Above all things, my daughter, strive when your meditation is
ended to retain the thoughts and resolutions you have made as your
earnest practice throughout the day.
This is the real fruit of meditation, without which it is apt
to be unprofitable, if not actually harmful--inasmuch as to dwell
upon virtues without practising them lends to puff us up with
unrealities, until we begin to fancy ourselves all that we have
meditated upon and resolved to be; which is all very well if our
resolutions are earnest and substantial, but on the contrary
hollow and dangerous if they are not put in practice.
You must then diligently endeavour to carry out your
resolutions, and seek for all opportunities, great or small. For
instance, if your resolution was to win over those who oppose you
by gentleness, seek through the day any occasion of meeting such
persons kindly, and if none offers, strive to speak well of them,
and pray for them.
When you leave off this interior prayer, you must be careful to
keep your heart in an even balance, lest the balm it has received
in meditation be scattered. I mean, try to maintain silence for
some brief space, and let your thoughts be transferred gradually
from devotion to business, keeping alive the feelings and
affections aroused in meditation as long as possible.
Supposing some one to have received a precious porcelain
vessel, filled with a most costly liquid, which he is going to
carry home; how carefully he would go, not looking about, but
watching stedfastly lest he trip or stumble, or lest he spill any
of the contents of his vessel. Just so, after meditation, do not
allow yourself forthwith to be distracted, but look straight
Of course, if you meet any one to whom you are bound to attend,
you must act according to the circumstances in which you find
yourself, but even thus give heed to your heart, so as to lose as
little as possible of the precious fruits of your meditation. You
should strive, too, to accustom yourself to go easily from prayer
to all such occupations as your calling or position lawfully
require of you, even although such occupations may seem
uncongenial to the affections and thoughts just before forming
part of your prayer.
Thus the lawyer should be able to go from meditation to his
pleading, the tradesman to his business, the mistress of a family
to the cares of her household and her wifely duties, so calmly and
gently as not to be in any way disturbed by so doing. In both you
are fulfilling God's Will, and you should be able to turn from one
to the other in a devout and humble spirit.
It may be that sometimes, immediately after your preparation,
your affections will be wholly drawn to God, and then, my child,
you must let go the reins, and not attempt to follow any given
method; since, although as a general rule your considerations
should precede your affections and resolutions, when the Holy
Spirit gives you those affections at once, it is unnecessary to
use the machinery which was intended to bring about the same
In short, whenever such affections are kindled in your heart,
accept them, and give them place in preference to all other
considerations. The only object in placing the affections after
the points of consideration in meditation, is to make the
different parts of meditation clearer, for it is a general rule
that when affections arise they are never to be checked, but
always encouraged to flow freely.
And this applies also to the acts of thanksgiving, of oblation
and petition, which must not be restrained either, although it is
well to repeat or renew them at the close of your meditation. But
your resolutions must be made after the affections, and quite at
the end of your meditation, and that all the more because in these
you must enter upon ordinary familiar subjects and things which
would be liable to cause distractions if they were intruded among
your spiritual affections.
Amid your affections and resolutions it is well occasionally to
make use of colloquies, and to speak sometimes to your Lord,
sometimes to your guardian Angel, or to those persons who are
concerned in the mystery you are meditating, to the Saints, to
yourself, your own heart, to sinners, and even to the inanimate
creation around, as David so often does in the Psalms, as well as
other Saints in their meditations and prayers.