There are three steps in preparation:
1st Act of Faith in the presence of God, saying:
My God, I believe that You are here and I adore You with all my affection
2nd Act of Humility, for a brief act of contrition:
Lord, at this time I should be in hell because of my sins; with all my heart I regret having offended You, O infinite Goodness.
3rd Act of Petition of Lights:
My God, for the love of Jesus and Mary, enlighten me in this meditation, so that I can benefit from it.
- a Hail Mary to the Blessed Virgin, so that she may obtain this light for us;
- in the same intention a "Glory to the Father" to Saint Joseph, to the Guardian Angel and to our Saint Protector.
These acts must be done carefully, but briefly, after which the Meditation will be done.
For Meditation, let us always use a book, at least in the beginning, stopping at the passages that make the most impression on us. Saint Francis de Sales says that we should imitate bees, which linger on a flower while they find honey, and then fly to another.
Note further that there are three fruits of meditation: affections, supplications and resolutions; this is what the benefit of mental prayer consists. So, after you have meditated on an eternal truth, and God has spoken to your hearts, it is necessary that you speak to God:
1st For Affections
That is, by acts of faith, thanksgiving, adoration, praise, humility, and above all of love and contrition, which is also an act of love. Love is like a golden chain that unites the soul to God. According to Saint Thomas, every act of love deserves one more degree of eternal glory. Here are examples of acts of love:
My God, I love You above all things. I love You with all my heart. Let me know what pleases You; I want to do Your will in everything. I rejoice that You are infinitely happy.
For the act of contrition, just say:
Infinite goodness, I regret having offended You.
2nd For the Supplications
Asking God for enlightenment, humility or any other virtue, a good death, eternal salvation; but above all the gift of his holy love and holy perseverance, because, in the words of Saint Francis de Sales, all graces are obtained with love.
If our soul is in great aridity, it is enough to say:
My God, help me. Lord, have mercy on me. My Jesus, mercy!
Even if we did nothing else, prayer would be excellent.
3rd For the Resolutions
Before concluding the prayer, it is necessary to make some resolution, not general, such as to avoid any deliberate fault, of giving oneself all to God, but particular, such as, for example, to avoid more carefully such defect, in which one falls more often, or better practice that virtue in which the soul will seek to exercise itself more often: such as putting up with the genius of such a person, obeying such a superior or the rule more accurately, mortifying oneself more often at such a point, etc. Let us never finish our prayer without having formed a particular resolution.
Finally, the conclusion of the prayer consists of three acts:
1st - Thanks for the enlightenment received, and a request for forgiveness for the faults committed during the time of prayer:
Lord, I thank You for the lights and affections You gave me in this meditation and I ask Your forgiveness for the faults committed in it.
2nd - Offering the resolutions taken and with the purpose of keeping them faithfully:
My God, I offer You the resolutions that with Your grace I have just taken, and resolved I am to carry them out, whatever the cost.
3rd - Of supplication, asking the Eternal Father, for the love of Jesus and Mary, the grace to execute them faithfully:
My God, through the merits of Jesus Christ and through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, give me the strength to faithfully put into practice the resolutions I have taken.
The prayer ends by recommending to God the Holy Church, its Prelates, the Souls in Purgatory, sinners, and all our relatives, friends and benefactors, for an Our Father and a Hail Mary, which are the most useful prayers for be taught to us by Jesus Christ and the Church:
Lord, I recommend to You the Holy Church, with her Prelates, the Souls in Purgatory, the conversion of sinners, and all my spiritual and temporal needs as well as those of my relatives, friends and benefactors.
After meditation we should:
1st - According to the advice of Saint Francis de Sales, make a bouquet of flowers in order to smell them during the day, that is, to imprint one or two thoughts that made the most impression on us, so that we can remember them and invigorate ourselves during the day. .
2nd - Put immediately into practice the resolutions taken, both in small and large occasions, which arise: for example, patiently put up with a person angry against us, mortify ourselves in the sight, in the ear, in the conversation.
3rd - By means of silence and recollection, preserve as long as possible the affections excited in prayer; without this, the fervor conceived in prayer will soon wane through dissipation in conduct or useless conversations.