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> \:\ J\M1S STAXI.KV. 



Particular ramen of Conscience, 





Of the Society of Jesus. 

JBitfj Preface ftp 


JUN 12 1952 


THE Treatise on the Particular Examen of 
Conscience, by Father Luis de la Palma, 
of the Society of Jesus, fully explains the 
nature and the use of this Spiritual Exercise, 
as it was taught by St. Ignatius in his book of 
the Exercises. 

Since the time of St. Ignatius, the Particular 
Examen has been adopted to a considerable 
extent, both by Religious and by persons in 
the world, aspiring to perfection, and, very 
generally, by the active Orders which have 
sprung up since the time of the first French 

It was to be expected that the nature and 
true object of the Particular Examen would be 
often misunderstood, and sometimes, the name 
was given to an Exercise, as unlike the Parti 
cular Examen of St. Ignatius as anything that 
could be imagined. 

Instances are not wanting, in which Religious, 
making the General Examination of Conscience 


at midday and in the evening, were instructed 
to write down all the faults of the morning 
and the afternoon, and taught to consider such 
noting down as the Particular Examen. 

A more frequent mistake in the use of the 
Particular Examen is the attempting to cover 
too much ground. How often are Novices 
found who make Humility the subject of their 
Particular Examen, or Conformity to the will 
of God, or Charity ? It is of the very essence 
of the Particular Examen, that the subject- 
matter should be limited and narrowed and 
made as definite as possible. Not Humility 
in general, but Humility in action or in word, 
and that under some well-defined circumstances, 
v.g., in word, in speaking to one s equals, or to 
one particular person ; not Conformity to the 
will of God in general, but Conformity to the 
will of God in the matter of health, or in one s 
occupations, or in one s Superiors ; not Charity 
in general, but Charity towards such a one, in 
word, never blaming him or finding fault with 
him these are fitting subjects for the Particular 

Humility in general, or Conformity in general, 
or Charity in general, are as little suited for the 
subject of the Particular Examen as Christianity 
in general or Virtue in general. The efficacy 
of the Particular Examen lies in the selection 


of a definite, limited object, and in the exercise 
of watchfulness over self, self-examination, con 
stancy in purpose, frequent renewal of one s 
resolution on this definite object. Happy should 
we be if we could extend to the whole field 
of our daily spiritual life this care and thought, 
but human nature is not capable of bearing 
such a strain, and therefore it is only attempted 
where it can be easily endured. 

For the same reason, experienced masters in 
spiritual life teach us to select for the Particular 
Examen such acts of virtue or such faults as 
may be seen outwardly. Merely internal acts 
more easily escape notice, and the soul is 
harassed in endeavouring to follow them. 
Advancement in virtue is rendered more easy 
when the attention is directed to the outward 
action, and it is traced up to its source and 

To make this subdivision more intelligible 
we will subjoin some examples, taken from 
Nepveu s Spirit of Christianity (vide Appendix, 

P- J 33). 

Lastly, a word may be addressed to that 
large body of pious persons who shrink from 
the use of the Particular Examen, complain 
that it is irksome, and say that they find no 
matter on which to exercise it. Those who 
speak thus are for the most part persons of a 


good natural disposition, of an even tempera 
ment, freed from any dangerous external 
temptations, and not tried by any very arduous 
duties. They feel no special attraction to fight 
their way to exalted perfection ; they avoid 
any deliberate faults ; their days are filled by 
a succession of duties, and they hope to end 
their lives in the same smooth and tranquil 

It cannot be denied that there are, especially 
in inclosed Orders, many whose natural dis 
positions, innocence of lives, and habits of 
industry, protect them from serious dangers, 
and render Religious life sweet and easy to 
them. They encounter no particular difficulties, 
they are not exposed to any particular trials, 
they may, without peril to their perseverance, 
leave on one side this Exercise of the Particular 
Examen, or any other corresponding to it. 
But those whose vocation engages them in the 
active service of their neighbours, who may 
expect to see their Superiors frequently changed, 
who may be removed themselves from place 
to place, from one duty to another, who are 
tempted by so many distractions, and sur 
rounded by so many occasions of sin, who, in 
one word, are called to live in the world and 
not be of the world, must aspire to solid virtues, 
virtues deeply rooted in the understanding and 


in the heart, virtues strengthened by habits 
of self-examination and strict discipline, virtues, 
in fine, acquired either by the Particular Ex- 
amen or some similar spiritual exercise. Virtues 
which rest on a less solid foundation, which 
appear to be strong till they are put to the 
test, virtues which survive as long as everything 
around us favours goodness, virtues which are 
found wanting in the first shock of real temp 
tation, will not carry the Religious of active 
Orders through the difficulties of their calling. 
Here is the secret of many wretched apostacies, 
of vocations abandoned, of falling away from 
first fervour, of the prime of life perhaps of 
old age wasted in tepidity and uselessness. 
The cost of the spiritual edifice had not been 
carefully calculated ; the foundations were not 
laid deep and broad ; the irksomeness of con 
stant vigilance, of unceasing efforts to bring 
the natural man into subjection to the spiritual 
man, was thought too great : and " the rain 
fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, 
and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and 
great was the ruin thereof."* Tantum proficies 
quantum tibi ipse vim intuleris^ " In propor 
tion as thou dost violence to thyself, the greater 
progress wilt thou make." Or as St. Ignatius 

* St. Matt. vii. 27. t Imit. Christy cap. xxv., n. n. 


expresses the same in his book of the Exercises,* 
" Let every one reflect that he will make pro 
gress in spiritual life, in proportion as he divests 
himself of self-love, of self-will, and of self- 
interest" Cogitet enim unusquisquc, tantum se 
profectum facturum esse in omnibus rebus spiritu- 
alibus, quantum exiverit a proprio suo amore, a 
propria voluntate et commoditate propria. 

* Hebd. ii., De Reformatione Vitae. Versio autog. 





I. What the Particular Examen consists in. Its 

difficulties I 

II. From what causes the neglect of this Examen arises 10 

III. The form or method of this Examen, beginning 

with the resolve to be made on rising . . .19 

IV. On the qualities requisite for a good purpose . . 34 
V. Of two other qualities of a good resolution . . 40 

VI. Of the care we are to take to put our morning 

resolution into practice 45 

VII. Of the times of this Examen, and the four additions 

concerning it 56 

VIII. The efficacy of this Examen 62 

IX. The matter of the Particular Examen ... 69 

X. Reply to certain objections to the above . . 75 
XI. The manner and order of choosing the matter of 

the Particular Examen Si 

XII. Further instructions on the same subject . . 86 
XIII. Examples of each vice to illustrate the division of 

the Examen 90 


XIV. Of the subject-matter of the Particular Examen 

for such as are troubled with no vice in 

particular IOO 

XV. The matter of the Particular Examen for beginners 102 

XVI . The matter of the Particular Examen for proficients 108 
XVII. The matter of the Particular Examen for the 

perfect 113 

XVIII. Formula of certain meditations helping on this 

Examen 115 

XIX. The end of this Examen 122 

XX. For whom is this Examen suited ? 128 


Defects contrary to humility 133 

Defects contrary to meekness . . . . . J 35 

Various acts of contempt of the world .... 137 

Various acts of mortification 139 




OUR holy Father St. Ignatius explains the 
Particular Examen at the commencement of 
the Book of Exercises in the following words 

The Particular and daily Examen, comprising three 
times, adapted to rightly disposing ourselves, and 
including a twofold examination. 

The first time is in the morning, when one, imme 
diately on rising from rest, should resolve to watch 
himself in regard of some sin, or special particular 
fault, of which he wishes to cure himself. 

The second time is at noon, when one must ask 
grace from God to remember the number of times 
into which he has fallen into that sin or particular 
fault, and to guard against it for the future. Then he 
makes his first examination, requiring an account 


2 What the Particular Examen consists in. 

from his soul regarding the said sin or fault, how 
often he has committed it through the several parts of 
the day from the hour of rising down to the hour of 
this exercise : afterwards he marks as many points in 
the uppermost line of the annexed table. This being 
done, he once more resolves to guard himself with 
greater diligence through the remainder of the day. 

The third time is at night, after supper -, the second 
examination ought to be made through the several 
hours of the day, from the former examination down 
to the present; and in the same manner, having 
recalled and counted the number of times one has 
fallen, he will make an equal number of marks on the 
second line of a table like the annexed one prepared 
for the purpose 



Its Difficulties. 3 

Though we find some maxims respecting such an 
Examen in the holy Fathers, and even in the Pagan 
philosophers, no one ever propounded this practice 
under the name of the Particular Examen, and no 
one ever suggested the observations made by St. 
Ignatius. Hence the Particular Examen may be con 
sidered as peculiar to the Society, and we may believe 
it was suggested to her Founder by the Holy Ghost, 
Who is believed to have dictated the Constitutions, 
and inspired the Exercises as a means to the perfect 
observance of the Constitutions. 

Following the footsteps of our holy Founder, we 
may define, or rather describe, the Particular Examen 
in the following manner 

The Particular Examen is a spiritual contest against 
some particular fault, and comprises a purpose not to 
fall, an anxious desire to keep this purpose, an exami 
nation whether we have fallen, and a comparison 
between different intervals (times), that we may dis 
cover whether any correction has been obtained, and 
to what extent, and that in this manner the fault which 
mdst hinders us may be thoroughly uprooted, and the 
virtue we stand in need of be implanted in our hearts. 

This exercise is suited to every description of 
persons, and to all seasons and times. 

The preceding description gives us the nature of 
the Particular Examen : it is a spiritual struggle or 
contest ; and it assigns the causes of the exercise, the 
material cause, the formal cause, the final or motive 
cause, and lastly, the efficient cause. 

The matter is some particular fault from which our 
chief difficulties arise; or virtue opposed to it, the 
B 2 

4 WJiat tlic Particular Ex amen consists in. 

virtue we most require. The form includes the reso 
lution we made in the morning respecting the said 
fault or virtue ; a special watchfulness throughout the 
day not to fall into this fault, or to perform a certain 
number of acts of the opposite virtue ; a self- 
examination at noon and at night whether we have 
fallen into the fault or exercised the virtue; a com 
parison of periods of time, so that we may ascertain 
our gain or our loss. 

The end is the extirpation of this fault, or the 
acquisition of the opposite virtue. Lastly, the efficient 
cause is any human being, zealous for his advance 
ment in virtue, who will devote himself to this 

I propose now to enter into all these points more 
in detail. May God grant grace to my words, that I 
may do justice to the value of this valuable exercise, 
and may induce my readers to undertake it in great 
earnestness, if they really desire to advance in the 
way of perfection. 

In the first place, it must be borne in mind that 
this Examen is a contest against our faults. The 
contest is a painful one, for it is fought out in our 
own interior; it is a protracted one, for it ends only 
with life; it is fought with risks, for few escape 
altogether unhurt from it ; the victory is uncertain, for 
unless God by His grace strengthen our weakness, 
we shall certainly be overthrown and defeated in this 
battle. St. Augustine says, "We are engaged in a 
daily fight in our heart ; man contends single-handed 
in his heart against a host. Avarice makes its sug 
gestions ; lust makes its suggestions ; gluttony its 

Its Difficulties. 5 

suggestions ; the joys of popularity make theirs. 
Suggestions assail him from all sides ; he refuses 
himself to all; he answers all; he turns away from 
all; he will not easily escape a wound from all his 

No one will deny that the paths of spiritual life lie 
in the midst of a certain sweetness and confidence, 
trust, hope, and even security. For what sweetness 
can compare with the sweetness of conversing with 
God ? What hope so precious as that which promises 
the possession of the Divinity ? What security equal 
to that of having God Himself for our friend and our 
ally in war? At the same time it must be acknow 
ledged, this most delightful path is rendered difficult 
and rugged by the task of overcoming our faults. 
" One thing," says a Kempis, " withholds many from 
progress and fervent emendation, to wit, the dread of 
the difficulty and the efforts of the struggle. For 
those above all others make the greatest progress in 
virtue, who most bravely attempt to overcome the 
things that are most difficult and arduous to them. 
For a man advances more, and deserves more 
abundant graces in those matters in which he most 
overcomes himself and mortifies himself interiorly, "f 

This writer goes on to suggest the matter for the 
Particular Examen " Two things most conduce to 
great correction: viz., to withdraw oneself with energy 
from the objects to which nature is viciously inclined, 
and fervently to pursue the good, which is most 
needed by us." And he warns us of the difficulty of 
the contest, "that the task of resisting our vices and 
* In Psalm, xcix. I. + L. i., cap. xxv., nn. 3, 4. 

6 What the Particular Examcn consists in. 

passions is more severe than the heaviest bodily 
toil." So that no one may be misled, and after 
foolishly and presumptuously entering the arena, 
throw away his shield and seek safety in flight. 

Perhaps this explains why many persons begin the 
contest of this Examen, but few persevere with it. 
A vast host, and more than thirty thousand, went 
forth under Gideon against the Madianites. But 
when this force came in sight of the enemy, two and 
twenty thousand, overcome by fear, returned to their 
homes. Of the ten thousand left, a great number, 
unable to endure their thirst, cast themselves on their 
knees, and putting their mouths to the stream, 
quenched their parched throats with copious draughts. 
Only three hundred contented themselves with the 
water they caught in their hands as they passed 
along. And those only who satisfied their thirst in 
moderation would the Lord admit to share the victory 
over the enemy. 

May God open the eyes of those blind persons 
who do not see that what befell Gideon s soldiers daily 
happens to them. For many there are who gladly 
buckle on their armour to do battle with the enemies 
of the soul ; but fly away, scared and conquered 
by the difficulty. When they are in the presence of 
the enemy, and the combat is about to commence, 
they are overcome by the thirst after temporal goods, 
they bend their knees to the ground, they turn aside 
to worldly concerns, they wish to quench their thirst 
in the waters of Egypt, though not all the cisterns of 
Egypt shall satisfy them. Of these craven soldiers, 
some who had put their hand to the plough of perfec- 

Its Difficulties. 7 

tion have gone back to the world and its follies; 
others, indeed, remain in the Religious state which 
they had embraced, but have none of its spirit they 
lack the courage to fight the battles of the Lord, but 
they choose to wear the livery of His soldiers. 

Of the former class, some were led to the world by 
the foot of pride;* for, vanquished by the vanity of 
their hearts, they shrink from ignominy, they fly 
ill-treatment, the lowliness of Christ they shun, and, 
after aiming at great and high thoughts, they fall 
headlong into the precipice of endless shame. Others 
of this class were seduced by the concupiscence of the 
jlesh. After abandoning the army of God, they sit 
down with their wickedness before the flesh-pots of 
Egypt, they stain the white garment of the soul with 
their sins of lust, they destroy their beauty, they 
tarnish their glory, they like unclean animals 
wallow in their own mire. Others, enslaved to other 
vices, look again towards the world and turn back. 

All, having consecrated themselves to the heavenly 
warfare, recoil from the contest ; they dread the fight 
with themselves, with their passions, with their sins. 
Though false to themselves, these soldiers, having left 
the ranks of the brave and returned to their homes, 
do not inflict much injury on their comrades ; they 
cease to shock, by their unworthy conduct, those who 
persevere manfully. Hence God of old commanded 
that when the people went forth to war, those who 
lacked courage should be excluded from the army, 
and the captains addressed every band " What man 
is there that is fearful and fainthearted ? Let him go 
* Psalm xxxv. 12. 

8 What the Particular Examcn consists in. 

and return to his house, lest he make the hearts of his 
brethren to fear, as he himself is possessed with fear ."* 

Of the fainthearted, however, not a few who shrink 
from battle remain with the army ; and though, with 
their comrades, they have taken the oath to destroy 
the passions which stand in their way, they still keep 
up a friendship with their vices and passions when 
they neglect the Particular Examen. These persons 
would fain reconcile the flesh and the spirit, vice and 
virtue ; they wish to give something to the spirit and 
something to the flesh ; they will not deny their 
passions always, they will sometimes let virtue carry 
the day. Such persons may be likened to Issachar, 
the son of Jacob, regarding whom the holy Patriarch 
prophesied "Issachar shall be a strong ass, lying 
down between the borders. He saw rest that it was 
good ; and the land that it was excellent. And he 
bowed his shoulder to carry, and became a servant 
under tribute"^ 

The cudgel cannot prevent the ass from taking his 
mouthful, once he has found his way into the green 
meadow. The ass will obey his master, but when the 
occasion offers he will follow his own bent. Such are 
they who fear to attack their vices. They seek rest, 
and they prefer rest to fighting. They lie down 
between the borders, that is, between the borders of 
the spirit and the flesh; and, as they prize peace, 
they are willing to pay tribute to both, that so they 
may escape contending with either. The tribute they 
pay to the spirit consists in certain penitential deeds, 
certain mortifications and exterior observances ; for 
* Deut. xx. 8. f Gen. xlix. 14. 

Its Difficulties. 9* 

the most part they discharge these with a bad grace, 
and gain little by them. The tribute they pay to the 
flesh consists in anxieties concerning worldly and 
temporal matters, excessive attention to matters- 
which concern not their state, unceasing restlessness, 
and remorse of conscience. What liberty of spirit 
can the soul enjoy which is burdened with such 
heavy tribute, and, lying between the borders, serves 
two masters ? Such a one is so far a spiritual man as. 
outwardly to obtain the reputation of being such ; he 
is so far an interior man that without a teacher he can 
discourse on conscience matters. He is familiar with 
the word " Particular Examen," but he knows nothing 
of its virtue. For as this exercise is very effectual 
and chases away sloth, these persons can never 
understand the nature and efficacy of the Examen,. 
unless they change their dispositions and reduce to 
subjection their disordered thoughts and desires. 
Persons of this description often cause much mischief 
in Community life to the fervent. For the soldiers of 
God who aspire to a truly spiritual life, and even to 
perfection, do not care to waste their strength in the 
pursuit. When, then, they watch their cowardly 
brethren, who in deeds and w r ords profess to have 
found peace without any such severe struggles ; when 
they hear that the perfection at which they aim is not 
inconsistent with a desire for honour, for self-ease, or 
with the flight of those things which wound self-respect 
or self-ease, or with the enjoyment of small gratifi 
cations, how easily the valiant soldier may lend 
himself to such vile models ! 

io From what Causes 



THIS neglect arises from three causes. The first 
is that the soul is contented with a low degree 
of virtue, and does not aspire to high perfection. 
Such a one neglects the Examen, because it does not 
fall in with the view which he proposes to himself, 
for he is not really anxious to correct his lesser 

The second is that the soul, though anxious for 
higher perfection, despairs of attaining it; he con 
siders the rebellion of his nature, the strength of his 
passions, the force of his evil habits, and the 
hindrances arising from his occupations, and hence 
he loses heart, and imagines he cannot with ten 
thousand men resist the enemy who encounters him 
with twenty thousand; therefore he lays down his 
arms and sues for peace. 

The third is that the soul, though eager for the 
attainment of perfection, and though free from diffi 
dence, does not employ every means, but such only 
as are easy and more agreeable to his disposition. 
Therefore he prefers prayer and contemplation to the 
mortification of his passions, and he would sooner 
devote two or three hours to recollection and union 
with God, than give half an hour to the Examen. He 
will pretend that the liberty of the spirit is restrained 
by these repeated self-examinations, and he will think 

the neglect of this Examen arises. 1 1 

that it is better to be drawn sweetly to union with 
God than to bend his thoughts vigorously to the task 
of the Examen. 

By what words, or by what considerations, can we 
more effectually rouse those who tamely acquiesce in 
a low degree of virtue, and induce them to turn their 
eyes to the higher perfection of interior life placed 
within their reach by the grace of God, than by those 
addressed by St. Jerome to the noble virgin Demetrias, 
encouraging her, zealous as she was, to advance to 
gain the summit of virtue. 

" Men are never satisfied with some progress in the 
pursuits of the world ; shall we be satisfied to have 
made a beginning in virtue? In earthly pursuits we are 
full of eagerness, and we only grow cold when there is 
question of Heaven. In matters of trifling moment 
we overflow with zeal, and are only indifferent 
regarding the loftiest objects. We ought to blush 
when we see the zeal and the care with which men 
seek to perfect themselves in knowledge. The thirst 
for literary excellence is not quenched by years ; nay, 
I may say, with a worldly writer, it grows with 
advancing age. The thirst for riches is insatiable ; 
the craving for wealth knows no limits. Objects 
which must perish so quickly are sought so unceas 
ingly. And we yield to a sluggish indifference, and 
do not care to obtain divine knowledge, heavenly 
riches, immortal glory ; the riches of the interior life 
we scarcely deign to look upon, and if we touch them 
ever so lightly we imagine ourselves sated. Far other 
wise is the invitation given by Divine Wisdom to Its 
banquet. They that eat Me shall yet hunger, and 

12 From what Causes 

they that drink Me shall yet thirst * No one is ever 
filled at this banquet ; no one is palled with satiety. 
The greater the desire and appetite for this food, the 
more shall be given. Our Lord says in the Gospel 
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after justice, 
for they shall be filled ^ He would have us hunger 
and thirst after justice, that we may be filled with the 
reward of justice hereafter. Let us attend to the 
force of His words. We are to crave after justice as 
the starving man craves for food, or one dying from 
thirst craves for a draught." 

These are the words of St. Jerome, and it would not 
be easy to adduce more urgent reasons or more 
striking comparisons as a reproof to tepidity " He 
who shuns perfection and contents himself with 
mediocrity, gives a proof that his soul has never 
tasted the heavenly food; for as St. Gregory Nazi- 
anzen says, if you wish to attain mediocrity, you must 
aim at the highest." 

Let us now turn to the second class. These persons 
desire perfection, but they have given up all hope of 
attaining it. For this disease we shall prescribe a 
remedy devised by Galen, the prince of physicians, 
and an illustrious teacher of Ethical Philosophy. In 
the first of the three books which he composed on the 
discovery and cure of the diseases of the soul, he 
recommends a method for the correction of faults 
very much resembling that prescribed by St. Ignatius 
in his Particular Examen ; and he exhorts his readers 
to contend against their vices with all their strength, 
though the victories they will obtain may not be 
* Ecclus. xxiv. 29. t St. Matt. v. 6. 

the neglect of this Examen arises. 13 

thought as much of as those of Hercules, Achilles, 
and other noted warriors. He encourages them to 
hope that by persevering in the contest they may 
secure that perfect health which they aspire to. 
Galen assigns two hours for this exercise, one in the 
morning the other at night : in the morning the good 
resolution must be formed, at night the self-examina 
tion must take place. Suppose, for instance, you wish 
to curb your anger or any other passion. On waking, 
you will think of the occasions which may arise during 
the day, and you will reflect that a man endowed with 
reason should not give way to the same impulses as 
dumb brutes, and allow himself to be ruled by them, 
and you will firmly exact from yourself a resolution to 
avert such a disgrace. At night, before retiring to 
rest, renew this purpose and count up the number of 
times you have fallen. 

But some on account of old age, others on account 
of faults which have become inveterate from long 
indulged habits, may despair of achieving a complete 
victory, and perhaps, as -they cannot secure everything, 
may renounce the hope of securing anything. The 
wise physician writes as follows for them "Let no 
one be deterred from attempting to improve himself, 
though even he be fifty years old and think himself 
marred by a vice which is not incurable or irreparable. 
For no one in sickness would give in to his sickness 
because he was fifty years old ; nay, he would employ 
every remedy in his power to regain health, though he 
might be convinced he could never be as strong as 
Hercules." In the same way let us not be deterred 
from attempting to improve our souls, though we may 

14 From what Causes 

be persuaded we shall never reach the perfection of 
the Wise Man. Nay, let us hope confidently we may 
even reach this point, if from the beginning we watch 
over the correction of ourselves such as we are. At 
least we can make sure of one point ; we shall be 
most anxious not to be wholly deformed as was the 
body of Thersites. For, had we had the opportunity 
before our birth of meeting Him Who presided over our 
destiny, and had He refused our entreaty for a most 
robust and vigorous body, we should certainly have 
besought Him to grant us a body in the second, or 
third, or fourth degree of vigour. If we could not 
have the strength of Hercules, we should be pleased 
to have that of Achilles ; and if we could not have his 
we should be contented with that of Ajax, or Diomede, 
or Agamemnon, or Patroclus ; and if we could not 
have the strength of any of these, we should be con 
tented with that of any illustrious hero. In the same 
way, I imagine, he who cannot obtain the highest 
excellence of mind, will aspire to be placed in the 
second or third, or even fourth rank. What I recom 
mend is not a thing which is impracticable, to those 
at least who are willing to prove themselves and give 
it a serious trial for some length of time. 

Galen, a Pagan teacher, merely guided by the light 
of reason, to our confusion instructs us and opens 
the paths of perfection, which so many Christians 
enlightened by the teaching of the Gospel refuse to 
see. He exhorts us to undertake a contest with our 
strength, which we, though armed in the power of 
divine grace, alas ! recoil from. Not without a 
certain modesty he bids us, as we enter the arena, 

the neglect of this Examen arises. 15 

yield precedence to those who having received greater 
succours from the Creator of all things, and being 
mounted, as it were, on swifter steeds, won the goal 
more happily ; and at least to strive to follow these 
men and secure the laurels of virtue to which we may 
aspire. He says we must make great account of this 
degree, though it be not the highest; and we must 
consider ourselves privileged, if at any cost we can 
attain it. Grant then, that you are not called to the 
perfection of a St. Ignatius, a St. Francis Xavier, or so 
many of our great men, but know that one of the 
most effectual helps by which these holy men proved 
themselves superior to all earthly affections was this 
very Particular Examen, about which I am writing ;. 
and do you make use of the same means, and follow 
closely, if you cannot rival, these heroes. 

I must now address a word to the third class, who 
really aspire to perfection and are not tempted to 
despair of its attainment, but shrink from this battle 
with their passions, and betake themselves to the 
more quiet and genial exercises of prayer, contem 
plation, divine love, union with God; in fact, bury 
themselves in the very love of Christian perfection. 
But is it true that we can enter into the land flowing 
with milk and honey without first waging a fierce war 
against its inhabitants and destroying them by the 
sword ? There are some paintings of priceless value 
which were executed with very little pains and labour. 
And there are some souls living in union with God 
without any internal struggle of their passions, who 
may be compared unto Benjamin, of whom it is 
written " The best Moved of the Lord shall dwell 

1 6 From ivhat Causes 

.confidently in him : as in a bride-chamber shall he abide 
all the day long, and between his shoulders shall he 
rest."* A naturally happy temperament, solitude, 
the absence of dangerous occasions, or the special 
favour of God giving Himself to His creature, may 
have obtained for them the sweetness of internal 
peace, abundance of devotion, and the sensible 
presence of their Spouse, without being obliged to 
encounter their spiritual foes in deadly fight. But, 
.generally speaking, virtues grown in the midst of such 
delights are frail and delicate ; and they do not 
flourish unless supported and preserved by the same 
soil which gave them rise. And, therefore, virtues of 
this description do not befit men of our Society, 
" who," according to our holy Founder, " must aim 
at the attainment of true and solid virtues, whether 
they receive many or few consolations. "t Now those 
virtues only deserve to be called solid which are 
acquired in war with the opposite vices, and by the 
acts which belong to them. These virtues do not 
depend on internal consolations, nor do they vanish 
before the fury and storms of temptations, or in the 
presence of dangerous occasions. These virtues are 
truly Apostolical virtues, such as the heralds of the 
Gospel ought to possess. For though the couch on 
which the soul reposes with her God be flourishing, 
yet " threescore valiant ones of the most valiant of Israel 
surround it, all holding swords and most expert in war: 
every man s sword upon his thigh, because of fears in the 
7iight"\ Such as these valiant ones should be the 

* Deut. xxxiii. 12. + Summ., reg. 22. 

I Cant. ill. 7, 8. 

the neglect of this Examen arises. 17 

warriors whom God has stationed in the Church to 
guard those souls who are invited to the repose of 
contemplation. They should be equipped with virtues 
acquired in manly conflict, waged while some of the 
souls intrusted to their guidance rest peaceably in 
God ; by their own experience must they be trained 
to forestall the wiles of the enemy, to withstand his 
onset, and to keep faithful watch and ward, lest the 
spouses of Christ be disturbed in this their repose and 
godly quiet. Now, if the care of such souls as are in 
close union with God demand that the ghostly Father 
and Master be trained by experience in the conflict 
with vice, how much more will he not need it, to be 
enabled rapidly to pass from place to place, to scour 
divers provinces for the direction of others, to deal 
with affairs of every description, to dwell amid ser 
pents and dragons, among so many occasions, not of 
distractions and of inward dryness only, but of grievous 
falls. This is the reason which urged our holy Father 
Ignatius to special accuracy and minuteness in his 
treatise on this practice, seeing it was most befitting 
and proper to his sons. Nor did he act thus with a 
view to our inculcating it on others whose spiritual 
welfare concerns us, but in order that we, whose chief 
and main end is to devote ourselves to the salvation and 
perfection of our own souls, should become familiar with 
the use thereof. If we but duly consider this end, 
and at the same time advert to those uprisings of 
nature we are ever and anon liable to, the source of 
which is in the violence of our passions, or the force 
of habits contracted in the world, or in the distractions 
arising from multifarious occupations and engagements, 

1 8 The neglect of this Examen. 

and in the numberless temptations that spring there 
from, or else, in the defect of devotion, in dryness at 
prayer, we shall be convinced that for each and all of 
these reasons, they who have constant dealings with 
men, and are bound to show them the way of salva 
tion, both by word and example, must, unless they 
wish to run themselves into danger, be endowed with 
solid, well grounded I had almost said adamantine- 
virtues, which have been invigorated by a lengthened 
conflict; that the model of such should be the returned 
captives of Israel, who with the one hand did their 
work, and with the other grasped a sword"* since it is 
incumbent upon them to wage war on the vices of 
others and on their own passions. 

To sum up this chapter, we may then say, that the 
Particular Examen is a kind of war against vices 
which must never be suspended, whether from faint 
heartedness or fear of difficulties, or from our resting 
content with a certain mediocrity of virtue, or from 
despair of attaining perfection, or through our taking 
up other practices more congenial to our tastes. It 
remains for us to unfold the original plan traced by 
St. Ignatius ; to wit, the form thereof, and the matter 
(which is the vice to be uprooted, or its opposite 
virtue), the times and other circumstances. 

* 2 Esdras iv. 1 7. 

The Form or Metliod of this Examen. 19 



THE form or method of the Particular Examen 
may be brought under four points. First, every 
morning at rising we must make a firm purpose con 
cerning the vice we are combatting, or the virtue we 
are striving after. Second, we must take care during 
the course of the day to carry out this purpose. Third, 
we must call ourselves to account for the shortcomings 
into which we may have fallen. Fourth, we must 
compare days and weeks together, so as to take the 
measure of either our progress or decline. The first 
point of this exercise the first step therein, so to 
speak, is the morning resolution, concerning which 
our holy Father writes as follows " The first time is 
in the morning when, as soon as we rise, we should 
resolve to keep strict guard over ourselves in the matter 
of the sin or evil habit we wish to correct" 

Hereon, we may observe, first, that by a resolution 
or purpose is meant a steady determination of the will 
concerning something difficult, a purpose liable to 
contradiction or opposition in its fulfilment. For in 
easy things, a simple motion of the will is enough, its 
consent is all that is needed for the completion of the 
work. But in what is more difficult, to will alone 
does not suffice, but the constraining power of the will 
needs bracing up, and it is this which properly is 
called a purpose or resolution. The Apostle in 
c 2 

2O The Form or Method of this Examen. 

treating of virginity makes this distinction between 
simple volition and purpose; for he speaks in different 
terms of a father who gives his daughters in marriage, 
and of one who endeavours to keep them from the 
nuptial couch. Of the former, as what they have to 
do is easy and conformable to natural inclination, he 
says " If any man thinks that he is behaving himself 
unseemly towards his virgin daughter in case she should 
pass the flower of her age, and if it must needs be so, let 
him do what he will, he sinneth not if she marry" * 
But of the latter class, as their task is in no wise easy, 
he says "He that standeth steadfast in his heart, having 
no necessity, and hath power in respect of his will, and 
hath determined this in his own heart, that he will keep 
his virgin daughter, shall do well." \ 

Thus may it be seen that he terms an arduous 
resolve, demanding serious deliberation and steadfast 
performance, a determination, which is just what St. 
Ignatius calls a resolution. To this may we deem that 
the Psalmist alludes when taking into consideration 
the frailty of our nature, the revolt and resistance of 
the appetite, he speaks as follows of the observance of 
God s commandments " / have sworn and have stead 
fastly purposed to keep Thy righteous commandments" % 

As you see, not only did he steadfastly purpose, 
but he swore. Whence it may be inferred that the 
Psalmist came to that resolution after he had been 
made aware of the difficulties in the fulfilment of 
these righteous judgments. These same difficulties 
meet us in the Particular Examen. We declare war 

* I Cor. vii. 36. f I Cor. vii. 37. 

Psalm cxviii. 106. 

The Form or Method of this Examen. 21 

against that vice which troubles us most. The first 
step to be taken in this war is to send a challenge 
to the foe, in other words, to make a resolution 
against it. 

Second, it is to be observed that such a resolution 
is the end of prayer, of our meditation, of the general 
examen, while it forms the starting-point of the 
Particular Examen, as was noticed heretofore. For 
in the method of our holy Founder, the end and aim 
of prayer is to stir up the will, as is plain throughout the 
first Exercise of the "Three Powers." That the end 
of these motions and affections is to be good resolves, 
is evident from the colloquy of the Exercise, where it 
is said "/ will further call myself to account, asking 
what / have hitherto done for Christ worthy of remem 
brance, what / am willing, or what 7 ought to do" 
What means this last clause " What am / willing, or 
what ought I to do ?" Naught else but the resolution we 
should make. The same appears no less unmistake- 
ably from numerous other passages, which show that 
the sole aim of the Exercises is to elicit the resolve 
to reform our conduct, for God s greater glory. This 
too is the end of the general examen, the fifth and 
last point of which is concerned with the purpose of 
amendment. The reason of all this is obvious, seeing 
that the end of all these Exercises of St. Ignatius is 
none other but a godly life and the sanctification of 
our soul. Now the main source of a godly life and 
of sanctification, is practically a good purpose. Hence 
the aim and outcome of these Exercises can be naught 
else but this resolve. Fitly then does the author of 
Ecclesiasticus warn us to set great store by a good 

22 The Form or Method of this Ex amen. 

resolution "Let the good counsel of thi?ie own heart 
be steadfast" Bind thyself by a steadfast purpose 
of performing that which thou hast rightly devised. 
"For nothing is more precious to thee than #."* In 
other words, nothing can be of greater advantage. 
He at once proceeds to prove this point, showing 
that such a purpose secures and directs all our 
doings "Let truth go before thy every action, and a 
steadfast counsel before every decd"-\- In other words, 
delude not thyself, but in all thine actions carry out 
thy resolutions. Now as it is to this performance of 
what has been resolved upon in the Exercises that 
the Particular Examen is directed, it starts with the 
resolution which is the goal of all the other Exercises. 
Thus may we perceive the connection and inter 
dependence of the several Exercises. Meditation 
and the general examen tend to the formation of a 
good resolution; the Particular Examen ensures its 
fulfilment. Herein, too, may we appreciate the 
dexterity and profound insight wherewith St. Ignatius 
leads on souls to perfection. 

At the very beginning of his work, he prescribes a 
scrutiny of our sins and usual defects by the general 
examen, in order that we may attain the knowledge 
of our actual state and progress, and discover by 
what passions we are more violently urged on, what 
are the inclinations which more vehemently bear us 
along, what evil habits we are most prone to, to what 
vices we most frequently yield. He next presents 
meditation as a means of self-improvement, and of 
making resolutions to uproot our vices, and of 
* Ecclus. xxxvii. 17. t Ecclus. xxxvii. 20. 

The Form or Method of this Examen. 23 

implanting in their stead the opposite virtues. And 
that each resolution may be effectually reduced to 
practice, he will have us to wage war on each vice 

He maps out the plan of this war, which is to 
make a particular resolution against the predominant 
vice ; when we fall, to take courage ; as is the wont 
with wrestlers, to renew our purpose until we have 
utterly worsted the foe. What more easy, or sweeter, 
could be devised as a stay to our weakness, than to 
warn us not to lose heart, even though we be damaged 
in the conflict? What more fitted to stir up our 
fervour than to arise after a fall, and to renew the 
struggle with no less ardour than if we had never 
been worsted ? What method could be devised more 
conformable to our nature and to man s want, than to 
meditate in order to come to a resolve, to resolve in 
order to a practical fulfilment, to fulfil one s purpose 
with a view to habituating one s self to well-doing, to 
destroy by such habit the evil opposed to it ? Thus 
it is obvious that this practice of making a purpose is 
of immense efficacy, while its mildness is no less so ; 
that it supports our frailty and maintains us in our 
struggle against vice in a happy medium between two 
extremes, which being extremes, cannot but make us 
deviate from the path of virtue. 

These two extremes are indiscreet fervour and 
languor, both of which tend to make us weary of 
that constant renewal of our purpose required by this 
exercise. As regards indiscreet fervour, some folks 
are transported by so vehement an emotion, as to 
deem it enough for them to make but one resolve 

24 The Form or Method of this Examen. 

against a vice, or passion, in order to be wholly rid of 
any further disturbance; they will never feel the 
temptation to anger, after having once for all resolved 
to practise meekness, and not to yield to passion; 
they will never break forth into murmuring and 
grumbling, when they have once determined to 
renounce the vice. What, then, is the consequence ? 
When they relapse into these faults, they grieve, and 
torment themselves at being made aware of their 
weakness, and at discovering that what they fancied 
they had accomplished still remains to be done. 
Thus do they betray their utter ignorance of the way 
to extirpate vice and to implant virtue. They think 
that it is to be done at one stroke, even as a statue of 
molten brass takes shape the instant it is cast into 
the mould. They want their ailments to be cured 
forthwith, and, as it were, by a miracle, in a single 
instant. Bleeding and cathartics they despise; they 
wish to pass without an interval from sickness to 
perfect health, without undergoing any curative treat 
ment. They seek to fly without wings, to scale a 
tower without ladders, to clear at one bound the 
course of all the virtues. Therefore are they ever 
sticking to the starting-post, at the same distance 
from the goal. An error held by some in days of 
yore was, that the victory over our passions could 
reach to a kind of apathy, or insensibility, whereby 
the soul is so steadfastly grounded in virtue that on no 
occasion whatever could the mind deflect, be it never 
so little, from the straight path of right, but rather 
would it with unruffled calm, and without struggle, be 
wholly addicted to virtue. But this was a day-dream 

The Form or Method of this Examen. 25; 

of men brought to vanity in their reasonings, con 
founding the time of conflict with that of rest and 
recompense, and attributing to this period of warfare 
what belongs to the life of bliss. Though this figment 
has long since been exploded, we still meet with 
many who order their lives as if they were passionless. 
They make no effort to extirpate their evil habits, or 
to contract good ones by the appropriate acts ; but 
flatter themselves that they have demolished their 
passions, as was the fate of the Philistine giant, at a 
single stroke. 

This fond fancy is not only profitless ; it is, more 
over, harmful in several ways. First, the violence 
these people do themselves is ofttimes prejudicial 
to bodily health. Now, want of health, especially, 
with beginners, not uncommonly proves a formidable - 
obstacle to perfection, in that it fills the soul with 
fear and grief, and at the very time that the body 
needs severe and rigorous treatment, we have to show 
greater indulgence to that domestic foe, on account 
of its ailment. Further, it is a usual artifice of the 
devil to inspire an exaggerated fervour, in order that 
excessive rigour may degenerate into laxity. "You 
yourselves have had experience," says St. Bernard tO 1 
his brethren, "how some (to your confusion be it 
said), who at the outset could not be kept back 
(such was the vehemence and ardour with which 
they were impelled onwards), have at length sunk to 
such a depth of sloth that, to use the words of the 
Apostle, After having begun with the spirit, they 
are now absorbed in the flesh. "* 

* Serin, xxxiii. on the Canticles. 

26 The Form or Method of this Ex amen. 

An indiscreet fervour in subjugating our passions 
is wont to bring on bodily ailments, which in their 
turn engender self-indulgence and softness. Besides 
which, the virtues which owe their origin to this 
headlong violence, are not of the temper to be relied 
upon in occasions of trial. For as a stone upheld 
by sheer force in the air, when let go, falls with no 
less impetus than had it not been upheld, so the 
passions which are not subdued by opposite habits, 
but are violently checked, will be found to be no 
less lively and vigorous than at the beginning. For 
as nought that is violent can endure, it must needs 
be that this violence will come to an end. Wherefore, 
when the soul, tired out, slackens in its effort, it finds 
itself after all as imperfect as if it had never made a 
beginning. The devil has at this point another weapon 
in reserve the temptation, that is, to grievous despair. 
For even as a wayfarer who strives to reach to the 
summit of a lofty mountain, but, having thoughtlessly 
chosen the path which to him seemed the shortest 
and most direct, loses heart at finding his strength 
overtaxed by the obstacles he meets with, and think 
ing there is no other road, gives up the ascent in 
despair and returns to the level plain ; so, too, do 
they who have set themselves the task of ridding 
themselves forthwith of their passions, and of practis 
ing in all perfection the virtues they have determined 
upon but a moment since, when coming to the reality 
they discover that it is more than a match for them, 
lay down their arms, deem perfection an impossi 
bility, and return to the common beaten track. This 
temptation is not unlike what St. Ignatius mentions 

The Form or Method of this Examen. 27 

in his Fourth Rule on Scruples " The enemy is wont 
to watch craftily what manner of conscience each soul 
has, whether it be rough-grained or delicate. If the 
latter, he strives to render it more delicate, and to bring 
it to an extreme degree of anxiety, in order that when he 
has cruelly disturbed it he may deter it from all spiritual 
progress. For instance, if he finds a soul that yields 
to no sin, whether mortal or venial, that shrinks (so to 
speak) from the very shadow of any wilful transgres 
sion ; as he cannot reproach it with any real sin, he 
endeavours to make it perceive sin where there is none, 
as, for example, in so?ne word or passing thought} 
What is his aim ? It is to render the conscience so 
delicate, as wholly to destroy it. For the soul, finding 
it cannot avoid what it falsely deems to be sin, falls 
without misgiving into real sins. The enemy follows 
an opposite method with such as are gifted with a 
looser conscience, as St. Ignatius proceeds to show 
in the same rule. "He strives, on the other hand, 
to render a lax conscience still more lax, to the end 
that, having heretofore made light of venial faults, it 
may daily grow more careless and unconcerned about 
mortal sins." 

Such, then, is the artifice of the enemy. He 
strives to push every one to the side to which he 
finds him to have a leaning, in order to land him 
in an extreme. He makes use of this stratagem in 
the very matter of good purpose wherewith we are 
dealing. For if he come in contact with an ardent 
soul eager to subject its passions to reason, to 
uproot its evil habits, he spurs it on while running 
full tilt, and urges it to attempt to complete its under- 

28 The Form or Mctliod of this Ex amen. 

taking within the brief space of an hour. If, on the 
contrary, the soul be torpid and diffident, he intensifies 
this torpor, and endeavours to bring to pass that it 
should not make one good resolve throughout the 
year. We must, then, hold fast to what St. Ignatius 
lays down in the following Rule " In order to 
advance in the spiritual path, the soul must ever 
tend to the opposite of that to which the enemy 
strives to drag it. So that if he endeavour to make 
the conscience still more lax, we should make it 
more strict, and relax it when he tries to bind it 
too tightly. Thus, by keeping aloof from the dangers 
of either extreme, will the soul abide in tranquil 
medium and in a state of safety." We may here, 
in passing, call attention to St. Ignatius extraordinary 
prudence, which shines forth in this rule. For to 
the slothfully inclined we must uncompromisingly 
prescribe that they follow after fervour, and make 
their conscience more strict. We must, indeed, guard 
against the extreme of an excessive fervour ; but the 
danger of such as these falling into it is very remote. 
No so with those who lean to an excessive strictness. 
Not that we are to advise them needlessly to follow 
a lax and tepid conscience (this were too dangerous 
a counsel for our corrupt nature) ; they are to be told 
to avoid the extreme, and to establish themselves 
calmly and securely in a medium state. The Latin 
version quoted above, in prescribing for such a certain 
relaxation or laxity, clearly means that they are to 
be kept from either extreme, not that they are to be 
driven into an opposite one. This is plain from the 
wording of the Spanish original, which is literally as 

The Form or Method of this Examen. 29 

follows "If the enemy strive to make the conscience too 
lax, he should make it more strict ; if the enemy strive 
to make it too strict, so as to draw it to an extreme, the 
soul is to try to establish itself in the middle, so that it 
may be wholly at peace" But what is this middle 
state ? It is fervently to resolve against, and manfully 
to resist, the vice we are contending with. 

We presuppose all along that this conflict is to be 
an enduring one, since death alone can bring undis 
turbed peace. Nor in so protracted a struggle can 
we fail to receive wounds which must be healed by 
penance. And the contest will have to be renewed 
by fresh purposes against the enemy that has laid us 
low. Such is the way to subdue our vicious habits, 
to get rid of our perverse inclinations ; not indeed by 
smothering them at one effort, that were impossible, 
but by gradually weakening them, bearing patiently 
with their uprising, and beating back their assaults 
with earnestness. 

In the other extreme are to be found those who 
never have any fixed or settled purpose, but whose 
spiritual progress is wholly limited to certain inward 
devotions and consolations, and some outward austeri 
ties or penalties ; for the rest, they give themselves up 
to the guidance of their inclinations, and are carried 
away by the torrent of their evil habits. Souls such 
as these may never hope to attain real or solid virtues 
and true detachment of heart, which in our miserable 
fallen state cannot be acquired without violence and 
conflict. Now, where this cannot be shirked, there 
must needs be a resolution, which, as we have 
observed, requires a resolve. Now a resolve, as we 

3O The Form or Metliod of this Ex amen. 

said heretofore, is but a bracing up of the will to a 
struggle with some difficulty repugnant to our natural 
inclination. Since, then, to lay down one s arms is 
to avow a defeat, the same may be said of one who 
desists from making a resolve; for, like one who is 
worsted, he gives his ghostly foe an opportunity of 
putting forth all his strength, and of winning a victory. 
For he that makes a resolve withstands his vices, for 
it is by this the struggle begins. He, then, that does 
not make any resolution (who may be called a pur 
poseless man), as well as he who persists not in his 
resolve, yields without a struggle to his antagonists. 
Rightly is it asserted by the author of the Imitation 
of Christ, that " the origin of every evil temptation is 
instability of soul."* He calls an evil temptation that 
which overcomes the soul and obtains its purpose. A 
temptation which does not succeed, but which the 
will rejects, is not evil, but advantageous to him who 
gains a victory over his enemy. The origin of our 
disasters and of the victory of the tempter is instability 
of soul, or not keeping to our resolve. The same 
author sets this forth in a very apt similitude " For," 
says he, " as a ship without a rudder is tossed to and 
fro by the waves, so is a slothful man who keeps not 
to his resolution tempted in manifold ways." No 
comparison could more aptly fit the case of a soul 
assailed by temptations, which are like the waves of a 
raging sea. u They mount up to heaven, and go down 
even to the depths "\ The security against shipwreck 
is in the rudder, for as St. James says "Behold ships, 
althought they be so great, and are driven by fierce winds, 
* Book i., chap, xiii., n. 5. f Psalm cvi. 26. 

The Form or Method of this Examen. 31 

yet are they turned about with a very small rudder 
whithersoever the desire of the helmsman willeth"* It 
is with this that the pilot steers the ship, ploughs the 
waves, makes a stand against the winds, and surmounts 
the raging billows. Now, what a ship s rudder is in 
a storm, gives us to understand what a firm purpose 
does for one under temptation. For if he will but 
stand to it, he steadies himself, governs his actions, 
and defends himself from the waves of temptation 
which beat against his resolution. Should the ship 
lose its rudder, shipwreck is inevitable. So does a 
soul without resolution yield to temptation. All that 
we have set forth in this chapter may be made clear 
by this one comparison, which, at the same time, sets 
forth the way wherein we are to wage war on our vices. 
We must make resolutions, and that constantly, nor 
deem the battle over after we have formed our 
purpose, as if our passions were forthwith brought 
under, and our evil habits overcome. For like as 
neither the rudder, nor the cunning of the pilot, nor 
the labours of the crew ever on the alert, can avail to 
hinder the vessel from being continually tossed and 
from shipping seas; like as a ship cannot be still amid 
a raging sea; as a captain cannot reasonably expect that 
his passengers will, in rough weather, go through their 
voyage without sea-sickness; as it is ever necessary for 
the pilot to keep his eyes fixed on the compass, and 
his hand to the helm, especially when the winds are 
high, if he really intend to reach the port he has set 
out for the same holds good of our spiritual navi 
gation. For though a firm resolve be in the truest 
* St. James iii. 4. 

32 The Form or Method of this Examen. 

.sense the rudder of our soul, by means of which, 
under the inspirations of divine grace, we are to make 
.the harbour of virtue, yet does it not calm the tumult 

of our passions, nor, owing to our frailty and heedless- 
ness, hinder our craft from leaking at several points, 
so that we must needs renew our purpose, and lighten 

-our vessel by means of repentance. 

We may find another no less apt illustration in the 

.great tidal rivers ; unless their waters be kept confined 
within their banks, they will overflow and destroy 

-crops, the hopes of a future harvest, cattle, flocks, 
forests, men, and whole cities, and will overwhelm 
whatever they meet in their course. Our passions, 
unless checked, do us no less harm. Now, that which 

opposes their violence, is our resolution to go counter 
.to them. This it is which, like a bank or earthwork, 
deadens and holds their violence in check. And even 
.as the rivers already mentioned are not deprived of 
their destructive force by the precautions taken against 
it, but are ever in conflict with those who, by raising 
banks or by other contrivances, impede their overflow 
and confine them within their bed ; as, too, we must 
never cease from strengthening the obstacles we put 
in their way until the might of their tempestuous 
waves are broken, and they be securely kept within 
limits thus are we to control our passions, as they 
are far more pertinacious, nor to be subdued by one 
resolution, but by repeated purposes persevered in 
until our will is ready to forego what is forbidden, 

. and to rest content within the boundaries of what is 
virtuous and lawful. 

It is thus obvious that our war against our vices 

The Form or Method of this Examcn. 33 

must begin with a resolution, and likewise that such 
resolution does not deprive our evil habits of their 
strength, nor prevent them from warring against us, 
and from striving to overthrow our resolution. In 
this twofold conflict we must, therefore, take it for 
granted that our resolve will not render us invulner 
able, and that we should not lose heart when stricken 
by the foe. This is, in substance, the advice of the 
author of the Imitation of Christ, who on the first 
point observes " Let us strive as much as we like, 
yet shall we fail slightly in many things." * On the 
second, he says " If he that makes a firm purpose 
falls short, what will that man do who seldom or 
feebly purposes ?"t 

* Book i., chap, xix., n. 3. *f Book i., chap, xix., n. 2. 

34 On the Qualities requisite 



TO bear fruit, it is requisite that a resolution have 
(i) a determinate matter; it demands (2) discre 
tion in order to be effectual ; (3) steadfastness, lest it 
be easily set aside ; (4) humility, so as not to lean on 
its own strength; (5) daily increase that it may attain 
the summit of perfection. 

To begin, then, we must not rest satisfied with vague 
and general resolves, as were that of keeping God s 
commandments, or of striving after the perfection 
proper to our state, but as the author of the Imitation 
of Christ aptly warns us "We must ever purpose 
something definite.""- It must be such as to be 
distinctly realized by the understanding. We are 
next to make a return on ourselves to inquire whether 
we really do fulfil what we purpose, and add thereto 
an examen as to whether we have fulfilled it. For as 
men s actions are concerned with determinate and 
individual objects, indefinite purposes can have no 
fulfilment, unless they be restricted to something in 
particular. Hence the Apostle saith "/ therefore so 
run, as not uncertainly; so fight /, as not beating the air "\ 
For of a truth, he is beating the air and runs aimlessly, 
\vhose purposes are indefinite and general. 

Next, the resolution must be discreet proportioned, 
chat is, to our actual powers of body and mind. " Seek 

* Book i., chap, ix., n. 3. 
t I Cor. ix. 26. 

for a Good Purpose. 35 

not what is above thee"* is the warning of the Holy 
Ghost. For even as a traveller to a far off country, 
first sets before him the land he intends to reach, and 
then maps out a direct and well defined road to be 
kept to from the outset to the term of his journey, 
and having once started makes use of prudence and 
caution lest he exhaust himself by overhaste, or linger 
on the road by being too slow ; and then divides his 
journey into daily stages of so many miles or leagues ; 
the like holds good of the matter now under treat 
ment. Here too, after determining in particular 
what are the actions we undertake to amend, those 
especially with which we have to make a beginning, 
we must next have recourse to discretion, and fore- 
caste the accidents and difficulties of the path on 
which we are about to enter, and take in hand forthwith 
some less difficulty which is within reach, nor out of 
proportion with our present disposition. More of this 
anon, when we shall have come to the object of this 
kind of examen, and shall explain why the conflict 
with a single vice, and the striving after one virtue 
requires to be thus minutely divided into parts. For 
though all our hopes must rest on the aid and almighty 
power of God, which is well able mightily and swiftly 
to overcome all difficulties, yet is it the wont of His 
Providence to order all things sweetly. To these two 
qualities must be added a third, to wit our purpose 
should be steadfast, and not liable to waver. This 
steadfastness regards both the time when we resolve, 
and the moment of execution. Some resolutions are 
so faint at the very outset, that it is obvious they 
* Ecclus. iii. 22. 

D 2 

36 On the Qualities requisite 

cannot be lasting, but are wanting in strength to cope 
with temptation. Let each one observe in what wise 
men usually resolve to increase their gains, and to 
avoid future loss, and determine to shape on their 
model our strivings to diminish our vices and to grow 
in virtue. This is the aim of the admonition of the 
Wise Man " If thou call upon wisdom and bow down 
thy heart to knowledge, if thou seek her like money, and 
dig for her as for treasures, then shalt thou understand 
the fear of the Lord, and shalt find the knowledge of 
God." * Money is sought after with anxiety, and 
treasures are dug up from the bowels of the earth 
with toil ; these are in a measure needed for the 
acquisition of spiritual store. Feeble resolves are like 
the purposes of sleepy people, or of the same kind as 
those formed by the sluggard, who, disputing with his 
pillow, does nought but softly turn on the other side. 
To such as he doth the Holy Ghost say " How long 
wilt thou sleep, thou sluggard? When wilt thou arise 
from thy slumbers ? A little more sleep, yet a little 
slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep :"t Like 
as the will of the sluggard is not what it seems to be, 
so neither do such resolutions find their fulfilment in 
action, for after manifold and magnificent purposes 
the man grows old in a deplorable plight. Let then 
your resolves be steadfast and high-minded, lively, 
and conceived in great fervour when you make them. 
But this steadfastness is no less needed when the 
time comes for action. A falling short on this head 
may have a twofold origin, either in the feebleness of 
judgment, or in the faint-heartedness of the will. By 
* Prov. ii. 3, 4, 5. t Prov. vi. 9, 10. 

for a Good Purpose. 37 

the former, I mean that which causes us to withdraw 
from what we have proposed, though no fresh 
motives, or sufficient ones, occur to us. I have dealt 
with this more fully in part i., book ii., chapter xxxi., 
of the Spiritual Path. 

St. Ignatius holds up this failing to reproof where 
he says "If a?iy one hath chosen aught that can be 
changed, with due mctJwd and order, apart from all bias 
of the world, and of the flesh (apart, that is, from all 
carnal or worldly motive), he has no reason for 
reversing his choice, but should rather strive to advance 
more and more therein."* This failing arises, likewise, 
from the faint-heartedness of our will in the case, 
when the resolution still endures, but is broken at the 
time of execution, and when the soul shrinks within 
itself on beholding the difficult)-. Of these has 
Solomon meetly written, "The sluggard desires, and 
desires ;z<?/."t He desires when making his resolution, 
he withdraws from his desire when he becomes aware 
of the difficulty attending it. He desires while as 
yet he has nothing to do, but he desires not when the 
work has to be taken in hand. He desires when 
pondering the beauty of virtue and its rewards, but 
desires not when he finds that this flower is hedged 
round by thorns. Thus does it come to pass, as 
Solomon bears witness, that his desires and purposes 
vanish in thin air, "Like clouds and winds without rain 
is whoso boasteth himself and keeps not his promises."^ 

* "Introduction to the knowledge of the objects of election," 
point iv. 

t Prov. xiii. 4. 
t Prov. xxv. 14. 

38 On the Qualities requisite 

"Meetly," says Venerable Bede, "is he called a 
sluggard, who would reign with Christ, and will not 
strive with Christ, who takes delight in the reward, 
but flinches from the conflict when commanded. 
Concerning such does St. James say, " He is a double- 
minded man, unstable in all his ways."* And Eccle- 
siasticus " Woe be to double hearts . . . and to the 
sinner that goeth two ways"\ For such a one goes 
two ways, that of perfection he resolves upon, and 
the way of his lusts, wherein he really walks. He 
goes by the former in design and purpose, but in the 
latter by deed and performance. It is as if two souls 
dwelt within a man of this sort ; and, in truth, he has 
a twofold tendency; the one inclining him to what is 
perfect, the other to imperfection and evil. While 
endeavouring to follow both, he halts in either path. 

There is but one remedy for him who suffers under 
this ailment; it is to consider attentively the term 
and end of his ways, and not to be deterred by 
difficulties, for "Narrow is the way that leadeth unto 
life."% Of the other way, it is written, "There is a 
way that scemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof 
are the ways of death." The rigour of God s judg 
ments may spur the slothful man into action, as the 
Psalmist bears record of himself "/ remembered 
Thy judgments of old, O Lord, and comforted myself "\\ 
St. Ambrose observes hereon "Unless each one be 
grounded, and trained by the examples under the law, 
and believe the judgments of God to be sure, he will 
soon turn aside from the law." The judgments God, 

* St. James i. 8. t Ecclus. ii. 14. 

J Matt. vii. 14. Prov. xvi. 25. || Psalm cxviii. 52. 

for a Good Purpose. 39 

as executed from the beginning of the world, are 
hidden from none, those that remain to be executed 
at the end will be made manifest "By this remem 
brance," says the Psalmist, " have I comforted myself" 
which means, in St. Augustine s view of this passage 
I have been roused and stirred up. For this remem 
brance is a powerful inducement to break through 
difficulties, be they what they may. To conclude, 
then, we must steadfastly resolve, and courageously 
perform, after the example of him who exclaims " / 
have sworn and have steadfastly proposed to keep Thy 
just judgments"* Showing by his oath the steadfast 
ness of his resolve, as St. Augustine explains it 
" For he calls that an oath which he had steadfastly 
proposed by a holy vow. For the soul should be as 
firm in the observance of God s righteous command 
ments, as it ought ever to be in keeping to the oath 
whereby it has pledged itself." 

* Psalm cxviii. 106. 

4O Of two other Qualities 



THE fourth requisite is that the resolution be 
humble, which contributes in no small degree 
to its stability. For like as the solidity of a building 
rests on the foundations thereof, so does the stability 
of our purposes rest on humility, which is the ground 
work of every virtue. We frequently fall short of our 
resolves through timidity and distrust, both of which 
obstacles arise from our comparing the difficulties we 
have to overcome with our own strength, not with 
that of God and of His gracious aid. If God s help 
be at hand, what can we resolve upon that we shall be 
unable to perform. As the author of the Imitation 
of Christ says " The resolutions of the just are 
grounded rather upon God s grace than on their own 
wisdom. In it do they constantly put their trust, 
happen what may. For man proposes, but God 
disposes; nor is a man s way in his own power."* 
It is a mark of a humble resolution if help be sought 
in prayer, meditation, pious reading, the invocation of 
the Saints, in penances, and temporal trials, and such 
like, for, being the tokens of humility of heart, they 
greatly avail to obtain God s help. For God it is- 
" Who resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble "\ 
On the other hand, they that rely on their own 
strength come to experience what the Psalmist says 
of himself "As for me, I had said in my prosperity \ 
* Book i., chap, xix., n. 2. - t St. James iv. 6. 

of a Good Resolution. 41 

/ shall not be moved for ever. . . . Thou didst hide 
Thy face from me, and I became troubled"* 

A humble resolution is not on that account pusil 
lanimous ; rather does it embrace whatever it intends 
with God s help to overcome. Although the soul is 
well aware, and with the Apostle exclaims, "Iknou* 
that there dwells not in me, that is, in my flesh, any 
good"\ yet is it convinced that He Who has given it 
to will, will also grant it to do. Wherefore, with the 
same Apostle does it say "Forgetting the things 
which are behind, and stretching forth unto the things 
that are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of 
the heavenly calling of God in Christ Jesus. ."J It 
should, therefore, be a settled principle with such as 
are desirous of making progress, that they are to put 
on the armour of humility, and daily to stir them 
selves up to an increase of perfection, which is the 
last quality of a good and steadfast resolution, and 
most necessary for all that follow after perfection. 
For as we read in the Imitation of Christ, " The 
measure of our progress is in direct proportion to our 

We may perceive a great and manifold diversity in 
this regard among those that strive after virtue. Some 
there are who, with heroic fortitude, aspire to what is 
most perfect, and the greater their progress the more 
does their path seem to stretch out before them. 
Others aim, as St. Ignatius puts it, but at "attaining 
a certain degree, wherein their soul may find m/."|| 
This is but to lead the common ordinary life, free 

* Psalm xxix. 7, 8. t Rom. vii. 18. J Phil. iii. 13, 14. 
Book i., chap, xix., n. 2. || Annot., 18. 

42 Of two other Qualities 

from all reproaches of conscience, and hence with 
hopes of salvation. Another set aspire not even to 
this, being conscious to themselves of hidden failings, 
and resting content with the name and repute of 
goodness and honesty, which causes them carefully 
to avoid whatever might lower them in the esteem 
of their fellows. 

Each of these classes presents in its turn divers 
subdivisions and shades of difference ; still, for every 
one does the maxim we have just now quoted hold 
good, " The measure of our progress is in direct pro 
portion to our resolution" Whoso aims high makes 
rapid progress in grace, while he that rests content 
with his poverty remains poor. From the beginning 
of one s conversion to the term thereof, our advance 
ment is wholly made up of resolutions, more or less 
perfect. He, then, that is desirous of advancing must 
endeavour to push forward his resolutions, in order 
that they may tend to a yet more excellent way. 

To state briefly what we have hitherto said on the 
formation of resolutions, I beg and pray them who 
have recently entered on the path of righteousness to 
gird themselves to keep the commandments and 
precepts of the Lord, with the resolve of a manful 
and steadfast soul, that (without any vow or oath) 
they may, with the Psalmist, be able to say " I have 
sworn, and have steadfastly purposed, to keep Thy 
righteous judgments" Let beginners, and such as are 
taken up with ridding themselves of their faults, 
determine to chastise their bodies, to subdue their 
rebellious passions, so that reason may govern appe 
tite, that the day may dawn and the day-star which 

of a Good Resolution. 43 

is clouded and often extinguished by the pleasures 
of the flesh and the allurements of sense, may arise in 
their hearts. Look at Daniel " He purposed in his 
heart that he would not defile him self with the portion of 
the King s meat, nor with the wine he drank"* For 
though the King had appointed them a daily pro 
vision of the King s meat, and of the wine he drank, 
he so prevailed with the prince of the eunuchs that, 
as he had purposed in his heart, he took no other 
food than water and pulse. Thus, too, Solomon, 
when he strove to acquire virtue " I thought (i.e., I 
resolved) in my heart to withdraw myself from wine, 
that I might acquaint my soul with wisdom, and might 
avoid folly, till I might see what was good for the sons 
of men." \ 

They that have made progress should resolve to 
comply with the light from on high, and with the 
divine inspirations, so as to " discern what is the will 
of God, good, and well-pleasing, and perfect "\. and to 
order their doings by that light, according to that of 
Wisdom " / loved her above health and beauty, and 
chose to have her rather than light, for her brightness 
never wanes." The perfect, in other words, such as 
are wholly detached from all things created, and lifted 
up above them in order to be united with God, and 
to enjoy Him alone, should say, with the Psalmist 
" Whom have I in Heaven but Thee? And beside 
Thee there is none on earth in whom I delight. "\\ For 
a soul detached from things created, by prayer and 
contemplation is united to its Maker; wherefore the 

* Dan. i. 8. t Eccles. ii. 3. 

J Rom. xii. 2. Wisdom vii. 10. || Psalm Ixxii. 25. 

44 Other Qualities of a Good Resolution. 

Psalmist forthwith adds "As for me, to ding to God 
is good for me, to put my trust in the Lord my God" 
that is, in the one and only God. But as pure love 
is proved by works, from this love do flow works not 
private merely, but public, and the soul that is stable 
in its purposes, and laden with the fruits thereof, 
finds itself urged to declare before all the people the 
wondrous doings of God. For the Psalmist, having 
said that he clings to God, and that his trust is placed 
in Him alone, continues " That I may tell of all Thy 
works, that is, Thy perfections, in tJic gates of the 
daughter of Zion" 

Such are, in a few words, the steps by which we 
are to advance in our resolves. Each purpose must be 
accompanied by works corresponding to its appro 
priate degree, until we have reached the summit of 
perfection. This will suffice for the first part of the 
Particular Examen, the morning resolution, to wit. 
Now pass we to the second part, that is, to the 
care wherewith we are to reduce this resolution to 

Our Morning Resolution. 45 



next part, or the second point of the 
_L Particular Examen, now comes under conside 
ration, and it is, at the same time, its main end, to 
wit that the purposes we form in the morning 
concerning the uprooting of vice, and the implanting 
of virtue, and which, for the sake of greater efficacy, 
we restrict to some one vice, or virtue, in particular, 
be put into practice. It were useless to propose what 
is never performed; and his labour is fruitless who 
strives to please God only with his will ; he deludes 
himself who, making little of the fruit of good works, 
rests satisfied with the flowers of good desire. He 
who planted a fig-tree in his vineyard, came not to 
seek flowers, but fruit, and as for three years he had 
found no fruit, he ordered it to be cut down, saying, 
"Wherefore cumber eth it the ground ?" Not that we 
are to infer that no account must be made of the 
flowers of good works; rather should we earnestly 
strive after them, and set great store by them, not 
only because of the intrinsic beauty wherewith they 
delight us, or the savoury smell which refreshes (such 
being the fruits of good purposes, by the very fact of 
their being formed) ; but mainly, because of the 
promise of the delicious fruits accruing from the 
works to be done, which are contained in these 
purposes as in their germ. The trees, in early spring, 

46 Of the Care we are to take to put 

put forth buds, and are covered with blossoms, many 
of which, owing to the violence of winds, rains, and 
frosts, disappoint the hope of the planter. Thus, too, 
does our soul clothe itself with verdure, put forth 
blossoms in plenty, and under the genial breezes of 
divine grace, teem with good desires; of which few 
only attain the maturity of actual performance. Let 
the flowers of good purpose bloom luxuriantly, lest 
there be a dearth of the good works which are to 
spring therefrom. But whoso at early morn carefully 
gathers the dew of the divine inspiration, and 
abounds in good purposes, must proceed cautiously 
as the day speeds on, and endeavour to make the 
good purposes formed in the morning fructify. This 
care is the most important part of the Particular 
Examen, without which it might be said of us "/ 
the morning it flour is heth and springs afresh; in the 
evening it is cut down and withereth"* This failure of 
our morning resolutions, and their so frequently 
coming to naught at their very outset, may be 
ascribed to two causes. To their object, on account 
of the greater or less difficulty we meet with in their 
performance ; and this obstacle is met by our fervour. 
Or it may be attributed to the person who makes the 
resolution, who, through heedlessness, becomes un 
mindful of his purpose, so that, unwittingly, and by 
the force of habit and of natural inclination, he is led 
away from his resolve ; and this is to be remedied by 
our carefulness. The Apostle sets forth this twofold 
caution in the words "In diligence not slothful ; in 
spirit fervent " \ It is a part of such diligence not to 
* Psalm Ixxxix. 6. f Rom. xii. n. 

our Morning Resolution into Practice. 47 

forget our resolution of the morning ; and by fervour 
of spirit we are enabled to perform it. Diligence 
makes us beware of the occasions of the sin we 
propose to correct, fervour helps us to maintain our 
innocency when an unavoidable occasion presents 
itself. Diligence will make us familiarly acquainted 
with such considerations as help us to the virtue we 
aim at ; fervour will, by means of them, invigorate the 
will. For as boiling water rises, despite the force of 
gravitation, and drives away the flies that approach it, 
so too is the soul enabled, by its fervent desires, to- 
counteract the dead weight of its carnal propensities, 
and to set aside, without difficulty, harmful sugges 
tions. But to attain this much, it is requisite that 
this inward fire be not newly kindled, but that it 
habitually burn; and diligence will feed it with meet 
considerations, as with fuel, and by means of medi 
tation, as with a bellows, will direct into such a blast 
as to enlighten the mind thereby, and inflame the 
will to earnest performance. Carelessness and luke- 
warmness being thus got rid of, the soul becomes 
diligent and fervent ; for without these qualities, this 
Examen will hardly avail it aught. Yet. if we look 
more closely into the subject, this twofold means may 
be reduced to one, to wit, to our resolution in the 
morning; not, indeed, a resolution either languid or 
wavering, but a lively, effectual, and fervent purpose, 
proceeding from a genuine desire to overcome the 
vice we are attacking, and of acquiring the opposite 
virtue, accompanied with an insatiable craving for the 
increase of God s glory, and the complete fulfilment 
of His will. This is agreeable to the teaching of 

48 Of the Care we are to take to put 

St. Basil, in his shorter Rule, where he asks what is 
meant by one fervent in spirit. He answers, such a 
one who, "with earnest desire, and insatiable craving, 
and persevering diligence, does the will of God, 
through the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, according 
to that of the Psalmist * In His commandments doth 
he take exceeding delight "* And, in truth, this ardour, 
this hunger and thirst after justice, suffice of them 
selves to stir up and stimulate the soul to, neglect 
nought that may ensure the due performance, through 
out the day, of the purpose we made at rising. 

St. Ignatius supplies three suggestions, as so many 
props, most suited and efficacious for maintaining this 
fervour, (i) To limit our resolution to a brief space 
of time, as from morning till noon, from noon till 
bedtime. (2) Frequently to renew our purpose. 
(3) Not to lose heart when we fall, but to gain 
courage from our very bruises, and to renew the 
conflict with more earnest resolutions. By these 
means, which should ever be accompanied by con 
stant and fervent prayer, he assures us of winning 
the victory in the end. 

To begin then, it will be of great avail for getting 
rid of the qualms and pusillanimity of the imagina 
tion, to limit the time of the struggle, and to confine 
our resolve to a brief space. Travellers to a great 
distance are wont to make use of this means; they 
know full well how to disguise the weariness of a 
long journey, by dividing it into easy stages, and 
by fixing their minds on a distance their eye can 
measure; thus do they manfully overcome fatigue, 

* Q. 259- 

our Morning Resolution into Practice. 49 

and reach at length to the term, be it never so 
distant. Plutarch, a Pagan philosopher, bears witness 
that he thus succeeded in repressing the sallies of his 
vicious passions, and especially of anger. "This 
year," -said he to himself, " I will be moderate in my 
drink ; during this month, I will carefully keep from 
lying, even in joke; in the following month I will 
endeavour to practise patience, and to refrain from 
every angry word." He assures us that he found this 
method most advantageous. St. Ignatius, on this 
very account, breaks up the time into short intervals, 
in that he prescribes for each day a twofold self- 
examination in order to amend a single fault one at 
noon, and the other in the evening, so .that our reso 
lution at rising extends but to noon, and that we 
make at noon goes no further than the evening, for he 
says "Having done thus much, he will renew his 
resolution to keep himself in check for the remainder of 
the day." 

The practical application of this method demands 
that we should dismiss the past from our mind, and 
not forecast the future ; that we consider ourselves as 
engaging in the conflict for the first time this very 
morning, and that it will come to a close at noon; 
that it recommences at noon to finish with the day. 
In order to this, we must not allow our memory 
to recur to bygones, and are to close our eyes to all 
that lies beyond the term prefixed, be it noon or 
night For the thought of even half a day, if 
weighted with past and future troubles, were too 
heavy a load to be borne. Let each one renew 
himself, so to speak, daily, and start on the assump- 

5o Of the Care we are to take to put 

tion that he now takes up this exercise for the first 
time, and that it is his first encounter with the foe. 
For most truly was it said by St. Gregory " By the 
very fact of living, the fervour of our soul diminishes. 
... As a garment wears out by use, so that at length 
a new one is needed, so, too, our purpose and fervour 
slacken and grow vapid, unless renewed. The way of 
such renewal is to forget the things that are behind, 
and to stretch forward to what lies before us, pre 
cisely in the same manner as if we were now 
beginning."* Wherefore he observes further on 
" The just persevere in a new life, for that they daily 
begin."t And elsewhere "The soul that ever strives 
by its desire to begin anew, can never relax into 
torpor. Hence St. Paul warns us, Be you renewed in 
the spirit of your mind. Hence, too, the Psalmist, 
though he had reached the summit of perfection, 
says, as one beginning, i I said, now do I begin For, 
of a truth, if we would not weary of our good under 
takings, it is most needful that we daily look upon 
ourselves as beginners. " J Thus far St. Gregory. The 
author of the Imitation of Christ writes in the same 
spirit "Wherever we be, we ought to walk before 
Him, as pure as Angels. We must daily renew our pur 
pose, and stir ourselves up to fervour, as if this were 
the first day of our conversion, and say, "O Lord God, 
assist me in my good purpose, in Thy holy service, 
and grant me to begin perfectly to-day, for what I have 
hitherto done is n ought. " For this self-renewal, and 
tp avoid the weariness which may arise from the past, 

* IO Morals, on Job xxvii. f Ibid. % Morals, iv. 
^ Book i., chap, xix., n. i. 

our Morning Resolution into Practice. 51 

a consideration such as this will prove most effectual. 
To escape the disgust which the length of the future 
may occasion, as we imagine each day we renew our 
purpose to be the first, so may we think that it may 
also be our last. By this means our resolution will 
become more efficacious, as it is confined within 
shorter intervals. The Imitation of Christ contains 
the like observation, when it says " We should make 
our resolution from festival to festival, as if we were 
then to pass out of the world in order to go to the 
everlasting festival." If it be asked how we may 
restrict our resolution to half a day, knowing full well 
that we shall have to keep it for our whole lives ? we 
may answer, that you are not sure that the sun of 
your life will not set before this noon, or this very 
night. Happy the man who daily struggles as if he 
were that very day to bring his conflict to its term, 
and whom the end of life finds thus combatting. 
Granting that our life may be protracted to a greater 
length, what can better contribute, will I ask, to 
living aright, than to be earnest and diligent each 
day to improve it, and to lay aside the uncertain 
expectation of months and years to come? You 
will meet with many who wax fervent in order to 
sustain the conflict of one day, but who lose their 
energy if the conflict have to be renewed on the 

At times they will not dare to face the chance of a 
wound to-day, because they foresee the disaster of 
the morrow. As if the foe they manfully withstand 
to-day will not be weaker to-morrow, or the gracious 
help they are now putting to such good use were to 
E 2 

52 Of the Care we are to take to put 

fail them then. Find me a man who will refuse 
bread offered him to-day, for fear of falling short on 
the morrow. Or who will not put on his garment 
now from the uncertainty he is in as to his getting 
another ? Countless other instances may be alleged 
to put such cowardice to the blush. " Be not careful 
for the morrow" says Christ. The morrow may never 
dawn. But granting it will-" The morrow shall care 
for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof"" 4 If 
you load to-day with the toil of the morrow, take 
heed lest you fall beneath the burden. If Christ, in 
this very passage, forbids anxiety about food, raiment, 
and the needs of this life, for that our Father in 
Heaven will not allow such as seek the Kingdom of 
God to want them; how much more care will not 
our Father take to supply the necessaries of spiritual 
life to them that are earnest in seeking His Kingdom. 
If an earthly father forthwith gives the bread of this 
life to his child that asks him, "How much more 
shall your Father from Heaven give the Holy Spirit to 
them that ask Him ? " t It is therefore plain, that 
though the purpose of this conflict have to be daily 
renewed, the battle must each day be fought as if the 
war were only then beginning, and as if nothing 
remained to be done after the coming noon or 
evening. The time of the battle being thus shortened, 
what craven will allow a few slight qualms to hinder 
his striving manfully ? 

But a resolution made on this plan still seems to 
labour under one disadvantage, in that being limited 
to so brief a space, it has no influence for the future 
* St. Matt. vi. 34. t St. Luke xi. 13. 

our Morning Resolution into Practice. 53 

that is beyond it. Now, this disadvantage, if it be 
one, is amply provided against by the frequent renewal 
of our resolution. St. Ignatius requires us to make 
our resolves in the morning as soon as we rise until 
noon, and again at noon for the remainder of the day. 
He does not, however, require us to make a fresh 
resolution at night, either because he refers us to the 
Fifth Point of the General Examen, taking for granted 
that every scrutiny of our faults must end in sorrow 
for them, and in a purpose of amendment ; or because 
there seems to be no great necessity of renewing our 
purpose as sleep soon follows upon this examen, and 
that it may on that account be deferred to the time of 
rising. For, as in this struggle the devil can harm 
only such as are awake; to a valorous combatant in 
this arena it ought to be one and the same thing to 
awake from sleep and to arm himself anew with his 
resolution. During the course of the day there is no 
room for hesitation, but the end of the term of one 
purpose must be the beginning of another still more 
fervent one. St. Ignatius, to tell the truth, demands 
even more, to wit that as often as we fail in our 
resolution during the day, we renew it by putting our 
hand to our breast and sorrowing for our fault. We 
imd this in the first Addition. The first is, that as 
often as the person "shall have committed a sin of this 
sort, placing his hand on his breast, he will be sorry for 
his fall, which may be done without being noticed by 
vthers present" 

No special efficacy is assigned to this outward 
gesture, which serves but to move us to reflect in 
order to the acknowledgment and reparation of our 

54 Of the Care we are to take to put 

fault, to warn us to make an act of sorrow, and out 
wardly to attest that we renew our resolution. These 
inward acts are of the greatest avail for the amendment 
of the fault we have committed, nor is the outward 
gesture without its use in helping us to make them 
inwardly ; for no sooner do we fall and go astray, by 
that outward sign, as by a sort of penalty, do we 
compel ourselves to renew our good purpose. This 
renewal is wholly conformable to reason, and the 
need of it is proportionate to our frailty and to the 
frequency of our falls. 

This diligence further shakes off torpor, and 
prevents us from turning our back on the object of 
our pursuit, though we be never so often driven back 
by passion or evil habit. For a fall cannot dishearten 
us if it afford us an occasion of strengthening our 
purpose. A certain longanimity is here requisite; 
and as we confine our resolution to short periods 
of time, so must we allow a long interval for the 
gaining of a complete victory. For he who writes 
"In the morning resolve, at evening examine 
thy doings;"* also says "If we were to uproot 
but one vice every year, we should soon become 
perfect men." t And elsewhere "By slow degrees, 
by patience, and long-suffering (God helping), you 
will succeed better than by your own stubbornness 
and importunity." J Whence it is obvious that the 
mid-day and evening examen do not mean that the 
whole undertaking can be completed in the space of 
a whole or half day, but that this care and diligence 

* Imitation, book i., chap, xix., n. 4. 
*i" Ibid., chap, xi., n. 5. % Ibid, y chap, xiii., n. 4. 

our Morning Resolution into Practice. 55 

greatly contribute to your success. Still, however, 
you may deem yourself most lucky if you succeed in 
a year s time. 

To conclude, let us hearken to St. John Chrysostom 
prescribing to habitual swearers a means of getting rid 
of that degrading custom : on the one hand, he requires 
intense and daily diligence; on the other, he inculcates 
great patience and courage even after a relapse. After 
having for many days feelingly spoken to the people 
of Antioch against this abuse, he says "If after this 
you urge that it is difficult for habit not to take 
unawares even such as are on their guard, I grant it ; 
but I add that it is no less easy to amend than to be 
surprised. For if at home you set many sentinels 
everywhere, as, for instance, your servant, wife, friends, 
being thus hedged in and restrained on every side, you 
will soon get rid of your evil custom. If you keep to 
this but for ten days, you will need it no further ; but 
by courage all will be restored to you." " . . . "When 
therefore you set about amending this fault, whether 
you break your resolution once, twice, or thrice, or 
twenty times, do not lose heart, but rise again, resume 
your struggle, and you will surely be victorious." t 
Thus far St. John Chrysostom. 

* Homily to the People of Antioch, xxviii. 
+ Ibid., xcviii. 

56 Of the Times of this Examen 



FROM what we have heretofore said, it is obvious 
that the first step in this Examen is the desire 
and purpose of correcting some one defect, which, 
like a goodly flower watered by the dews of heavenly 
grace, and cherished by an outpouring from on high, 
begins to bud forth at early morn in the garden of 
the heart. In the course of the day we must be 
diligently careful to make the fruits of good works 
correspond with the flowers of holy desires. This will 
be greatly forwarded, if the morning resolution be 
frequently renewed and our endeavours be confined 
within a brief interval. Nor are we to relax in our 
efforts, however often our frailty or evil habits may 
cause us to relapse into the fault we have purposed 
to avoid. It remains, in order to the daily diminution 
of these defects, that we take an exact account of 
them at appointed times, and that with the Spouse, 
" We get up early (in due time and with all diligence) 
to the vineyards, and see whether the vines flourish, 
whether the blossoms contain the tender grape"* 
St. Gregory, in his commentary on this passage, says : 
"The Spouse rises early to go to the vineyards; he 
sees whether the vines flourish, in that he takes strict 
account of all the progress of the Church." The care 
the Spouse has for the Church, which causes her to 
* Cant. vii. 12. 

and the four Additions concerning it. 57 

Inquire whether the desires inspired from on high bear 
fruit, is the care we should take of the vineyard of our 
soul. The method of this Examen is reduced to two 
points, (i) To take account of the faults committed 
from morning till noon, and to note their number in 
a book provided for that purpose. (2) To compare 
the sum total of the morning with that of the evening, 
which are to be set down likewise ; to compare in like 
manner, day with day, week with week, month with 
month, to discover whether we are advancing, or 
falling back. St. Ignatius supposes us to have at 
hand a book, with two lines ruled for each day, or 
one equal in length to both, above which as many 
points are marked as we have committed faults in 
the forenoon, while underneath are to be set down 
those of the afternoon. And as these numbers may 
reasonably be expected to decrease, the lines are 
made to diminish in length. This is especially set 
forth by St. Ignatius, when, after the four Additions, 
he says "It may be seen from the following figures, 
that the longest line is set opposite the Sunday, or what 
ever day may be the first; the next, which is somewhat 
shorter, is for the Monday, and so on to the end, as 
it may reasonably be hoped that the number of faults 
will diminish" This is the method prescribed by 
St. Ignatius. We may make use of a different one, 
if it but be adapted to the ends which we have 
described above. This being presupposed, the method 
of this Examen differs not from that of the general 
examen, as St. Ignatius declares as follows " The 
second time is about noon, when he must beg of God 
grace to recall how often he has fallen into this particular 

58 Of the Times of this Examen 

sin, or fault, and to beware of it for the future. He 
then makes the Examen, calling his soul to account as to 
the sin or vice aforesaid, going through each portion of 
the bygone day, from the time of rising to the present, 
how often he has committed it, and then shall he make 
as many dots as there are faults on the upper line of the 
annexed table. Having performed this, he will renew his 
purpose, to restrain himself more carefully during the 
remainder of the day." Such are the prescriptions of 
the sainted author, wherein, passing by the first point 
of the general examen, he briefly details the remain 
ing four points of this examen. To these points he 
adds the noting down of the number of falls, as being 
most suitable to this exercise, and easy of practice 
with regard to a special defect, for in the general 
examen on all our faults it were difficult, not to say 
impossible. Toward night, the third time of this 
exercise, another examen is to be made, concerning 
which St. Ignatius says, " The third time is the evening, 
at which, after supper, the second examen is to be made, 
by going in the same manner over every hour since the 
last examen to the present, recalling and counting in 
likewise the number of times he has failed, and setting 
down an equal number of dots on the lower line, as 
drawn in the annexed table, which is provided for that 

We have two observations to make concerning this 
Examen. (i) It is not enough to seek out the number 
of our falls, but we should further see what has been 
the occasion thereof; nor is a mere purpose of amend 
ment to be deemed sufficient, but we must seriously 
forecast these occasions of falling. The fruit of such 

and the four Additions concerning it. 59 

inquiry will be not only to render us more cautious 
when the occasion recurs, but also to relieve the 
monotony of this examen, by a search into the 
occasion of our transgressions, and into the remedies 
thereof, which we must effectually arrive at. (2) As 
the examen is preceded by a petition for light, and 
followed by contrition, or sorrow for the faults dis 
covered to us by the examen, toth the preliminary 
prayer, and the compunction which follows, will avail 
as much, nay even more, than the examen itself to 
make us gain a knowledge of our faults. Not that 
this ought to induce us to neglect, or to make little 
account of the examen, but rather to avoid the 
example of some who make it without asking for 
light, and without an act of sorrow. For both of these 
contribute to render the examen more easy, and give 
an increase of light, and bear more abundant fruit. For 
compunction opens the eyes of the mind, and prayer 
brings light. But this prayer requires a soul at peace, 
and devoid of passion, while compunction supposes 
a humble soul distrustful of self, as we have before 
observed. They both raise the soul above itself, so 
that being illumined with a ray of light from above, 
it may discover whatever lurks within the heart. Then 
will it no longer seek to palliate or excuse its short 
comings, but rather on discovering them will it be its 
own accuser. This is a lesson given by St. Gregory 
the Great, who treating of the necessity of examining 
into our virtues and faults (of the latter, lest they 
disguise themselves under the mask of virtue ; of the 
former, lest they degenerate into vice), proceeds to 
say, " These virtuous affections are more easily won 

60 Of the Times of this Examen 

by prayer than by self-examination. For the things 
we strive to discover within ourselves by self-question 
ing, we ofttimes more clearly penetrate by supplication 
than by research. The mind being lifted on high by 
means of compunction gains a more certain insight 
into whatever may be presented as concerning itself, 
by looking down upon it from a higher level." 
Thus far St. Gregory! Further considerations on this 
preliminary prayer are to be found in the treatise on 
the General Examen. 

In the second place, we are to compare and set in 
contrast the faults we have committed at different 
times, a practice which is especially appropriate to 
the Particular Examen. On this head, St. Ignatius 
subjoins the three following additions " The second is 
that having at night-time counted and compared the 
points on either line, the upper one of which belongs to 
the first, and the lower to the second examen, he will 
see whether in the interval between these two examens 
there has been any amendment. The third is to compare 
together the examens of the first and the following day, 
in order to find out what amendment has been attained. 
The fourth is, by comparing the results of two weeks 
with each other to take account of the amendment made, 
or not made." This requires rather to be put into 
practice than to be explained, nor could a more exact 
instruction for such a purpose be imagined, or one 
more conformable to the maxims of the ancient 
Fathers on this point. For St. Bernard exhorts his 
Monks as follows, "The present day must be com 
pared with the foregoing one, in order to discover by 
such comparison, one s progress, or backsliding." The 

and the four Additions concerning it. 61 

Mirror for Monks, towards the end, and Dorotheus, 
in like manner says (Doctrine 10, at the end), "We 
must examine ourselves not only every day, but every 
season, every month, every week; and say to ourselves,. 
The first week of this month thou wast addicted to sucli 
a vice, how art thou now ? Thus should we diligently 
seek out whether we still wallow in the same depths, 
or whether we have fallen still lower." St. Basil, in 
his turn, " Recall to thyself towards evening thy doings 
during the bygone day, and set them side by side with 
those of the preceding one. And strive diligently to 
improve daily. "* 

* Sermon on Renouncement. 

62 The Efficacy of this Examen. 



NONE may question the efficacy of this examen 
when duly made according to the instructions 
of our holy Founder, St. Ignatius. Apart from ^ Q 
advantages resulting equally from the General and 
from the Particular Examen, its main virtue consists 
in our directing all our inquiries and endeavours 
against one particular vice we would be rid of. They 
who are overburdened with debt, without caring to 
pay, or to lower their style of living, though they are 
wasting their estate, and gradually sinking into beggary, 
are vehemently averse from looking into their accounts, 
avoid all knowledge of their debts, lest poverty, which 
is at their side, should present itself to their considera 
tion and meet their gaze. While thus wilfully shutting 
their eyes to their incumbrances, they can fancy them 
selves rich, and flatter themselves that others deem 
them such, though it be not the fact; and as their 
burden increases, they with their creditors, at length, 
sink under it. Their sole chance of forestalling ruin, 
is to put their accounts in order, to examine them 
daily, and by judicious retrenchment to liquidate their 
obligations. Their heedlessness fittingly represents 
that of a spiritual man who makes no use of this 
Particular Examen. He shrinks from thus searching 
into his conscience, for that he is afraid to see himself 
as he is, he prefers that his faults should pass unnoticed; 
he deems himself religious, making some outward pro- 

The Efficacy of this Examen. 63 

fession of virtue, yet to him applies the rebuke once 
addressed to the Bishop of Laodicea, " Thou sayest, I 
am rich, and I have become wealthy, and have need of 
nothing; and knowest not that thou of all others art the 
wretched one, and the pitiable one, and poor, and blind, 
and naked" * 

Let us then rest assured that the groundwork of 
.all self-amendment is the knowledge of our short 
comings. For how shall that be reformed which is 
excused, palliated, carefully covered up, and of which 
we are ignorant ? On the other hand, it is impossible 
but that one should set in earnest about his self- 
improvement who searches into his faults, numbers, 
and sets them down, comparing day with day, week 
with week. What can he feel but confusion who with 
holy David is able to say "My sin is ever before 
me"? ] We must set about amending ourselves in the 
same way as we strive to bring others back to good. 
We begin by convincing them of their faults. We 
then convict, exhort, and rebuke, according to the 
counsel of the Apostle "Preach the word, be urgent 
in season, out of season, convict, exhort, rebuke in all 
long-suffering and teaching" \ Would you know when 
you are to rebuke ? The Apostle makes answer In 
season, out of season. Would you be told what this 
means? St. Chrysostom, in his Homily on this 
Epistle, replies "What means in season, out of 
season, in due time, and out of due time ? This : 
have no fixed time, let every moment be the proper 
time for you; not only that of calm and peace, or 

* Apoc. iii. 17. 
t Psalm 1. J 2 Tim. iv. 2. 

64 The Efficacy of this Examen. 

when you are sitting in the church, but amid perils,, 
whether you be bound in prison, or laden with fetters, 
or, when doomed to death, you are being hurried to 
the scaffold; shrink not, at such times, from con 
victing, rebuking. ... If you rebuke without proofs, 
you will be deemed over hasty, no one will bear with 
you. But when guilt is brought home to the culprit, 
he will more easily submit to rebuke, else he will be 
dead to shame. If you convict and rebuke passion 
ately, and omit exhortation, you will undo everything. 
For by itself rebuke is unbearable, unless tempered 
by exhortation. Like as a sick man will not bear the 
surgeon s knife unless it assuage his pain, neither 
will your erring brother." These prescriptions of 
St. Chrysostom concern, indeed, the correction of 
our neighbour, yet are they no less suited to self- 
correction, in that they include the three points of 
the Examen. (i) A palpable self-conviction of one s 
faults by comparing day with day. (2) Rebuke, to 
stir up sorrow and shame. (3) Exhortation, by 
consideration exciting to confidence, whereby the 
purpose of amendment is strengthened. It were well 
to observe at this point, the way wherein God is wont 
to bring the sinner back to Himself, as we should 
make use of the self-same in our own case. Hear 
what God does "But to the wicked saith God: What 
hast thou to do to tell My precepts, and that thou hast 
taken My covenant into thy mouth ? Whereas for thee, 
thou hatest instruction, and hast cast My words behind 
thee: when thou sawest a robber, thou consentedst with 
him, and with adulterers has been thy portion" After 
the enumeration of other sins, He continues " These 

The Efficacy of this Examen. 65 

things hast thou done, and for that I kept silence" On 
that account "Thou thoughtest falsely, that I was like 
thyself; but I will rebuke thee, and lay the matter in 
order before thine eyes"* Which shows that seeming 
to take no notice of sin, and delaying its punishment, 
encourages the sinner not to enter into himself, as if 
God felt no displeasure at sins which He does not 
forthwith chastise, whence he is emboldened to take 
delight in his crimes. In like manner does our 
inferior man give full swing to his vices when reason 
winks at his excesses, and blindfolds itself lest it see 
them. For this the only remedy is that which God 
threatens "/ will rebuke thee, and lay thy sins in 
order before thine eyes" St. Augustine, in his Comments 
on this text, says "For that I refrained from 
vengeance, put off My severity, and with redoubled 
patience waited long for thy repentance, Thou 
thought est falsely that I was like thyself. It is not 
enough for thee to take delight in thy sins, but thou 
must deem them pleasing to Me. Not feeling God s 
vengeance, thou wouldst hold Him for thy accomplice, 
for a partial Judge, for thy boon companion. / will 
rebuke thee. And what shall I do thereby ? At present 
thou art hidden from thyself, but I will show thee to 
thyself. For didst thou see thyself and wert thou dis 
pleased with thyself, thou wouldst be pleasing unto Me. 
But for that not seeing thyself, thou art content with 
thyself, thou shalt be displeasing both to Me and to 
thee; to Me when thou shalt come to judgment, to 
thee when thou art burning. For what is it I shall do 
to thee, but set thee before thy face. Thou wouldst 
* Psalm xlix. 16. 

66 The Efficacy of this Examen. 

hide from thyself, thou hast turned thy back on 
thyself, but I will show thee thyself, and set before 
thy face what is now behind thy back. Thou shalt 
behold thy filthiness, not to cleanse it, but to be put 
to shame." Thus does St. Augustine apply this 
passage to God s rebuke of the wicked at the last 
day. He then continues "Is he, then, to whom 
these things are said to despair? In nowise. Do 
thou, whoever thou art, do to thyself what God here 
threatens. Cease to turn thy back upon thyself, 
hiding from thine own eyes, set thee before thyself. 
Go up to the judgment-seat of thy conscience, let 
fear terrify thee, let confession break forth from thy 
lips, say unto thy God For I know my transgres 
sions , and my sin is ever before me? " The holy Doctor 
takes God s judgment as a model of that we should 
exercise upon ourselves in this life, and shows that 
the first step to conversion is the knowledge of our 
faults and of the injury they do to us. Now such 
knowledge is the fruit of this Examen. 

In conclusion, we may observe that among the 
rules laid down for this self-examination, some are 
essential, the very soul, so to speak, of this Examen, 
and these are the inward acts of the mind, as, for 
instance, the morning resolution, the careful and 
watchful passing of the day, the inquiry, at regular 
times, into the number of our falls, contrition, and 
purpose of amendment, the comparison of different 
periods, so as to take account of one s improvement. 
In these does the very essence of this Exercise 
consist. Other details, though not indispensable, yet 
are useful as helping to make the Examen more easy, 

The Efficacy of this Examen. 67 

and to expedite improvement ; such are the outward 
actions of laying our hand on our breast when we fall, 
of noting our faults in a book, of comparing the 
morning and evening account, that of to-day with 
yesterday s, &c. These form the body of this Exercise, 
and enable us to set our falls before our eyes, and to 
feel with our hands, as it were, their diminution. 
This is no recent invention, but long since in use 
among those who strove earnestly for their advance 
ment. John Climacus, in his Spiritual Ladder, writes 
as follows "Perceiving that a Brother carried hanging 
to his girdle a small book, I got to know that he 
daily set down his thoughts therein, and was wont to 
give account of them to his Prelate. He was not, by 
a good many, the only one whom I saw practise this 
in that monastery. I learned that it was a rule 
imposed on them by their ghostly Father." * Further 
on " He is a most clever banker who daily at even 
tide takes account of his gains and losses, which 
cannot be done with accuracy unless they be hourly 
set down on tablets. For when entries are made every 
hour, the day s account is easily balanced." Whoso 
takes this method of uprooting his defects cannot fail 
of the victory. 

For this unwearying, unintermittent diligence is of 
such avail, that it must needs work a change in a soul 
sunk in the grossest and most inveterate evil habits, 
uproot sin, and implant virtue. In truth, it will more 
readily enable those whom the rebellion of nature has 
subjected to heinous faults, to scale the summit of 
perfection, if they will but persevere therein, than 

* Degree 4, on Obedience. 
F 2 

68 The Efficacy of this Examen. 

milder, more pliable, and gentler characters, who are 
less energetic and diligent in watching over them 
selves. Most truly it is stated in the Imitation of 
Christ " He that is diligent and earnest, though he 
have more passions to fight against, will be able to 
make greater progress than another with fewer 
passions, but withal less fervent in the pursuit of 

Thus much concerning the method of this Examen,, 
now pass we to its matter. 

* Book i., chap, xxv., n. 4. 

The Matter of the Particular Examen. 69 



THIS vast field may be mapped out into three 
subdivisions. The first is the sin, fault, or 
aught else we wish to amend. To this head may be 
reduced whatever regards our more or less depraved 
natural propensities, whatever is sinful and opposed 
to the divine law, to the rules, orders, and duties of 
one s state or condition. Our holy Founder has 
expressly taught this kind of method, in that he 
headed his four Additions with this title Additions 
useful for the more easy and speedier uprooting of what 
soever sin or vice. It must be borne in mind that sin 
or evil habits can be overcome, either directly by 
repressing them, and withdrawing or repelling that to 
which our propensity, passion, or evil habit inclines 
us, or indirectly, by the practice of the opposite 
virtue; and this forms the second subdivision, to wit, 
the exercise of virtue. But our vices must first be put 
away before we apply ourselves to the acquirement of 
virtue. The husbandman first cleans his field of 
nettles, briars, and noxious weeds, ere he scatters 
over it the good seed; in like manner, he who tills the 
field of his heart should begin by destroying his vices, 
and then apply himself to fostering the goodly growth 
of virtues, which may not only bring forth the fruit of 
holiness, but may in a more excellent way check the 
^undergrowth of vice. The difference between these 

70 The Matter of the Particular Examen. 

two methods is this : the former, aiming as it does at 
the extirpation of sin, is for beginners, the latter for 
proficients and the perfect. Beginners usually surfer 
from the hinderances these thorns put in their way; 
wherefore they must first begin by clearing them off 
ere they sow the seeds of virtue, according to the 
warning of Jeremias "Sow not among thorns"* 
This being accomplished, the Examen is to be applied 
to progress in virtue, in order that our vices may be 
more utterly overlaid, and that the soul may be 
disposed to the highest grade of charity, which sur 
passes all else. 

We may now readily see what reply can be given 
to those who ask why St. Ignatius in treating of this 
Examen, appoints sins and evil habits as its matter, 
omitting virtues. This most able master imitates 
herein him who would put a wayfarer into the right 
road. He gives him clear directions as to his outset, 
but leaves it to the traveller s care to keep to the path 
marked out for him. Now the first step in the way of 
the spirit is to struggle against our vices. To this,, 
then, does our master teach us to direct our gaze, 
without making mention of virtue, lest perchance he 
should mislead his disciples into beginning where they 
ought to end. The conflict with vice is more trying 
than the easy and far more pleasant pursuit of virtue, 
and this might lure a beginner into entering upon a 
path better suited to proficients and the perfect. The 
more so as the method of the Examen is in both cases 
alike, whether its matter be a vice or a virtue, so that 
he who knows how to use it against vice, needs na 
* Jer. iv. 3. 

The Matter of the Particular Examen. 71 

one to direct him in its use when a virtue is its subject- 
matter. For, as when a vice is in question we must make 
our resolution each morning to guard against it, sum 
up the number of our falls, compare day with day, &c., 
the same method is to be followed with a virtue ; we 
make our resolution, we take account of the number 
of times we have failed to keep it, &c. So that in 
either case the Examen is an inquiry into our short 
comings, whether it be a fall into sin, or a want of 
fidelity to our good purpose: in both cases there is 
obviously a fault. Lastly, our holy Father expressly 
teaches us how to apply this Examen to our Spiritual 
Exercises (the third subdivision of this vast field) by 
taking note of our failures in observing the additions 
and instructions, and of our exactness in fulfilling each 
duty at the appointed time and hour. The same 
method will serve equally for this third category. So 
that the three heads of this Examen are the uprooting 
of vice, the acquirement of virtue, the exact fulfilment 
of our spiritual duties. St. Ignatius prescribes that 
this last point be taken as the subject-matter of our 
Particular Examen, throughout the four weeks of the 
Spiritual Exercises, which, as will be noticed further 
on, is to be done at other times as well, seeing that the 
increase of virtue, and the subduing of our vices, and 
the prosperous growth of Christian justice within us, 
depends on the perfection wherewith we perform our 
spiritual duties. Passing by, for the present, this third 
arena of the Particular Examen, we will say somewhat 
concerning the conflict with vice, and the acquiring of 
virtue. The first maxim to be borne in mind is that 
we must aim but at one vice, and strive after one 

72 The Matter of the Particular Ex amen. 

virtue, as is implied in the very name of this Examen. 
Division diminishes our strength, while union increases 
it. And as a general, when invading a kingdom, does 
not scatter his forces in besieging many towns at once, 
but keeps them united in order to invest one at a 
time, and when he has reduced it, leaving a garrison 
therein, he lays siege to another ; so too should he 
act who sets about subduing his vices. He must 
encounter but one enemy at a time, and the most 
formidable one to begin with, as is well said by 
Abbot Serapion, in chapter xiv. of Cassian s fifth 
Conference, " We must wage war in this fashion, each 
one after examining to what vice he is most prone 
will direct his chief efforts against it, will apply with 
all care and diligence, and fix his whole attention on 
opposing it ; at this will he aim the darts of his daily 
fastings, against it will he every moment hurl the 
javelins of his deep drawn sighs and meanings; 
against this will he direct the travail and meditations 
of his heart, and pouring forth with God his prayers 
and tears, he will earnestly beseech Him for the 
happy termination of this conflict." We may further 
learn this from what we read of God s plan for 
introducing His people into the land promised to 
their fathers. He would not have them to drive 
their foes before them in a single year, but step by 
step, that we might learn in what manner our vices 
and spiritual enemies are to be overcome. " 1 will 
not drive them out from before thee in one year, saith the 
Lord. By little and little will I drive them ottt, until 
thou be increased. I will send hornets before thee, which 
shall drive out the Hevite, the Canaanite, and the Hethite 

The Matter of the Particular Examen. 73 

before thou come in" * Again, " Thou didst send wasps, 
forerunners of Thine host, to destroy them little by little"^ 
What could better suit our subject ? For the scruples 
and prickings of conscience which are wont to work 
much disturbance to those that strive after virtue, 
what else are they, but swarms of hornets and wasps 
torturing with their stings those who are resolved to 
wage war upon their vices ? These insects destroying 
our inward peace, seem to war against the sinner 
himself; but it is against his vices they are sent. The 
power of sin consists in an appearance of somewhat 
delectable and good, wherewith, as with a bait, reason 
is lured to a headlong plunge, but when perplexity of 
conscience gives the soul to taste the bitterness 
lurking under this sweetness a bitterness ingrained 
in sin, but which escapes observation the soul, 
wincing under these goads, abhors its past deeds, 
is spurred on to do battle with the foes it has hereto 
fore favoured, and makes effort to drive them off as 
far as possible. This is accomplished best by degrees ; 
it is not the work of a single day, or month. Mean 
while, the man is strengthened in spirit, he gathers 
into his soul virtues, which as a garrison keep guard, 
and take the place vacated by his former sins. Where 
gluttony erst held sway, temperance now rules j meek 
ness is enthroned in the place of anger ; mercy and 
open handedness in that of covetous greed ; chastity 
in that of profligacy ; courage in lieu of pusillanimity; 
and pride, which is mixed up with all sins, now yields 
the place to humility. Thus is every vice eradicated 
by degrees, when we combine all our efforts against 
* Exodus xxiii. 28, 29, 30. f Wisdom xii. 8. 

74 The Matter of the Particular Examen. 

a single foe, and by the same means are all virtues 
made to flourish, but as was said we must direct our 
endeavours to one vice or virtue at a time. I add, 
moreover, that not only should we aim at the destruc 
tion of a single vice, or the acquirement of one virtue, 
but further, we ought to divide and subdivide such 
vice or virtue, according to its divers good or evil 
fruits, which spring from it as so many branches from 
a stock. Take pride as an instance : it predominates 
in arrogant thoughts, in boastful words, in pompous 
actions; on the other hand humility casts it out by its 
works, in that it seeks the lowest place in words, in 
that it owns to its shortcomings in thought by a lowly 
esteem of itself, and a readiness to meet every humilia 
tion. This holds good of every vice or virtue. He, 
then, that would gather more abundant fruit, let him 
divide the several branches of the same tree ; in this 
wise will his attention be less distracted, and his 
faults more easily numbered, as the matter is more 
sharply denned, since the force and efficacy of this 
Examen mainly consists in reflecting on our faults, in 
counting and comparing them together. Whatever else 
renders these operations more complete, contributes,, 
moreover, to the perfection of this exercise. 

In reply to certain Objections. 75 



THIS single combat is far from safe, nay, it is 
even perilous. For we are unceasingly assailed 
on all sides by so many vices, that if we employ all 
the energies of our soul in the conflict with one, we 
are in danger of being overcome by the others. 
Judas Machabeus met with disaster from having 
divided his forces, for while with his bravest troops he 
threw himself upon the right wing of the enemy, 
which was far the stronger, and routed it, another 
portion of his army was put to flight by the enemy, 
and being attacked in the rear by the victorious foe, 
Judas and his soldiers were. slain.* Who should not 
dread his sad fate, if he employ all his energies 
against one only vice, and that the most powerful? 
But they who are practised in this spiritual warfare 
are little moved by this objection. They are well 
aware that they cannot thus fight against one vice 
without attacking all, and that a complete victory 
over this one enemy is the undoing of the rest of the 
conspirators. As one virtue acquired in perfection 
cannot be kept without drawing all the others in its 
train, wherefore may we infer that among the several 
means for speedy progress in perfection, the Particular 
Examen may claim the first place. This will appear 
beyond question if we but look to its matter, method, 
and actual accompaniments. Its matter are our vices, 
* I Much. ix. 12. 

76 In reply to certain Objections. 

especially that which predominates within us, and is 
the head of all the rest Now as all vices hold more 
or less together, and afford each other reciprocal aid 
in order to obtain the rule over our hearts, like as in 
drawing one link of a chain the whole chain is drawn, 
so, likewise, he who declares truceless war against 
one vice, thereby resists all others, and all are 
involved in the overthrow of one enemy. And this 
applies still more to the case of a vice which is the 
leader of all the others. To make this plain by an 
example, let us take covetousness, or love of money, 
as an instance of a predominant vice. Every other 
is subservient to it as to its lord. Pride makes little 
or no account of what it already possesses. Injus 
tice puts forth its hand to another s goods. Envy 
grudges its neighbour his gains. Anger chafes at the 
obstacles to one s own profits and so on of other 
vices. Now if all vices do thus take up arms in 
defence of that which is their head, it is plain that 
when this latter is overthrown, all the others must 
needs totter to their fall. He who attacks a monster 
with many feet and hands, but with one head, will not 
aim at these several members, if he can but strike at 
the head, which if once severed gives him a complete 
victory. In like manner, arduous and bootless strength 
is wasted in the conflict with vices unless we aim at 
the head of them the deadly blow which will make us 
victorious over all the others. Of this the Syrian 
monarch was well aware when he ordered his soldiers 
"Fight neither with small nor great, save only with 
the King of Israel."* In like manner in the war 
* 3 Kings xxii. 31. 

In reply to certain Objections. 77 

waged by the Jews against the Philistines, when 
David had struck off Goliath s head, he put the hosts 
of the foe to rout And when the Philistines saw 
their champion was dead, they fled"* In looking, then, 
to the subject-matter of this Examen, it is obvious 
that this one vice is so closely connected with the 
rest of its crew, that it is impossible to slay one and 
to overlook the others so as to lay ourselves open ta 
their attacks, but that it is the same thing as assailing 
them all, and that victory over one means the over 
throw of the rest. 

This becomes plainer still if we look to the 
method, which is to make our resolution on rising, 
and to keep watch and ward throughout the day, lest 
the foe find any hole to creep through. Our careful 
ness not to fall into this vice will help us to avoid 
vice in general. The common well-spring of all of 
them is the indulgence we show to our lusts and 
appetites. As the Holy Ghost says "Go not after 
thy lusts, and refrain thyself from thine appetites. If 
thou givest thy soul the desires that please her, she will 
make thee a laughing-stock to thine enemies"^ If, then, 
the liberty allowed to our lusts is the common root of 
every vice, the restraint we subject it to cannot but 
serve to their correction. Wherefore he that makes 
his Examen on one only vice, say of look, or of 
speech, and seriously proposes to curtail its vagaries, 
restrains his appetite in other matters too. When an 
unruly horse rushes over hill and dale, if he be bitted 
and bridled, he will in all things follow the lead of 
his rider. The same holds good of our irregular 
* i Kings xvii. 52. t Ecclus. xviii. 30, 31. 

7.8 In reply to certain Objections. 

appetites when we apply ourselves to this Examen. 
For though we hold our lusts in check with a view to 
one vice, we learn at the same time to subdue the 
others, and to yield obedience to reason and the 
divine law. This may be instanced in another way. 
If a man go armed against one enemy laying in wait 
for him, although he have taken arms to defend 
himself against his one foe, he will be no less secured 
against any other enemy who may chance to assail 
him. The like holds good of him who, arming 
himself at early morn with a steadfast purpose and an 
earnest will against a certain vice, calling at the same 
time on God for help, lest he falter. All this he does 
with a view to a single vicious habit, yet is he 
wonderfully helped thereby should he be assailed by a 
vice of another description. 

This becomes still more obvious if we look into 
the purpose and the accompaniments of this Examen. 
Its purpose is to subdue vice, to ensure cleanness of 
heart, and the fulfilment of God s law. Its chief help 
is God s grace, which we strive to obtain by fastings, 
austerities, watching, prayers, and tears, as Abbot 
Serapion taught us heretofore. If I take such trouble 
to keep my heart undefiled by one vice, who may 
deem that I shall be a craven and yield to another 
temptation whereby the purity I so anxiously desire 
will be no less sullied ? He who girds his sword to 
ward off the strokes of one who thirsts for his blood, 
will not shrink from drawing it if an unexpected foe 
attempt his life. The love of dear life will be equally 
efficacious in both cases. He who is neat and par 
ticular, and makes up his mind to go cautiously to 

In reply to certain Objections. 79 

-avoid the mud, lest he soil his shoes, is not likely to 
throw himself into a place where he will befoul his 
coat. His love of neatness will make him beware of 
both. So, likewise, as spiritual life, innocency of soul, 
and the fulfilment of the divine will, are the end and 
aim of this Examen, and urge the soul to avoid a 
single vice, it cannot be but they will urge her to 
avoid whatever is repugnant to this end. But what 
shall we say of the means which serve to compass 
this end? Of the desires, prayers, tears, austerities 
made use of for the same purpose? Can they who 
are determined to take such pains in order to rid 
themselves of one vice, be careless of pleasing the 
Divine Majesty in other matters, or make no account 
of offending Him ? Courtiers who aspire to some 
favour or post of dignity strive to make themselves 
pleasing not only to the King, from whom alone they 
can hope to obtain the desired gift, but sparing no 
pains to be agreeable to the Ministers whom they 
know to be able to further their wishes. On the same 
account do they endeavour to win the divine approval 
in all things who are resolved, His grace helping, to 
root out some one vice, or to acquire a certain virtue. 
They aspire, indeed, but to the courage to face vice, 
yet are they well aware that they cannot compass this 
if they allow themselves to be overcome in other 

It remains but to establish the doctrine we have 
thus unfolded so fully by the authority of the afore 
mentioned Serapion, who continues the quotation 
alleged above as follows " Nor may we fancy that he 
who is mainly intent on combatting a single vice, 

8o In reply to certain Objections. 

and takes no heed of the darts of the others, is likely 
to be struck with an unforeseen blow ; it is in nowise 
the case. For it cannot be that one who of his care 
for the amendment of his inner man, applies his 
mind to the subduing of any one vice, should not feel 
a general abhorrence for all the others, and guard 
himself against them. For how shall he deserve to 
obtain the victory over the vice he desires to be rid of 
who renders himself unworthy, by the defilement of 
other vices, of the purity he aspires to ? " 

The Matter of the Particular Examcn. 8 1 



ORDER, so important in any affair whatsoever, 
is most essential in spiritual concerns. He 
who builds a house must do all things in a settled 
order, the foundations have to be dug and examined, 
before erecting the walls and covering the roof. If it 
be neglected in the culture of the spirit, our labour is 
in vain. Hence so many, after years of prayer and 
austerities, make scarce any progress. To set this 
point in a proper light, I will lay down the following 
instructions : 

The matter of this Examen being, as we have said, 
threefold, to wit, vices, virtues, and our spiritual 
exercises, whenever we are in retreat, and have no 
other object but to gather fruit from the Spiritual 
Exercises, we may make this Examen with a view to 
ensure the utmost exactness in the performance of 
these exercises, either according to the rules set us 
by our director, or, if we be experienced in this 
matter, according to a method we may set forth 
for ourselves. We must keep to this during the whole 
course of the Exercises, as St. Ignatius lays it down 
at the end of the tenth Addition of the first week. 
Having completed the Exercises, if beginners, we 
must choose some one vice to be rooted out, others 
will select a virtue they will endeavour to acquire. 
It must further be remembered that in all these 

82 The Manner and Order of choosing 

matters there are acts of different kinds; some 
inward,, which remain in the mind and heart, and 
others outwards, forming, as it were, a visible body 
for the former ones. Such are words, deeds, occa 
sions, outward motions, the acts of the senses. A 
few examples will make this clear. In pride we 
have haughty thoughts, boastful words, ambitious 
deeds; in envy, sad thoughts at our neighbour s 
success, grumbling speeches at his good fortune, 
deeds tending to his disadvantage. In humility, on 
the contrary, we meet with lowly thoughts, disposing 
one to put up with injury, &c, words of self-depre 
ciation, deeds of submission, and so on of the other 
virtues and vices. So, too, in the Spiritual Exercises, 
are there certain outward actions, in which they are, 
so to speak, embodied, such as a reverent posture in 
time of prayer, presence at the Divine Office and 
other pious exercises, hearing Mass, spending one s 
time in meditations and examens, in such bodily and 
mental posture as bespeaks attention and earnestness. 
The inward acts lie invisible in the three powers of 
the soul; they are diligent meditation and fervent 

This being taken for granted, the second instruc 
tion is that in these several matters the Examen 
should never begin with the merely spiritual acts, 
for that these acts easily escape our scrutiny, even 
were we deeply versed in spiritual experiences, and 
our mind is so unstable and wavering that it is scarce 
conscious to the full of its own thoughts. It is also 
frequently the case that these thoughts and emotions 
are not voluntary and free, but proceed from mere 

the Matter of the Particular Examen. 83 

spontaneity. Hence they who are not well grounded 
in spiritual things will be unable to/letermine whether 
or no they be faulty, so that, when the number of falls 
has to be counted, everything becomes mixed up with 
anxieties and scruples. Besides which, there is no 
small difficulty in correcting] these defects, for our 
inward acts do not so entirely depend on the control 
of the will as not to take us continually by surprise, 
even in despite of ourselves. We ofttimes have 
thoughts we would well be rid of; and, for all we may 
strive, it is not altogether in our power to banish 
these thoughts. We at times will what we would 
not, nor does the jarring of conflicting affections cease 
but with life itself, as St. Paul fully experienced.* 
For as one must be an able horseman to mount an 
unruly horse which cannot brook restraint, so the task 
of reducing our inward acts to perfect order must be 
left to those who have long dwelt with themselves, 
and are skilled in observing the workings of the inner 
man. Better by far is it to make a beginning with 
outward actions, which, being more under the control 
of the will, are more easily governed, more readily 
discerned in all the circumstances wherein they fall 
short of the rule of right reason. Obedience, for 
instance, requires ready compliance, even so as to 
leave a letter unfinished. It further demands the 
inward submission of the will and judgment. So 
many difficulties beset this latter point for beginners 
that they cannot themselves say when they have 
fallen and when they rise from their fall. The first 
point is far otherwise; they are able to put their. 

* Rom. vii. 19. 
G 2 

84 The Manner and Order of choosing 

finger, so to speak, on their failures, and, as it is 
wholly dependent on the will, they may easily know 
the exact number of their faults, and promise them 
selves a speedy victory. 

Two other reasons may be alleged in support of 
this view, (i) Outward defects give scandal, detract 
from the estimation of virtue in the eyes of our 
neighbour, and hence call for speedy correction. 
(2) Although our failings have their root within, in 
the soul, the correction of the outward actions tends 
to weaken this root. Thus, if the high opinion I have 
of myself makes me utter haughty words, the checking 
of these words reaches to the heart, and represses the 
sentiment which finds its expression in them. If my 
soul chafe under the yoke of obedience, its insubordi 
nation is kept in check by the ready performance of 
what is commanded. Thus does the war we wage 
with our outward failings tell upon those that lurk 

The third instruction is that, amongst outward 
actions, deeds are to be amended before words, and 
this because when our thoughts are translated not only 
into words but into deeds, we have a sign of a deep- 
rooted habit, and of greater deliberation in the will, on 
which account a speedy remedy is required ; and we 
must apply the remedy to the part which is most griev 
ously wounded. It is obvious that sins of deed are 
more heinous than the others, for a threefold reason, 
as St. Ignatius teaches in the General Examen " On 
account of the greater length of time, the greater intensity 
of the act, the injury or scandal done to many more 
persons." Faults of speech, on the contrary, take 

the Matter of the Particular Examen. 85 

less time, pre-suppose less deliberation, and do not 
indicate so deeply-rooted a passion. The tongue 
most readily follows the mind, and resembles the 
hands of a clock. It beats, so to speak, responsive 
to every emotion of the heart, and moves almost as 
swiftly as the thoughts of the mind. Wherefore it is 
more advisable to correct words before thoughts, as 
they are more under the control of reason, but, for 
the reasons stated above, beginners will find it most 
easy to begin with deeds. 

86 Further Instructions. 



WE have now to determine what order is to be 
kept in singling out our vices on which of 
them we should make the first onslaught. For 
clearness sake we will observe that vices may be 
considered in their nature or with regard to the 
disposition of the subject. Further, some vices may 
be called spiritual, because, like moths, they breed 
within the soul; such are pride, vanity. While 
others are carnal, as proceeding from carnal lusts> 
and the appetites of the body, as gluttony, profligacy, 
&c. The fourth instruction, then, is that, if we con 
sider our vices in themselves, those who have been 
the slaves of sensual excess, and are troubled rather 
by carnal than spiritual passions, should begin by 
mortifying their sensuality, in that it is to them a 
source of more pressing danger, without making any 
account of the temptations to vainglory which may 
arise from their efforts, and detract from the purity of 
their intention, provided they can but subdue their 
more powerful foes, from whom they have the most 
to fear, and subject them to the control of reason. 
Serapion, in Cassian s Conferences, is of the same 
opinion, for he holds that at times we shall do well 
to avail ourselves of the help of a spiritual vice, in 
order to overcome the defilements of the flesh. These 
are his words "Vainglory may prove of advantage to* 
beginners in one case to such as are still subject to* 

Further Instructions. 87 

the incentives of the vice of the flesh. For instance, 
if, when molested by the spirit of uncleanness, they 
were to turn their minds to the priestly dignity, or to 
their general repute for a holy and blameless life, they 
might deaden the stings of lust, as vile or unworthy of 
that order, or incompatible with their fair fame, thus 
overcoming a greater evil by one which is less. For 
better is it that one should be tempted to vainglory 
than that he should fall into the furnace of fornication, 
whence he may never be rescued, or be rescued but 
after a fatal fall." Thus far the holy Abbot. And in 
truth, though vice may not claim our approval, yet it 
may be so far forth useful, inasmuch as it serves to 
hinder a greater evil, and may suggest motives against 
falling which avail more with the imperfect than any 
others. It is surely better to be wounded than to be 
killed; and further, a care for one s good name may 
be worthy of praise. It may therefore be taken as 
certain that he who is liable both to carnal and 
spiritual ailments, should begin with the former, as 
being more scandalous and injurious. 

The fifth instruction is to keep the following order 
in dealing with the vices of the flesh, to turn our arms 
against gluttony first. It was not without a well- 
considered purpose that St. Ignatius, in his Spiritual 
Exercises, gives the first place among the rules to 
those entitled " On Moderation in Eating." It is a 
well-known maxim of the Imitation " Bridle gluttony, 
and thou shalt more easily restrain all fleshly appe 
tites."* And St. Basil most truly calls gluttony the 
fertile seed-plot of every vice. " Like as a fountain of 
* Book i., chap. 19, n. 4. 

88 Further Instructions. 

water, if distributed into many channels, clothes with 
verdure the spots bordering on the several streamlets, 
and makes them to flourish, so if the vice of gluttony 
spread itself through the veins of thy heart, and 
welling up therefrom, overflow thy senses, after having 
sown within the seeds of countless lusts, it will change 
thy soul into a den of wild beasts." 1 He proceeds 
to say that gluttony makes its slaves to spurn the 
calling to a higher life, and leads many to desert 
religion. " The first temptation," says Cassian, " of 
gluttony, is to hurry to take refreshment before the 
appointed and regular time. The next is to delight 
in filling one s belly, and in our eagerness to partake 
of whatever is set before us. The third is to seek for 
dainties. The first begets hatred of the monastery, 
which, in its turn, grows into an abhorrence and 
disgust, soon to be followed by desertion, or flight." 
St. Basil confirms this teaching, for he continues 
"Many have I met with, who, though subject to 
vices of another kind, recovered their health later on. 
But of those who were enslaved to gluttony, so as to 
find a satisfaction in secret repasts, or to yield to the 
cravings of the belly, I have never known one to 
reform. For they either separated themselves from 
the fellowship of those who observed continency, and 
plunged without remorse into the sinful delights of 
this life, or if they sought to lurk among such, they 
indulged their appetites, and did service to the devil." 
Thus far St. Basil. The battle, then, must begin with 
gluttony. Next come incontinency and the sins of 
the flesh. Thirdly, covetousness, or greed of gain. 
* On the renouncement of all things. 

Further Instructions. 89 

Fourthly, anger. Fifthly, melancholy; and lastly, 
sloth. These several vices are so closely connected 
together, that if the first in order prevail over us, the 
others are sure to follow in its wake. For gluttony 
begets impurity, impurity covetousness, covetousness 
anger, anger melancholy, melancholy sloth. Where 
fore the order of attack must correspond with that 
of these vices. It is less troublesome to pull up the 
root than to lop the branches off; if the fountain be 
stopped, the brook soon dries up. 

90 Examples of each Vice to illustrate 



WE have thus set forth the order of attack; we 
have shown that the vices are to be divided 
into parts, according to which division we must begin 
with deeds, proceed next to words, and then to 
thoughts. It remains but to set forth examples of a 
fitting division, so as to pave the way to an advan 
tageous selection. 

I. Instances of Gluttony. (i) Not to eat out of 
time, or anticipate the hour of meals, or to eat in any 
but the usual place ; to taste of nothing without leave. 

(2) To abstain from all dainties, or anything peculiar,, 
without a real necessity; to forego the sumptuous 
repasts of worldlings, when it can be done without 
giving offence ; to feel ashamed, should it befall us to 
taste aught for the mere gratification of the palate. 

(3) To partake of common food in moderation, never 
to repletion ; not to empty the dish set before us, 
but to leave some morsel, and one which we would 
relish most. (4) To abstain from wine (especially in 
youth) unless necessity compel ; to avoid fine wines, 
liquors, &c. ; to be content with the diet of the poor. 
(5) Not to speak of tasty or unsavoury food ; the 
same, also, of drink. Never to converse about such 
things. For as it is unbecoming to be guided by our 
taste while eating, it is still more so to speak about 
this matter after our meals. (6) Not to anticipate the 
gratification of eating before meals, or to feed the 

the Division of the Examen. 91 

mind while at table, but at such to entertain some 
pious thought as is prescribed in the rules for Mode 
ration in Eating. 

II. Instances of Lust. (i) To banish far from 
oneself deeds of darkness and shamelessness. (2) To 
keep one s touch undefiled, even with one s own body; 
for a coal, when lighted, burns; when quenched, it 
blackens. (3) Not to touch another, either on the 
head, on the face, hands, clothes, whether in play, or 
friendship. The embraces given to new comers, and 
to those that are taking leave, should be unaffected, 
redolent of chastity. (4) As with the touch, so, too, 
must the eyes be averted from every nude and inde 
cent representation ; and where such may be met 
with, they must be held in check. (5) One should 
avoid familiarity with the opposite sex, by long con 
versations, letters, presents, by fixedly looking at 
them. In all these points, one should rigorously bind 
oneself never to be without a companion as a witness, 
and to report to the Superior when necessity requires. 

(6) One must abstain from witty and trifling words, 
keep from books treating of lascivious matters. 

(7) Every impure thought is to be at once stamped 
out like a spark ; nor should we presume on our 
virtue, knowing full well that our flesh, like tow or 
gunpowder, readily catches the baleful flame. Lastly, 
one must not rest content with an ordinary degree 
of chastity, but should strive after an angelic purity, 
both of body and of mind. 

III. Instances of Covet onsness. Lust cannot last 
without presents and money ; thus, greed of gain is 
the offspring of lust. This is to be suppressed.. 

92 Examples of each Vice to illustrate 

(1) By renouncing all unjust usurpation and whatever 
may savour thereof, and restoring what is ill-gotten. 

(2) By setting bounds to one s love of gain, even 
when lawful, lest, as St. Paul says, " We fall into the 
snare of the devil" (3) If a Religious, by having naught 
that is his own, by giving, receiving, or lending nothing 
without leave. (4) By ridding oneself of costly, 
Curious, rare objects, and of whatever savours of the 
world. (5) By not making use of more things than 
are needed, and of such only as are common, and are 
kept in a public place, not in one s room. (6) By 
avoiding bootless and dangerous thoughts and desires, 
"which" as St. Paul bears witness, "drown men in 
destruction and perdition. 

IV. Instances of Anger. Anger is the appetite for 
revenging injury or wrong. It is subdued, (i) By 
taking no vengeance, indeed, nor returning wilfully, 
or in intention, evil for evil. (2) By refraining, in the 
presence of him that has wronged us, from injurious 
and biting words, neither raising our voice in anger, 
nor lowering it out of sadness or aversion, nor refusing 
at seasonable times to speak to him by whom we have 
suffered ; in his absence, not to complain of his deeds, 
or of himself, as being unjust, prejudiced, as favouring 
others, &c. In all these ways can we sin by anger. 

(3) By not nursing the remembrance of the injury 
received, nor indulge in thought that stir up indigna 
tion and strife ; by setting aside the objections and 
answers wherewith the brain of an angered man is 
wont to teem. 

V. Instances of Melancholy and of Sloth. A 
quenched brand leaves a black coal behind; thus 

the Division of the Examen. 93 

does anger, when lulled, leave the heart in sadness. 
Sadness, or melancholy, in its turn, begets sloth, or 
an aversion from spiritual and mental recollection. 
Now, a dissipated mind, finding no rest within itself, 
seeks it without. The remedy for this vice is as 
follows (i) The conscience must be thoroughly 
searched, to discover whether it be in peace and 
security. Is it burdened with a grievous sin, or 
perplexed with the doubt thereof? Does the person 
feel any difficulty in laying bare his fault to his 
confessor, or in ridding himself of it ? Is he troubled 
with fears and suspicions, which, while he keeps to 
himself, close his soul to the light from on high, a ray 
whereof would comfort him? Meanwhile, as he 
obstinately remains in darkness, his heart is over 
whelmed with sorrow. For as a sprained joint gives 
unbearable pain, which cannot be assuaged by 
plasters, ointments, or any other external applica 
tions, so, from the sources detailed above, a more 
or less deep melancholy will spring, and such as will 
not yield to aught that is applied from without. 
Firstly, then, the Examen must be directed against 
concealing from the confessor aught that may concern 
the conscience. (2) Examine how deep a hold this 
melancholy has obtained on the heart. Has it caused 
an abscess brought on a distaste for one s state, 
especially in the case of a Religious ? Has it robbed 
us of our attachment to our Order, Superiors, and 
Rule ? Do we obey readily, or with an effort ? It 
this be our plight, we are dangerously seized, and still 
more so as we shrink from the remedy. For he that 
is thus affected abhors nothing so much as what would 

94 Examples of each Vice to illustrate 

bring comfort to his soul. He solaces himself with 
what shuts out relief, such as murmuring and far 
fetched reasons, which confirm him in his diseased 
fancies. Such a one must make his Particular 
Examen on the following points 

(i) To converse familiarly and affably with his 
inferiors; not to withdraw from the common recrea 
tion, nor to be gloomy in conversation. (2) To shut 
out from himself worldly business and diversions, and 
to keep at arm s length whatever may cause his heart 
to pour itself out to excess through the senses. 
Wherefore he will not go out of doors on purposeless 
errands, for unnecessary visits, even though they wear 
a semblance of piety. (3) He will keep from public 
amusements and gatherings, and, as far as possible, 
remain in his room. For one attacked with this 
disease has no taste for solitary occupations. Like 
as he who has lost all relish for wholesome food 
excites his appetite with condiments, which may tickle 
his palate, so should such a one beguile, by varying 
them, the monotony of solitary occupations, at one time 
reading, at another writing, or doing something else. 
(4) He shall flee, as he would the pestilence, friendly 
intercourse with seculars, nor allow himself to be 
entangled by busying himself with their affairs, their 
interests or concerns ; since these can but deprive 
him of time and relish for the occupations of his 
state ; for to relieve the monotony of these latter, as 
well as to hoodwink ourselves as to our indolent 
neglect of the duties of our state, we turn to what is 
foreign to our profession. (5) He shall not be a 
collector of news, nor lead the conversation to the 

the Division of the Examen. 95 

favours of fortune, the honours and delights of the 
world, for his languishing heart will be soon attracted 
by what he says or hears. (6) He shall divert his 
mind from such fancies, suppress all idle talk on such 
matters as deeds of daring, extraordinary good fortune, 
eminent posts and dignities, &c., for such befit rather 
those that are asleep than waking men. But especially 
shall he apply himself to his Spiritual Exercises, insist 
ing not only on their exact fulfilment, but prolonging 
the time thereof, according to annotation thirteen 
among the twenty-one. In compliance with anno 
tation six, he will most scrupulously observe the 
Additions, and earnestly strive to acquire devotion, 
which divine goodness will not fail to vouchsafe. 

To sum up what has been said hitherto, he must 
be persuaded that the state of his soul is perilous and 
wretched, that without effort he will never rise there 
from, and that nothing aggravates this ailment so 
much as to indulge one s likings. The effort he has 
to make comprises these two things (i) He must 
diminish and cut down his outward engagements, 
especially secular ones, restrain the wanderings of 
his senses, his going out of doors, bootless con 
versations, and thoughts which correspond therewith. 
{2) He must apply himself earnestly to his interior 
spiritual duties, nor rest content until he find a relish 
therein. He is not to attribute his dryness to God s 
proving of him, it being in nowise a trial but a 
punishment of his sloth and indifference. Outward 
occupations, undertaken according to the rules ot 
well-ordered charity, are no hindrance to devotion 
and a spiritual relish; rather do these things afford 

96 Examples of each Vice to illustrate 

each other mutual help and increase. The spirit of 
sloth, on the contrary, fleeing recollection, inordinately 
pours itself on the diversions and gratifications of 
sense, and by that very means aggravates its disease. 
The mind that revels in sensual pleasure, and is filled 
with the onions and leeks of Egypt, becomes dry, and 
cannot stomach the heavenly manna. It must further 
be noticed that it belongs to sadness of heart to hunt 
eagerly after earthly solace, and to be deeply attached 
thereunto when it has found it; wherefore, whoso is 
stricken with this disease must be weaned from these 
vile and abject gratifications, which so involve him in 
their meshes that he can hardly withdraw his foot 
from the snare. Besides, as one who nauseates bodily 
food, cannot keep what he takes on his stomach, the 
heat of which is diffused over the outward parts of the 
body, so it will be far worse with him that loathes 
spiritual sustenance if he allow the small degree of 
fervour which he possesses within him, which he 
should carefully husband, to escape through the 
wanderings of his senses. 

6. Instances of Vanity and Pride. After the con 
quest of the afore-mentioned vices, it remains for us 
to attack pride and vanity, vices which, like the 
moth or gangrene, are inborn in man, and are the 
source of all evil ; for they rob our best works of their 
merit, and blight the fair flowers of virtue. Vanity is 
the inordinate appetite of reputation, and of the praise 
of men. The glory that thus accrues to us being vain, 
this vice is called vainglory. Pride is the appetite of 
our own excellence which makes a man anxious to 
walk in things too great and too wonderful for him. 

the Division of the Examen. 97 

These vices find an incentive everywhere, even in 
what is contrary to them. They flourish on temporal 
and spiritual things, on good and bad actions, so far 
forth as reputation and distinction may be won 
thereby. The secular grows vain of his costly garb, 
the Religious of his threadbare habit. The former is 
proud of his well-appointed table, the latter of his 
abstinence and fastings; so much so that we have 
here an exception to the rule, that to weaken one 
vice is to weaken those that spring from it ; for the 
conquest of other vices gives a fresh stimulus to 
vanity and pride, since, as we have said, both attach 
themselves to whatever is most sacred. The Examen 
on this matter maybe arranged as follows (i) Neither 
to aspire, or to strive after marks of honour. This 
was the vice of the Pharisees, of whom Christ said 
" They love the uppermost places at feasts, and the chief 
seats in the synagogues"* We have, therefore, to 
encounter an immense host, for ambition ever seeks 
the first place, at whatever age, in every condition, 
office, and place. (2) Let him not boast of his talents, 
if he has any, still less of those he has not; that 
is, let him avoid all occasions of boasting, where 
no other purpose can be served but that of making 
himself known. His life must be in accordance with 
that maxim of St. Bernard " Love to be unknown, and 
to be accounted as nothing" (3) He must avoid singu 
larity, in his person, at table, and in his privacy, 
desiring to be forgotten of all, " as a dead man out of 
mind" (4) He shall conform to the Community, nor 
allow himself any privilege or exemption necessity 

* St. Matt, xxiii. 5. 

98 Examples of each Vice to illustrate 

does not require ; and he will so yield to necessity 
as to put himself from time to time on a level with 
others. (5) He will speak neither of himself, nor of 
his concerns, but shall walk as if apart from himself. 
He shall behave and converse as if unmindful of 
himself, nor afford others an occasion of talking of 
him, for praise opens the first entrance to vainglory, 
and flattery the second. (6) He will not nurse thoughts 
of vanity by comparing or prefering himself to others. 
If he indulge such thoughts, he will be borne aloft 
like a feather and a thin bubble. (7) He will strive 
to weigh his gifts in a correct balance, referring to 
God what is good, and all the evil in him to himself. 

The order here marked out is planned according to 
the nature and properties of the several vices ; hence 
we must not conclude that it will be suitable for every 
one without distinction. For different persons are 
differently constituted. There is also a diversity of 
time and occasion. As in different individuals the 
same passions do not predominate, so even in the 
same person does the passion vary with the times, 
occasions, employments, and dispositions. Our enemy 
narrowly watches all these changes, in order to get our 
souls into his clutches. For, as St. Ignatius wisely 
observes " The enemy is wont to imitate a general who 
plans the seizure and plunder of a fortress. He first 
scrutinizes the site and strength of the place, and assaults 
it in its weakest point. Thus, too, does he prowl about 
the soul, and cunningly examine what virtues, whether 
theological or moral, it is provided with, or wa?iting in, 
and directs all his efforts, with the hope of undoing us, 
chiefly towards that point which he finds to be less pro- 

the Division of the Examen. 99 

tected and guarded within us"* This being the case, 
we must make the stoutest defence where the attack 
is the sharpest. The temptation we are most liable 
to will show on what our Examen should mostly be 
made. For the sake of greater clearness, we give 
further on a formula for choosing the subject of the 
Particular Examen according to the rules of election. 

* Rule 14 of the first for the Discernment of Spirits. 

TOO The Subject-matter of the Examen 



"T ^HERE are some who aspire to or are advancing 
X in the path of perfection, who are troubled with 
no vice in particular. This may arise from tempera 
ment, from natural goodness of character, or from the 
craft of the devil, who forbears to strike that he may 
make us heedless, and then trip us up unawares; or 
it may be that the passions slumber like wild beasts 
that have their fill, and behave as if they had departed 
from us. Wherefore, if you would discover which 
beast is the most troublesome and most formidable to 
you, you must attack it before it makes its onslaught 
on you. But with what can we begin our Examen 
when we are led to think that we have overcome and 
mastered a passion which slumbers, or is concealed 
by the wiles of the devil? What virtues are we to 
implant within us when our soul is undisturbed by 
rebellious passions? 

To do this aright, it must be remembered that as 
in the way of perfection there are divers stages 
beginners, proficients, and perfect so the virtues 
proper to each of these degrees are different. In 
each of these degrees that virtue is to be chosen 
which is the most closely connected with others 
proper to the same state, so that by growth in one 

for those troubled with no particular Vice. 101 

virtue you may increase in all the rest. Beginners, 
then, must apply themselves to the love of silence and 
solitude as to the fundamental virtue of their state. 
For as the first requisite for the cure of a bodily 
ailment is that the patient be removed to a good 
place, out of the way of disturbances which would 
hinder his recovery, so does our spiritual healing 
demand that, before all else, we keep our room, and 
be removed from the obstacles which make their way 
through our senses. Proficients must make their chief 
concern of humility and poverty of spirit, both of 
which virtues are, so to speak, the mother and the 
groundwork of all others proper to their state. The 
perfect should, by prayer and contemplation, deepen 
the union and familiarity of their souls with God. It 
must be kept in mind, that the name beginners com 
prises not only those who have just entered on the 
path of virtue, but all who are weak in virtue; and 
the name perfect does not depend on the number of 
years one may have professed virtue, but on the 
possession of solid virtue. For to numbers may we 
apply these words of the Apostle " Though for the 
time ye ought to be teachers, ye again have need that 
some one teach you the first elements of the oracles of 
God; and are become such as have need of milk, and 
not of solid food " Let each one, then, enter into 
himself, and if he find he is wanting in the virtues 
of the very beginners, let him take rank amid babes 
and sucklings, and make his Examen according to 
the following rules. 

* Heb. v. 12. 

IO2 The Matter of the Particular Examen 



HE will accustom himself to keep to his room ; 
he will not leave it without a reasonable cause ; 
never because he finds solitude and recollection irk- 
,some. Let him consider his reason for going abroad; 
his only motive must be the better service of God. 
This will he find in obedience to his Superior, and in 
charity to his neighbour. When these cease to detain 
him, he will return to his cell, as to his centre, as to 
the infirmary of his spiritual ailments, as to the work 
shop of virtue, wherein his soul is fashioned after 
God s image, as to a bed of flowers, where the soul 
may enjoy the embraces of God. The cell must be 
his first care, and the starting-point of his Examen ; 
and as St. Bernard says (to the Monks of Mont- 
Dieu) "Let goodwill be guided by the rule of 
obedience, and in its turn guide the body, teaching it 
to keep to one spot, to stay within the cell, and by 
itself; which, in a proficient, is the commencement 
of a good * disposition, of favourable augury for the 
future. For it is impossible that a man should keep 
his soul fixed, who has not begun to keep his 
body perseveringly in one place." 

2. From the love of the cell pass we on to the 
common life, striving might and main to conform to 
our brethren, which is to be prized above austerities 

for Beginners. 103 

and peculiar devotions. We will rise, then, with the 
others, be the same to all, eat what they eat, and 
never take anything but what is set before them. 
Our prayer and recreation will be at the community 
hours, nor shall we shirk our share of the common 
offices and burdens. This will help to humble the 
heart, to break self-will (the main source of peril), to 
order all our doings aright, to deck the soul with a 
variety of virtues, to render one agreeable to all for 
that he is the same to all. 

3. Having finished what regards common life, we 
proceed to private concerns. The times and hours 
for our several occupations must be fixed. This is 
not the place for treating of this distribution ; still it 
is self-evident that important advantages depend on 
our doing our actions, not according to whim, but 
by rule, so that to-day may be the image of yester 
day and of the morrow. Attention to this point 
gives peace of mind, saves time, bridles the license 
of the will, which it does not allow to be unruly. 
Although this may be more practical for those 
whose time and engagements are at their own 
disposal, nevertheless, it is even more so for those 
who, in these matters, are under the control of 
others. The former lay down a rule in confor 
mity with their ordinary engagements, and keep 
it ; the latter yield, so far as the duties imposed upon 
them by obedience are concerned, but when they 
have fulfilled these they return to the groove they 
have marked out. Unless this be done, a twofold 
loss ensues, (i) The precious moments intervening 
between a duty and a voluntary occupation are 

IO4 The Matter of the Particular Ex amen 

wasted, which are of no less value than the filings 
and dust the goldsmiths so carefully sweep up in 
their workshops. (2) A diversity of occupations 
cannot but trouble a soul that is intent on many 
things. To restore its calm, it is of the greatest 
advantage to apply it at once to the ordinary occu 
pations, from which necessity has summoned it. This 
care for order is not unlike the heavenly spheres 
which rule the universe by their harmoniously dis 
cordant movements. For though there does not 
appear to be so great a consonance between different 
parts, yet is this diversity most wisely established by 
the Prime Mover. 

4. Next to the due ordering of our occupations- 
comes that of our senses, and especially of the eyes r 
ears, and tongue. 

The Eyes. 

These require especial care, as they are exposed to 
greater danger. We should not fix our eyes on a 
woman, especially if she be still and do not observe us. 
David thus gazed at Bersabee and fell. We are to avoid 
sights, the image whereof easily impresses itself, but 
is difficult to efface. We must not be fond of looking 
at princely palaces and royal treasures. They are 
vanities, and darken the mind s perception of divine 
truth. Spurn as deadly poison novels, more or less 
unchaste and obscene pictures. Lastly, according to 
the rules of modesty laid down by St. Ignatius "The 
eyes should mostly be kept downcast, neither raising them 
without measure, or glancing with them around us." 

for Beginners. 105, 

The Hearing. 

The ears must be closed to unseemly words, and 
it must be deemed an insult to utter such in our 
presence. Profane music is to be held in small 
account. We must be slow to listen to vain reports 
and to laughter-moving sayings, as they do not become 
us. Most true is what we read in the Imitation of 
Christ "If thou withdraw thyself from superfluous 
talk and idle visits, as also from giving ear to news 
and reports, thou will find time sufficient and proper 
to employ thyself in good meditations. ... If thou 
hadst not gone out, and listened to rumours, thou 
hadst kept thyself better in good peace; but since 
thou takest pleasure at times in hearing news, thou 
must bear with trouble of heart."* 

The Tongue. 

" The tongue" says St. James, " is a restless mischief; 
it is full of deadly poison" difficult to control and to 
keep subject to reason. Our first care, then, must be 
to curb it by the rule of silence, asking no questions 
unless when necessary, replying briefly if questioned. 
For he who speaks little to men will find more to say 
to God, and he who has accustomed himself to silence 
strikes off the head of a multitude of vices at one 
blow. But as the duty of our charge and brotherly 
love requires of us to speak, we must be careful lest 
necessary and useful speech degenerate into needless 
and harmful talk. We may make the Examen as 
follows on each of these defects. 

* Book L, chap. 20. 

io6 The Matter of the Partictdar Ex amen 

Not to complain of any thing or person, be they 
many or few, neither in public nor in private, or to 
mention the fault of an absent person, or aught else 
that could offend him were he present. Not to 
flatter, lest we fall into a lie. To lie neither by 
excuse, in play, nor to any one s prejudice. Not to 
make use of ambiguous double-meaning words; for 
all duplicity and deceit is to be abominated. Not to 
adhere pertinaciously to one s opinions, a frequent 
source of strife and injurious words. Not to speak 
wrathfully, which is unpolite and wounds charity. 
Not to speak in a loud voice the token of a dissi 
pated mind. To avoid boasting the offspring of 
pride. Not to reveal the secret intrusted, nor what 
should be kept secret, even though you be not for 
bidden to mention it. Not to fancy that he to whom 
you tell a secret will be more faithful in keeping it 
than yourself. Lastly, inasmuch as his condition 
allows, he will turn the conversation on God and on 
divine things, and await therefrom an abundant 
harvest of virtues. 


The faults of speech and of letter-writing are closely 
connected, but they are more pernicious in this latter 
case, as greater weight is attached to the written than 
to the spoken word, the former being more lasting 
than the latter. Let us be careful not to write any 
thing inconsiderate in our letters, but to keep the rule 
laid down for us " In writing letters, not only must 
the rule 39 of the Summary be kept strictly, which pre 
scribes that we are not to write without leave and without 

for Beginners. 107 

showing our letters to him the Superior shall appoint; 
but further, care must be taken that our letters contain 
not any mention of worldly or useless affairs, or which 
do not concern the writer. As, for instance, rumours, 
news about matters foreign to a Religious, certain forms 
of expression, or tropes and secular idioms" &c. 

The Rules of Modesty. 

Beginners must strive to regulate their exterior by 
these rules, shaping themselves thereby, as in a mirror, 
that their manners may be in conformity with the 
pattern of St. Ignatius set before his children after so 
many tears and prayers. 

io8 The Matter of the Particular Ex amen 



IT belongs to preficients to choose a virtue for the 
matter of their Examen, and that virtue they have 
most need of, or which is the most contrary to the 
vice whereby they are most troubled. If they be not 
compelled by either of these causes, they may choose 
the virtue which is the foundation of the rest, or 
which most helps and disposes us to acquire them. 
We here take occasion to observe, that this Examen 
on virtues is to be made in an order wholly different 
from that on vice. With vices we begin with deeds, 
then pass on to words and thoughts. For, as we 
have said, the passion that breaks out into deeds is 
far more violent than one that passes not the bound 
aries of thoughts or speech. Wherefore, the greater 
evil has to be cured first, especially as the examination 
of what passes within the soul belongs to proficients, 
and not to mere beginners. Here we go on to a 
totally different plan. With these virtues the Examen 
must begin, and the conflict be opened with the 
inward acts thereof, and moreover, proficients are 
supposed to be more experienced in the discernment 
of their inward acts, and to have more light to per 
ceive distinctly what is going on within them. 

Further, there is no question but that inward acts 
are the very soul of virtue, while their outward mani- 

for Proficients. 109 

festations, unless duly referred to God, are as lifeless 
corpses, wholly incapable of begetting virtuous habits 
within us. For what fruit can we gain from a menial 
office, if it be not fulfilled out of humility ? We meet 
with many who spend their whole lives in the vilest 
functions, without ever attaining humility. With what 
profit shall we submit to the rule of another, if the 
will to obey aright be wanting. Countless multitudes 
serve and spend their lives under the mastery of 
another, without making the least progress in the 
virtue of obedience. We must, then, make a 
beginning with inward acts, giving the first place to 
those from which, as from a stock, the other virtues 
branch forth, and that in the following order. 

On Humility. 

We may here apply what we have said above 
concerning pride, its contrary vice, besides which a 
fixed number of suitable acts, to be performed both 
in the morning and afternoon, is to be appointed, in 
the order which follows (i) Turn the soul to the 
knowledge of self, to its poverty in virtue, the multi 
tude of our sins, the smallness of our talents, and that 
the good we have comes not from us but from the 
mercy of God. (2) To desire that all may esteem 
me for what I really am, so that men may make of 
me as little as I deserve. Preparing myself inwardly 
to bear with the slights and other outward things that 
may occur. But here discretion must guide the mind, 
lest it go astray into vain fancies, or attempt what is 
above our strength, and so expose our virtue to 

no The Matter of the Particular Ex amen 

shipwreck. (3) Mark that in others whereby they 
excel me, placing myself beneath them, and deeming 
them, in my inmost heart, my superiors. (4) To speak 
depreciatingly of myself, making little of what may 
fall to my lot, acknowledging my shortcomings. Here y 
too, is prudence needed, to guide us to the fitting 
time and place, and lest we fail in sincerity, or any 
affectation mingle itself with our words. (5) In that 
which regards our common intercourse, ever to yield 
to others the first place, as far as our condition 
allows : " In giving honour, outdoing one another" as- 
the Apostle says, and this not only in such homage 
which is seldom paid without insincerity, vanity, and 
outward demonstration, but in the functions and 
offices intrusted to us. (6) In the like spirit to 
take part now and then in the more menial offices 
of the house. 


Here, too, may we apply what we said of covetous- 
ness. Moreover, this virtue is to be exercised a 
determinate number of times, in the following acts. 
We must examine ourselves as to our love and esteem 
for this virtue ; our desire of experiencing its effects ; 
how far we prefer to abstain from than to make use of 
things. He will consider that nothing allowed for his 
use is his own, and so be ready to be despoiled of 
them. He will look on whatever regards his diet, 
lodging, and clothing as an alms, and himself as a 
poor man, without any property. We are told of 
St. Francis Borgia that, on rising, he was wont to 
take his clothes as if they were a loan, which he 

for Proficients. in 

returned in the evening when he undressed, and to 
have been of the same mind with regard to all other 
things allowed him for his use. Never are we to 
complain of the want of anything, but rather should 
we rejoice therein, as in an effect and experience of 
poverty. We will also prefer the more common things 
of the house to such as are more costly, for, as St. 
Aloysius was wont to say, poor folks like us, who live 
upon alms, should not even in thought aspire to what 
is of better quality, but be thankful if we get what is 
of a lower sort. To keep far from us, and from what 
we may have for our use, superfluities and valuables. 
To suffer at times the want of what is necessary, in 
order to be more like Christ and His Blessed Mother, 
whom we know to have frequently been in want of 


Let our hunger be to know the will of God in all 
things, and our meat its fulfilment. Let us behold 
God Himself in the person of the Superior, and close 
our eyes to all human considerations. Whatever we 
undertake let us do it from a motive of obedience, 
and submit only to God in obeying our Superior. We 
must rigorously exact from ourselves this satisfaction, 
that neither by the intercession of others, by com 
plaints, by importunity, by show of sadness, or by 
tokens of coldness, will we ever make the Superior 
obey us. We will deem it a dangerous mischance if 
we stray from the path marked out by God. We will 
never propose ought against the orders given us but 
after prayer, and then with indifference and sincerity. 

ii2 The Matter of the Particttlar Examen 

TJie observance of Rules. 

The Rules embrace the subject-matter of nearly all 
the virtues. If you find yourself to violate any rule in 
particular, apply this Examen to it. It were also very 
useful to make it on our readiness to lay bare, in our 
account of conscience, whatever concerns the rules 
-and our vows. 

for the Perfect. 113 



THE advantages of the particular Examen may be 
shared in even by the perfect, that is, by those 
who have reached such a stage of perfection as may 
be attained in this life. According to the light of 
Heaven shed abroad within them, they may take, as 
the matter of their Examen, first their outward or 
inward failings ; then their punctuality in performing 
their spiritual duties at the appointed time, and in 
devoting thereto whatever leisure may be left to them 
by the occupations obedience or charity enjoin. Their 
next matter may be their care to improve still more in 
the performance of these exercises, and to draw 
therefrom a greater light; their interior recollection 
in the course of the day ; how they keep themselves 
in God s presence. On the three theological virtues, 
faith, hope, and charity, fixing a certain number of 
acts to be made within a given time. On spiritual 
conversation, both at recreation and elsewhere, at 
home and abroad, according to the dispositions of 
those we may meet with, endeavouring everywhere to 
profit our neighbour. On the renewal of a right 
intention in all our works. On the ministries 
enjoined upon us, according to our Institute, whereby 
our neighbour is helped and made to draw near to 
God, an office most suitable to perfect men. How 

H4 The Matter of the Particular Ex amen. 

we acquit ourselves of them ! Do we fulfil them as 
we ought ? Do we turn aside to others less befitting 
our profession, to the detriment of the ministry com 
mitted to us ? Do we readily and willingly spend 
ourselves on the poor and ignorant ? With what zeal, 
or indolence, or gentleness ? With what diligence or 
slackness ? With what prudence and discretion, or 
with what hastiness and levity ? These defects must 
be carefully searched out and noted down, that they 
may be reformed by this Examen. 

We have given these several examples, suited to- 
divers states, to show that matter will never be 
wanting. We now proceed to show how we may 
choose out of this abundance a particular subject 
better and more advantageous to our progress. 

Formula of certain Meditations. 1 1 5 



THOUGH we have treated at full length of the 
choice of the subject-matter of the Particular 
Examen, and it presents no difficulty to those who 
have been trained for a certain time in the use 
of these arms, and the Superior or ghostly Father 
can easily direct the inexperienced, yet, for the 
common advantage of both, we will set forth a 
meditation drawn up in accordance with the rules 
of election, to remove still further any chance of a 

It is to be observed that we may here be met with 
a twofold doubt, (i) It may be asked whether one 
should not forthwith take up as the matter of his 
Examen a vice or a virtue, for in this world there is 
no man without some defect. Where it is evident 
that a vice, especially a gross one, predominates, there 
can be no question but that we must begin by com 
batting it before striving after virtue. (2) When 
we have selected the vice or virtue, as there are 
various methods of warring upon vice and of 
following after virtue, the question arises as to which 
of these means may be the best suited to my purpose. 
The following meditation will serve to clear up the 
first doubt. 

I 2 

1 1 6 Formula of certain Meditations 

Form of meditation for the choice of the matter of the 
Particular Examen. 

The preparatory prayer as usual. 

Prelude i. I will consider my soul in the state 
wherein I am conscious of finding it, standing before 
God, the Searcher of hearts, and all His Saints, and 
anxious to know whether it be more pleasing to the 
Divine Majesty, and more profitable to itself, that I 
should in my Particular Examen endeavour to attain 
a certain virtue or to extirpate a certain vice. 

Prelude 2. A prayer for the grace proper to this 

Point i. I will set before me the passions and vices 
to which I am subject, from which I intend to select 
one for my Particular Examen. I will do the same 
with the virtues I desire to acquire, for the self-same 

Point 2. I will consider three sets of men who have 
the knowledge of their vices. The first are lukewarm 
and remiss, and for all that they know their vices and 
wish to be rid of them, they always delay to apply the 
remedy. The second class are ready to take up arms 
against some of their failings, but not against that 
passion, or inclination, or habit they are unwilling to 
disturb, though this be the most pernicious, and the 
principal idol before which they bow down. The 
third class, being earnestly desirous to make progress, 
are ready to take any means of overcoming their vice, 
whatever it may be, for the glory of God and their 
soul s welfare. This point is merely an application of 

helping on this Examen. 117 

the meditation of St. Ignatius on the three classes 
of men. 

Point 3. I will consider what vice or virtue within 
me has most need of the Particular Examen. To 
weigh this in a just balance, we may derive help from 
what has been said in the foregoing chapters, (i) If 
the vice is an occasion of offence or scandal, so as to 
lead others into sin. (2) If it have a large following, 
and be the root and source of other vices. (3) If it 
take its rise in a vehement passion or strong impulse, 
whereby we are carried away, so as to be liable to 
frequent falls. (4) If, taking into consideration the 
state I am in, the business I have to do, the persons 
I deal with, and the propensities I am conscious of, I 
feel myself more liable to fall into this sin than any 
other. (5) If the fault be an outward one, and hence 
more under the control of the will, and admitting 
more easily of this remedy, for if it be an inward 
failing the cure will become more difficult. 

We may consider the virtues in like manner, in 
order to the selection of one of their number, 
examining which is more conformable with my voca 
tion, or better suited to my engagements ; which 
were a speedier remedy to the failing into which I 
relapse the oftenest, or would oppose the stoutest 
resistance to the passion to which I most frequently 
yield ; which were more conducive to spiritual calm, 
more favourable to devotion, &c. 

Point 4. Having pondered these circumstances, the 
next thing is to determine what vice or virtue pre 
ponderates, and is of greater importance, so as to 
choose for the subject-matter of the Particular Examen 

1 1 8 Formula of certain Meditations 

that which reason and our spiritual interests point 

Point 5. Offer the election, when made, to God ; 
beg grace to destroy this vice or to acquire this virtue. 
After war has been declared against a particular vice, 
then arises a question as to the best means of securing 
the victory. We will deal with it in the following 

Form of meditation for uprooting a predominant vice, 
such as anger, for instance. 

The preparatory prayer as usual. 

Prelude i. Imagine yourself to be like unto the 
leper, and to say "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst 
make me dean;"* or as the woman of Canaan, saying 
"Lord, my daughter is grievously afflicted with a 
devil ;"\ or to blind Bartimaeas, saying "Jesus, 
Master, have mercy on ?/j." J 

Prelude 2. Ask light to know the remedy whereby 
we may overcome anger. 

Point i. Consider the turpitude of anger, how 
unseemly it is in a man, and especially in a 
Religious, and one, too, of the Society of Jesus, 
who is bound to labour for his own perfection and 
for the edification of his neighbour. How displeasing 
it is to God, to those who live with us, to those who 
are without. How much injury it has done to me 
and to others, and how much it has hindered my 
progress in virtue. 

Point 2. Consider the beauty of meekness. Repre- 

* St. Luke v. 12. f St. Matt. xv. 22. St. Luke xvii. 13. 

helping on this Examen. 119 

sent it to thyself in the bearing of Christ, Who says 
"Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart"* 
Set it before thee as it was in the Saints, nay, even in 
thine own Fathers and Brethren whom thou hast 

Point 3. Consider how often and how grievously 
thou hast been transported with anger. Look into 
the causes of thy falls. Do they arise from a bilious 
complexion, from habit, or over-quickness, or a want 
of thought, from pride, or pusillanimity, or from the 
iiberty you allow yourself to blurt out whatever comes 
into your head. 

Point 4. Consider the remedies thou hast applied, 
or heard of, or read; as, for instance, to hold thy 
peace, gentleness in action, to be so disposed that an 
insulting word will not provoke thee, to set aside the 
occupation which is to thee an occasion, to impress 
deeply on thy mind that wrongs can harm him that 
does them, and not the sufferer. Set Christ before 
Thyself, "Who, when He suffered, He threatened //#/." t 
That it is the vice of brutes and not of men, for a man 
in anger divests himself of his manhood, and St. Basil 
calls it " a passing madness" Think how often you 
have insulted God, and how patiently He has borne 
with you. 

Point 5. Set before thee the end of thy creation, 
from the Fundamental Exercise and the Prelude for 
making an Election ; also the special end of thy call 
ing, which is God s greater glory, and the edification 
of thy neighbour. Having, then, set thy soul in calm 
and serenity, beg once more for a new outpouring of 
* St. Matt. xi. 29. f St. Peter ii. 23. 

I2O Formula of certain Meditations 

light divine, whereby to know and to choose what is 
meetest for the end aimed at. 

Point 6. Setting aside all bias, and taking into 
consideration the inveteracy of the habit and other 
circumstances, ponder which of the means given 
above seems to be more effectual. Conclude the 
election, make an offering of it to God, that He may 
accept and establish it, as St. Ignatius prescribes. 

This method may be adapted to any vice or evil 
habit whatsoever. For its more perfect use, it were 
well to consult the teaching of Cassian, who, in his 
fifth Conference, admirably sets forth the turpitude of 
the eight capital sins. 

Formula for the extirpation of a fault of less importance^ 
as, for instance, want of moderation in speech. 

Preparatory prayer and preludes as heretofore. 

Point i. Consider, as was hinted above, how 
unseemly loquaciousness is in a Religious. The 
advantages of silence. How often this fault is 
committed. The causes of these falls, whether it be 
dissipation of mind, or the little account we make of 
the rules. 

Point 2. The remedies of this fault. To set oneself 
a penance, or to ask the Superior to do so, whenever 
we fall into it. To bear in mind the maxim "/;/ the 
multitude of words there wanteth not sin;"* and what 
St. James says " If any man offend not in word, the 
same is a perfect #?#/" t and, "If any man among 
you thinketh that he is religious, and bridleth not his 

* Prov. x. 19. f St. James iii. 2. 

helping on this Examen. 121 

tongue, but deceiveth Ms heart, this man s religion is 
vain"* The esteem wherein the Saints held silence 
The loss of time for the chatterer and his hearers. 
How great a hindrance it is to prayer, to have our 
head filled with tales ; and so forth, as in the former 

The same formula may be applied to other faults. 

To acquire a virtue the same road must be taken. 
Considering its beauty, advantages, the examples of 
Christ and His Saints. Contrasting it with the 
turpitude and pernicious results of the contrary vice. 
Applying the motives of election, as heretofore. 

St. Ignatius, moreover, suggests another method, in 
the second mode of election, as "What would I 
counsel one whose interest I have at heart ? " "What 
would I wish to have done at the hour of death, at the 
Last Judgment ? " A deliberation of greater import 
ance may be spread over many days, taking one for 
the consideration of the reasons on one side; the next 
for those of the opposite side ; a third for weighing 
both together; and lastly, after invoking the divine 
aid, completing the election in accordance with the 
dictates of prudence. 

* St. James i. 26. 

122 The End of this Ex amen. 



THE end or purpose of this Examen is naught 
else but the performance of our good reso 
lutions, the putting into practice our holy desires, 
and compliance with the divine inspirations. If we 
look well to it, in our other spiritual exercises we 
exert the memory that it may supply useful matter, 
the mind that it may reason thereupon, the will that 
it may assent thereto. But of what use is all this, if 
these thoughts, reasonings, and affections be not 
reduced to practice ? 

What good is there in planting and digging a 
vineyard, in surrounding it with a hedge, if the vines 
yield but leaves, and there be no wine to put into the 
cellar at vintage time ? It is all the same if, when 
exercising the powers of the soul, and drawing forth 
what is in them, we fail to reduce our thoughts and 
purposes to practice. Now performance is the precise 
end of the Particular Examen, without which our 
unruly passions will behave like the labourers in the 
vineyard we read of in St. Matthew, who, at the time 
of the vintage, beat, stoned, and slew their master s 
messengers, and made no return to the owner of the 

The resolutions from which we expect fruit are of a 
twofold description. Some are directed to avoiding 
faults, others to the implanting or perfecting of virtue. 
Now the end of this exercise is to ensure the efficacy 

The End of this Examen. 123 

of both these classes of resolutions ; for the Examen 
does away with our faults, be they voluntary or 
natural (that is, such as through our inclinations or 
passions lead us into moral delinquencies), and by 
frequent acts it implants habits of virtue. So that the 
Particular Examen may well be deemed a universal 
instrument for perfecting the soul, both within and 
without, in the sight of God and of man. Other 
fruits peculiar to this exercise follow on these two 
main results. The conflict with vice leads us to that 
self-knowledge so highly prized and earnestly sought 
for by all who tend to perfection. Experience and 
practice render visible and tangible the great diffe 
rence existing between the time when we make our 
resolution and that when we are unfaithful to it, 
between those motions stirred up within us by the 
bountiful hand of God s mercy, and those which well 
up from our natural corruption and inborn frailty. 
In time of prayer, under the sense of God s presence, 
the mind is conscious of being enlightened with holy 
thoughts, the will kindles with pious desires and 
affections. On the other hand, when prayer is over, 
we find ourselves to be quite different. The mind is 
then darkened, nay, even blind, to heavenly things. 
Vain, idle thoughts, grovelling in what makes for our 
ease and gratification, now well up from the heart, the 
will wavers under the shock of our perverted lusts. 
Like as water when taken off the fire resumes its 
wonted temperature, so does the spirit, unsustained 
by prayer, return to its remissness and love of 
creatures. This is how we so soon fall short of our 
morning resolution. He, then, that turns his attention 

124 The End of this Examen. 

to these resolutions and their frequent violations, soon 
learns to distinguish between the divine and his own 
spirit, between the motions of nature and those of 
grace. He finds himself to be like an infant, who, so 
long as he is upheld by his nurse, is able to stand up y 
but, not having strength enough to go alone, he falls 
down as soon as this support fails him. In our 
ministrations to our neighbour we will learn to regard 
ourselves as a page bearing a message from his Prince, 
whose only business is to fulfil the commission he is 
intrusted withal. If the words of the page have any 
effect on his hearer, it is to be attributed to him that 
sent him, not to himself. Thus, too, shall we acknow 
ledge the hand of God in the fruit we may chance to 
produce either in ourselves or our neighbour, and 
ascribe whatever we may effect to the Source of all 
good. Blind, indeed, to all self-knowledge must he 
be, and barren will his labours, both for himself and 
for others, prove, who presumes to attribute to himself 
the fruit of his efforts in any case; for if this fruit 
be remarkable and noteworthy, its very excellence 
proclaims its source. We cannot but be fully con 
vinced that such results are due to a cause far higher 
than ourselves when, by the daily examen, we are 
made to see how little we effect where we strive the 
most, how easily we fall when most sure of ourselves. 
Such an experience must bring down and root out our 
pride and presumption. Like as when we see a man, 
whose poverty is well known to us, going forth in 
costly array, we infer that he has either borrowed or 
stolen it, so, too, one who is aware of his infirmity 
will not attribute it to himself, if he chance to gain 

The End of this Examen. 125 

some precious advantage for his own, on his neigh 
bour s behoof. Now this is the priceless fruit to be 
derived from this Examen, so far forth as it is con 
cerned with our defects. 

But of no less excellence are its fruits, if we consider 
it as a means for acquiring virtue. It enriches and 
decks the soul, as it were, in brocaded vesture. As 
virtues are engendered by repeated acts, by the 
mortifications of the contrary passions and vices, this 
practice must needs implant solid, firmly-rooted habits. 
Now habit implies facility ; solid virtue implies some 
what more than a mere seeming, a weakly counterfeit, 
bolstered up by the fervour of devotion when it is 
present (and thus without substance or durability) ; 
it implies virtue, forged on the anvil of mortifica 
tion, shaped by repeated victories over the contrary 
vice. From virtues such as these are begotten 
robust health, lasting peace, purity of aims. With 
them the passions lay down their arms and yield 
subjection to reason, which is given to man to hold 
his passions in check, to direct his actions, and which 
can never be brought so low by vice as to be subject 
to it, or so shackled by evil habits as not to struggle 
against them. This is the cause of the unrest of the 
wicked, for whom, as the Scripture says, there is no 
peace, while the just revel in the abundance thereof. 

From this there arise a relish and pleasure in 
action which ensure perseverance. When the stomach 
rejects wholesome and choice food, it is a sign of its 
being charged with an evil humour, that takes away 
the appetite. When medicine has purged it away, not 
only will the stomach not reject this food, but the 

126 The End of this Examen. 

palate will be tickled. The like happens in the 
practice of virtue. Virtue is for all men a most whole 
some and savoury aliment; yet to beginners, whose 
spiritual taste is depraved by passions, vices, and evil 
habits, it seems insipid and bitter. But the peccant 
humour having yielded to the practice of contrary 
acts, as virtue is, in very deed, most conformable to 
our reasonable nature, the soul delights in this food, 
which then becomes sweeter to its palate than honey 
and the honeycomb. 

It must not, however, be disguised that this exercise 
lays us open to two temptations of opposite tenden 
cies, yet, while giving occasion to them, it fails not to 
supply a remedy. For if the knowledge of our 
vileness is apt to engender pusillanimity and distrust, 
the practice of virtue may produce self-reliance and 
vanity. From this very self-confidence in a way, too, 
the ailing person himself cannot account for there 
proceeds such pusillanimity and fain t-heartedn ess as 
to withdraw the soul from its undertakings, and to 
make it take refuge in its former carelessness. The 
task we have set about being far beyond our powers, 
the soul, if she rely thereon, will forthwith discover 
that she cannot with her ten thousand hold her 
ground against a foe coming against her with twenty 
thousand; wherefore, despairing of the victory, she 
makes terms, and relapses into the shameful slavery 
of her vices and passions. The remedy for both 
temptations is contained in this very exercise. The 
practice thereof consists in making a resolution in the 
morning to watch over ourselves during the course of 
the day, to take note of and to count our falls, and to 

The End of this Examen. 127 

renew at the same time our good purposes. He who 
thus looks to himself and takes account of his failings, 
conscious as he is of his weakness, expects to fall, and 
when that comes to pass, he is not disheartened or 
discouraged at what he foresaw when entering upon 
the conflict. By renewing his resolution after a fall he 
is far from yielding to discouragement, by the very 
fact of his repeating his resolve. Nor will he rely too 
much on his own strength, since he finds that he 
stumbles, in despite of his will and resolution to the 
contrary. Whence we may see the wondrous efficacy 
of this remedy and the wisdom of the physician, who, 
by means of such easy and simple methods, wages 
war so successfully on vice and gathers such store of 
virtue, showing, too, how to blend confidence with 
distrust, so as to steer clear of the two extremes of 
faint-heartedness and vanity. 

128 For whom is this Ex amen suited? 



FROM what we have said of the matter, plan, and 
purpose of the Examen, it is easy to determine 
what persons may find their profit in making use of it. 
It is suited to all who aspire to spiritual progress 
to beginners, proficients, the perfect, to such as are 
engaged in occupations with their neighbours, to 
those who enjoy a pious leisure, to the talented, and 
to such as are more sparingly gifted ; its end being 
to uproot vice and implant virtue, to ground the soul 
in self-knowledge and self-diffidence, to beget within 
it trust in God, and that purity of heart, real peace, 
which is founded upon the subjection of our appetites 
and passions, and in conformity with right reason. If 
there be any one who has no need of pursuing this 
end, either wholly, or in part, he may be excused 
from making this Examen. But as there are none 
such, so may no one who has the slightest care for 
his spiritual progress claim to be exempted. 

Two pleas are usually urged, or can at least be 
invented. The first takes its stand upon the method. 
It may be said that, beyond a question, every exer 
cise is not suited to every one. For others, this 
method is too minute and refined for some, nay, for 
many. Does not St. Ignatius himself expressly teach 
in his prescriptions for making election, that among 
those who are not deficient in mental abilities, every 
one has not the requisite dispositions, and that hence 

For whom is this Examen suited? 129 

they should be dispensed from those exercises of 
contemplation and union with God, which presuppose 
extraordinary mortification and purity ? Granting 
all this, we deny its applicability to the Particular 
Examen. For this exercise is of such a nature as to 
make no great demands on our intellect or capacities. 
Its sole requirement as to the will is an honest desire 
of progress. See the i8th and iQth Annotations of 
St. Ignatius. 

The other plea for exemption is taken from the 
subject-matter. Some there are who, either from 
natural goodness of character, or from the failing of 
occasions, the fervour of passing devotion, or their 
former earnestness in mortifying themselves, are not 
conscious of any uprising of passion or temptation 
which gives them much trouble, so that they find not 
any enemy to attack. This stratagem is big with the 
most grievous perils. We have known men who in 
their novitiate, and the years immediately following 
it, might have been likened to Angels, but who, on 
being exposed to occasions, have fallen headlong into 
anger, envy, ambition, carnal passions, and have gone 
so far as to apostatize from Religion, and go over to 
the enemy. What can we assign as the cause of such 
a disaster, if it be not their negligence in waging war 
with their secret passions, which as we heretofore 
observed, conceal themselves, and lurk within them, 
awaiting their opportunity for striking a fatal blow. 

It must, therefore, be taken as certain, that whatever 

the natural goodness of character may be, unless it be 

singularly favoured by divine grace and sustained by 

mortification, it is not to be trusted. For, as St. Bernard 


130 For ivhom is this Examen suited? 

says, "Whether thou like it, or no, the Jebusite dwells 
within thy borders, nor can he be driven forth, but 
only kept under."* In other words, savage beasts 
make their lair in an honest and good heart, that 
seems naturally formed for virtue, and although they 
slumber awhile as if they were dead, yet are they alive, 
and will show it when occasion serves. Thus, if 
another has better success in his studies, the stings 
of envy make themselves to be felt. An order is given 
which is not so agreeable, the will kicks against it, 
and we feel an aversion for the Superior, as if he were 
unkind in his treatment of us. Now these feelings, 
and countless others of the same kind, if not worse, 
what do they prove, but that passions as yet unsub 
dued have their abode within us ; so that Cassian had 
the greatest reason for saying, "Whatever the vices 
we have brought with us into solitude without having 
remedied them, they will be found to lurk within us, 
instead of being made away. For if solitude can 
open unto such as have amended their conduct the 
way to the loftiest contemplation, and unfold the 
knowledge of heavenly mysteries into their purified 
gaze, so is it wont not only to preserve, but to increase 
the vices of those who are not wholly reformed. One 
may deem himself meek and humble so long as he 
is separated from human intercourse, but such a one 
will soon fall back into his former state when any 
disturbance chances to befall. His vices then forth 
with raise their heads, and like unbroken horses whom 
long repose has rendered unmanageable, they rush 
forth from their lurking-places, to the destruction of 
* Sermon Iviii. on the Canticles. 

For whom is this Examen suited? 131 

their driver. For our vices, unless amended, become 
more violent by the breaking off of intercourse with 
our fellows. That shadow of patience we fancied 
ourselves to possess while mingling with our brethren, 
and which we maintained out of respect for them, 
the fear of disgrace, is lost in the lull of a deceitful 
security. We might as well say that venomous reptiles 
or wild beasts, in the solitude of their lairs, are harm 
less, because they injure no one. Their harmlessness 
is the effect of solitude, not of natural goodness. 
Wherefore the absence of our fellow-men who might 
provoke us to anger is of little use for our perfection, 
for unless we have not already trained ourselves to 
patience, our anger will burst forth at inanimate 
objects and the merest trifles. "* Cassian thus teaches, 
and that with great truth, that it is of the utmost 
importance for us to be diligent in repressing our 
secret passions. Unless this be done, although we 
may be secured against temptations from without, we 
cannot promise ourselves any safety. Now this is 
just what is most effectually done by means of 
the Particular Examen. 

Some may, perhaps, deem their passions to be 
already sufficiently mortified in their inward motions, 
and that they may on that account dispense with this 
Kxamen. But let them hearken to St. Bernard 
"Who is there that has completely cut off from 
himself all that is superfluous, as not to need the 
pruning-knife any more ? Believe me, what has been 
pruned down, puts forth new shoots ; what has been 
put to flight, returns ; what we have quenched, kindles 
* Of the Institute of Coenobites, book viii., chap. xvii. 
J 2 

132 For whom is this Examen suited? 

afresh ; what is slumbering, awakens again. It avails 
little to have pruned once, we must do it often ; if 
possible, always. For unless you delude yourselves, 
you will never find matter wanting for the pruning- 

Nothing could be more truly said ; and granting 
there are no vices to mow down, are there no virtues 
to be gathered in and fostered ? St. Ignatius, though 
he attained to so sublime a height of sanctity, kept 
to the Particular Examen, as to the trusty helpmate 
and most efficacious means of his perfection, till his 
dying day. There may arise a question as to the 
time of making it. If we consult the Constitutions, 
Rules, and the Book of the Exercises, we shall ascer 
tain two points, (i) That we are to examine our 
consciences twice a day, as is ordered in the Institu 
tions."" The Fourth General Congregation or Chapter, 
in its sixth canon, decrees that the times of these 
examens per day is to be strictly kept to. This, 
also, is our invariable practice. (2) As regards the 
Particular Examen, St. Ignatius, as we have seen, 
teaches most expressly, that it is to be made at noon 
and in the evening. Since, then, two special times 
are appointed for the general and Particular Examen, 
it is most advisable to make both together, and never 
to omit them, even though we may be necessitated, 
now and then, by our occupations to change the usual 

* Part iv., chap, iv., sec. 3. 


From Father Nepvetis "Spirit of Christianity." 


WE cannot know well the nature of humility, 
without knowing the defects which are opposed 
to it : nor can we acquire this virtue except by labour 
ing earnestly to remedy those defects, which ought to 
be the subject of our examinations of conscience. 
These defects are 

First, self-complacency upon our good qualities, 
whether of body or mind, whether natural or super 
natural; also an excess of thought concerning our 
good qualities, and a lack of effort to prevent the 
movements of vanity that spring therefrom. 

Second, speaking too easily of one s self and of 
things favourable to one s self, or of that which can 
give occasion to others to notice or to speak of us. 

Third, to prefer one s self mentally to others, 
whether for virtue or for talents, and to consider 
voluntarily their defects rather than their good quali 
ties; also to act in a contrary manner concerning 

* Treatise ii. , ch. vi. 

134 Appendix. 

Fourth, to feel chagrined at hearing others praised, 
and to try cunningly to hinder their being so highly 

Fifth, to excuse one s self always when blamed, to 
refuse to recognize one s faults, or to avow that one 
has been in the wrong. 

Sixth, to have a certain air of self-sufficiency and 
superiority in conversation, and a contempt for others 
and their opinions, also to wish always to take the 

Seventh, to dispute with an obstinate attachment to 
one s own opinion, to prefer one s opinion always to 
that of others, persuading one s self that he has light 
on the matter which others have not. 

Eighth, to allow one s self to be too much dazzled 
by high employments, by great successes, by honours, 
by reputation, and by making too much account of all 
these things, instead of regarding them with fear or 
pity like a truly humble soul. 

Ninth, to feel too much chagrined when our enter 
prises do not succeed, even those undertaken for the 
glory of God or the salvation of our neighbour; for 
this often proceeds less from our zeal than from a 
secret pride which makes us fear that the lack of 
success may draw blame or contempt upon us. 

Tenth, to feel bitterly or coldly towards persons 
who appear not to esteem us so highly as we think 
we deserve ; to revenge their contempt by despising 
them, or giving way to a malignant joy when others 
appear to despise them or speak disparagingly of 

Eleventh, to speak too easily or without real 

Appendix. 1 3 5 

necessity of the defects of others, from a feeling 
of secret jealousy or a desire that we may be pre 
ferred to them. 

Twelfth, to wish that others should know and 
remark our good qualities and good works, and to 
do them with the view of meriting thereby their 
esteem and approbation. 

Thirteenth, to perform more willingly works of 
supererogation than of obligation, because they dis 
tinguish us and flatter our vanity and satisfy our 

Fourteenth, to do more willingly a good work which 
is apparent and gives fame than that which is known 
to God alone ; also to have no care to refer all that 
we do and all the praises our actions draw upon us, 
to God, instead of saying with the Psalmist Not 
to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy name give 

Fifteenth, to desire perfection and all virtues and 
spiritual gifts more for love of our own excellence 
than with a view to the glory of God. 


First, to cherish resentment against persons whom 
we believe to have offended us; to talk of them 
willingly in a spirit of bitterness, to desire to revenge 
ourselves upon them, and to seek the occasions and 
the means thereof. 

* Treatise v., ch. v. 

136 Appendix. 

Second, to abandon one s self to choler concerning 
those who have displeased or affronted us. 

Third, to manifest one s resentment either by offen 
sive language, or by violent actions. 

Fourth, to blame too severely those whose faults 
we are obliged to correct, or to complain too sharply 
when we have occasion to be dissatisfied. 

Fifth, to look on the faults of others rather with 
indignation than with pity, and to be little disposed 
either to accept their excuses or to pardon their short 

Sixth, to reprehend the failings of others with too 
much warmth, or with bitterness, or with pride. 

Seventh, to punish beyond what the offender 
deserves ; for meekness would always make the 
punishment less than the offence. 

Eighth, to sustain our opinions with too much 
warmth or stubbornness, and with contempt of those 
of other people. 

Ninth, to treat others uncivilly or with bluntness or 

Tenth,, is refuse harshly or indifferently those things 
which we can easily grant. 

Eleventh, to fail to express our sorrow when we 
cannot reasonably accede to the demands of others, 
and to soften the rigour of refusal by kindliness of 

Appendix. 137 


Firstly, we must have an interior contempt for all 
external show, and all that has the appearance of 
grandeur, as being opposed to the state of Jesus 
Christ, which is one of humility and self-annihilation. 

Secondly, we must, on the contrary, have a great 
esteem and respect for everything like poverty and 
humiliation for poor people and poor dwellings, &c., 
because all such matters are more in harmony with 
the poor and humble state of our Blessed Lord. 

Thirdly, we must neither seek the favour nor the 
friendship of the great ; we must be more willing to 
converse with the poor than the rich, and to labour 
for their salvation ; because there is less danger in 
labouring for the humble than for the great; and 
there is a greater profit in it, and more ease in 
approaching them. 

Fourthly, we must not push ourselves into affairs 
that may attract especial public attention, even under 
the pretext of zeal unless, perchance, we may be 
urged thereto by the glory of God, by charity or by 

Fifthly, when we are obliged to take part in such 
affairs, we must endeavour to perform the most painful 
and least honourable portion of the service ; and to 
act so that the success of the enterprise may be 
attributed to others rather than to ourselves. 

Sixthly, we must speak as little as possible of 
ourselves, never speaking to our own advantage 

* Treatise vii., ch. vi. 

138 Appendix. 

or reporting any good act that we may have per 
formed except we are compelled to do so by 
necessity, or by considerations for the edification of 
our neighbour. 

Seventhly, we must never do good before men, 
neither to please them, nor to obtain their appro 
bation, for we must only aim at pleasing God. 

Eighthly, we must take care not to make much of 
our good actions, lest we should vitiate our good 
intentions, and self-love, caprice, and the wish to 
please men should mix themselves up in our best 
actions, rendering them hateful in the sight of God : 
and when even we may have done all that we ought 
(and who would dare to flatter himself that he had 
done his whole duty?), we must believe ourselves, 
according to our Lord s counsels, useless servants. 

Ninthly, we must always be more willing to do 
good secretly than openly. 

Tcnthly, we must be perfectly content with the few 
talents that God has given us, and with the little 
success that may attend our efforts persuaded that 
we may often glorify God more worthily by humbly 
accepting our abjection than by obtaining the most 
splendid successes, which might make us vain and 

Eleventhly, we must, as far as possible, avoid the 
praise of men we must fear it much, and receive it 
with pain and confusion, bearing in mind that the 
applause of the world is not the only recompense of 
our good actions, and taking heed lest it make us 
lose our eternal reward. We must remember that 
the commendation of the world, if we seek it or rest 

Appendix. 139 

contented with it, only draws upon us the condemna 
tion of God. 

Twelftfily, when God favours us with any success, 
the greater it is, the more we must humiliate ourselves 
before God, and stand abashed to think that God, 
to manifest His power, condescends to use such weak 
instruments as ourselves; and we must refer all the 
glory to God, without reserve, remembering the word 
of our Lord to His disciples Rejoice not in this that 
spirits are subject unto you." ~ :: We must not rejoice in 
the success obtained, but rather in the hope that our 
names are written in Heaven. 

Thirtecnthly , when we are humiliated and despised 
by our fellow-men, so far ought we to be from feeling 
afflicted and discouraged, that we should rejoice in it 
and love our abject condition, because we may be 
led through it into a state of conformity with our 
humiliated and suffering Saviour. 


I. To moderate our natural activity and zeal, even 
in regard to our best undertakings. 

II. To relinquish any useless project, to the 
execution of which we feel strongly inclined ; and 
to suspend our action, in case of a good and useful 
one, so that we may act from a fixed principle, rather 
than from a natural enthusiasm. 

III. To deprive ourselves of some gratification, or 

* St. Luke x. 20. + Treatise via. ch. vi. 

140 Appendix. 

of the satisfaction of curiosity concerning anything 
whatever, after the example of St. Francis Borgia, 
who, being very fond of hawking, often, from a 
spirit of mortification, deprived himself of the inno 
cent pleasure of seeing the hawk seize his prey, by 
closing his eyes at the moment ; in which action 
he imitated David, that great Saint and King, who 
overcome with thirst, mortified himself, and made 
a sacrifice to the Lord by pouring out upon the 
ground the water which had been obtained for him 
with great labour and danger. 

IV. To restrain our anxiety to hear the news, and 
the common rumours of the day, particularly if they 
affect the good name of our neighbours. 

V. To guard our eyes carefully, never allowing them 
to rest upon any dangerous or impure object. 

VI. Not to indulge in raillery in conversation, how 
ever harmless or agreeable it may be particularly 
with persons with whom we are not on perfectly good 

VII. To withhold at times a witticism which might 
raise our own reputation, and please the hearers, 
particularly if it would be uncharitable, or might 
encourage our vanity. 

VIII. To behave kindly and politely towards those 
whom we dislike, or who have used us ill j and not to 
avoid meeting them. 

IX. To avoid making complaints to persons in 
whom we confide, that we may relieve our hearts of 
their burden. 

X. Not to complain of our food when it is not 
entirely to our liking, remembering that it is not, 

Appendix. 141 

after all, so bad as the gall which our Blessed Lord 
took for love of us : and to complain, when it is 
unavoidably necessary, without bitterness or anger. 

XI. Not to seek delicate food, not to eat with 
avidity, and to shun all sensuality in our eating: 
mortifying ourselves always in something, particularly 
in food that may be hurtful to us. 

XII. To abstain from the reading of all dangerous 
books, of those which will only satisfy a vain curiosity, 
and especially of those which may excite the passions. 

XIII. To abandon entirely all dangerous pleasures, 
and to moderate those that are innocent, abstaining 
from them at times for a penance and mortification. 

XIV. Never to seek, and sometimes even to avoid 
agreeable odours, concerts of music, and all that can 
flatter the senses and enervate the heart. 

XV. Never to occupy ourselves with vain and 
useless thoughts, although they may be harmless in 
themselves; and to endeavour as much as possible 
to restrain the wanderings of our imagination. 

XVI. To follow with fidelity the rule of life pre 
scribed by our director, and never to dispense with 
the observance of it, from our own inconstancy, or 
from weariness. 

XVII. To quit whatever we may be engaged in, as 
soon as the time shall come for our religious exercises; 
that is, when we can do so without wronging any other 
person, or behaving uncharitably. 

XVIII. To moderate our solicitude concerning 
ourselves, and our extreme sensibility to petty ills, 
which makes us complain without a cause and like 
to be pitied. 

I4 2 Appendix. 

XIX. Not to be too strongly attached to anything 
that gives us great pleasure, but to try to disengage 
our mind and heart from it, and by turning towards 
God, to renounce it altogether. 

XX. To repress our propensity to talkativeness, 
to speak little, and that without haste or too much 

XXI. To perform certain regular penances, and 
never to omit them without good reason and by the 
advice of our director. 

XXII. Never to place ourselves in immodest 
postures, though they may be comfortable. 

XXIII. Never to reprove any person when we feel 
at all moved, but to wait till we are perfectly calm. 

XXIV. To keep silence in our trials, and not to 
seek for consolations with too much anxiety and 

XXV. Never to excuse ourselves unless we are 
obliged to by considerations of obedience, or of 
charity, or of edification of our neighbour. 

Although the most of the things composing this 
practice of self-denial are very easy and light, yet it 
is undeniably true, by experience, that a soul which is 
faithfully exercised in it will surely arrive in a short 
time at a high state of perfection : because this 
exercise accustoms a person by degrees to overcome 
his caprices and to die to himself, and establishes in 
the heart, upon the ruins of selfishness, a perfect love 
of God. 

Cahtioc of <t 

PtBUiHlfi BY 









17 & 18, Portman Street, and 63, Paternoster Eow. 

Memorials of those who Suffered for the 

Faith in Ireland in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, 
and Eighteenth Centuries. Collected from Au 
thentic and Original Documents by MYLES 
O REILLY, B.A., LL.D. 8vo, 73. 6d. 

"A very valuable compendium of the martyrology of Ireland 
during the three, or rather two, centuries of active Protestant per 
secution. The language of many of these original records, written 
often by a friend or relative of the martyr, is inexpressibly touching, 
often quite heroic in its tone." Dublin Review, 

" Very interesting memories." Month. 

Life of St. Thomas of Canterbury. By 
Mrs. HOPE, Author of " The Early Martyrs " 
Cloth extra, 43. 6d. 

A valuable addition to the collection of historical 
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and other documents. 

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" An agreeable and useful volume." Nation. 

" A more complete collection of incidents and anecdotes, com 
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so compact, yet perfectly roomy, a space." Tablet. 

By the same Author. 
Life of St. Philip Neri. New Edition. 

2s. 6d. ; cheap edition, 2S. 


The Corean Martyrs. By Canon SHORT- 
LAND. Cloth, 2S. 

A narrative of Missions and Martyrdoms too little 
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stancy." Literary Churchman. 


I. Life of Henry Dorie, Martyr. Trans 
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2. Ihiophane Venard, Martyr in lonquin. 

Edited by the Same, 2s. ; cloth elegant, 33. 

" The life of this martyr is not so much a biography as a series 
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and striking. During ten years he laboured under Mgr. Retord, 
in the western district of Tonquin, and his efforts for the conver 
sion of souls were crowned with singular success. During the 
episcopate of his Bishop no less than 40,000 souls were added to 
the flock of Christ, and Venard was peculiarly instrumental in 
gathering in this harvest." Northern Press. 

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The Martyrdom of St. Cecilia : a Drama. 
By ALBANY J. CHRISTIE, SJ. With a Frontis 
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The Life of M. Olier, Founder of the 
Seminary of St. Sulpice; with Notices of his 
most Eminent Contemporaries. By EDWARD 
HEALY THOMPSON, M.A. Cloth, 45. 

This Biography has received the special appro 
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M. Olier;" and of the Very Reverend Paul Dubreul, 
D.D., Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice, 
Baltimore, U.S. 

Edited by the Same. 

The Lift of St. Charles Borromeo. Cloth, 

33. 6d. 

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The Hidden Life of Jesus : a Lesson and 

Model to Christians. Translated from the 
French of BOUDON. Clothes. 

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Devotion to the Nine Choirs of Holy Angels, 
and especially to the Angel Guardians. Trans 
lated from the Same. 35. 

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"A beautiful translation." The Month, 

"The translation is extremely well done." Weekly Register. 

Library of Religious Biography. Edited by 


" We gladly hail the first instalment of Mr. Healy Thompson s 
Library of Religious Biography. The life before us brings out 
strongly a characteristic of the Saint which is, perhaps, little appre 
ciated by many who have been attracted to him chiefly by the 
purity and early holiness which have made him the chosen patron 
of the young. This characteristic is his intense energy of will, 
which reminds us of another Saint, of a very different vocation and 
destiny, whom he is said to have resembled also in personal appear 
ance the great St. Charles Borromeo." Dublin Review. 

"The book before us contains numberless traces of a thought 
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or, the Angel of the Eucharist. 55. 

"The life of Marie Eustelle Harpain possesses a special value 
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throughout Western Christendom." Dublin Review. 

"A more complete instance of that life of purity and close 
union with God in the world of which we have just been speak- 



ing is to be found in the history of Marie Eustelle Harpain, the 
sempstress of Saint-Pallais. The writer of the present volume 
has had the advantage of very copious materials in the French 
works on which his own work is founded, and Mr. Thompson has 
discharged his office as editor with his usual diligence and 
accuracy." The Month, 


" We strongly recommend this biography to our readers, ear 
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an increase of affectionate veneration for one of whom Urban 
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* a great saint. " tablet. 

" There has been no adequate biography of St. Stanislas. In 
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The Life of S. Teresa, written by herself: 
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" We have in this grand book perhaps the most copious spiritual 

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The Life of Margaret: Mary Alacoque. By 

the Rev. F. TICKELL, SJ. 8vo, cloth, 75. 6d. 
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11 We can only hope that the life may carry on, as it is worthy 
of doing, the apostolate begun in our country by one who our 
Lord desires should be as a brother to His servant, sharing equally 
in these spiritual goods, united with her to His own Heart for 
ever. " Tablet. 

11 The work could hardly have been done in a more unpretend 
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The Day Hours of the Church, Latin and 
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Also, separately, 


" Prime and Compline are the morning and evening prayers 
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part, we can wish for nothing better. We know not where 
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should not their use be restored ? Why should they not become 
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full performance." Tablet. 

"The publication of these Offices is another proof of what we 
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Now ready. 
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" We earnestly recommend all who can do so to procure and 
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"Masterly and exhaustive articles." Catholic Opinion. 



Liturgical Directions for Organists, Singers, 
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selection. Fcp. 8vo, 6d. 

New Meditations for each Day in the Tear 
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The Day Sanctified : being Meditations and 

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"Many of the Meditations are of great beauty. . . .They 
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Our Father: Popular Discourses on the 
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" Most excellent manual." Church Re r vie<w. 

Little Book of the Love of God. By Count 
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Reflections and Prayers for Holy Communion. 

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Archbishop in the Preface." Register. 

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Holy Confidence. By Father ROGACCI, of the 
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The Invitation Heeded: Reasons for a 
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%* Of this able work 3000 have already been sold in America. 

The New Testament Narrative, in the 

Words of the Sacred Writers. With Notes, 
Chronological Tables, and Maps. A book for 
those who, as a matter of education or of devotion, 
wish to be thoroughly well acquainted with the 
Life of our Lord. What is narrated by each of 
His Evangelists is woven into a continuous and 
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serted at the end." Month. 

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Balmez : Protestantism and Catholicism 
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tion. Cloth, 73. 6d. 

* # * A new edition of this far-famed Treatise. 

The See of St. Peter. By T. W. ALLIES. 

A new and improved edition, with Preface on 
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Lallemant s Doctrine of the Spiritual Life. 
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11 This excellent work has a twofold value, being both a bio 
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thoughtful and devout reader the most valuable instructions for 
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Catholic Times. 

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"One of the very best of Messrs. Burns and Co. s publications 
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The Rivers of Damascus and Jordan : a 
Causerie. By a Tertiary of the Order of St. 
Dominick. 43. 

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"It treats the subject in so novel and forcible a light, that we 
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Eudoxia : a Tale of the Fifth Century. 

From the German of IDA, COUNTESS HAHN- 
HAHN. Cloth elegant, 43. 

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Tales for the Many. By CYRIL AUSTIN. 
In Five Numbers, at zd. each; also, cloth, is.; 
gilt edges, is. 6d. 

11 Calculated to do good in our lending-libraries." Tablet. 

" \Ve wish the volume all the success it deserves, and shall 
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" One of the most delightful books which Messrs. Burns and 
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Catholic Opinion. 

In the Snow ; or, Tales of Mount St. 
Bernard. By the Rev Dr. ANDERDON. Cloth 
neat, 33. 6d. 

"A collection of pretty stories." Star. 

" An excellent book for a present." Universe. 



ff A capital book of stories." Catholic Opinion. 

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" Several successive stories are related by different people as 
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" A charming volume. We congratulate Catholic parents and 
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edification." Dublin Review. 

By the same Author. 

The Seven Ages of Clarewell : A History of 
a Spot of Ground. Cloth, 35. 

" We have an attractive work from the pen of an author who 
knows how to combine a pleasing and lively style with the 
promotion of the highest principles and the loftiest aims. The 
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for a present." Westminster Gazette. 

" A pleasing novelty in the style and character of the book, 
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out." Northern Press. 

"Each stage furnishes the material for a dramatic scene; are 
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" * Clarewell will give not only an hour of pleasant reading, 
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of deep and important truths." Tablet. 


Life of Mary Fitzgerald, a Child of the 
Sacred Heart. Price is.; cloth extra, zs. 




Rose Leblanc. A Tale of great interest. 

Cloth, 35. 

Grantley Manor. (The well-known and fa 
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28. 6d. 

Life of St. Frances of Rome. Neat cloth, 

zs. 6d. ; cheap edition, is. 8d. 
Edited by the Same. 

Our Lady s Little Books. Neat cloth, 2s. ; 
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Life of the Honourable E. Dormer, late of 
the 6oth Rifles, is. ; cloth extra, zs. 

Helpers of the Holy Souls. 6d. 

Tales from the Diary of a Sister of Mercy. 
By C. M. BRAME. 

CONTENTS : The Double Marriage The Cross and 
the Crown The Novice The Fatal Accident The 
Priest s Death The Gambler s Wife The Apostate 
The Besetting Sin. 

Beautifully bound in bevelled cloth, 33. 6d. 

" Written in a chaste, simple, and touching style." Tablet. 

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" Calculated to promote the spread of virtue, and to check that 
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" A neat volume, composed of agreeable and instructive tales. 



Each of its tales concludes with a moral, which supplies food for 
reflection. " Westminster Gazette, 

" They are well and cleverly told, and the volume is neatly got 
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" Very well told j all full of religious allusions and expressions." 

i( Very well written, and life-like many very pathetic." 
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" An excellent work ; reminds us forcibly of Father Price s 
Sick Calls, " Universe. 

" A very interesting series of tales." Sun. 

By the Same, 

Angels Visits : A Series of Tales. With 
Frontispiece and Vignette. 35. 6d. 

tl The tone of the book is excellent, and it will certainly make 
itself a great favourite with the young." Month. 

11 Beautiful collection of Angel Stories. All who may wish to 
give any dear children a book which speaks in tones suited to the 
sweet simplicity of their innocent young hearts about holy things 
cannot do better than send for Angels Visits. " Weekly 

" One of the prettiest books forchildren we have seen." Tablet. 

"A book which excites more than ordinaiy praise. We have 
great satisfaction in recommending to parents and all who have 
the charge of childrenthis charming volume." Northern Press. 

" A good present for children. An improvement on the Diary 
of a Sister of Mercy. " Universe. 

"Touchingly written, and evidently the emanation of a refined 
and pious mind." Church Times. 

u A charming little book, full of beautiful stories of the family 
of angels. Church Opinion. 

" A nicely-written volume." Bookseller. 

" Gracefully-written stories." Star. 

Just out, ornamental cloth, 55. 

Legends o f Our Lady and the Saints: or. Our 
Children s Book of Stories in Verse. Written 



for the Recitations of the Pupils of the Schools of 
the Holy Child Jesus, St. Leonards-on-Sea. 
Cheap Edition, zs. 6d. 

"It is a beautiful religious idea that is realised in the Legends 
of Our Lady and the Saints. We are bound to add that it has 
been successfully carried out by the good nuns of St. Leonards. 
The children of their Schools are unusually favoured in having so 
much genius and taste exerted for their instruction and delight. 
The book is very daintily decorated and bound, and forms a 
charming present for pious children." Tablet. 

" The Legends are so beautiful, that they ought to be read by 
all lovers of poetry." Bookseller. 

" Graceful poems." Month. 

Edith Sydney: a Tale of the Catholic 

Movement. By Miss OXENHAM. 55. 

" A novel for the novel-reader, and at the same time it is a 
guide to the convert and a help to their instructors." Universe. 

11 Miss Oxenham shows herself to be a fair writer of a contro 
versial tale, as well as a clever delineator of character." Tablet. 

" A charming romance. We introduce Edith Sydney to 
our readers, confident that she will be a safe and welcome visitor 
in many a domestic circle, and will attain high favour with the 
Catholic reading public." Nation. 

" Miss Oxenham seems to possess considerable powers for the 
delineation of character and incident." Month. 

Not Yet: a Tale of the Present Time. 

By Miss OXENHAM. 55. 

"The lighter order of Catholic literature receives a very wel 
come addition in this story, which is original and very striking. 
The author is mistress of a style which is light and pleasant. 
The work is one to which we can give our heartiest commenda 
tion." Cork Examiner. 

"We are indebted to Miss Oxenham for one of the most in- 



teresting sensational Catholic tales yet published." Catholic 

" Wholesome and pleasant reading, evincing a refined and 
cultivated understanding." Union Review, 

"MissOxenham s work would rank well even among Mudie s 
novels, although its one-volume form is likely to be unfavourable 
in the eyes of ordinary novel-readers j but, in nine cases out of 
ten, a novelette is more effective than a regular novel, and any 
more padding would have merely diluted the vivid and unflagging 
interest which the authoress of Not Vet has imparted to her 
elegantly- bound volume. The plot is as original as a plot can 
be ; it is well laid and carefully and ably worked out." West 
minster Gazette. 

Nellie Netterville : a Tale of Ireland in 
the Time of Cromwell. By CECILIA CADDELL, 
Author of " Wild Times." 53. ; cheap edition, 
33. 6d. 

" A very interesting story. The author s style is pleasing, pic 
turesque, and good, and we recommend our readers to obtain the 
book for themselves." Church Nevus. 

" A tale well told and of great interest." Catholic Opinion. 

"Pretty pathetic story well told." Star. 

t( Pretty book-history of cruelties inflicted by Protestant domi 
nation in the sister country full of stirring and affecting pass 
ages." Church Re-view. 

" Tale is well told, and many of the incidents, especially the 
burning of the chapel with the priest and congregation by the 
Cromwellian soldiers, are intensely interesting." Universe. 

" By a writer well known, whose reputation will certainly not 
suffer by her new production." Month. 

Marie; or, the Workwoman of Liege. By 
CECILIA CADDELL. Cloth, 33. 6d. 

"This is another of those valuable works like that of Marie 
Eustelle Harpain. Time would fail us were we to enumerate 



either her marvellous acts of charity, or the heroic sufferings she 
endured for the sake of others, or the wonderful revelations with 
which her faith and charity were rewarded." Tablet. 

"The author of Wild Times, and other favourite works, is 
to be congratulated on the issue of a volume which is of more 
service than any book of fiction, however stirring. It is a beau 
tiful work beautiful in its theme and in its execution." Weekly 

" Miss Caddell has given us a very interesting biography of 
Marie Sellier, the Workwoman of Liege, known in the iyth 
century as Sceur Marie Albert. Examples such as that so grace 
fully set forth in this volume are much needed among us." 

"The Countess of Gloss wood: a Tale of the 
Times of the Stuarts. From the French. 35. 6d. 

" The tale is well written, and the translation seems cleverly 
done." Month. 

" This volume is prettily got up, and we can strongly recom 
mend it to all as an excellent and instructive little book to place 
in the hands of the young." Westminster Gazette. 

"An excellent translation, and a very pretty tale, well told." 
Catholic Opinion. 

" This is a pretty tale of a Puritan conversion in the time of 
Charles II., prettily got up, and a pleasing addition to our 
lending-libraries." Tablet. 

" This tale belongs to a class of which we have had to thank 
Messrs. Burns for many beautiful specimens. Such books, while 
they are delightful reading to us who are happily Catholics, have 
another important merit they set forth the claims of Catholicism, 
and must do a vast deal of good among Protestants who casually 
meet with and peruse them. The book before us is beautifully 
got up, and would be an ornament to any table." Weekly Register. 



Particular examen of conscience. 2216