Advice of St Philip Neri To His Spiritual Children
1. Blessed are you, my children, who have time to do good.
2. Now is not the time for sleep; for Paradise was not made for cowards.
3. Children, keep up a cheerful temper. I will have no scruples or melancholy: only avoid sin.
4. Avoid inordinate mirth, because this roots up the little good which has been acquired.
5. You must not leave your devout exercises; but if you wish to recreate yourselves with a walk, let these be fulfilled, and then go.
6. Do not care to attempt too many devotions; but undertake a few, and persevere in them.
7. You must not look to becoming saints in four days, because perfection is acquired with great labor, and by degrees.
8. Do not have a fancy to be masters of spiritual matters and convert others, but attend to regulating yourself.
9. Children, mortify yourselves in small things, that you may afterwards be able the more easily to mortify yourselves in great things.
10. To choose your vocation, time is required, advice, and prayer.
11. To preserve chastity, it is an excellent prescription to discover your thoughts immediately to your confessor.
12. Do not nourish your body delicately; fly bad companions and evil communication.
13. Avoid idleness, especially during the hours after dinner; because it is at that time that the devil commonly makes his fiercest attacks.
14. Do not touch each other familiarly, not even in jest nor have private conversations with each other.
15. Have no familiarity with women, although they may be allied to you by relationship.
16. Do not trust yourselves whatever may be your experience, but fly every occasion.
17. Go often to confession, at least every eight days; and go to communion according to the advice of your confessor.
18. Be devout to Mary, because this is the best means of obtaining the grace of God.
19. Before choosing a confessor, recommend yourselves in prayer to God; but having once chosen, do not readily change without just cause.
20. When at confession, tell your worst sins first, that the devil may not tempt you to end by hiding them.
21. Take counsel always of your spiritual father, and recommend yourselves to the prayers of all.
22. Give yourselves always, and in all things, into the hands of your superiors; because obedience is a compendious way to acquire perfection.
23. Pray continually to the Lord, that He may grant you the gift of perseverance.
24. Endeavor to have God always before your eyes.
25. Never excuse yourselves when corrected; and keep yourselves from saying any thing in your own praise, even in jest.
26. Read, O my children, the lives of the Saints; hear sermons; and do not fail to practice the prayers and other exercises of the congregation; because they are very pleasing to the Divine majesty.
Children, in order not to fall into sin, keep profoundly engraved in your memories the three warnings given by a holy hermit to certain youths, and act according to them faithfully.
1st Warning. Fly the occasions of sin
2nd Warning. Fly the occasions of sin.
3rd Warning. Fly the occasions of sin.
Fly quickly, fly far, fly always.
Children, do you really desire to be saved! Then ever keep,
First, eternity in mind;
Secondly, God in your heart;
Thirdly, the world under your lee.
“This do and thou shalt live.” ( Lk:10:28)
Gate Of Heaven: Way Of The Child Of Mary
A Manual Of Prayers And Instructions,
Compiled From Approved Sources
For The Use Of Young Persons