From The Works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton
edited by B. Talbot Rogers, New York: Longmans, Green, 1914, pp. 209-230
A Journey Godward
of a Servant of Jesus Christ
MY LIFE IN CHRIST
"Christ in me, the hope of glory"
EVERY life is full of the wonders of God's providential care. The great Love watches over us and leads the responsive soul onward. It turns our very falls into stepping-stones for our progress. Every soul in glory will look back on a providentially lighted way and a guiding Hand. There will arise from all the saints an eternal song of thanksgiving to Him Who redeemed us. How unwearied was the love that perpetually restored and renewed us! How great has been His goodness! And how great His mercy! How everlastingly progressive shall be the response of our love! Angels adoringly love Him, but can they love Him as we must, who have been saved by His Precious Blood? The saints in Glory adoringly praise Him for the thousand pardons that perfected them in grace. The Christian soul here in its time of struggle, while feeling its sinfulness, yet trusting in the merits of Christ, presses on to the mark of its high calling. Every soul is a marvellous monument of divine grace, and its secret is with the Lord.
At one time I made a slight record of some of my meditations, revelations, and experiences. Out of some notes made for my own personal use I venture a brief record. They contain nothing but what is common to the spiritual life, but may be found useful.
MEDITATION ON THE VISION OF JERUSALEM
I recall a meditation on the "Vision of Jerusalem and its Temple." The prophet was seen walking at night about the deserted city. He beholds the destruction of house and Temple. The solitude of the city fills him with fear. He hears the cries of the wild animals or the more mournful sound of birds. He is depressed with the hopelessness of its restoration. Once it was so beautiful, so full of light, so glorious with its Temple service. The songs of Zion have ceased. The sacrifices no longer plead from the altars. The mark of God's displeasure has settled on the city in consequence of its sin.
So the soul makes a review of its own life. What gifts, intellectual and spiritual, has it not received? What has it done with them? What of good has it accomplished? What disasters seen in every department of its life? How faithless it has been with promises. How did it not betray the Lord, sold Him for some worldly gain, denied Him from moral cowardice, deserted Him for a life of ease, crucified the Lord afresh? Why cover up the ghastly facts? "Why longer deceive thyself?" In contrast with what thou might have done or been, what a failure! What should be the fruit of our meditation? The sight itself is a gruesome one. The soul cries out, "Oh my weakness, my weakness!" A holy fear, deep, permanent, abiding, should be ours.
Again: Our nature is not, as Luther taught, totally depraved. It is a good, though an injured, one. In every soul there shines a light from heaven. The wounded man, whom the good Samaritan succored, was robbed and left half dead. The life was yet in him. So it is with us. Yet the extent of the weaknesses, infirmities, tendencies of our nature must be realized if we are to lay a deep foundation on which to build our spiritual life. How can we get such a vivid realization of our condition as to work in us a permanent distrust of self? Now in Holy Scripture we have a mirror of man's nature. We can look into it and see ourselves. We have not committed all the sins recorded there, but have we not in us the germs of them all? It is a good spiritual exercise to go through the Bible and acknowledge oneself in spirit guilty of the sins there recorded. What was the sin of Eve but unbridled curiosity and disobedience? What that of Adam but preference of his wife to his duty to God? What Cain's sin but envy, with its natural culmination in murder?
Look at the sins of the Patriarchs. Abraham, through lack of faith in God's protection, tells lies. Jacob, though reverent and thankful to God, is crafty and deceitful. Joseph, as a youth, is self-conceited and boastful. So with Israel's great leader. Moses, the meekest of men finally, nevertheless, gave way in earlier days to anger and killed an Egyptian. He too, who had been with God in the Mount, throws down and breaks the Tables of the Law. Aaron, the High Priest, enticed by the people, makes a golden calf and leads Israel into the sin of idolatry. How did not Miriam fall into sin? How did not Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebel against authority? How did not Achan sin by ill-gotten gain? And Eli by parental indulgence? And Gideon through love of popularity, and Samson by sensuality, and Saul by assumption of priestly office, and Jeroboam by setting up a schismatical religion? How is not the record of Holy Scripture blotted by the rebellion and idolatry and sins of Israel? And is not the root of every one of these sins to be found in ourselves? Do not the sins of pride, vainglory, boasting, envy, jealousy, ambition, covetousness, anger, sloth, sensuality have beginnings in our own nature?
Study the sins of the tongue alone its untruthfulness, its self-praise, its detractions, its cynicism, its gossiping and see how "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." How self-deceiving we are, how unwilling to see our own faults. How touchy we are when criticised. How we measure our goodness by a worldly standard. How we consider ourselves good because we are restrained by our social position from wrongdoing. How secondary motives control our action. How feebly is the principle formed in us that we are to do right because it is right. It will therefore help us to pray by help of the Holy Scriptures, seeing in the sins there recorded a witness against ourselves.
We must realize also that our sins are worse than those of the old times, because we have sinned against God Incarnate, against greater light and grace. Have we not forfeited all claim on the mercy we have so abused? Have we not so many times promised, and not kept our promises, as to have no trust in ourselves? If the saints in glory knew us, would they not say, as we do of a worthless character, "Give him up"? Might they not say, "Such an one cannot be made holy, and so be made fit for heaven. He is only half-hearted in his efforts. He has no desire or standard, save to be respected by society. There is no spirit of self-sacrifice or zealous love of God in him. Give him up"? But we have not to deal with saints, however compassionate they might be. We turn to our Blessed Lord and to Calvary. We turn to the infinite mercy and the inexhaustible merit. We hear his world-wide invitation, "Come." He has made a full, perfect, and sufficient satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. He who died for all, died for us individually. He can do what men cannot blot out the past. He can cast all our sins behind His back. He can wash us in His precious blood. He knows the marvellous power of His transforming grace, and He says, "Come"!
MEDITATION ON THE SEED
I find recorded a short meditation "On the Seed." Some of it falls on the hard wayside. It falls on the path trodden down by commerce with the world. The heart has become callous, the ear paralyzed to the Gospel call. The soul has become indifferent to religion. It has passed, unconverted, into the thinness of middle life. It has become disillusionized and wise in its own conceited experiences. On the hard, laminated surface of its rationalizing unbelief the seed falls as on a marble pavement, the soul becomes agnostic. Perhaps troubles, trials, disappointments have soured the former love and zeal. Into this state a religious may come. God keep me from it.
The seed falls upon shallow ground, where there is little depth of soil. The result is a character ever promising, but not doing; unstable as water; resolving, but never conquering. How much of this has been our case! Have we ever really taken up the Cross? Has the Christian life been a daily battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil? Have we been in deadly earnest in the pursuit of holiness? Steep and craggy is the upward pathway. Fortitude, discipline, perseverance are as necessary as for an Alpine climber; watchfulness, self-sacrifice, endurance as needful as for a soldier.
Again, the seed so falls that the riches and cares of the world spring up and choke it, and it brings no fruit to perfection. This state is not that only of one immersed in money-getting, or pleasure, or statecraft, or professional service; it enters into clerical life and the religious state. The soul gets so absorbed in the outward as to forget the inward; so anxious for an ostensible success as to neglect the hidden and spiritual; so desirous for the world's applause that that of Christ is disregarded; so seeking wealthy aid as to become subordinate to its worldly influence. There a religious may find his own ruin through seeking the success of his society. God save us clergy from this peril! For my own part, I had to say:
"The hard pathway must be ploughed up by the Cross.
"The shallow ground so remade as to receive more soil by meditation and self-discipline.
"The thorns must be dug up and cast away, though the operation will be painful."
MEDITATION ON THE TARES
Consider the "Parable of the Tares." The formation of Christian character is a slow process. Think what it ought to be. Our Christian life is a supernatural life. It has a supernatural end, a union with God in glory. Now a supernatural end can only be attained by supernatural means. No man, by the cultivation of a mere natural virtue and by principles of philosophy, can attain heaven. Christians are the adopted sons of God. They have been made partakers of the divine nature. They have been incorporated into Christ. It is promised that they should be filled with all the fulness of God. They are to go on from strength to strength and attain a perfection in Christ. But look at thyself, O soul. Why these cares? These little mortifying sins? These daily imperfections? These interior disquietudes? These faults of speech? These little irritations? This gloominess or despondency? Why is not thine interior always calm, quiet, peaceful, resting with God? Some of these faults may come from our own selves, but also it is true that the enemy hath done this. Hating us with malignant hatred, and plotting against us with a tremendous experience in the art of ruining souls, Satan attacks the Christian with little and subtle temptations. If he tempted them to commit great sins, he is aware they would repulse him. But if he can only get them to commit a number of little ones, these will harden into habit, or the poor soul be thrown into a state of despondency. But Satan, with all his craft and knowledge of man, is ignorant of grace, and grace continually baffles him. Let it ever be remembered that God is never discouraged with us, because He knows His own power. And all those spirits, despondency, melancholic feelings, come either from physical causes or from Satan.
The latter is said to sow the tares when the Christian man sleeps. Now natural sleep implies a suspension of our conscious control of our bodily energy. The Christian sleep denotes the uncontrolled working of our nature. As natural sleep is compatible with many activities of the imagination and mind and in a somnambulistic state one does many things as if awake so it is with the Christian who is spiritually asleep. He believes himself to be awake. It is this that is so dangerous, because it leads on to self-satisfied, false peace. False peace relies on an ignorance of God and of its own state. "God is merciful," it says. Most truly so; but He has extended that mercy in and through the Cross, and man cannot reject that mercy and have it too.
When the soul realizes its dangerous condition, then, and then only, is it ready to turn to Christ. Then he is in the condition of the prodigal who feels the wrong he has done his father and longs, by confession of his fault, to make what reparation he can. The sense of his misery may set him thinking, but it is the thought of the Father's love that leads him home.
MEDITATION ON THE LOVE OF CHRIST
Our Lord laid aside His garment in token of His laying aside His glory-raiment and girding Himself with the bandage of our humanity; and, stooping down, He took the soiled feet of the Apostles into His own hands and washed them and wiped them with the towel wherewith he was girded. "Now ye are clean," He also said, "through the word which I have spoken unto you."
How unselfish is His love! We are so insignificant only like a single grain of sand upon the great stretch of beach. We are so little every way. We cannot compare ourselves with the angels in their obedience or with the saints and martyrs in their love. In the spiritual life thousands, every way, surpass us. We are not necessary to the advancement of the Kingdom.
Realize what kind of characters we are! What weakness, what instability is ours. If friends really knew us as we know ourselves, how little they would esteem us!
Now our Lord does know us. He knows us through and through. He knows our secret faults, our rebellions, our irresolutions, our murmurings, our backslidings. In contrast with His shining holiness, our sinful souls are black with corruption. How much greater is our guilt than that of the heathen, or of the ancient Jews, or even of those who betrayed Him and put Him to death! Yet He who knows us, loves us! He has never ceased His pleading prayer, "Father, forgive them." He has never ceased knocking at our heart's door, though we have refused to listen. How long-suffering has His love been! How forbearing! How amazingly patient! He has forgiven when He might have condemned. We have been unfaithful to Him and He has not put us away. He has forborne with us in spite of all our ingratitude, waywardness, and rebellion. We have wasted His grace and grieved His Holy Spirit, but His love has been unwearied and His Good Shepherd care unceasing. What if a servant of ours had been as unfaithful with the things committed to his care? How presumptuous we have been! How heedless of calls and warnings!
Think also how true His love has been. His chastisements are sure tokens of it. By the withdrawal of His grace He has made us realize its need. By the misery we have felt at its loss He has given us a proof of its reality. By the withdrawal of sensible devotion He has pained but strengthened us. By the cutting our hearts to the quick and the removal of some idol He has purified them and made them single. By leaving us to our own devices He has shown us our pride and folly. He has roused us to new efforts, and the soul has gone out in the darkness, and been beaten and wounded like the Bride in the Canticles, but has again found Him. Blessed thus are the chastenings of the Lord! And every soul can say, "It is good for me to have been in trouble," if it has learned by it this spirit of deep humility.
MEDITATION ON THE TEN VIRGINS
Every new advance is connected with a renewal of penitence. The tree must push its roots out wider, sink them deeper, if it is to rise to a further height and be clothed with a fuller foliage. Many times have I meditated on the "Parable of the Ten Virgins," as one full of warning to ordinary Christians and to the religious. All of the ten belong to the same band or class. They are types of all Christians. They are united in the same holy cause. They were believers-in and lookers-out for the same Lord. They made the same profession of faith. They went forth together as church members of the same society. They all had lamps in their hands, alike in outward appearance. The lamps were all lit and burning. The passers-by would see no difference between them. Yet there was one which led to a terrible result and a fatal division.
The sleep of death falls upon all of them alike. They awake at the coming of the Bridegroom. Then, alas! five find the flame in their lamps flickering and just going out. What then was the difference between the wise and the foolish virgins? The wise had taken oil in their vessels with their lamps. The foolish had neglected to make this wise provision. They were like unto those who say: "Why so much devotion, so much church-going? Such careful Lent keeping? Such self-examination? Such use of confession? Such separation from the world?" The wise, on the other hand, thought they could not be too careful, too devout and self-sacrificing, make too good use of all the means of grace, could not love the Lord enough or do too much for Him.
So when the day of Grace is over, and priest and Sacraments are no longer to be had, they come with lamps extinguished to the door and beg admittance. But it is shut to them, and they are forever shut out. Most sad of all His words are these words of Christ: "I know ye not." He does not say He had never known them, but He knows them not now. Is there anything more painful in all the Gospel? It is the case of those who have not been bad, but just foolish. They were wise in their own conceit. They were criminally foolish, and so just missed the proffered end. With a little more care, a little more earnestness, a little more sacrifice, a little more devotion, they might have gained entrance into the heavenly state. But they just missed it! What an awful remorse will be theirs! What an arousing the thought should be to us, and to me!
MEDITATION ON THE WORDS: "YE KNOW NOT WHAT SPIRIT YE ARE OF"
We are under the influence of two guides: the human spirit and the divine spirit. One reason so many Christians make so little progress is that they do not recognize the human spirit as their most malignant enemy. They have been fairly successful in fighting the world, the flesh, and the devil, leaving the most subtle and persistent enemy unattacked.
The human spirit is the most composite one. It is a composite of the weaknesses and tendencies of our fallen nature, together with our physical temperament and natural disposition as they have been affected by our education and environment. It shows itself, generally speaking, in liberty; in warm and exaggerated expression, eagerness and impulsiveness in manner; in its self-opinionatedness in speech. In respect to the body it is usually on the side of ease, comfort, pleasure, and sensual gratification. Mentally it shows itself in criticism of others, cynicism, love of smartness of speech, gossiping, tenacity of opinion. In the heart and will it shows itself in anxieties to get its own way; in apprehensions and forebodings concerning trials; in restlessness and fluctuations of spirit, despondencies, and morbid states of feeling. It makes us impatient under trials and troubles. It causes hot feelings in prayer to be mistaken for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It gives, sometimes, great facility in doing good actions to which our active temperaments impel us. It puts on the disguise of a virtue, like zeal, which is not for God, but for self. It is often full of ambition to do great things for God, to be known, admired. It is full of the love of power. It is very touchy about its reputation. It is very sensitive about failures. It is filled with shame rather than with repentance about its own sin.
Some remedies suggested: There is the old maxim of the saints, "Wherever you find self, leave self." Try to practice the mortification of speech. Unite yourself with the silences of our Lord under trial. Practise control of the thoughts, the idle ones, foolish ones day dreams. Pray that the Holy Spirit may rule your emotions, fears, hopes, and joys; that He may govern, mortify, and purify them. However much we may strive to mortify the human spirit or self-love, Christ only can give it its mortal wound. It requires great courage to ask Him to take us in hand and do it. It cannot be done, but by giving us great pain, either bodily or in the way of great humiliations. He alone can cauterize this malignant evil. The Christian soul must cease to worry about its own acceptance. Sometimes it feels the shame of its own sins so deeply that it doubts whether God can ever forgive it. It is tempted to sink down under the burden which is intolerable. It says: "If I could only live my life over again, how different, in some things, it would be!"
Now all this is a manifestation of this same human spirit, impatient of itself. It wants to stand in its own righteousness. It allows this spirit thus to gnaw away the secret of its peace. Now the converted and absolved soul has Christ's forgiveness. He has sealed His promise by absolution. He has acknowledged us as His own children, washed in the Precious Blood. He has blotted out our transgressions. He has cast them behind His back, and they have no longer existence. He clothes us in His own righteousness. We must leave looking at self and look to Him. He is the author and finisher of our faith. We must believe and trust in His word. We must let Him do it all and have all the glory, throughout eternity, of redeeming us. We cannot live our lives over again. Probably we should fail the same way if we did. But Christ can give us something better. He can restore us and give back the years which the caterpillar and the palmer-worm have wasted. He is the Divine Potter and can recast and remake the marred vessel. He can create a new heart within us, and make us new creatures in Him. He is able to restore every grace which we have lost or wasted, for He can do abundantly more than we ask or think. He gives us a new life in Himself.
MEDITATION ON HUMILITY
Cease not to meditate on humility and trust in God. In order to ascend, we must ever descend. When Simeon Stylites stood on his pillar and showed it was by divine command, through his obedience to the Bishop, he heard a voice saying unto him: "Dig deeper." In order that we may have a detached and free heart, that we may ascend into union with God, we must realize not only our sinfulness, but our nothingness.
I remember walking in the woods one day and, on a log which stood in the midst of an opening, listening to a little insect as it rubbed its wings together and so made one plaintive note; whether it was an acted prayer or song of praise could not be discerned. The opening in the woods, with the blue sky and clouds above it, was to that little creature its universe. How like that insect was I. How circumscribed my vision and knowledge, how insignificant my being. I was but a little speck upon this little speck of a planet. I was only like a mote glittering in the sunbeam, along with billions of others. But the great Father knew me and I knew Him. Christ had promised that He and the Father would come and make His abode in us, and He had done so in little me. His presence filled my little being with an everlasting song of rejoicing. I, like the little insect, could utter one note of praise: Glory be to Thee, O God! Dearest, I love Thee, let me love Thee more!
Again, the sight of our nothingness makes me a martyr to love. What can I do for Thee, my Blessed Lord? Could I lay down my life for Thee it would be less than if an insect should die for a great world's monarch. I give myself and all I am and all I have, for all eternity, to Thee and Thy loving service. It is of Thy marvellous goodness Thou art willing to accept so small an offering. Love with an increasing love consumes us by its fire. Yet, O Lord, increase the torment till it more perfectly unites me with Thee!
The love that loves me, makes me return His love. O Lord, I cannot return a love like Thine. My love is so little and so weak. Give me of Thy love, that with Thy love I may love Thee. Empty me of myself and fill me with Thyself. Darts of fire from Thy sacred wounds pierce my innermost heart. Destroy the germs of self-interest, self-seeking, self-deceit, self-love in me. May I be crucified to the world and the world crucified to me. If Thou givest me to drink out of the cup of Thy Passion, hold Thou Thy cup to my lips. I cannot live without partaking of it. It is thus I hold communion with Thee. I must suffer or die. I accept all my sufferings, my heartwounding, my rejections, my trials all that once broke my heart and wrapped me in painful darkness. For it all I bless Thy dear name. Bless Thou all my enemies. I love them for Thy sake and would gladly die for them. Only, dear Lord, let me now die in Thee.
The soul that realizes its nothingness and union with God asks for nothing, desires nothing but His will. I am, dear Lord, Thy servant and slave. I ask Thee not to help plans of my own devising, but use me as Thou seest fit to carry out Thy plan. Give, O Lord, what Thou commandest and command what Thou wilt. Let come what will come, Thy will is welcome. My joy, dearest Lord and God, is that Thou hast Thy will, and the joy that Thou hast in having it, is my joy. Let there be only one will between us and that Thine own.
I have no spiritual ambition for greatness, or place in the Heavenly City. The last and least is all too good for me. But, O dearest and best and loveliest, my all in all, my Joy, my Treasure, my Life, hide me a little thing in Thy life. I joy that Thou hast the blessed angels and joyous saints to worship and serve Thee. Make me, O Holy and Blessed One, what Thou wouldst have me to be. Show Thy glory in transforming the sinner into a saint; the worst of sinners into the least of saints. Fulfil Thy blessed will in me to Thy greater glory and the good of others.
EXTRACT FROM A MEDITATION ON THE TEXT: "OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES AND SUCKLINGS THOU HAST PERFECTED PRAISE"
I found a letter written to the late Mother Superior of St. Margaret's, Boston, from Europe in the seventies, which expressed my spiritual condition in a time of trouble. "Let us leave self and wait on God's will. Seek His glory every way. Have no interest of our own. Learn to rest on His merits and in His love. Here is the secret of spiritual peace. We need not die to come to this great rest. Even now the means are given us. The wings of the Dove will carry us thither. Sorrow and trial does its blessed and blessed-making work. Even now, known to some, He gathers souls into His peace. He hides them in His Tabernacle. The inner doors of the Passion are opened. The unknown depths of Divine Love reveal their awful, entrancing loveliness. Such as these have received a death-wound in their souls. They live, not so much as He lives in them. Though in the darkness, suffering or deserted, misunderstood or betrayed, alone in their enforced solitude, or feeling life's great burden, yet His peace takes possession of them. They cling, not to Him, so much as He enfolds them in Himself. His love so asserts itself; they love all, forgive all, bear with all. They can only rejoice and thank Him, as every trial or distress makes more real His presence within. They know their own secret and their secret trysting place with Him. For them the morning of the Resurrection is ever breaking. Round about them the aurora of the Ascension is ever pouring its transforming light. They come to trust wholly to Him, rely solely on His merits, His righteousness, His love. Trusting wholly to his cleansing Blood, they desire, for His, their dear One's sake, a cleansing of all the stains in the robe of His giving. But uneasiness or disquietude about self they know not. They are in Him and He in them. Their wills and their hearts rest in Him. There is but one will and heart between them, and that is His. There is but one love-beat animating their life. They become children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven; they must become something more to show forth His praise. They are as babes at the breast, held in His arms, controlled by His will. They are babes, yet spouses also. There is, too, the matured love that knows His love, knows His will, His mind, and His work. And the love-united soul in it watches or furthers His interests, finds its joy in the joy of its Lord. Thus the will sleeps, but the heart waketh. The will sleeps in His arms; unconscious as a babe, it is borne in His arms along the terrible precipices; or, like babes, sheltered at their mother's breast, while famine and pestilence and death are abroad. But their hearts are awake, and they love increasingly the love that loves them, with the love He gives. Let us pray Him for this union and this rest. Let us wait on His good pleasure. Be patient with self. Make acts of trust in Him. Thank Him for privations, humiliations, losses, and be in all things resigned to His blessed and blessed-making will."
For practice I add some acts of devotion:
ACTS OF FAITH
Blessed art Thou, Wonder-worker of Creation's Mystery.
Blessed art Thou in its development in the Incarnation.
Blessed art Thou in the Sacrament of the altar.
O Lord, I believe in Thee. + O Holy and Merciful One, the Burden-bearer of our sins,
O Thou, the Sin Victim, by whose stripes we are healed,
Blessed Jesus, whose Precious Blood cleanses from all sin,
I rest on Thy merits and in Thy love. + All glory be to Thee, Jesus Christ, reigning at God's right hand,
All glory be to Thee, ever abiding in Thy Church,
All glory be to Thee, dwelling in the hearts and wills of Thy people,
With heart, mind, and will I adore Thee. + Hail, most gracious Saviour, dying for us on the Cross,
Blessed art Thou, rising triumphant from the grave,
Blessed art Thou, hidden in Thy sacramental cloud, until the day of Thine unveiling.
I love Thee. May I love Thee more. + All glory be to Thee, whom the choirs of angels worship,
Blessed art Thou, whom Thy saints in glory adore,
All laud to Thee, whom Thy Church in patience serves,
To Thee I give myself, and all I have and am. + Hail, most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, Incarnate God and Man,
Hail, our Prophet, Priest, and King, our Redeemer and Advocate,
Hail,dearest Lord, our Mediator, Saviour, and our God.
Blessed Jesus, Thou art our All in All. + Blessed and Most Holy One, our Re-maker and Re-creator,
Blessed Life of our life and Soul of our soul,
In whom we are re-created and accepted in the Beloved
I look for Thy glory and rejoice in Thy love. +
ACTS OF RESIGNATION
I resign myself, my body, soul, and spirit to Thy loving care and keeping,
who loves me and whom I love.
I resign myself to suffer what in Thy good pleasure Thou shalt let befall me,
that it may bind me more closely to Thee
I am content to serve Thee with the abilities and means Thou givest me,
and to be little in the sight of men.
I renounce all affection of creatures that hinders my supreme love of Thee.
I renounce government by the world's maxims, being governed by Thee.
I purpose to take up my Cross daily and follow Thee, trusting in Thy
promised aid and deliverance in the time of trial.
I will live for Thee and in Thee, taking this life but as a probation
and training school for heaven.
ACTS OF LOVE
Lord, what is there in heaven or earth that I would desire beside Thee?
Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?
Lord, here am I, send me.
Let all that is within me bless Thy holy Name.
Lord, I love Thee. Help me to love Thee more.
Jesu, Thou art my Love, my All in All, Sweetness of my heart, Joy of my spirit.
Jesu, my Refuge, my Peace, my Riches, my Resting Place, my Joy.
Too late I have known Thee, O Infinite Goodness and Beauty, ever ancient and ever new.
Hold me fast, dear Lord, and let nothing pluck me out of Thy Hand.
Abide with me, dear Lord, for it is towards evening and the day is far spent.
Transcribed by David Donnell, A.D. 2001