1. Consider the points on which you are about to renew your
- Firstly, that you have forsaken, rejected, detested and
renounced all mortal sin for ever.
- Secondly, that you have dedicated and consecrated your soul,
heart and body, with everything appertaining thereto, to the
Service and Love of God.
- Thirdly, that if you should unhappily fall into any sin, you
would forthwith rise up again, with the help of God's Grace.
Are not these worthy, right, noble resolutions? Consider well
within your soul how holy, reasonable and desirable an act it is
to renew them.
2. Consider to Whom you make these promises; for if a
deliberate promise made to men is strictly binding, how much more
those which we make to God. "My heart is inditing of a good
matter. I will not forget Thee," David cried out. (1)
3. Consider before Whom you promised. It was before the whole
Court of Heaven. The Blessed Virgin, S. Joseph, your Guardian
Angel, S. Louis, the whole Company of the Blessed, were looking on
with joy and approbation, beholding, with love unspeakable, your
heart cast at your Saviour's Feet and dedicated to His Service.
That act of yours called forth special delight in the Heavenly
Jerusalem, and it will now be renewed if you on your part heartily
renew your good resolutions.
4. Consider how you were led to make those resolutions. How good
and gracious God was then to you! Did He not draw you by the
tender wiles of His Holy Spirit? Were not the sails by which your
little bark was wafted into the haven of safety those of love and
charity? Did not God lure you on with His Heavenly Sweetness, by
Sacraments, prayer, and pious books? Ah, my child, while you slept
God watched over you with His boundless Love, and breathed
thoughts of peace into your heart!
5. Consider when God led you to these important resolutions. It
was in the flower of your life, and how great the blessing of
learning early what we can never know soon enough. S. Augustine,
who acquired that knowledge when he was thirty years old,
exclaimed, "Oh, Thou Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new, too
late I loved Thee! Thou wert within and I abroad: Thou wert with
me, but I was not with Thee." (2) Even so you may say, "Oh,
Blessedness of ancient days, wherefore did I not appreciate Thee
sooner!" You were not yet worthy of it, and yet God gave you such
grace in your youth;--therefore say with David, "Thou, O God, hast
taught me from my youth up until now; therefore will I tell of Thy
wondrous works." (3) Or if you who read should not have known Him
till old age, bethink you how great His Grace in calling you after
you had wasted so many years; how gracious the Mercy which drove
you from your evil courses before the hour of death, which, had it
found you unchanged, must have brought you eternal woe.
Consider the results of this call; you will surely find a
change for the better, comparing what you are with what you were.
Is it not a blessing to know how to talk with God in prayer, to
desire to love Him, to have stilled and subdued sundry passions
which disturbed you, to have conquered sundry sins and
perplexities, and to have received so many more Communions than
formerly, thereby being united to the Great Source of all eternal
grace? Are not all these things exceeding blessings?
Weigh them, my child, in the balances of the sanctuary, for it
is God's Right Hand which has done all this: "The Right Hand of
the Lord hath the pre-eminence, the Right Hand of the Lord
bringeth mighty things to pass. I shall not die, but live, and
declare the works of the Lord" (4) with heart, lips and deeds.
After dwelling upon all these considerations, which will kindle
abundance of lively affections in you, you should conclude simply
with an act of thanksgiving, and a hearty prayer that they may
bring forth fruit, leaving off with great humility and trust in
God, and reserving the final results of your resolution till after
the second point of this spiritual exercise.