The Meditation on the Two Standards
The one of Christ, our Commander-in-chief and Lord; the other of
Lucifer, mortal enemy of our human nature.
Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.
The First Prelude is the narrative. It will be here how Christ calls
and wants all under His standard; and Lucifer, on the contrary, under his.
The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be here to see
a great field of all that region of Jerusalem, where the supreme Commander-in-chief
of the good is Christ our Lord; another field in the region of Babylon,
where the chief of the enemy is Lucifer.
The third, to ask for what I want: and it will be here to ask for knowledge
of the deceits of the bad chief and help to guard myself against them,
and for knowledge of the true life which the supreme and true Captain shows
and grace to imitate Him.
The first Point is to imagine as if the chief of all the enemy seated
himself in that great field of Babylon, as in a great chair of fire and
smoke, in shape horrible and terrifying.
The second, to consider how he issues a summons to innumerable demons
and how he scatters them, some to one city and others to another, and so
through all the world, not omitting any provinces, places, states, nor
any persons in particular.
The third, to consider the discourse which he makes them, and how he
tells them to cast out nets and chains; that they have first to tempt with
a longing for riches -- as he is accustomed to do in most cases -- that
men may more easily come to vain honor of the world, and then to vast pride.
So that the first step shall be that of riches; the second, that of honor;
the third, that of pride; and from these three steps he draws on to all
the other vices.
So, on the contrary, one has to imagine as to the supreme and true Captain,
Who is Christ our Lord.
First Point. The first Point is to consider how Christ our Lord
puts Himself in a great field of that region of Jerusalem, in lowly place,
beautiful and attractive.
The second, to consider how the Lord of all the world chooses so many
persons -- Apostles, Disciples, etc., -- and sends them through all the
world spreading His sacred doctrine through all states and conditions of
The third, to consider the discourse which Christ our Lord makes to
all His servants and friends whom He sends on this expedition, recommending
them to want to help all, by bringing them first to the highest spiritual
poverty, and -- if His Divine Majesty would be served and would want to
choose them -- no less to actual poverty; the second is to be of contumely
and contempt; because from these two things humility follows. So that there
are to be three steps; the first, poverty against riches; the second, contumely
or contempt against worldly honor; the third, humility against pride. And
from these three steps let them induce to all the other virtues.
One Colloquy to Our Lady, that she may get me grace from Her Son and
Lord that I may be received under His standard; and first in the highest
spiritual poverty, and -- if His Divine Majesty would be served and would
want to choose and receive me -- not less in actual poverty; second, in
suffering contumely and injuries, to imitate Him more in them, if only
I can suffer them without the sin of any person, or displeasure of His
Divine Majesty; and with that a Hail Mary.
I will ask the same of the Son, that He may get it for me of the Father;
and with that say the Soul of Christ.
I will ask the same of the Father, that He may grant it to me; and
say an Our Father.