Invited by our good angel

The hour of meditation being come, we may imagine ourselves to be invited by our good angel or by some other saints to whom we are particularly devoted, to appear in the presence of God. Wherefore, having made the sign of the holy cross and sprinkled ourselves with holy water, we may go presently with a kind of spiritual hunger to the place where we mean to make our meditation, and standing from thence a pace or two, briefly lift up our mind to Almighty God, imagine him to be so present to us (as truly he is) that he beholdeth what we are to do and doth show unto us in that very place his most venerable and glorious countenance. The presence of God is best framed in our understanding by making an act of faith, whereby we believe Almighty God to be present, that he compasseth us round about on every side, as water compasseth the fish, and yet is also within us (as he is in all things) somewhat like the water that is entered into the sponge…. — “The Practice of Meditation”

Edward Dawson (c. 1579–1622) was a Jesuit priest and writer who, during the time of the English Protestant revolt, had twice returned to England after being expelled by royal decree — along with all other Roman Catholic priests. This piece, attributed to Father Edward, appears in a famous English translation of a treatise on the importance of meditation, a staple of Jesuit spirituality.

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