Outwardly they suffered want, but within they were refreshed with grace and Divine consolation. They were aliens to the world; they seemed as nothing and the world despised them; but they were precious and beloved in the sight of God. They persevered in true humility, they lived in simple obedience, they walked in charity and patience, and so every day they advanced in spirit and gained great favour with God. They were given for example to all religious, and ought more to excite us to advance in good, than the number of lukewarm to induce us to grow remiss. Oh! how great was the fervour of all religious in the beginning of their holy institute! Oh, how great was their devotion in prayer, how great was their zeal for virtue! How vigorous the discipline that was kept up, what reverence and obedience, under the rule of the superior, flourished in all! Their traces that remain still bear witness, that they were truly holy and perfect men who did battle so stoutly, and trampled the world under their feet. Now, he is thought great who is not a transgressor; and who can, with patience, endure what he has undertaken. Ah, the lukewarmness and negligence of our state! that we soon fall away from our first fervour, and are even now tired with life, from slothfulness and tepidity. Oh that advancement in virtue be not quite asleep in thee, who has so often seen the manifold examples of the devout!
Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 18 (continued)
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest, and in our souls take up Thy rest; come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
O comforter, to Thee we cry, O heavenly gift of God Most High, O fount of life and fire of love, and sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known; Thou, finger of God’s hand we own; Thou, promise of the Father, Thou Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Kindle our sense from above, and make our hearts o’erflow with love; with patience firm and virtue high the weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread, and grant us Thy peace instead; so shall we not, with Thee for guide, turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow the Father and the Son to know; and Thee, through endless times confessed, of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son, Who rose from death, be glory given, with Thou, O Holy Comforter, henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.
Ave Maris Stella
Hail, O Star of the ocean, God’s own Mother blest, ever sinless Virgin, gate of heav’nly rest.
Taking that sweet Ave, which from Gabriel came, peace confirm within us, changing Eve’s name.
Break the sinners’ fetters, make our blindness day, Chase all evils from us, for all blessings pray.
Show thyself a Mother, may the Word divine born for us thine Infant hear our prayers through thine.
Virgin all excelling, mildest of the mild, free from guilt preserve us meek and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless, make our way secure till we find in Jesus, joy for evermore.
Praise to God the Father, honor to the Son, in the Holy Spirit, be the glory one. Amen.
My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is from generation to generations, to them that fear Him. He hath showed might in His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat; and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy. As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.