THE CALL OF THE TEMPORAL KING
IT HELPS TO CONTEMPLATE THE LIFE OF THE KING ETERNAL
Prayer. Let the Preparatory Prayer be the usual one.
First Prelude. The first Prelude is a composition, seeing the place: it will be here to see with the sight of the imagination, the synagogues, 5 villages and towns through which Christ our Lord preached.
Second Prelude. The second, to ask for the grace which I want: it will be here to ask grace of our Lord that I may not be deaf to His call, but ready and diligent to fulfill His most Holy Will.
First Point. The first Point is, to put before me a human king chosen by God our Lord, whom all Christian princes and men reverence and obey.
Second Point. The second, to look how this king speaks to all his people, saying: “It is my Will to conquer all the land of unbelievers. Therefore, whoever would like to come with me is to be content to eat as I, and also to drink and dress, etc., as I: likewise he is to labor like me 6 in the day and watch in the night, etc., that so afterwards he may have part with me in the victory, as he has had it in the labors.”
Third Point. The third, to consider what the good subjects ought to answer to a King so liberal and so kind, and hence, if any one did not accept the appeal of such a king, how deserving he would be of being censured by all the world, and held for a mean-spirited knight.
IN PART 2
The second part of this Exercise consists in applying the above parable of the temporal King to Christ our Lord, conformably to the three Points mentioned.
First Point. And as to the first Point, if we consider such a call of the temporal King to his subjects, how much more worthy of consideration is it to see Christ our Lord, King eternal, and before Him all the entire world, which and each one in particular He calls, and says: “It is My will to conquer all the world and all enemies and so to enter into the glory of My Father; therefore, whoever would like to come with Me is to labor with Me, that following Me in the pain, he may also follow Me in the glory.”
Second Point. The second, to consider that all those who have judgment and reason will offer their entire selves to the labor.
Third Point. The third, those who will want to be more devoted and signalise themselves in all service of their King Eternal and universal Lord, not only will offer their persons to the labor, but even, acting against their own sensuality and against their carnal and worldly love, will make offerings of greater value and greater importance, saying:
“Eternal Lord of all things, I make my oblation with Thy favor and help, in presence of Thy infinite Goodness and in presence of Thy glorious Mother and of all the Saints of the heavenly Court; that I want and desire, and it is my deliberate determination, if only it be Thy greater service and praise, to imitate Thee in bearing all injuries and all abuse and all poverty of spirit, and actual poverty, too, if Thy most Holy Majesty wants to choose and receive me to such life and state.”
First Note. This Exercise will be made twice in the day; namely, in the morning on rising and an hour before dinner or before supper.
Second Note. For the Second Week and so on, it is very helpful to read at intervals in the books of the Imitation of Christ, or of the Gospels, and of lives of Saints.