Look upon the lively examples of the holy Fathers in whom shone real perfection and the religious life, and you will see how little it is, and almost nothing that we do. Alas, what is our life when we compare it with theirs? Saints and friends of Christ, they served our Lord in hunger and in thirst, in cold, in nakedness, in labor and in weariness, in watching, in fasting, prayers and holy meditations, and in frequent persecutions and reproaches. Oh, how many grievous tribulations did the Apostles suffer and the Martyrs and Confessors and Virgins, and all the rest who resolved to follow the steps of Christ! For they hated their lives in this world, that they might keep them in life everlasting. Oh what a strict and self-renouncing life the holy Fathers of the desert led! What long and grievous temptations did they bear! How often were they harassed by the enemy, what frequent and fervent prayers did they offer up to God, what rigorous abstinence did they practice!
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father,
Thou Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.
God's own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav'nly rest.
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve's name.
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled.
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.
honor to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one. Amen.