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Method of the Exercise

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A Devout Exercise of the Purgative Way
Appointed for each day of the week
by Denys the Carthusian

Daily, morning and evening; or on rising and on going to rest, go aside
into a retired and quiet place, and then turned to God in soul and body,say:

"Almighty and everlasting God, my creator, my saviour and Lord Jesus
Christ, I am that sinner, of all the blackest, lowest and most detestable: wholly contemptible and wicked am I; who so oft and so deeply have dishonoured thy majesty. I have gone from the way of the commandments: thy goodness, holiness and love have I offended, turning away my face from Thee, my Lord. [Such and such] sins have I committed: I have sinned by omission in many things and oft: I have turned thine own gifts against Thee."

Then call to mind some of thy more grievous sins of which thy conscience doth accuse thee; over which too, as in deed over all in general, thou dost heartily sigh, fetching groans and striking thy breast in repentance; and (should God so give thee grace) shedding bitter tears as well.

Kneeling then, or lying prone with joined hands, or with arms outstretched in the form of a cross, pray God for full pardon of all thy
sins, saying thus:

"Most merciful God, lovable all things, the goal of all holy desires and
infintely sweet; out of the depths of thy bounty, thy love and thy kindness: by all Thou hast done and suffered for my salvation: at the intercession of the Blessed Mary ever virgin and the merits and prayers of all thy saints; grant thy pardon to me an unworthy great sinner. Fill me with the bounty of Thy grace, that for the future I may keep away from sin, and flee from what displeaseth Thee, nor ever again turn my thoughts away from Thee."

After this, in like manner think on the blessings, general and special,
God hath conferred on thee, and say thus:

"Almighty and everlasting God, my Lord Jesus Christ, infinite and
immeasurable are the benefits Thou hast conferred on me. Thou hast created me to Thine image and likeness. Not with the common herd of creation hast Thou placed me, but Thou hast endowed me with reason. Thou hast given me body and soul, mind and senses, and all the rest of nature's gifts. Thou hast not left me from childhood in the shadows of ignorance, but hast given me schooling and taught me, that I might be thy faithful servant. And when I fell into sin Thou didst pardon me, as Thou dost to this day, though many who have sinned less than I, have been lost eternally. Thou hast given me the spiritual goods of church-membership; and whatsoever good there may be
in me and that I may have, I know to be thy gift. Moreover, for my sake Thou didst become man and didst dwell in this world in the deepest depths of poverty; Thou didst suffer persecution and wast tempted, didst suffer scorn: and with all patience, lowliness, obedience, meekness, and with the perfection of love and holiness. And at the end, Thou didst suffer a most cruel death for me. Thou wast weighed down and afflicted; Thou wast "sorrowful even unto death", didst sweat blood, wast taken prisoner, struck, spit upon, blindfolded and clad as a fool in a white garment and a purple
cloak. They crowned The with thorns and struck with a reed. Thy blessed face was all bathed in blood: Thou wast torn with scourges and didst suffer contempt, derision and blasphemy. Thou wast condemned to an awful death and wast led forth to the place of execution with the cross on Thine own shoulders. Hands and feet they pierced with sharp nails and "reputed amongst the wicked" Thou didst hang between two thieves. They gave thee gall and vinegar to drink, pierced Thee with a lance and thus brought Thee to a bitter end. Yet more; Thou hast purchased for me the Kingdom of Heaven and promised it to me. And I, graceless and vile sinner that I am, have paid Thee back ingratitude for such favours, rendering evil for good and turning my back on Thee. Yea, so ungrateful and perverse am I become, that it were meet for the world and all that is in it to rise up against me, and wreak vengeance on me for my injuries to my Creator."

"But now, o my Lord Jesus Christ, by thy holy Incarnation, by thy most holy life amongst us, by the passion, thy cross, and thy blood; I beseech Thee, pardon me all my wrong-doing and ingratitude, and for the rest of my life make me daily to grow in devotion and gratitude towards Thee." Amen.

The foregoing belongeth to the purgative way, which must precede the illuminative and perfect ways. First of all then, the beginner should
exercise himself for some months in this exercise of the purgative way.

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