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The Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues Vol. #3 by Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J.

The Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues Vol. #3 by Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J.

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Published by: ExtraEcclesiamNullaSalus on Nov 09, 2010
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10/29/2013

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Page 1 of 161
PRACTICE OF CHRISTIAN AND RELIGIOUS PERFECTION
.
 
FATHER ALPHONSUS RODRIGUEZ OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS.VOLUME III of III
NEW YORK:P. J. KENEDY, Excelsior Catholic Publishing House, 5 BARCLAY STREET
.
 
INDEX OF CONTENTS
ALPHONSUS RODRIGUEZ TO THE READER.....................................................................................................................................3
 
THE FIRST TREATISE. - OF THE END FOR WHICH THE SOCIETY OF JESUS WAS INSTITUTED. THE MEANS WHICHARE CONDUCIVE TO THIS END; AND WHICH REGARD RELIGIOUS IN GENERAL.........................................................3
 
CHAP. I. OF THE END, AND INSTITUTION OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS.
......................................................................................3
 
CHAP. II. WHAT A GLORIOUS ENTERPRISE IT IS TO LABOUR FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS HOW PRECIOUS ANDMERITORIOUS THIS LABOUR IS.
..............................................................................................................................................................5
 
CHAP. III. THAT THIS PIOUS ENTERPRISE REGARDS THE WHOLE SOCIETY IN GENERAL, AND THAT EVEN THOSEWHO ARE NOT PRIESTS HAVE A PART IN IT.
......................................................................................................................................7 
 
CHAP. IV. THAT TO LABOUR PROFITABLY FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS, IT IS NECESSARY FIRST TO BE WELLGROUNDED IN VIRTUE.
..............................................................................................................................................................................9
 
CHAP. V. THAT THE CARE OF THE ADVANCEMENT OF OUR NEIGHBOUR, OUGHT NOT TO RENDER US NEGLIGENTIN WHAT REGARDS OUR OWN, BUT ON THE CONTRARY IF OUGHT TO OBLIGE US MORE SERIOUSLY TO APPLYOURSELVES TO IT.
......................................................................................................................................................................................12
 
CHAP. VI. THAT WE OUGHT TO TAKE CARE NOT TO FALL INTO ANOTHER EXTREME, WHICH IS ENTIRELY TOWITHDRAW OURSELVES FROM CONVERSING WITH OUR NEIGHBOUR UPON PRETENCE OF APPLYING OURSELVESTO THE CARE OF OUR OWN SALVATION.
........................................................................................................................................15
 
CHAP. VII. SOME REMEDIES AGAINST THE TIMIDITY OF WHO DARE NOT ENGAGE IN THE EMPLOYMENTS OFCHARITY, LEST THEY SHOULD THEREBY LOSE THEIR OWN SOUL.
........................................................................................17 
 
CHAP. VIII. OF THE MEANS TO PRODUCE FRUIT IN SOULS. OF SANCTITY OF LIFE, WHICH IS THE FIRST MEANS.
19
 
CHAP. IX. OF PRAYER, WHICH IS THE SECOND MEANS TO PRODUCE FRUIT IN SOULS.
.................................................22
 
CHAP. X. THE THIRD MEANS OF PRODUCING FRUIT IN OUR NEIGHBOUR, IS A GREAT ZEAL FOR THEIRSALVATION.
.................................................................................................................................................................................................25
 
CHAP. XI. THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
....................................................................................................................................26
 
CHAP. XII. THREE THINGS WHICH CONTRIBUTE VERY MUCH TO GIVE US THIS ZEAL.
..................................................27 
 
CHAP. XIII. WHAT ZEAL IS PLEASING, AND WHAT IS DISPLEASING TO GOD.
....................................................................28
 
CHAP. XIV. ANOTHER MEANS OF SUCCEEDING IN OUR MINISTRY, IS TO REGARD ONLY WHAT BELONGS TO THESOUL, WITHOUT LETTING OURSELVES BE INFLUENCED BY OUTWARD APPEARANCES.
..............................................31
 
CHAP. XV. ANOTHER MEANS TO PRODUCE FRUIT IN SOULS IS, NOT TO CONFIDE IN OURSELVES, BUT TO PUT OURWHOLE CONFIDENCE IN GOD.
.............................................................................................................................................................32
 
CHAP. XVI. THAT CONFIDENCE IN GOD IS ANOTHER VERY EFFICACIOUS MEANS TO OBTAIN FAVOURS FROM HIM.
..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................35
 
CHAP. XVII. THE WANT OF CONFIDENCE IS VERY DISPLEASING TO GOD.
..........................................................................36
 
CHAP. XVIII. THAT WE OUGHT NOT TO BE DISCOURAGED, THOUGH WE PERCEIVE WE PRODUCE VERY LITTLE ORNO FRUIT IN SOULS.
..................................................................................................................................................................................37 
 
THE SECOND TREATISE. - ON THE THREE PRINCIPAL VOWS OF RELIGION THE ADVANTAGES OF A RELIGIOUSSTATE.............................................................................................................................................................................................................40
 
CHAP. I. THAT THE PERFECTION OF A RELIGIOUS, CONSISTS IN AN EXACT OBSERVANCE OF THE VOWS OFPOVERTY, CHASTITY, AND OBEDIENCE.
...........................................................................................................................................40
 
CHAP. II. WHY WE BIND OURSELVES BY VOW TO THESE THREE VIRTUES.
..........................................................................41
 
CHAP. III. OTHER ADVANTAGES DERIVED FROM THE OBLIGATION OF VOWS.
................................................................42
 
CHAP. IV. WHY THE OBLATION WE MAKE OF OURSELVES TO GOD IN RELIGION BY MEANS OF VOWS, IS STYLED BYTHE SAINTS A SECOND BAPTISM AND A MARTYRDOM.
............................................................................................................43
 
CHAP. V. THAT THE OBLIGATION WE CONTRACT BY THE VOWS OF RELIGION, SO FAR FROM DIMINISHING OURLIBERTY, RENDERS IT MORE PERFECT.
...............................................................................................................................................44
 
CHAP. VI. THE GREAT ADVANTAGES OF RELIGION THE OBLIGATION WE HAVE TO GOD FOR HAVING CALLED USTO IT.
...............................................................................................................................................................................................................45
 
CHAP. VII. A CONTINUATION OF THE SAME SUBJECT.
................................................................................................................48
 
CHAP. VIII. THE RENEWING OF VOWS, WHICH IS A CUSTOM PRACTISED AMONGST US. THE FRUIT WHICH MAY BEREAPED FROM IT.
.......................................................................................................................................................................................49
 
CHAP. IX. A CONTINUATION OF THE SAME SUBJECT.
.................................................................................................................50
 
THE THIRD TREATISE -THE VOW OF POVERTY...........................................................................................................................52
 
CHAP. I. THAT THE VOW OF POVERTY IS THE FOUNDATION OF EVANGELICAL PERFECTION.
..................................52
 
CHAP. II. OF THE GREATNESS OF THE REWARD WHICH GOD BESTOWS UPON THE POOR IN SPIRIT.
.......................53
 
CHAP. III. THAT GOD REWARDS THE POOR IN SPIRIT, NOT ONLY IN THE OTHER LIFE, BUT IN THIS ALSO.
...........54
 
CHAP. IV. IN WHAT TRUE POVERTY CONSISTS.
..............................................................................................................................55
 
CHAP. V. OF THE FAULT OF SOME RELIGIOUS, WHO IN RELIGION PLACE THEIR AFFECTION UPON TRIFLES,HAVING LEFT CONSIDERABLE ESTATES IN THE WORLD.
..........................................................................................................57 
 
CHAP. VI. OF THE THREE DIFFERENT DEGREES OF POVERTY.
..................................................................................................58
 
CHAP. VII. MEANS TO ACQUIRE AND PRESERVE POVERTY OF SPIRIT.
..................................................................................59
 
 
Page 2 of 161
CHAP. VIII. ANOTHER EFFICACIOUS HELP TO OBTAIN AND PRESERVE THIS POVERTY OF SPIRIT.
...........................61
 
CHAP. IX- WHAT HAS BEEN SAID IN THE PRECEDING CHAPTER, IS CONFIRMED BY SEVERAL EXAMPLES.
...........62
 
CHAP. X THE OBLIGATION OF THE VOW OF POVERTY
................................................................................................................63
 
CHAP. XI. HOW FAR IT IS AGAINST THE VOW OF POVERTY, TO GIVE OR RECEIVE WITHOUT PERMISSION,ANYTHING, THOUGH EVEN IT SHOULD NOT BELONG TO THE HOUSE,
..............................................................................65
 
CHAP. XII. A SOLUTION OF SOME DIFFICULTIES, WHICH RELATE TO THE VOW OF POVERTY.
...................................66
 
CHAP. XIII. AN OBJECTION IS ANSWERED, AND THEREBY THAT SUBJECT IS MORE CLEARLY ELUCIDATED.
........68
 
CHAP. XIV. THAT THE VOW OF POVERTY OBLIGES UNDER PAIN OF MORTAL SIN.
.........................................................69
 
CHAP. XV WHETHER A RELIGIOUS CAN WITHOUT LEAVE OF HIS SUPERIOR, RECEIVE MONEY IN ORDER TO DOWORKS OF CHARITY WITH IT; AND WHAT THOSE CASES ARE, WHEREIN HE WOULD SIN AGAINST HIS VOW OFPOVERTY BY DOING SO.
..........................................................................................................................................................................70
 
CHAP. XVI. SOME EXAMPLES IN CONFIRMATION OF WHAT HAS BEEN SAID.
..................................................................71
 
THE FOURTH TREATISE - ON CHASTITY.......................................................................................................................................73
 
CHAP. I. - OF THE EXCELLENCY OF CHASTITY, AND THE DEGREES BY WHICH WE OUGHT TO RAISE OURSELVES TOPERFECTION IN THIS VIRTUE.
...............................................................................................................................................................73
 
CHAP. II. THAT TO LIVE CHASTE, WE MUST NECESSARILY MORTIFY OURSELVES, AND KEEP A STRICT WATCHOVER OUR SENSES, PARTICULARLY OUR EYES.
.............................................................................................................................74
 
CHAP. II. THAT WE OUGHT TO BE VERY NICE AND CAREFUL, EVEN IN THE LEAST THING WHICH RELATES TOCHASTITY.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................75
 
CHAP. IV. THAT THE LEAST OFFENCE AGAINST CHASTITY, IS TO BE TOLD IN CONFESSION.
.....................................76
 
CHAP. V. OF THE NATURE OF LOVE; HOW VIOLENT AND DANGEROUS A PASSION IT IS HOW MUCH WE OUGHT TODREAD IT.
......................................................................................................................................................................................................77 
 
CHAP. VI. CERTAIN REMEDIES AGAINST TEMPTATIONS TO IMPURITY.
...............................................................................78
 
CHAP. VII. THAT PENANCE AND MORTIFICATION OF OUR FLESH IS A VERY GOOD REMEDY AGAINST ALLTEMPTATIONS TO IMPURITY.
................................................................................................................................................................80
 
CHAP. VIII. SEVERAL OTHER REMEDIES AGAINST TEMPTATIONS TO IMPURITY.
.............................................................82
 
CHAP. IX. THAT THE FEAR OF GOD IS THE MOST REMEDY AGAINST TEMPTATIONS TO IMPURITY.
.........................83
 
CHAP. X. THE ADVANTAGES WHICH FLOW FROM THE FEAR OF GOD
.................................................................................86
 
CHAP. XI. THE PRECEDING DOCTRINE CONFIRMED BY EXAMPLES
.......................................................................................87 
 
THE FIFTH TREATISE - ON OBEDIENCE..........................................................................................................................................88
 
CHAP. I. EXCELLENCY OF THE VIRTUE OF OBEDIENCE.
..............................................................................................................88
 
CHAP. II. OF THE NECESSITY OF OBEDIENCE.
................................................................................................................................90
 
CHAP. III. OF THE FIRST DEGREE OF OBEDIENCE.
..........................................................................................................................91
 
CHAP. IV. OF THE SECOND DEGREE OF OBEDIENCE.
...................................................................................................................93
 
CHAP. V. OF THE THIRD DEGREES OF OBEDIENCE.
......................................................................................................................94
 
CHAP. VI. BLIND OBEDIENCE.
...............................................................................................................................................................96
 
CHAP. VII. OBEDIENCE IN SPIRITUAL MATTERS.
...........................................................................................................................98
 
CHAP. VIII. WHAT HAS BEEN SAID IN THIS TREATISE CONFIRMED BY SEVERAL EXAMPLES.
....................................100
 
CHAP. IX. WHENCE PROCEED* THAT OPPOSITION WE FIND IN OUR JUDGMENT, TO THE ORDERS OF OBEDIENCE.
........................................................................................................................................................................................................................102
 
CHAP. X. THE EXPLANATION OF ST. PAULS THREE ARGUMENTS FOR OBEDIENCE.
.....................................................105
 
CHAP. XI. THAT TO LOOK ON YOUR SUPERIORS AS ON JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, IS AN EXCELLENT MEANS TOOBTAIN OBEDIENCE IN PERFECTION.
..............................................................................................................................................108
 
CHAP. XII. THAT TO ACQUIRE THIS VIRTUE WE MUST OBEY OUR SUPERIOR AS CHRIST HIMSELF
..........................109
 
CHAP. XIII. OF OTHER ADVANTAGES WHICH ARISE FROM OBEYING THE SUPERIOR, AS WE WOULD CHRISTHIMSELF.
.....................................................................................................................................................................................................111
 
CHAP. XIV. THAT GOD LOOKS ON DISOBEDIENCE AND DISRESPECT TO A SUPERIOR, AS AN INJURY DONE TOHIMSELF.
.....................................................................................................................................................................................................111
 
CHAP. XV. THAT OBEDIENCE DOES NOT HINDER US FROM REPRESENTING OUR DIFFICULTIES TO THE SUPERIORTHE MANNER OF DOING IT.
................................................................................................................................................................113
 
CHAP. XVI. OF TOO MUCH SOLICITUDE FOR THE THINGS WHICH RELATE TO THE BODY, AND HOW NECESSARY ITIS TO AVOID ALL SINGULARITY IN THIS POINT.
..........................................................................................................................115
 
CHAP. XVII. AN OBJECTION ANSWERED.
........................................................................................................................................117 
 
CHAP XVIII. THE PRECEDING DOCTRINE CONFIRMED BY GENERAL EXAMPLES.
...........................................................119
 
THE SIXTH TREATISE. - ON THE OBSERVANCE OF RULES....................................................................................................120
 
CHAP. I. OF THE FAVOURS GOD HAS BESTOWED ON RELIGIOUS BY GUARDING AND FORTIFYING THEM WITHRULES.
..........................................................................................................................................................................................................120
 
CHAP. II. THAT OUR PERFECTION CONSISTS IN THE OBSERVANCE OF OUR RULES.
.....................................................121
 
CHAP. III. THAT THOUGH OUR RULES DO NOT OBLIGE UNDER PAIN OF SIN, YET WE OUGHT OBSERVE THEMEXACTLY.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................122
 
CHAP. IV. THE LEVITY OF THE MATTER COMMANDED BY THE RULE IS NO EXCUSE FOR OUR VIOLATING IT. THISCIRCUMSTANCE, ON THE CONTRARY, RENDERS US MORE INEXCUSABLE.
.....................................................................123
 
CHAP. V. HOW DANGEROUS A THING IT IS TO CONTEMN OUR RULES, THOUGH BUT IN SMALL THINGS.
.........124
 
CHAP. VI. THE GREAT ADVANTAGES DERIVED FROM AN EXACT OBSERVANCE OF RULES EVEN IN THE LEASTTHINGS.
.......................................................................................................................................................................................................125
 
CHAP. VII. THE PRECEDING DOCTRINE CONFIRMED BY EXAMPLES.
.................................................................................126
 
CHAP. VIII. SOME OTHER CAUSES OF THE NON-OBSERVANCE OF RULES. THE REMEDY THAT MAY BE APPLIEDTHEREUNTO.
.............................................................................................................................................................................................127 
 
 
Page 3 of 161
CHAP. IX. SOME OTHER MEANS WHICH MAY CONTRIBUTE TO AN EXACT OBSERVANCE OF OUR RULES.
..........129
 
THE SEVENTH TREATISE. - ON THE FIDELITY WHICH ALL OUGHT TO HAVE IN LAYING OPEN THE BOTTOM OFTHEIR HEART AND CONSCIENCE TO THEIR SUPERIORS AND SPIRITUAL FATHERS...............................................131
 
CHAP. I. HOW NECESSARY IT IS TO MAKE OURSELVES KNOWN TO SUPERIORS EXACTLY AS WE ARE.
.................131
 
CHAP. II. THAT GREAT COMFORT AND REPOSE OF MIND IT PRODUCED BY KEEPING NOTHING HID FROM OURSUPERIOR OR SPIRITUAL FATHER OF SEVERAL OTHER ADVANTAGES DERIVED FROM THIS PRACTICE.
.............134
 
CHAP. III. TO LAY OPEN OUR HEARTS TO OUR SUPERIOR OR SPIRITUAL FATHER, IS A MOST EXCELLENT REMEDYAGAINST TEMPTATIONS.
......................................................................................................................................................................136
 
CHAP. IV. THAT WE OUGHT NOT NEGLECT TO DISCOVER OUR TEMPTATIONS TO OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER UNDERPRETENCE THAT WE ALREADY KNOW THE REMEDIES HE WILL COUNSEL US TO MAKE USE OF.
...........................137 
 
CHAP. V. THAT WE MUST NEVER OMIT DISCOVERING ANYTHING TO OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER UNDER PRETENCETHAT IT IS INCONSIDERABLE.
.............................................................................................................................................................138
 
CHAP. VI. A SOLUTION OF THE DIFFICULTIES WHICH MIGHT HINDER US FROM, GIVING AN EXACT ACCOUNT OFOUR INTERIOR.
.........................................................................................................................................................................................139
 
CHAP. VII. AN ANSWER TO THE PRINCIPAL DIFFICULTY WHICH USUALLY HINDERS US FROM FREELYDISCOVERING OURSELVES TO OUR SUPERIOR.
............................................................................................................................140
 
CHAP. VIII. ANOTHER ANSWER TO THE AFORESAID DIFFICULTY.
.......................................................................................143
 
CHAP. IX THAT WE ARE UNDER GREAT OBLIGATIONS TO GOD FOR HAVING RENDERED THIS ACCOUNT OFCONSCIENCE AMONGST US SO EASY THE CAUSE OF THIS FACILITY.
.................................................................................144
 
CHAP. X. IN WHAT MANNER WE ARE TO RENDER AN ACCOUNT OF CONSCIENCE.
....................................................146
 
CHAP. XI AN ANSWER TO SEVERAL DIFFICULTIES RESULTING FROM WHAT HAS BEEN SAID IN THE PRECEDINGCHAPTERS.
.................................................................................................................................................................................................148
 
THE EIGHTH TREATISE. ON FRATERNAL CORRECTION...................................................................................................150
 
CHAP. I. THAT CORRECTION IS A MARK OF CHARITY – HOW USEFUL IT IS.
....................................................................150
 
CHAP. II. THAT IT IS PRIDE WHICH HINDERS US FROM RECEIVING CORRECTIONS SO WELL AS WE OUGHT.
....152
 
CHAP. III. OF THE INCONVENIENCES RESULTING FROM NOT RECEIVING CORRECTION IN GOOD PART.
...........152
 
CHAP. IV. OF HOW GREAT IMPORTANCE IT IS TO RECEIVE CORRECTION WELL.
...........................................................153
 
CHAP.. V. WHAT HAS BEEN SAID IN THE FOREGOING CHAPTER CONFIRMED BY EXAMPLES.
.................................155
 
CHAP. VI. OF THE RULE THAT OBLIGES US PRESENTLY TO DISCOVER TO OUR SUPERIOR THE FAULTS OF OURBRETHREN.
.................................................................................................................................................................................................156
 
CHAP. VII. SOME IMPORTANT ADMONITIONS CONCERNING THIS MATTER.
..................................................................159
 
 
ALPHONSUS RODRIGUEZ TO THE READER.
 
THE matters I have treated of in the first and second volume, regard a religious life in general, but these I nowtreat of, regard it in particular; and therefore I have entitled this third volume
"Practice of Christian and ReligiousPerfection."
Things are so disposed in it, that they do not only suit all other religious orders as well as our own,but also that they may be very profitable to all secular persons, who aspire to perfection. For, though the firsttreatise, for example, speaks of the end and institution of our Society in particular, yet it omits not to treat ofseveral general matters; such as good example, zeal for the salvation of souls, diffidence in ourselves, andconfidence in God, fraternal correction, manifestation of conscience to our confessor and spiritual father, all whichare subjects interesting to every one. And generally all the virtues I treat of, in this last volume, are proper to allsorts of persons; because every one may either embrace and practice them in desire, if the obligation of their statehinders them from observing them in effect; or they may make use of them to resist and overcome the contraryinclinations which nature causes in them. I hope, by the mercy of God, that the reading of this work will excitereligious more and more to the practice of perfection, according to the duty of their profession; and will inspireseculars with a desire of imitating them, as far as the state of each one will permit; so that the one and the otherwill hereby daily increase their fervour in God's service.
 
THE FIRST TREATISE. - OF THE END FOR WHICH THE SOCIETY OF JESUS WAS INSTITUTED. THEMEANS WHICH ARE CONDUCIVE TO THIS END; AND WHICH REGARD RELIGIOUS IN GENERAL.CHAP. I. OF THE END, AND INSTITUTION OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS.
 
ATTEND to thyself and doctrine, says St Paul to Timothy; be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shall saveboth thyself and them that hear thee (1 Tim. iv. 16)
The end and institution of the society, consist in these twothings, of which the apostle speaks.
Our constitutions and the apostolical bulls expressly declare, that the end ofthis society, is that all those who compose it, may with the grace of God, labour not only for their own salvationand perfection, but also seriously apply themselves to the salvation and perfection of their neighbour. (Cap. i.Exam. 1 )
It is not sufficient to apply ourselves after an ordinary manner, but we must according to the Latinwords,
(Impenso incumbere)
 
earnestly apply ourselves
, that is, we must apply ourselves with zeal and ardour toattain this end. Now it is to be observed, that as our constitutions oblige us to labour not only for our ownsalvation, but for our perfection; even so they will have us labour not only for the salvation of others, but also fortheir greater perfection, and greater advancement in virtue. Hence, Father Aquaviva in his instructions toconfessors, counsels them to be leas zealous in attracting a greater number of penitents, than in perfecting their

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