Consider the humble state to which the Son of God chose to abase Himself. He vouchsafed to take upon Himself the form, not only of a servant, but of a sinful servant, appearing in the likeness of sinful flesh. Therefore, St. Bernard writes: “He assumed not merely the form of a servant, that He might be under subjection, but even that of a wicked servant, that He might be beaten.”
To a spiritual life the Reading of Holy Books is, perhaps, not less useful than Mental Prayer. St. Bernard says that reading instructs at once both in prayer and in the practice of virtue. Hence, he concluded that Spiritual Reading and Prayer are the weapons by which hell is conquered and Heaven is won..
If the prayers of the Saints are very powerful with God, how great must be the power of Mary’s prayers! The former are the prayers of servants, the latter the prayers of a Mother! Blessed is that person, then, for whom Mary prays. Holy Mother of God, pray for us!
Before the coming of the Messias the world was buried in a dark night of ignorance and sin. The true God was hardly known, save in one single corner of the earth, that is to say, in Judea alone: In Judea God is known. (Ps. lxxv. 2). But everywhere else men adored as gods devils, beasts, and stones.
Leave outside the door of the place where you are going to converse with God all extraneous or distracting thoughts, saying with St. Bernard: “O my thoughts, wait here! After prayer we shall treat on other matters.” Be careful not to allow the mind to wander where it wishes.
No, the world with all its goods cannot content the heart of man. He was created, not for them, but for God alone. Hence God alone can make man content and happy, and give that peace which the world cannot give.
The Eternal Word descends on earth to save man; and whence does He descend? His going out is from the end of heaven. (Ps. xviii, 7). He descends from the bosom of His Divine Father, where from eternity He was begotten in the brightness of the Saints. And whither does He descend?
We can meditate in every place, at home or elsewhere, even when walking or working. How many are there who, not being able to do otherwise, raise their hearts to God and apply their minds to Mental Prayer without for this purpose leaving their occupations, their work, or meditate even when travelling. He who seeks God will find Him everywhere and at all times.
The moment the soul leaves the body it shall go into eternity and the body shall return to dust. The same lot awaits all, nobleman and peasant, prince and vassal. Thou shalt take away their breath, and they shall return to their dust. (Ps. ciii, 29).
Consider that the Eternal Father, in giving us His Son for a Redeemer, the victim and price of our ransom, could not give us stronger motives for hope and love, to inspire us with confidence, and to oblige us to love Him. “In giving us His Son,” says St. Augustine, “He could give us nothing more.”