Friday, September 18, 2009
A Rule of Life - For Those Who, Living in the World, Aspire after Perfection
By Father Michael Muller, C.Ss.R.
In the Morning
1. Rise at affixed hour, for example, six o'clock; do not remain longer in bed without a reasonable motive.
2. As soon as you awake, offer your heart to God, make the sign of the Cross, and dress yourself quickly and modestly. Then, on your knees, say three "Hail Marys," in honor of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to obtain a great purity of body and soul.
3. Say your morning prayers, and make a meditation during half, or at least a quarter of an hour. It is better to say short prayers - "Our Father" and "Hail Mary," - or to say your prayers going to or at your work, than to say no prayers at all.
4. Hear Mass, if it is possible.
During the Course of the Day
5. Read a spiritual book for at least a quarter of an hour.
6. Say your beads, if possible, with the rest of the household.
7. Pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the church if you can do so. N.B. - For these three last exercises you can choose whatever time will
least interfere with your daily occupations.
8. Frequently make short ejaculatory prayers, above all at the beginning and end of your actions. Employ chiefly acts of the love of God, such as these: My dear Jesus, I love Thee ... I wish very much to love Thee ... make me love Thee more and more, etc.
9. Practice the mortification of the eyes, of the ears, and of the tongue, by sometimes refraining from looking, hearing, or saying things, which, though not dangerous, are useless, in order to be able more easily to abstain from what is dangerous, or even bad.
10. Seize carefully every opportunity of suffering any little pain, contradiction, or humiliation, for the love of God. In every such occasion submit yourself to the will of God, saying: O my God, this is Thy Will; may Thy holy Will be done!
11. At your meals deprive yourself in part or entirely of some little thing you are fond of; and never completely satisfy your appetite.
12. Do not eat between meals without necessity.
13. Fly idleness, bad company, and every occasion of sin, especially those in which chastity is in danger.
14. In temptations, especially those of impurity, make the sign of the Cross, if you are alone; and say in your heart, Jesus and Mary, help me. If the temptation still continues, do not be troubled, but pray with greater earnestness, saying, My dear Jesus, I would rather die than offend Thee.
15. If you have the misfortune to commit a sin, so not give way to trouble, even though the sin be grievous, but make immediately a good act of contrition, with a firm purpose not to fall again, and to confess it as soon as possible.
In the Evening
16. At a fixed hour, for example, nine o'clock, say your night prayers, and make your examination of conscience; recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, and then read over the subject of the next morning's meditation.
17. Having said, on your knees, the three "Hail Marys," as in the morning, undress yourself with all modesty, and be careful to remain always decently covered in bed, and to preserve a modest posture.
18. Until you fall asleep, occupy your mind with the subject of the tomorrow's meditation, or with the remembrance of death, or some other pious thought.
19. Choose a good [Traditional] Confessor, in whom you have confidence; open your heart to him without reserve, and be guided by his advice; do not quit him without strong reason.
20. Go to confession once a week, and receive the Holy Communion as often as your director judges proper. (Note: This was before Pope St. Pius X's decree encouraging frequent and daily communion.)
21. Attend sermons and instructions as often as you can, endeavoring always to apply them to yourself, and to draw some practical resolution from them; enter some pious confraternity, with the sole view of attending to the interest of your soul.
22. If your health will permit, fast on every Saturday, and on the eves of the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin. At least perform in Her honor some little act of mortification on those days, according to your state of health and your occupations. Nourish in your heart a tender devotion towards the Blessed Virgin, and address to Her from time to time this fervent prayer: My
good Mother Mary, help me to love your divine Son Jesus with all my heart. Wear the scapular, and at least the miraculous medal.
As this rule of life does not of itself impose any obligation under pain of sin, no one must be alarmed if he cannot follow it in every thing. Let each one take that which is in accordance with the duties of his state of life, which ought always to be attended to in preference to any exercises of piety which are not of obligation. Thus let each one do what he can, but cheerfully, and for the love of God.
Taken from A Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine, 1875
(out-of-print), by Father Michael Muller, C.Ss.R.
From: A Catholic Life Blog.