Saints' Prayers

selected from the annals of history unto our current day


Meditations for the Holy Season of Lent

by a Member of the Society of Jesus

Meditation II - Thursday

On Exterior Penance and Mortification II

1st Point. Make a free offering of your body to God, and he will impart to you his Spirit. Be watchful and careful in the discipline of your exterior, and he will guard and provide for the interior. Do all that you can, and that which you cannot accomplish he will do for you. Walk while you can, and when your strength fails you he will bear you in his arms. Fast with Jesus, that you may eat the Pasch with him.

2nd Point. Fasting is salutary for both soul and body; it is an efficacious remedy for their diseases. Nothing is impossible to him who has faith; nothing is difficult to him who loves; all is possible to him who reposes his trust in God. Fast if you can, and persuade yourself that you can do more than you imagine yourself capable of. Fasting is blessed by God, consecrated by his Son, and observed by all the faithful. God imparts strength to those who fast, and deprives of strength those who do not. Good cheer and luxurious ease are destructive to the health and life of all men; fasting and abstinence are safe remedies which restore the health and prolong the lives of all who practise them. He who shall have lost his health and strength for Jesus Christ, shall recover all that he thinks he has lost. He who desires to preserve his body and health, to the prejudice of the interests of Jesus Christ, shall lose all that he hopes to gain.

3rd Point. I will therefore chastise my body as the Apostles did, for fear of being found among the reprobates. I desire, with all my heart, to follow the example and imitate the life of Jesus Christ, that I may be of the number of the predestined. I will mortify my body, in order to remedy the maladies of my soul; I will deprive it of the power of revolting, by fasting, which will impair its strength. I will mortify my senses, that I may live a spiritual life. I wish to die with Jesus, that I may rise with Jesus. I wish for stripes and wounds, that I may become a true member of his thorn crowned head; and if I have not courage to inflict them on myself, I will at least suffer with thankfulness whatever afflictions God may see fit, in his divine providence, to send me.


"The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary to one to another." - Galatians, v.

"And they that are Christ's have crucified their flesh, with its vices and concupiscences." - Ibid.

"If you live according to the flesh, you shall die." - Romans, viii.

"For the wisdom of the flesh is death; but the wisdom of the spirit is life and peace." - Ibid.

"Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." - Jeremias, xvii.

Return to the First Meditation . . . Proceed to the Third Meditation