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during my own novitiate by the then master of novices, whose holy teaching and loving care will always dwell in the grateful hearts of those who had the privilege of being trained by Mm.
Subject of the Meditation: "Let us make haste to enter into our eternal rest" (Hebrews iv. 11).
Point 1.—How are we to make haste towards eternal rest with God? It is certain that he who during the hours of the day most frequently does the very thing that his Father in Heaven wishes is he who during that day makes most progress. Penance will not advance us if we do it when our Father in Heaven wishes us not to do penance. Prayer will only retard us if prayer is not our Father's will at the moment. Resting when he wishes us to rest, laboring when he wishes us to labor, speaking and being silent just as he wishes—this is the short and direct road to our eternal repose.
Point 2.—This life is a time of traffic. "Traffic till I come," our Lord says. He who traffics most wisely is the one who is making most haste to enter into his eternal repose. St. Paul tells us how to carry on our spiritual business. "Some," he says, "build with gold and precious stones and silver on the foundations of faith. Others with wood, stubble, and hay." We build with gold and precious stones when our intention is very good; with hay and stubble when our intention is unworthy. Two men read the same book or work together; how different the value of their work according to their intention!
Point 3.—Of all the ways of making haste to heaven and to God, there is none so rapid as the way of charity and love. "Many sins are forgiven, because she loved much." How slow and how weary a task it is to conceal sins by any other process!
Beg very earnestly for an increase of divine love, in order that you may run in the way of God's commandments.
At 6.55 the bell rings for holy mass, and all the novices repair to the chapel. After mass, which occupies half an Ihour, another quarter of an hour is assigned to a reconsideration of the meditation and the care with which it was made, and to the writing down
of any thoughts that may have suggested themselves in the course of it. Breakfast is at 7.45 and at 8.30 the novices have to be present, each at his little desk, for half an hour's reading of "Rodriguez on Christian Perfection." At nine an instruction on the rules Is given by the master of novices, af,ter which they have to make their beds and arrange their little cells, and, when this is done, to repair to some appointed place, where one of their number, appointed for the purpose, assigns to each a certain amount of manual labor— dusting, sweeping, washing up dishes and plates, laying the refectory fop dinner, sometimes cleaning and scrubbing, and other menial offices of the humblest description. At 10.15 they have to learn by heart, for a quarter of an hour, some portion of the rules of the Society, or such prayers, psalms, or ecclesiastical hymns, the knowledge of which may be useful to the young ecclesiastic. After rbds they have some free time, during which they can walk in the grounds, pray in the chapel, or read some life of the saints or other spiritual book. At 1L30 they assemble for "out-door manual works," which consist in chopping and sawing wood for fuel, sweeping up leaves, picking up leaves, weeding the flower beds, or some similar occupation allotted to them by one of the older novices, wuo is termed, "master of out-door works." At 12.30 they return to the house, and at 12.40 the bell summons them to the chapel, where they spend fifteen minutes in prayer, and in examining their consciences as to how they have performed the various duties of the morning, whether they have kept silence (for during all this time no talking is allowed), obeyed promptly and exactly, kept up a remembrance of God in all that they have done, showed kindness and consideration for others, executed the work assigned to them in the best manner possible, etc.
The dinner-bell rings at one, and all repair to the refectory. During dinner a portion of Holy Scripture is read aloud, and some useful and edifying book, the life of one of the saints, or the history of the Society. After dinner a short visit is made to the chapel, and an hour's recreation follows. The occupations of the afternoon are a repetition of those of the earlier portion of the day, save that on three days in the week a walk of about two hours has to be taken in companies of two or three. No one is allowed to choose Ms companions, but the master of novices arranges the various companies. Sometimes a game of cricket or foothall is substituted for the walk. At six a second hour of meditation of half an hour has to be made in the chapel, after which the recital of some vocal prayers, and some free time which they can dispose of for themselves, bring them on to supper at 7.30. After this they have an hour's recreation, during the first half hour of which Latin has to be spoken. At nine, night prayers in the chapel; then fifteen minutes spent in the preparation of their meditation of the following morning, and after a final examination of conscience on their performance of the duties of the day all lights are put out by 10 P.M., and the novices sleep their well-earned sleep In their dormitories.
I have given in detail the account of a Jesuit novice's day, as spent in the English province. In England the Society Is deprived of certain advantages that it enjoys in Catholic countries, where they undergo two experiments or trials, which here are impossible. They are sent out, wherever the population is Catholic and the Church is free, to beg alms in the streets, and in the country around, for about thirty days, and the instructions given by our Lord to his apostles are the model which these are taught to imitate. An amusing story Is told of a young Oxford convert, who, making his noviceshlp at Rome in the days when the pope still ruled in Rome, was sent out with a companion to beg. Passing a horseman riding quietly in the neighborhood of the city, he asked of him an alms for the love of God. The stranger looked for a moment at his shabby Jesuit soutane and jumped down from his horse. "My dear X., yon don't mean that you have come to
this!" It was an old Oxford acquaintance, who imagined that his poor friend had been reduced to utter destitution as the result of his reception into the Catholic Church. The impossibility of practising this voluntary mendicancy in the present day is regarded as a misfortune by the Jesuit authorities as the humiliations it involved were found to be a most useful element in novice training. Another trial, the month spent in the hospitals, which now can be very rarely carried out, is also much to be regretted. Under normal conditions, the young Jesuits have to repair for a space of thirty days to some hospital, and spend their time in nursing the sick, dressing their wounds, making their beds, and ministering to their various necessities, temporal and spiritual. In England the loss of these two experiments is to some extent compensated by a month spent in the kitchen, during which the novice has to wash up the plates and dishes, to pare potatoes, to grind the coffee, and to perform any other menial tasks assigned to the novice by the cook, whom the novice has to obey implicitly, as for the time being his superior. He has also to take his recreation during this month with the lay brothers, and to make himself one with them in their ordinary life and conversation.
But there is one experiment which is still everywhere retained, and one which is perhaps of all the most important. During one month in his first year every novice has to make what is called "the long retreat." It consists of thirty days occupied exclusively in prayer, meditation, and similar employments. Five times a day the master of novices gives points of meditation to the assembled novices, and they have subsequently to spend the following hour in a careful pondering over the points proposed to them after the manner that I have already described in speaking of the daily morning meditation. A regular system is followed; during the first few days the subjects proposed are the end for which man is created, the means by which he is to attain that end, the evils of sin and its consequences, and the four last things, death, judgment, heaven, and hell. During the second portion of the retreat the Kingdom of Christ, His Incarnation, Nativity, and His life on earth occupy the thoughts of the novices for a space of ten or twelve days, with separate meditations on the two standards of Christ and Satan, under one of which every one is fighting, on the tactics of the evil one, the choice that has to be bravely made of a life of hardship under the standard of the Cross, and other subjects akin to these. During a third period of four or five days the Passion of Christ is dwelt upon in detail, and finally some two or three days of the joyful subjects of the Resurrection, the appearances of our Lord to his disciples, the Ascension, with one or two concluding meditations on the love of God and the means of attaining it, bring the retreat to an end. Three recreation days are interposed between the various portions of the retreat, which are spent in long walks, and in recovering from the fatigue which is caused by the constant mental strain involved in the long time of meditation and prayer. Except during these three days there is no time of recreation, and silence has to be strictly kept throughout.
This month is certainly a trying one, though a very happy and fruitful one for those who are in earnest. It generally has the effect of sending away from the noviceship one or two of those whose aim in life is not sufficiently high, or whose powers are too feeble to allow of their undertaking the yoke of Jesuit obedience, and all the sacrifices that it carries with it. It is indeed a searching process, and generally finds out those who have undertaken a task too difficult for them to accomplish. Thls is, in fact, one of its objects, as well as of all the other trials of the Jesuit novitiate, which are directed not merely to the formation of the future members of the Society, but also the elimination of those who have no real vocation to serve in its ranks.
At the end of two years the young Jesuit takes his first vows and ceases
to be a novice. The special object of his life in the noviceship has been to train him up in that spirit of implicit and unquestioning obedience which is the aim of the Society of Jesus to cultivate more than any other virtue in her sons, simply because it is the virtue that underlies all the rest, and without which no other virtue can attain its full perfection in the soul of man. The routine of monotonous and often apparently useless employments has for its object to foster the habit of whit is rightly called blind obedience. The novice is taught to obey his superior without ever questioning the wisdom of the order given; the perfection of Jesuit obedience includes not only the obedience of the will, so that he does what is commanded promptly, bravely, and thoroughly, but also an obedience of the judgment, so that he regards what is commanded as the best thing possible for him. Here it is that Jesuit obedience differs from the obedience practised generally by a good subordinate in the world. In the army or in a house of business blind obedience is necessary to efficient action. No wellordered system could be carried on successfully without it; if the subordinate obeyed only where he approved of the wisdom of the command given the results would be fatal to any wellorganized community. It is the habit, the difficult habit of abstaining from any mental criticism of the order given that is the distinctive feature of the obedience of the Society of Jesus. When still a secular, I once encountered an officer in the army who had been for some time in the noviceship, and had left because he found the obedience required too much for him. I took occasion to ask him how it waa that he who had been accustomed to the strict discipline and rigorous obedience demanded of a soldier could not endure the gentler rule to which he was subject as a religious. "In the army," was his answer, "you must do what you are told, but you can relieve your feelings by swearing mentally at your colonel, but you cannot do that in the Society of Jesus."
At the same time the obedience of the Society is a perfectly reasonable obedience. I need scarcely say that in the impossible or almost impossible case of a command being given, which could not be obeyed without sin, the Jesuit would be clearly bound to disobey. In the case of the order given being manifestly a foolish one, obedience does not require that it should be regarded in itself as wise or prudent. If the matter is one of any importance, it is his duty to represent to the superior the undesirable consequences, that seem to him likely to ensue from the carrying out of the order. Every superior has certain advisers, to whose opinion he is bound to give special weight, and the representation can be made either directly to the superior by the person receiving the order, or through one or other of these advisers. Every subordinate has also the right of appeal to some higher superior, and such appeals always receive full and careful consideration. In matters of real moment, he can write a private letter to the general of the whole Society with a certainty of redress if the writer has a solid ground for the complaint made. But in the case of any such appeal he must not act merely on the impulse of the moment, and must beware of being misled by his own private judgment. He must think the matter over with due deliberation, and must recommend it to God in prayer, and must, as far as possible, make sure that the motive that prompts him is not wounded self-love, or a pertinacity of jiylgment, or a dislike of giving up his own will. He ought to try to see things from the superior's point of view rather than from his own. If, after taking all these precautions, he thinns it right to appeal, he must then be ready to abide by the decision finally given. If it is against him, common sense will tell him that in all probability he is wrong. The chances are that his superiors are able to take a wider and more impartial view of the question than himself. He will then do his best to conform his judgment to theirs. What is then re
quired of him is that he should consider the command as the best, not perhaps in itself, but the best for him under the circumstances. But in all cases where there is any sort of doubt, he must, if he is true to his rule, and loyal with Jesuit loyalty, bend his will to a favorable judgment of what has been ordered by his superior, and abstain, as far as with God's grace he is able, from all unfavorable criticism, using all the force of a loyal will, to induce his judgment to approve, and not to condemn, what his superior has enjoined. It is this obedience of the judgment which is one of the chief causes of the power exercised by the Society. It ensures a remarkable unity of action, and prevents the waste of energy, which in other corporate bodies is the result of disunion, mutual criticism, and internal disaffection and strife.
As soon as the young Jesuit has taken his vows, he enters on quite a different life. His religious exercises are now confined to a comparatively small portion of the day. The main part of his time is now devoted to study. He still makes his morning meditation, hears mass, examines his conscience twice a day, and spends a short time each day in spiritual reading and in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament; but the chief portion of the next five years is given up to intellectual cultivation. During the first two years he has to apply himself to classical studies and to a course of rhetoric. This part of his career I can pass over wimout further notice, because there is in it nothing specially distinctive of the Society. His classical work, which consists in reading the best Latin and Greek authors, and translating from English into Latin and Greek, with a certain amount of English literature, and essay writing, is much the same as that of the higher forms of our public schools, and of those who take a classical degree at the universities. A certain amount of mathematics has also to be learned, and the practice as well as the theory of rhetoric forms part of the course. All this is carefully regulated by written laws, which lay down in detail the course of study to be pursued.
At the end of these two years the young Jesuit student generally leaves the house of the novitiate, where he has continued to reside even after taking his first vows, and goes to the seminary, where he enters on the new and important study of Catholic philosophy. During the first year he goes through a course of logic, pure and applied, and continues his mathematics. The second and third years are devoted to psychology, ethics, metaphysics, general and special, cosmology, and natural theology. He has about two lectures a day in these subjects from Jesuit professors, who are always priests, and are selected on account of their special knowledge, and their gift of a clear power of exposition. Besides the lectures, which are given in Latin, the students are summoned three times a week to take part in an academical exercise which is one of the most valuable elements in the philosophical and theological training of the Society. It lasts an hour, during the first quarter of which one of the students has to give a synopsis of the last two lectures of the professor. After this, two other students, previously appointed for the purpose, have to bring against the doctrine laid down any possible objection that they can find In books or invent for themselves. Modern books are ransacked for these objections, and the "objlcients" do their best to hunt out difficulties which may puzzle the exponent of the truth, who is called the "defendent." Locke, Hegel, Descartes, Malebranche, John Stuart Mill, Mansel, Sir William Hamilton, and other modern writers are valuable contributors for those who have to attack the Catholic doctrine. Everything has to be brought forward in syllogistic form, and to be answered in the same way. The professor, who of course presides at these contests, at once checks any one who departs from this necessary form and wanders off into mere desultory talk. This system of testing the soundness of the doctrine
taught, continued as it is throughout the theological studies which come at a later period of the young Jesuit's career, provides those who pass through it with a complete defence against difficulties which otherwise are likely to puzzle the Catholic controversialist. It is a splendid means of sifting out truth from falsehood. Many of those who take part in it are men of ability and experience, and who have made a special study of the subjects discussed, and are well versed in the objections that can be urged against the Catholic teaching. Such men conduct their attack not as a mere matter of form, but with the vigor and ingenuity of practised disputants, and do their best to puzzle the unfortunate defendent with difficulties, the answer to which is by no means simple or obvious at first sight. Sometimes he is put completely "in the sack" and the professor has to intervene to explain where he has failed, and how the objection has really to be met. Sometimes the objicient will urge his difficulties with such a semblance of conviction as even to mislead some of those present. I remember an instance in which am objicient rather older than the rest, who had had considerable experience of sceptical difficulties before becoming a Jesuit argued with such a show of earnestness against the existence of God. that the professor, who was a good, simple man, and new to his work, took fright. He sent for the objicient to his room when the "circle" was over, and, to his no small amusement, represented to him the^mlsery and hopelessness of scepticism, begged him to pray God that he might not lose his faith, and promised to say mass for him the next morning, that God might save him from the terrible misfortune that threatened him. But he was consoled on discovering that his pupil was as firmly convinced as himself of the truth of the thesis he had been attacking.
Here I hope my non-Catholic readers will forgive me a remark which I cannot refrain from making on the present occasion. I should like to know what