Brother Giles on Sloth.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Brother Giles on Sloth.
The slothful man loses both this world and the next; for he neither brings forth fruit in himself, nor is of any use to others. It is impossible for one to acquire virtue without solicitude and great labor. Therefore, when thou art able to stand in a secure place, tarry not in a doubtful one. He is secure who strives and labors and toils according to God, and for his Lord’s sake, and not for the fear of punishment, or for a reward, but for the love of God. He who shrinks from working and suffering for the love of Christ verily draws back from the glory of Christ; and even as this solicitude is useful so is negligence ever hurtful to us. As sloth is the way to hell, even so is holy solicitude the way to Heaven.
Much should one strive to acquire and to preserve virtue and the grace of God, always co-operating faithfully with this grace and virtue; for the man who does not thus co-operate faithfully often sacrifices the fruit for the leaves, or the grain for the straw, for to some the Lord concedes graciously good fruit with but few leaves; to some others He gives fruit together with the leaves; and there are some others who have neither fruit nor leaves. It seems to me a greater thing to know how to guard well, and in secret to preserve the graces given by God, than to know how to acquire them; because, however well a man knows how to acquire, yet unless he knows well how to store and keep, he will never grow rich; but they who acquire things by little and little will enrich themselves, for they take care of their gains and their treasure.
O what a quantity of water the Tiber would have collected, if it had not escaped by some outlet! Man asks of God gifts without measure and without end; and he will not love God but in measure and degree. He who would be loved of God, and receive from Him infinite merit above reckoning or measure, should also love God without reckoning and without measure, and ever render Him infinite service. Blessed is he who loves God with all his heart, and with all his mind, and always afflicts his body and his mind for the love of God, seeking for no reward under Heaven, but acknowledging himself wholly as God’s debtor.
If a man were exceedingly poor and needy, and another were to say to him: “I will lend thee a thing most precious for three days; and know that if thou use it well within this term of three days, thou wilt gain infinite treasure, and mayest be rich for evermore:” it is most sure that the poor man would be very solicitous to make good use of a thing so precious, and much would he study how to gather well the fruit of it. Thus also I say to thee, that our body is that good thing which we hold from the hands of God for three days; for all the years of our time upon earth may be compared unto three days.
Therefore, if thou wilt be rich, and enjoy eternally the Divine sweetness, study to labor well, and to make good use of what God hath lent thee, namely, thy body, in this space of three days, that is, in the brief space of this thy life; inasmuch as, if thou strive not to acquire in this present life whilst yet thou hast time, thou canst not hereafter enjoy the eternal riches, or enter into the holy rest of that celestial and eternal peace. But if all the possessions of the world belonged to one person, who would not cultivate them, or cause them to be cultivated by others—what fruit or what use would he have of these things? Most sure is it, that he would have neither fruit nor profit. But it might well be, that a man having but few possessions, and cultivating them diligently, should have much profit, and through his own and others’ labors, have fruit enough and to spare.
There is a worldly proverb which says: Never put an amply pot on the fire, hoping from thy neighbor. And thus also it is God’s will that no grace shall remain idle; for our good God does not give a man grace that he may hold it in vain, but He gives it that a man may do His will by performing good works; for a good will suffices not, unless a man study to follow and make use of the grace of God, by the practice of holiness.
On one occasion, a dissipated man said to Brother Giles: “Father, I pray thee give me some consolation.” To whom Brother Giles replied: “My brother, study to stand well with God, and immediately thou shalt have all the consolation of which thou hast need; for if a man prepare not within his soul a clean abode where God may dwell and repose, he will never find a resting place for himself, or repose; or true consolation in any creature. When a man would do ill, he never seeks much counsel how to do it; but to do well, he seeks many counsels, and makes long delay.”
On another occasion, Brother Giles said to his companions: “My Brothers, it seems to me that now-a-days there is no one willing to do that which profit him most, and that for his body, as well as his soul. Believe me, my Brothers, that I could swear of a truth, that the more a man seeks to fly and to shun the burden and the yoke of Christ, so much the harder does he make it for himself, and the more difficult and cumbersome he finds it; and the more ardently a man submits himself to it, voluntarily adding to its weight, the more he finds it easy and sweet to carry.
“O, that it would please God that men would indeed seek and procure in this world the welfare of their bodies, for then they would at the same time procure that of their souls! inasmuch as, without doubt, body and soul must be agreed to suffer together, or to rejoice together everlastingly; for of a truth either they shall suffer in hell eternal torments and immeasurable pains, or they shall enjoy with the Saints and the Angels in Paradise perpetual joy and unfailing consolation, through the merit of good works. For if a man do well, and also pardon others, yet without humility, his good will turn to evil; for many have done many works that seemed good and praiseworthy; but because they had not humility, it was discovered and made known that their works were done out of pride, and the works themselves proved it, for only works done in humility never become corrupt.”
A Brother said once to Brother Giles: “Father, it seems to me, that we do not yet know or understand that which is for our true good.” To whom Brother Giles replied: “My Brother, it is a sure thing that each one will practice the art which he has learnt, for none can rightly practice that which he has not learnt beforehand. Now wouldst thou know the noblest art upon earth? It is that of working well: and who can practice it, who has not first learnt it? Blessed is the man whom no creature can misguide; but more blessed is he who, in whatever he sees, or hears, can take to himself true edification.”
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name
O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. Thou art the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that Thy Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis
Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:
“The Golden Arrow”
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.
P.S. 32th day for anyone praying Total Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort that ends February 2nd!
The 8nd day of the Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Good Success.
Copyright © Holy Cross Publications, 2013 – 2018. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holy Cross Publications with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.