, proving in his own person, that all which is not eternal is nothing, and that there is no true greatness in the world but in serving God. These pages have not ceased, during three centuries, to elevate and fortify souls; they have detached them from time and prepared them for eternity. It is to perpetuate their apostleship that we offer them anew to the public.




The Mirror of Christian Actions
(Exercises for the Performing these Actions in the Spirit of Jesus Christ)
from the Spiritual works of St. Francis Borgia, 1875



Introduction

You ought, O devout soul, to make yourself as familiar as you possibly can with these exercises, in order that your actions, which are sterile and imperfect in themselves, may become holy and salutary, and that they may merit to be presented to God as an agreeable sacrifice. You should commence by the ordinary actions of each day, which are common to all; and I can assure you that if you are faithful to this practice, besides acquiring, by degrees, a great facility for acting holily in all the other circumstances of life, you will find in it wondrous sweetness and consolation.

Now, this practice consists in having three motives in each action that you perform: 1st, to humble yourself before God; 2nd, to thank Him for His graces ; 3rd, to ask Him for those of which you have need.



First Treatise: Part II.

It would render this exercise too long were I to apply this practice to all our actions in detail, which are almost without number. Therefore, I think it is sufficient to have marked, in the first part of this Exercise, those which are common to everyone. Those who, with the desire of greater perfection, would wish to extend this practice to other actions, can make use of the following.



When standing.--Represent to yourself our Saviour, and reflect on the manner in which He stood before His judges.

When sitting.--Remember how Jesus Christ being seated, the Jews made Him buffer a thousand outrages, saying to Him in mockery: "  Hail, King of the Jews!"

When walking.--Think of Jesus Christ going to Samaria and Calvary.

When you are fatigued.--Recollect how our Saviour, being fatigued on the road, seated Himself on a stone to rest.

When riding.--Figure to yourself our Lord entering Jerusalem on an ass.

When visiting the sick.--Think how Jesus Christ not only visited them with much charity, but also cured them.

When your good works are censured.-- Remember how those of our Lord were blamed, all holy as they were, and how they murmured at His curing the sick on the Sabbath day.

When you are answerd with contempt and treated with disrespect.--Think of the indignity with which our Saviour was treated in the house of Caiphas, when a soldier said insolently to Him: "  Is it thus Thou answerest the High Priest?"   and even dared to strike that sacred face, which is the mirror of angels and the consolation of saints.

When you are hungry.--Consider the hunger which Jesus suffered during the forty days He fasted ill the desert.

When you are cold.--Reflect on the cold which our Infant Saviour endured in the Crib at Bethlehem, when He willed to be born in the severest season of the year, without fire, and without other bed than the straw on which He was laid.

When you are thirsty.--Think of the vinegar and gall with which He was presented on the cross, when He said: "  I Thirst."

When you are disturbed from your sleep.--Recollect how they awoke Jesus Christ when He slept in the vessel.

When your friends abandon you in want.--Consider how our Lord was forsaken by His disciples at the time of His Passion.

When you are obliged to leave persons whom you love.--Think of the separation of Jesus Christ from His holy Mother.

If it happens that you are insulted in public. -- Reflect in what state Pilate showed Jesus Christ to the people, saying: "  Behold the Man."

If you are accused of any fault of which you are innocent.--Represent to yourself the falsehoods and calumnies with which they charged Him in the house of Caiphas.

If you are condemned without reason.-- Remember the unjust sentence which was pronounced against Jesus Christ.

When you are ill and endure great pain.--Figure to yourself the scourging, the crowning with thorns, and the crucifixion. Jesus was covered with wounds from the top of His head to the sole of His foot; He wished that no part of His body should be exempt from pain, in order that we might suffer nothing which He had not endured before us, and that we might be obliged to offer all our sufferings to Him.

Finally, when yon are at the hour of your death, abandon your spirit with lively faith into His hands, and remember the words He said to His Father when dying: "  Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." Thus, by making Him a sacrifice of your life in consideration of His death, you will merit to live eternally with Him in glory. Amen.


This exercise will be of marvelous utility to those who will practice it with faithfulness and love. But, as most of the things of which we have spoken up to the present, regard only our exterior actions, I have thought that it would be still better to apply this practice to our interior actions, and that the advantages which may be drawn from it would be far greater, as those who give themselves to spiritual things feel the necessities of the body much less than those of the soul. Thus, that everyone may find in this exercise what will satisfy his devotion I have added the following considerations.


When your neighbor regrets the counsel which you had charitably given him.--Offer this refusal to our Lord, in remembrance of how little profit men have drawn from His holy doctrine.

When you see your brother offend God, and when you feel grieved at it.--Offer your grief to Jesus Christ, and reflect on the displeasure which He showed, when He publicly drove from the Temple those who profaned it by their traffic.

If any of your friends stray from the path of virtue.--Think of the misfortune of Judas, who abandoned the source of all good; and try to feel the same feeling at the fall of your friend as Jesus felt at that of His Apostle.

When it happend that you reflect on the small number of zealous pastors there are in the Church.--Remember how our Lord complained, when He said these words: "  The harvest, indeed, is great, but the laborers are few." (Luke x. 19.)

When God gives you grace to weep for your sins.--Join your grief to that which your sins caused Jesus Christ, Who knew them long before you had committed them. Unite them to that which He Himself suffered to efface them. Bless Him, and return Him a thousand thanks for having been willing to afflict Himself for your offenses.

When you see any one fall who is already advanced in the way of perfection. --Think of the sorrow our Lord felt at the fall of St. Peter, who had already recognized Him as the Son of the Living God, and who had seen Him transfigured on Mount Thabor.

When you are attacked with the temptations of the devil.--Remember those with which Jesus Christ was assailed in the desert.

When you are afflicted at seeing that the wicked cannot endure the company of the good.--Consider how our Savior was persecuted by a people whom He had laden with benefits, and to whom He had given the sincerest proofs of His love and of His charity.

When you reflect on the crimes of a town, or of an entire nation.--Join the sorrow you feel for them to the tears which our Lord shed over the destruction of Jerusalem.

When you know that any one has fallen into infidelity or doubt.--Feel afflicted at this, and think at the same time of the displeasure which Jesus Christ felt at seeing that His disciples, by their want of faith had lost the power of casting out devils, which made Him say these words: "  O, incredulous generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?"

When the wicked insult the good.--Remember the insults which our Redeemer endured on the cross, when they said to Him in mockery: "  He saved others, Himself He cannot save."

When you see some one die who has led a wicked life.--Think with sorrow on what our Lord felt when considering how few persons would profit by His death and by His blood.

When your prayer is accompanied by aridity and desolation.--Call to mind what Jesus Christ suffered, when He said to His Father: "  My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

When you hear any one blaspheme the name of God.--Imagine the affliction our Lord felt at knowing that His name, all holy as it is, would be blasphemed by men.

When your soul feels separated from God, and sighs to be reunited to Him by charity, and to be delivered from the dangers of this state.--Consider what the Heart of Jesus suffered, when in His infinite charity He asked for us, from His Eternal Father, that we might be united to Him, in these wonderful words:"  That they may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in us."   (John, xvii. 21.)


Who then is so negligent and so little desirous for his own good, as to refuse the precious manna and inestimable treasures of grace which are offered to him? Who will be ungrateful enough towards Jesus Christ, not to testify his love for Him by the practice of at least a part of these exercises we have proposed; exercises which are so excellent, so full of love, and so necessary to salvation? O, devout soul, deprive not yourself of so great a blessing: consider that what your God asks of you is little, in comparison to what He Himself promises you in return. He asks from you those things only which you are obliged to do every day, and which are common to everybody; and He asks them from you only that they may not be lost to yourself. In a word, you must walk, you must eat, you must work, you must sometimes fall ill, and, finally, you must die. And furthermore, it is certain if you do all these things only for your own satisfaction, or to please the world, they will be all the more difficult, inasmuch as you will find no solid consolation by doing them with this view, and there will remain for you nothing but grief and remorse for having labored without result.

Consider, therefore, seriously, if you wish in future to suffer the crosses you meet with for the love of Jesus Christ, you will find consolation in your troubles, because our Lord is always in the company of the afflicted; and you will finally receive a recompense which "the eye hath not seen, the ear hath not heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive." Oh! how unspeakable is the happiness which God has prepared for those who serve Him, and how much ought we not to regret the many opportunities we have lost of meriting it, and how earnestly should we avail ourselves of every opportunity that will in future present itself. For it is certain that if we apply our senses, and the powers of our soul, in following the path which Jesus Christ has marked out for us, all our actions will be holy, and our conscience will remind us of what our Lord said in the Gospel: "He that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness," (John, viii. 12), because Jesus is "the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world," (John, i. 9); and He has been the pilot of all those who have arrived at the port of eternal life, which I pray we may also reach by His grace, there to bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.





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