None shall be crowned who has not fought well.

                                                                           ------- 2 Tim. 2: 5

Taken from the book of the same title by DOM LORENZO SCUPOLI
With Imprimatur
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THERE ARE TWO THINGS necessary to make our self-oblation completely acceptable to God. One is that it be made in union with the offering made by Christ to the Father; and the other is that it be totally free from all attachment to creatures.

1. As regards the first, we must remember that the Son of God, during His sojourn on earth, offered to His heavenly Father, not only Himself and His works, but also us and our works. Thus must our oblation be made in union with His, and dependent upon His, that both may be sanctified in the sight of the Almighty.

2. With regard to the second, we must remember that we can hardly offer ourselves to Heaven, if we are bound to earth by worldly attachments. Therefore, if we perceive ourselves to be bound by the slightest earthly affection, let us have recourse to God, imploring Him to break asunder the bonds which chain us to earth that we may be His alone. This is of great importance. For if he who is a slave to creatures, pretends to give himself to God while bound to creatures, he gives what is not his, for he is the property of those creatures to whom he has given his will. To offer to God what has been given to creatures is to mock the Almighty. Thus it is that although we have offered ourselves as a holocaust to the Lord, yet we have not only failed to advance in the way of virtue, but have even contracted fresh imperfections, and increased the number of our sins.

We may indeed offer ourselves to God while still attached to creatures, but it must be with the hope that His goodness will set us free, and that we may consecrate ourselves entirely to His service. Therefore let all our offerings be pure and untainted, destined to the honor of God alone. Let us be oblivious of the good things of both Heaven and earth, having nothing in mind but the accomplishment of the will of God, and adoring His Divine Providence. Let us sacrifice every affection of our souls to Him and, forgetting earthly things, let us say:

"Behold, O my God and Creator, the offering I make of my entire being-----I submit my will entirely to thine; dispose of me as Thou wouldst in life and in death, in time or eternity."

1£ we make this prayer from the depths of our hearts, our sincerity will be tested in time of adversity, and we shall prove ourselves to be citizens of Heaven, not of earth. We shall be children of God and He will be ours; for He dwells constantly with those who, renouncing themselves and all other creatures, offer themselves up as holocausts to His Divine Majesty.

Here, then, you find a powerful means of vanquishing your enemies; for if, in uniting yourself to God, you become all His, and He all yours, what power or what enemy can ever harm you? And when you would offer fasting, prayers, acts of patience, or good deeds, think first of the oblation of works, prayers, and fasts offered by Christ to His Father, and place all confidence in their infinite merit. But if we desire to offer to this Father of Mercy the sufferings of His son in satisfaction for our sins, we may do so in the following manner:

First, we must call to mind, either in general or particular, the chief disorders of our past lives; and convinced of our inadequacy to appease the Divine wrath of our sovereign Judge, or satisfy His offended justice, we must have recourse to the life and passion of our Saviour. We must remember that when He prayed, fasted, labored, and shed His Precious Blood, He offered all His acts and sufferings to reconcile us with His Almighty Father, saying, as it were: "Behold, O Eternal Father, according to Thy will, how I comply with Thy decrees in atoning for the sins of N. May it please Thy Divine Majesty to grant pardon to him and graciously to receive him into the number of Thy elect."

Everyone ought to join his prayers with those of Jesus Christ, and implore the Eternal Father to have mercy on him through the merits of the Passion and death of His Son. This may be done every time we meditate on the life or Passion of Our Lord, not only in considering the individual mysteries, but also the various circumstances of each of the mysteries. The mode of oblation may apply whether our prayers be offered up for self or for others.


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