Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer – Part 10 of 12

Continued here are Father Schouppe’s meditations on the Lord’s Prayer, based on the second manner of prayer taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

“As we forgive them who trespass against us”

“Lord, we forgive our brethren their offences, deign also to pardon ours. We know that our offences against you are much more grave than those which our brethren have committed against us; nevertheless, you have been pleased to promise us forgiveness, on condition of our forgiving our offending brother: ‘For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences’ (Mt 6:14).”

“Our Divine Master makes us add these words, to remind us constantly of the great precept of fraternal charity, and of the obligation of pardoning our enemies. We can only ask pardon of God on condition of first granting forgiveness to our neighbour.”

“We are obliged to forgive the offences, the injuries of our neighbour, as far as the insult, but not as far as the loss is concerned; we are obliged to put away all sentiments of revenge and enmity, but we are not forbidden to claim a just compensation, within the limits of prudence and Christian charity.”

“We ought to forgive all offences without exception. However great the injuries we suffer from our neighbour, can they ever bear any comparison with those we have committed against God.”

“We ought to pardon others, because we also have offended our brethren. ‘Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so shall you fulfil the law of Christ’ (Gal 6:2).”

“We ought to forgive every injury, and to pray for those who offend or persecute us, after the example of the Saviour, who said on the cross: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’ (Lk 23:34).”

“We must forgive from our hearts. . . . The interior forgiveness and good will are always obligatory, even should the enemy persist in his hatred; but reconciliation and exterior friendship are not always possible.”

“Grant me, Lord, a perfect charity towards my neighbour, the grace to bear with his defects, a love for my enemies; may I have in my heart no other sentiments than those of the purest charity, with which the Heart of Jesus is animated. ‘For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’ (Phil 2:5).”

Quotations from Francois Xavier Schouppe, An Easy Method of Meditation (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1883).

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Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer – Part 9 of 12

Continued here are Father Schouppe’s meditations on the Lord’s Prayer, based on the second manner of prayer taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

“And forgive us our trespasses”

“Our Divine Master wishes us to ask pardon of our sins, and that every day. . . . ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us’ (1 Jn 1:8).”

“We ought to ask pardon of our sins in order to acknowledge our misery and humble ourselves before God.”

“Every day we commit some faults. . . . We must never cease to confide in his mercy.”

“We ask pardon from God, because He alone can forgive sin, He alone can justify, can purify our souls.”

“Forgive us our trespasses, that is to say, our sins; in the text of St. Matthew it is our debts: because by our sins, we have contracted towards God real debts.”

“In sin there are three distinct elements: the act which passes, the guilt which it leaves as a stain upon the soul, and the penalty which remains due. We ought to ask again and again the pardon of our sins; because, whilst effacing the guilt, God does not usually grant the entire remission of the punishment; and because this petition for pardon is an act of penance and humility very pleasing in his sight.”

“We ask the forgiveness of all our sins, mortal as well as venial, but to obtain it we must have true contrition for them; we must be sorry for them, detest them, avoid the occasions which cause us to fall into them, and make use of the necessary means to amend our lives.”

Quotations from Francois Xavier Schouppe, An Easy Method of Meditation (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1883).

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Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer – Part 8 of 12

Continued here are Father Schouppe’s meditations on the Lord’s Prayer, based on the second manner of prayer taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

“Our daily bread”

“Give us our bread: our spiritual bread. ‘Man liveth not by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4). The soul must also have its food.”

“The spiritual bread by excellence is Jesus Christ himself: ‘I am the living Bread, which came down from heaven’ (Jn 6:51). Our souls are nourished by it not only at the eucharistic banquet, but by every interior act of faith, hope, and charity.”

“If we ask our bread, it is only with a view to our salvation. Bread is the means appointed by Providence to maintain our corporal life, in order to be able to work out our salvation. Under the name of bread we include not only food, but in general all things necessary, as well for our spiritual as for our corporal life. We mean food, clothing, lodging, health, success in temporal affairs, and everything else necessary for the suitable support of man and his family. We ask necessaries, not superfluity or opulence. Our Divine Master, who became poor for our sake, does not teach us to ask riches. ‘Having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content’ (1 Tm 6:8).”

“We ask our daily bread, the common, ordinary bread of every day, in order to learn to content ourselves with necessaries, without seeking dainties or any of those things which only gratify the senses and feed the passions.”

“One condition for obtaining from God what we ask is, that we also give to our neighbour according to our means: ‘Give and it shall be given to you’ (Lk 6:38).”

“We have not been taught to say give me, but give us, to show us that we must ask the gifts of God in the spirit of fraternal charity, not for ourselves alone, but for all men, even our enemies. God gives his gifts, especially temporal blessings to man, not for himself alone, but also for others: in order that he may share them with his neighbour, and cast an abundant alms into the lap of the poor.”

“Although the bread we ask is a gift of God, nevertheless we call it ours, because it corresponds to our wants, and is destined for us by our Father. It is already ours: we are entitled to it in virtue of the merits and promises of Jesus Christ.”

“We shall not taste on earth the bread we shall eat in heaven. ‘Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God’ (Lk 14:15).”

“Our bread. . . . Ought it not to be like that of our Master? ‘My food,’ said He, ‘is to do the will of Him that sent me, that I may perfect his work’ (Jn 4:34).”

Quotations from Francois Xavier Schouppe, An Easy Method of Meditation (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1883).

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Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer – Part 7 of 12

Continued here are Father Schouppe’s meditations on the Lord’s Prayer, based on the second manner of prayer taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

“Give us this day our daily bread”

“A father is bound to feed his children. Our heavenly Father who has given us life and so many other blessings, is certainly disposed to give us our bread. Nevertheless, He wishes us to ask it, for children ought to be dependant on their father.”

“In teaching us to ask our bread, our Divine Master does not mean to dispense us from working for it. He only wishes to make us understand that what we gain by our industry still comes from Him, and that all our labours would be fruitless without the blessing of our Heavenly Father. If the Lord buildeth not the house, if He giveth not fruitfulness to the earth, if He ripeneth not the harvest, man laboureth in vain (Ps 126).”

“He wishes us to ask bread of our heavenly Father, to show us that this good Father provides for our wants, that we ought to have confidence in Him, and cast away all excessive solicitude about the things of earth. . . . ‘Seek ye, therefore, first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you’ (Mt 6:33).”

“He makes us ask our bread, to cure us of an error which is only too common, and very prejudicial to salvation—that of believing our temporal affairs depend solely on our own activity and industry.”

“All men, even the richest, ought to make this petition: (1) because God, who has given them their fortune, can alone preserve it to them; (2) because, besides material goods, they also require personal blessings, such as health and spiritual strength, which requires to be renewed every day; (3) because they ought not to ask daily bread for themselves alone, but also for their neighbour.”

“Our Divine Master does not make us ask our bread once for all, nor for several days in advance, but only for to-day, this present day, in order that we may repeat our prayer every day; and to show us that on every day, even the most prosperous ones, we are depending on our Heavenly Father.”

“‘Be not, therefore, solicitous for tomorrow: for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof’ (Mt 6:34). Our Divine Master does not mean to forbid a prudent foresight; nor does He even hinder us from asking for to-morrow: provided we be free from the spirit of covetousness, and that excessive solicitude which is opposed to confidence in God.”

“Let us not be solicitous about tomorrow, which perhaps we shall never see. What folly to think so much of an uncertain future, to amass riches for the days, for the years, when we shall no longer be in the world.”

Quotations from Francois Xavier Schouppe, An Easy Method of Meditation (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1883).

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Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer – Part 6 of 12

Continued here are Father Schouppe’s meditations on the Lord’s Prayer, based on the second manner of prayer taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

“On earth as it is in Heaven”

“To know and fulfil the will of God is the summary of all we must do and desire here on earth: it is the greatest blessing we can wish our best friends.”

“Obedience to the divine will is good order and justice; resistance to it is disorder and sin, the source of all the evils which afflict the human race: ‘justice raises up nations, sin casts them down’ (Prv 14:34).”

“To fulfil the will of God is the foundation and the pledge of all happiness. . . . ‘If ye had obeyed my precepts, your peace would have been as a river and your justice as the waves of the sea’ (Is 48:18).”

“He who wills nothing but what God wills always has what he desires. If the whole world were to be thrown into disorder, he would be neither affected nor troubled, because his will is united to the will of God, always equally calm and peaceful.”

“We ought to seek in heaven, amongst the saints, models to imitate, and not on earth, amongst worldlings.”

“How do the angels and saints fulfil the will of God? They do it always and with the holiest affection; they never do anything displeasing to God; they only will what God wills, namely, the salvation of souls; ‘for God,’ says the Apostle, ‘will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth’ (1 Tm 2:4).”

“How many men on earth act like the demons in hell! Having the manners of hell, the language of hell, the inclinations of hell, they bear already the character of the reprobate.”

“We ought already during this life learn the ways of heaven . . . the thoughts, the sentiments, the language of the inhabitants of paradise, in order to render ourselves worthy of being their companions.”

Quotations from Francois Xavier Schouppe, An Easy Method of Meditation (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1883).

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Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer – Part 5 of 12

Continued here are Father Schouppe’s meditations on the Lord’s Prayer, based on the second manner of prayer taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

“Thy will be done”

“God is the Sovereign Master: it is just, then, that all should obey Him.”

“We discern in God a declared will, proposed to our liberty by precepts and counsels; and a will of complacency, which is manifested by effects, by events, independent of our will. We ought to obey the former, and submit to the latter.”

“May thy will which is made known to us by thy holy law, be done, and accomplished always by all men! May it be done, above all, by me!”

“How just it is, Lord, that your creatures should obey you by observing your commandments! Are you not the Master of the Universe? Who would dare, then, to resist your will and say to you: ‘I will not serve you?’ Alas! is not this what all sinners do? Have I not myself been too often guilty of this audacious insolence?”

“You are my Father: should I not lovingly obey you ? I ought to do it by obeying my parents, and all my lawful superiors: they are, Lord, your representatives, your vicars to govern me in your name and make manifest your will to me.”

“Is it your will that I should suffer, that I should undergo the severest trials? Thy will be done! Is it your will that I should be humbled, afflicted, consoled, that I should live or die? Thy will be done!”

“Is not this divine will, which is infinitely wise, always paternal and kind to us, our supreme good? Where shall we find anything better in heaven or on earth than the most holy will of the great God?”

“What a beautiful short prayer, especially in time of affliction and sickness! Is it not the one which the Saviour Himself continued to repeat during his agony in the Garden of Olives? ‘O my Father,’ said He, ‘if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt’ (Mt 26:39).”

“What else does our heavenly Father will but our sanctification? ‘Be ye holy,’ says He, ‘because I am holy’ (Lv 11:44). ‘For this is the will of God, your sanctification’ (1 Thes 4:3).”

“Thy will be done. To accomplish it well we must know it. It is necessary, then, to make ourselves acquainted with the law of God: by pious reading and meditation; by an assiduous attendance at sermons; by attention to the interior voice of God, which we call the inspirations of grace; by prayer and holy desires.”

Quotations from Francois Xavier Schouppe, An Easy Method of Meditation (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1883).

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Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer – Part 4 of 12

Continued here are Father Schouppe’s meditations on the Lord’s Prayer, based on the second manner of prayer taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

“Thy kingdom come”

“God reigns as a master in nature: the stars of the firmament, darkness and light, the winds and seas obey Him. This kingdom of God, in the order of nature, exists immutable, perfect, leaving nothing to be desired. It is not the same with his kingdom in the order of grace, and in the order of glory; we ought to ask, as well for our own interest as for the glory of God, that the kingdom of his grace and his glory may come.”

“The kingdom which we ask for first of all is that of glory—heaven. May thy kingdom of glory and happiness come for all men, may it come above all for me, O heavenly Father! May I one day be admitted into this beautiful paradise, where Thou reignest with all thy elect!”

“How glorious is this kingdom, where all the saints, who, clothed in white robes, follow the Lamb, reign in joy with Jesus Christ!”

“The kingdom of God in glory is a kingdom of peace: there all wars, all temptations, all fears will be at an end.”

“This kingdom is a kingdom of holiness: nothing defiled can enter there.”

“This kingdom is a kingdom of glory: a throne is prepared there for the children of God. To be raised upon this throne in heaven we must humble ourselves on earth. ‘Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, unless you lay aside your ambition and your pride, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ (Mt 18:3).”

“The kingdom of God is also the kingdom of grace. May this spiritual kingdom come, may this kingdom of grace be strengthened and extended more and more by the sanctification of our souls! May the Holy Church, the visible kingdom of grace, be maintained, and spread more and more over the whole world, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of nations!”

“The kingdom of grace is, properly speaking in souls: ‘The kingdom of God is within you’ (Lk 17:21). May the amiable kingdom of thy grace be established more and more in me! Reign, O Lord, as master within me: reign in my mind, in my understanding, in my heart, in my words, in all my senses!”

Quotations from Francois Xavier Schouppe, An Easy Method of Meditation (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1883).

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