From True Devotion
To the Blessed Virgin Mary, No. 228
During the first week they should offer up all their prayers and acts of
devotion to acquire knowledge of themselves and sorrow for their sins. Let
them perform all their actions in a spirit of humility. With this end in
view they may, if they wish, meditate on what I have said concerning our
corrupted nature, and consider themselves during six days of the week as
nothing but sails, slugs, toads, swine, snakes and goats. Or else they may
meditate on the following three considerations of St. Bernard: "Remember
what you were -corrupted seed; what you are - a body destined for decay;
what you will be -food for worms." They will ask our Lord and the Holy Spirit
to enlighten them saying, "Lord, that I may see," or "Lord, let me know myself,"
or the "Come, Holy Spirit". Every day they should say the Litany of the Holy
Spirit, with the prayer that follows, as indicated in the first part of this
work. They will turn to our Blessed Lady and beg her to obtain for them that
great grace which is the foundation of all others, the grace of self-knowledge.
For this intention they will say each day the Ave Maris Stella and the Litany
of the Blessed Virgin.
Imitation of Christ,
by Thomas á Kempis: Book 2, Chapter 5
We cannot trust
over much to ourselves (Jer. 17:5), because grace oftentimes is wanting to
us, and understanding also. Little light is there in us, and this we quickly
lose by our negligence. Oftentimes too we perceive not our inward blindness
how great it is. Oftentimes we do evil, and excuse it worse (Psalm 141:4).
We are sometimes moved with passion, and we think it zeal. We reprehend small
things in others, and pass over our own greater matters (Matt. 7:5). Quickly
enough we feel and weigh what we suffer at the hands of others; but we mind
not how much others suffer from us. He that well and rightly considereth
his own works, will find little cause to judge hardly of another.
for the First Week