In honor of the day here’s a small quote from the Spiritual Exercises by St. Ignatius of Loyola. It is the beginning of the final contemplation in the Spiritual Exercises.

 

The Contempaltion to gain Love
The Contemplation to gain Love
Picture from a book produced in 1673
by early fathersof the Society of Jesus.

CONTEMPLATION TO GAIN LOVE

Note. First, it is well to remark two things: the first is that love ought to be put more in deeds than in words.

The second, love consists in interchange between the two parties; that is to say in the lover’s giving and communicating to the beloved what he has or out of what he has or can; and so, on the contrary, the beloved to the lover. So that if the one has knowledge, he give to the one who has it not. The same of honors, of riches; and so the one to the other.

Prayer. The usual Prayer. (The Preparatory Prayer is to ask grace of God our Lord that all my intentions, actions and operations may be directed purely to the service and praise of His Divine Majesty.)

First Prelude. The first Prelude is a composition, which is here to see how I am standing before God our Lord, and of the Angels and of the Saints interceding for me.

Second Prelude. The second, to ask for what I want. It will be here to ask for interior knowledge of so great good received, in order that being entirely grateful, I may be able in all to love and serve His Divine Majesty.

First Point. The First Point is, to bring to memory the benefits received, of Creation, Redemption and particular gifts, pondering with much feeling how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much He has given me of what He has, and then the same Lord desires to give me Himself as much as He can, according to His Divine ordination. And with this to reflect on myself, considering with much reason and justice, what I ought on my side to offer and give to His Divine Majesty, that is to say, everything that is mine, and myself with it, as one who makes an offering with much feeling:

Take, Lord, and receive
all my liberty, my memory,
my intellect, and all my will
all that I have and possess.
Thou gavest it to me:
to Thee, Lord, I return it!
All is Thine,
dispose of it according to all Thy will.
Give me Thy love and grace,
for this is enough for me.

 

St Ignatius
St. Ignatius of Loyola.

 

You can read the online version of the spiritual excercises here

You can find the online Spiritual Exercises in pictures by Joseph MacDonnell, S.J. here.

The Jesuits arrange retreats for lay man all over the world. Contact a Jesuit house for more information.

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