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Holy Wisdom Or Directions For The Prayer Of Contemplation by Ven. F. Augustine Baker

HOLY EXERCISES

OF ACTS OF THE WILL.

The First Exercise.

1. My God, Thou art of a most simple being, therefore infinite in all perfections;

2. I do adore Thee with my whole heart, with most profound humility and reverence;

3. And because Thou only art most worthy of all love, I do and for ever will (through Thy grace) love Thee with a most entire and sincere love.

4. Thy being, O my God, is incomprehensibly immense, filling and penetrating all things;

5. O, teach me, therefore, so to live as being always in Thy presence;

6. Possess my heart as Thy temple, and reign in it as Thy throne.

7. I offer unto Thee, my life and all my faculties and strength, to be employed only in Thy service.

8. Thou, O my God, art alone from everlasting to everlasting; eternally and unchangeably perfect and happy.

9. O my soul, never cease to bless our infinitely great and bountiful Lord, all whose perfections and happiness shall eternally be contemplated and enjoyed by thee.

10. O, bless our Lord, all the works of our Lord; praise Him and exalt Him for ever.

The Second Exercise.

1. Great art Thou, O Lord, and great is Thy power; yea, and Thy wisdom is infinite.

2. Send, O God, out of Thy inexhaustible fountain of light, one beam into my soul, that I may perfectly see, admire, and adore all Thy most wise and secret judgments.

3. O my soul, how filthy and odious is sin, when thou lookest upon it by a divine light!

4. O, how ungrateful have I been to my most merciful God, whose infinite power and wisdom have been continually watchful over me!

5. Whom need I to fear, having a Saviour infinite both in power, wisdom, and goodness?

6. Thou, my God, art good, not with this or that kind of goodness, or after such or such a manner; but simple good, without all limitation or measure.

7. O my soul, if a small shadow and appearance of good here on earth doth, with such violence, draw our affections, how ought we to love Him by whom all good is communicated to creatures!

8. My God, if I had in my heart all the capacity of loving that is in all men and angels, it were all due to Thee alone. How much more, then, ought I to employ all that little power that is in me!

9. My God, give me this proof of sincere love to Thee, to make me as well love Thee commanding as promising; as well chastising as comforting.

10. How happy were we, O my soul, if we had no other will but the will of Jesus!

The Third Exercise.

1. My God, Thou art the author, end, and measure of all purity and holiness; before whom folly is found even in the angels.

2. How infinite is Thy goodness, then, since Thou desirest that my heart may become a temple for Thy holiness to dwell in!

3. O that Thy presence would purify it from all strange and unworthy affections to creatures!

4. O that there I might have my only conversation with Thee in a holy silence and solitude!

5. O my soul, conceive if thou canst how ugly and abominable sin (which is impurity itself) is in the eyes of our God, who is purity itself.

6. Thy divine providence, O my God, stretcheth to all creatures whatsoever; by its law all things arise, fall, move, and rest: even the very hairs of our heads are numbered by Thee.

7. O ungrateful and foolish wretch that I am, how oft have I desired and even endeavoured to withdraw myself from this all-comprehending providence, having a will to live according to mine own most imprudent judgment! My God, I repent me of this from the bottom of my heart, and most humbly beg pardon of Thee.

8. From this hour my purpose, through Thy grace, is to accept and welcome all occurrences, whether pleasing or distasteful to sense, as coming from Thy heavenly providence: this shall be my comfort and stay in all my afflictions; in dangers, security; and perfect rest of mind in expectation of future events.

9. Do Thou alone, O my God, provide, determine, will, and choose for me.

10. Hast not Thou, O my God, provided for me Thine own kingdom? What, then, can make me dejected?

The Fourth Exercise.

1. Who can declare the mercies of my God towards my soul? Of nothing He raised me to the dignity of an intellectual, immortal nature; from the low state of nature He exalted me to the divine state of grace; from thence He will raise me to a participation of His glory and happiness.

2. Bless thou our Lord, O my soul; and all that is in me, praise His holy name.

3. And with me let all His holy Angels and Saints sing forth the praises of my God, my most merciful and liberal Benefactor.

4. Let it suffice, O my soul, that hitherto we have been so unpardonably ungrateful.

5. My God, through Thy grace I will consecrate the remainder of my life to the glorifying of Thy holy name, directing all the powers of my body and soul to the accomplishing of Thy will and increasing of Thy glory and praise.

6. Thy right hand, O my God, is full of righteousness: Thou art a most just Judge, and with Thee is no acceptation of persons; but Thou renderest to every one according to his works.

7. This Thy justice is as truly acceptable to me as Thy goodness.

8. Be Thou therefore exalted in the punishing of all obstinate impenitent sinners; for just and reasonable it is that Thou shouldst be feared.

9. But Thy will it is, O my God, that I should appeal from Thy tribunal of justice to that of mercy, being desirous to amend and correct all my past sins and provocations of Thee.

10. However, O my God, if Thou wilt exercise Thy justice on me, let it be in this world, that Thou mayest spare me in the next.

The Fifth Exercise.

1. My God, as Thou art the Author of the being of all things, so art Thou the End also; for Thy glory all things were and are created.

2. And a great proof hereof Thou hast given to all the sons of Adam, for we see that our hearts find no rest at all whilst we adhere by affection to creatures.

3. Therefore, my God, I do here offer myself as a holocaust, to be even consumed to Thy glory.

4. I offer unto Thee my understanding, firmly to adhere to all divine verities revealed by Thee to Thy Church, renouncing all doubt or questioning of any of them; and herein my purpose irrevocable is, through Thy grace, to live and die.

5. O that it would please Thee that all mankind might know Thee, and with a firm faith confess Thee!

6. My God, I do willingly offer unto Thee my blood to seal this my faith, whensoever by Thy providence an occasion shall be presented, hoping that then Thou wilt be my strength and my salvation; and being assured that, whilst I hope in Thee, I shall not be weakened.

7. O my God, that Thou wouldst wholly possess my mind, which is Thine, and which I here offer to Thee! Fill it with good thoughts of Thee only; expel out of my memory all vain seducing objects of vanity.

8. I offer unto Thee, O my God, all my will and affections; to will, love, and desire only that which Thou willest and lovest.

9. If Thou wilt have me to be in light, be Thou ever praised; and if Thou wilt have me to be in darkness, be Thou likewise praised.

10. I renounce all propriety in myself, for I am wholly Thine, both for life and death, for time and eternity.

The Sixth Exercise.

1. My God, in union with that most perfect and acceptable oblation of Thy Son my Saviour Jesus Christ, I offer unto Thee my whole self entirely, and all things that belong unto me, to be employed only in Thy service and worship.

2. Let His worthiness recompense for my unworthiness, that I may obtain that for His merits which I cannot for my own.

3. I offer unto Thee my watching and my sleeps, in union with His waking from the sleep of death.

4. I offer unto Thee all my thoughts, speeches, and actions, to be sanctified and purified to Thy glory by all His most holy thoughts, words, and actions.

5. I offer unto Thee my refections, in union of that Blessed Refection in which He gave His most Precious Body and Blood to nourish the souls of His disciples.

6. I offer unto Thee all the prayers and other exercises of piety which, through Thy grace, I have or shall perform, beseeching Thee to accept them in union with those most perfect merits and heavenly prayers which Thy Son offered to Thee on Mount Olivet or elsewhere.

7. My God, I offer unto Thee all the afflictions, pains, desertions, and tribulations which I either have or ever shall suffer in union with the most bitter Passion of Thy only-begotten Son, my only Saviour.

8. O most sweet and merciful Jesus, as Thou in infinite goodness didst offer Thyself unto Thy Father for the expiation of my sins, and to purchase for me an inheritance of glory, behold I here offer my whole self entirely to Thee, to be employed purely to Thy glory.

9. Do Thou likewise offer me with Thyself, Thy merits and sufferings, to Thy Heavenly Father, that my poverty may be enriched with Thy abundance, and my sins cancelled by Thy merits.

10. O Holy Spirit, the greatest gift that our Heavenly Father had to bestow upon the sons of men, without whose inspiration we cannot so much as think a good thought, behold I offer my heart and my whole self unto Thee, beseeching Thee so to purify my soul with Thy sevenfold graces that I may serve Thee with a chaste body, and please Thee with a pure heart. Amen.

The Seventh Exercise.

1. My God and all my good, I am nothing, I have nothing, I can do nothing that is good as of myself; Thou art all, and all our sufficiency is from Thee only.

2. I do here humbly prostrate my soul before Thee, plunging myself in the abyss of mine own nothing.

3. How infinitely good art Thou, O my God, that vouchsafest to behold and take care of so vile, so unclean a creature as I am!

4. I beseech Thee that even for this most undeserved goodness of Thine I may yet more humble myself before Thee and all others.

5. I am content that my inexpressible vileness were known unto all, to the end that all may treat me according to my demerits, out of a just zeal to Thy glory.

6. O my God, the God of love, I would to God that as I live only in Thee and by Thee, so likewise my living may be for Thy honour and service.

7. My God, even because I am indeed nothing, and Thou alone art all, therefore will I utterly distrust and abandon myself, and securely trust in Thee only, who alone art able to supply my infinite wants and cure my defects.

8. To Thee, O Lord Jesus, is this poor and wretched soul of mine left, to Thy guard is it committed by Thy Heavenly Father; behold I cast all my care and solicitude upon Thee, both for this life and that which is to come.

9. My God, Thou alone art my love, and Thou only shalt be my fear.

10. My God, Thou hast made me unto Thee, and my heart is unquiet (and so let it be more and more) till it rest in Thee; let me find bitterness in all undue love to creatures.

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