> The following series of Meditations has been long in high repute in England. They were originally collected, a long time ago, from the best ascetical writers, which were then in existence, and there is hardly a meditation book of those days which our author has not ransacked in order to form his work.
p. 17 gives instructions on how to "meditate" or engage in "mental prayer" (a kind of Christian prayer):
How To Meditate Or Pray Mentally
St. Augustine is quoted as saying that "any one who
knows how to pray rightly, knows how to live rightly."
Many opinions could be cited of holy and learned writers
who attach the greatest importance to mental prayer, and
for some persons think it even necessary for salvation.
1. Avoid venial sins and be exact in all duties.
2. Practise some self-denial; guard your eyes and tongue.
3. Have a habit of recollection and union with God.
4. Be patient and kind.
1.Read the subject attentively the evening before, and fix it in the memory.
2. Picture in your imagination some object or scene connected with
the subject of meditation.
3. Take a respectful and not too easy posture in meditating. We should try to cometo prayer with a disengaged mind and a tranquil heart.
Begin your Mental Prayer by realizing the presence of
God, and kiss your crucifix devoutly.
O my God, I offer myself entirely to Thee, and beg of
Thee to direct all the powers of my soul to know, honor,
love, and serve Thee. Grant, dearest Lord, that I may
practise the virtue taught by this meditation.
(Recall the picture formed in imagination.)
Then carry on a conversation, as it were, with Al-
mighty God, while you exercise your memory, understanding,
and will (either all together or separately),
I. What am I going to think of?
(who ? where ? when ? why ?)
II. What doctrine or practical truth is to be learned from this ?
III. What reasons or motives for it
from authority, reason, experience, or from the subject
itself ? (Is it becoming ? is it profitable ? is it agreeable ? is
it easy? is it necessary ?)
IV. How have I done in the past ?
(in thought, word, action; towards God, my neighbor, myself ?)
V. What must I do in the future? (hourly, daily,
weekly, monthly, yearly ?)
VI. What obstacles are in
my way ? (internal, external ?)
VII. What means must I use ?
(determine on one or two things, and no more.)
Finish your meditation by a most fervent address to
God the Father, to Jesus Christ, to God the Holy Ghost;
also to the Blessed Virgin, the Angels and Saints.
After Meditation, examine yourself as to the prepara-
tion for your mental prayer; as to the manner in which
you have made the meditation itself (posture, attentionhttps://archive.org/details/MeditationsForEveryDayInTheYear/page/1/mode/2up
If it has succeeded, thank God; if it has
not, find out the cause and resolve to do better next time.