Skip to comments.The Spiritual Exercises: The Nativity
Posted on 12/29/2005 4:21:37 PM PST by annalex
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is the narrative and it will be here how Our Lady went forth from Nazareth, about nine months with child, as can be piously meditated,9 seated on an ass, and accompanied by Joseph and a maid, taking an ox, to go to Bethlehem to pay the tribute which Caesar imposed on all those lands (p. 135).
Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be here to see with the sight of the imagination the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem; considering the length and the breadth, and whether such road is level or through valleys or over hills; likewise looking at the place or cave of the Nativity,10 how large, how small, how low, how high, and how it was prepared.
Third Prelude. The third will be the same, and in the same form, as in the preceding Contemplation.
First Point. The first Point is to see the persons; that is, to see Our Lady and Joseph and the maid, and, after His Birth, the Child Jesus, I making myself a poor creature and a wretch of an unworthy slave, looking at them and serving them in their needs, with all possible respect and reverence, as if I found myself present; and then to reflect on myself in order to draw some profit.
Second Point. The second, to look, mark and contemplate what they are saying, and, reflecting on myself, to draw some profit.
Third Point. The third, to look and consider what they are doing, as going a journey and laboring, that the Lord may be born in the greatest poverty; and as a termination of so many laborsof hunger, of thirst, of heat and of cold, of injuries and affrontsthat He may die on the Cross; and all this for me: then reflecting, to draw some spiritual profit.
Colloquy. I will finish with a Colloquy as in the preceding Contemplation, and with an Our Father.
After the Preparatory Prayer and the three Preludes, the repetition of the first and second Exercise will be made, noting always some more principal parts, where the person has felt some knowledge, consolation or desolation, making likewise one Colloquy at the end, and saying an Our Father.
In this repetition, and in all the following, the same order of proceeding will be taken as was taken in the repetitions of the First Week, changing the matter and keeping the form.
In the same way as was done in the above-mentioned repetition.
Prayer. After the Preparatory Prayer and the three Preludes, it is helpful to pass the five senses of the imagination through the first and second Contemplation, in the following way:
First Point. The first Point is to see the persons with the sight of the imagination, meditating and contemplating in particular the details about them and drawing some profit from the sight.
Second Point. The second, to hear with the hearing what they are, or might be, talking about and, reflecting on oneself, to draw some profit from it.
Third Point. The third, to smell and to taste with the smell and the taste the infinite fragrance and sweetness of the Divinity, of the soul, and of its virtues, and of all, according to the person who is being contemplated; reflecting on oneself and drawing profit from it.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to touch with the touch, as for instance, to embrace and kiss the places where such persons put their feet and sit, always seeing to my drawing profit from it.
Colloquy. One has to finish with one Colloquy as in the first and second Contemplation, and with an Our Father.
First Note. The first note is to remark for all this and the other following Weeks, that I have only to read the Mystery of the Contemplation which I have immediately to make, so that at any time I read no Mystery which I have not to make that day or at that hour, in order that the consideration of one Mystery may not hinder the consideration of the other.
Second Note. The second: The first Exercise, on the Incarnation, will be made at midnight; the second at dawn; the third at the hour of Mass; the fourth at the hour of Vespers, and the fifth before the hour of supper, being for the space of one hour in each one of the five Exercises; and the same order will be taken in all the following.
Third Note. The third: It is to be remarked that if the person who is making the Exercises is old or weak, or, although strong, has become in some way less strong from the First Week, it is better for him in this Second Week, at least sometimes, not rising at midnight, to make one Contemplation in the morning, and another at the hour of Mass, and another before dinner, and one repetition on them at the hour of Vespers, and then the Application of the Senses before supper.
Fourth Note. The fourth: In this Second Week, out of all the ten Additions which were mentioned in the First Week, the second, the sixth, the seventh and in part the tenth have to be changed.
In the second it will be, immediately on waking up, to put before me the contemplation which I have to make, desiring to know more the Eternal Word incarnate, in order to serve and to follow Him more.
The sixth will be to bring frequently to memory the Life and Mysteries of Christ our Lord, from His Incarnation down to the place or Mystery which I am engaged in contemplating.
The seventh will be, that one should manage as to keeping darkness or light, making use of good weather or bad, according as he feels that it can profit and help him to find what the person desires who is exercising himself.
And in the tenth Addition, he who is exercising himself ought to manage himself according to the Mysteries which he is contemplating; because some demand penance and others not.
All the ten Additions, then, are to be made with great care.
Fifth Note. The fifth note: In all the Exercises, except in that of midnight and in that of the morning, the equivalent of the second Addition will be taken in the following way:Immediately on recollecting that it is the time of the Exercise which I have to make, before I go, putting before myself where I am going and before Whom, and summarizing a little the Exercise which I have to make, and then making the third Addition, I will enter into the Exercise.
Second Day. For first and second Contemplation to take the Presentation in the Temple (p. 137) and the Flight to Egypt as into exile (p. 138), and on these two Contemplations will be made two repetitions and the Application of the Five Senses to them, in the same way as was done the preceding day.
Note. Sometimes, although the one who is exercising himself is strong and disposed, it helps to make a change, from this second day up to the fourth inclusively, in order better to find what he desires, taking only one Contemplation at daybreak, and another at the hour of Mass, and to repeat on them at the hour of Vespers and apply the senses before supper.
Third Day. How the Child Jesus was obedient to His Parents at Nazareth (p. 139), and how afterwards they found Him in the Temple (p. 140), and so then to make the two repetitions and apply the five senses.
As can be piously meditated is in St. Ignatius handwriting and is inserted before seated.
The place or cave of the Nativity is in the Saints hand, correcting the inn, which is crossed out.
PRAYER OF FATHER DIERTINS
ROUSE up, O Lord, and foster the spirit of the Exercises which Blessed Ignatius labored to spread abroad, that we, too, may be filled with it and be zealous to love what he loved and do what he taught! Through Christ our Lord.
I 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.
Once again, thank you for these prayers. I'll givie them the ping!