SadhanaOriental meditation and christian prayer

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【12】Contemplation to gain love by St. Ignatius

 St. Ignatius recommends the following contemplation in concluding his profound contemplation program.  Here is the #230-237 of The Spiritual Exercises (based on translation by Fr. Elder Mullan, S.J.)
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 First, it is well to remark two things: the first is that love ought to be put more in deeds than in words.  The second, love consists in interchange between the two parties; that is to say in the lover's giving and communicating to the beloved what he has or out of what he has or can; and so, on the contrary, the beloved to the lover.  So that if the one has knowledge, he give to the one who has it not.  The same of honors, of riches; and so the one to the other.
 The Preparatory Prayer is to 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.
[First Prelude]
 The first Prelude is a composition, which is here to see how I am standing before God our Lord, and of the Angels and of the Saints interceding for me.
[Second Prelude]
 The second, to ask for what I want.  It will be here to ask for interior knowledge of so great good received, in order that being entirely grateful, I may be able in all to love and serve His Divine Majesty.
[First Point]
 The First Point is, to bring to memory the benefits received, of Creation, Redemption and particular gifts, pondering with much feeling how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much He has given me of what He has, and then the same Lord desires to give me Himself as much as He can, according to His Divine ordination. And with this to reflect on myself, considering with much reason and justice, what I ought on my side to offer and give to His Divine Majesty, that is to say, everything that is mine, and myself with it, as one who makes an offering with much feeling:
 “Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my intellect, and all my will -- all that I have and possess. Thou gavest it to me: to Thee, Lord, I return it!  All is Thine, dispose of it according to all Thy will.  Give me Thy love and grace, for this is enough for me.”
[Second Point]
 The second, to look how God dwells in creatures, in the elements, giving them being, in the plants vegetating, in the animals feeling in them, in men giving them to understand: and so in me, giving me being, animating me, giving me sensation and making me to understand; likewise making a temple of me, being created to the likeness and image of His Divine Majesty; reflecting as much on myself in the way which is said in the first Point, or in another which I feel to be better. In the same manner will be done on each Point which follows.
[Third Point]
 The third, to consider how God works and labors for me in all things created on the face of the earth -- that is, behaves like one who labors -- as in the heavens, elements, plants, fruits, cattle, etc., giving them being, preserving them, giving them vegetation and sensation, etc.  Then to reflect on myself.
[Fourth Point]
 The fourth, to look how all the good things and gifts descend from above, as my poor power from the supreme and infinite power from above; and so justice, goodness, pity, mercy, etc.; as from the sun descend the rays, from the fountain the waters, etc.  Then to finish reflecting on myself, as has been said.
 I will mark and dwell on the Points in which I have felt greater consolation or desolation, or greater spiritual feeling.  After this I will make three Colloquies in the following manner:
<<First Colloquy>> The first Colloquy to Our Lady, that she may get me grace from Her Son and Lord for the following: to ask, based on what I feel, [that I can further develop my love towards God].  And with that a HAIL MARY.  <<Second Colloquy>> The same to the Son, begging Him to get it for me from the Father. And with that the SOUL OF CHRIST. <<Third Colloquy>> The same to the Father, that the Eternal Lord Himself may grant it to me. And with that an OUR FATHER.


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