Page 14 - SPIRITUAL EXERCISES 1829
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done!  But  the  most  intolerable  pain  of  all  is  that  of  knowing
               God perfectly well, knowing that your happiness lies in loving
               God and yet feeling forced to hate him, blaspheme and curse
               him, and feel for all eternity spurned by Him, without any hope
               of  ever  making  peace  with  Him!  Incapable  of  ever  again  to
               gaze on him with love, of making an act of love for God! And
               Jesus who is now my beloved Spouse, my loving Father, the
               delight  of  my  heart,  the  One  who  the  instant  he  makes  his
               presence  felt  is  sweeter  than  any  delight  or  pleasure  of  this
               earth;  to  look  on  that  same  Jesus  as  a  severe  judge,  an
               implacable foe, inexorably punishing for ever. That is truly the
               greatest torment of all. Now I understand how right my dear St
               Aloysius was in leading such an austere way-of-life though he
               himself  was  innocent,  I  understand  why  so  many  Saints
               inflicted pain on themselves in order to avoid that sort of hell,
               the greatest and the only irrevocable of all.

                     Resolutions: To live in constant fear of hell, and to keep
               in strict subjection all my senses and the whole of my body.
               I did practically the whole of this Meditation on my knees, in
               church; it took me about an hour. I had very few distractions,
               and  was  deeply  moved  at  some  points.  Tears  came  to  my
               eyes and the memory of it is still with me. Oh my Jesus: “from
                                         1
               the pains of hell deliver me!” .
                     This  morning’s  spiritual  reading  was  on  the  life  of  St
               Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, a widow. I was impressed by all
               the  details  mentioned,  but  most  of  all  by  her  generous

               1    Original in Latin “a poenis inferi libera me”.


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