1. It will be necessary to inspire her to continue to persevere in her devotion and the exercise of good works and of disposition, in not permitting a week to pass, to give away some part of her overplus, in honor of Jesus Christ, of the Holy Virgin and of the Saint she has chosen for her patron; giving this to the poor of the Society or for the ornamenting of its churches, until she has absolutely disposed of the first fruits of her property as in other times did the Egyptians.
2. When the widows, the more generally to practice their alms, must be given to know with perseverance, their liberality in favor of the Society; and they are to be assured that they are participants in all the merits of the same, and of the particular indulgences of the Provincial; and if they are persons of much consideration, of the General of the Order.
3. The widows who having made vows of chastity, it will be necessary for them to renew them twice per annum, conforming to the custom that we have established; but permitting them notwithstanding, that day some honest freedom from restraint by our fathers.
4. They must be frequently visited, treating them agreeably; referring them to spiritual and diverting histories, conformable to the character and inclination of each one.
5. But that they may not abate, we must not use too much rigor with them in the confessional; that it may not be, that they by having empowered others of their benevolence, that we do not lose confidence of recovering their adhesion, having to proceed in all cases with great skill and caution, being aware of the inconstancy natural to woman.
6. It is necessary to have them do away with the habit of frequenting other churches, in particular those of convents; for which it is necessary to often remind them, that in our Order there are possessed many indulgences that are to be obtained only partially by all the other religious corporations.
7. To those who may be found in the case of the garb of mourning, they will be counselled to dress a little more agreeable, that they may at the same time, unite the aspect of mourning with that of adornment, to draw them away from the idea of being found directed by a man who has become a stranger to the world. Also with such, that they may not be very much endangered, or particularly exposed to volubility, we can concede to them, as if they maintained their consequence and liberality, for and with the Society, that which drives sensuality away from them, being with moderation and without scandal.
8. We must manage that in the houses of the widows there shall be honorable young ladies, of rich and noble families; that little by little they become accustomed to our direction and mode of life; and that they are given a director elected and established by the confessor of the family, to be permanently and always subject to all the reprehensions and habits of the Society; and if any do not wish to submit to all they must be sent to the houses of their fathers, or to those from which they were brought, accusing them directly of extravagance and of glaring and stained character.
9. The care of the health of the widows, and to proportion some amusement, it is not the least important that we should care for their salvation; and so, if they complain of some indisposition, we must prohibit the fast, the hair cloth girdle, and the discipline, without permitting them to go to church; further continue the direction, cautiously and secretly with such, that they may be examined in their houses; if they are given admission into the garden, and edifice of the college, with secrecy; and if they consent to converse and secretly entertain with those that they prefer.
10. To the end that we may obtain, that the widows employ their utmost obsequiousness to the Society, it is the duty to represent to them the perfection of the life of the holy, who have renounced the world, estranged themselves from their relations, and despising their fortunes, consecrating themselves to the service of the Supreme Being with entire resignation and content. It will be necessary to produce the same effect, that those who turn away to the Constitutions of the Society, and their relative examination to the abandonment of all things. We must cite examples of the widows who have reached holiness in a very short time; giving hopes of their being canonized, if their perseverance does not decay; and promising for their cases our influence with the Holy Father.
11. We must impress in their souls the persuasion that, if they desire to enjoy complete tranquillity of conscience it will be necessary for them to follow without repugnance, without murmuring, nor tiring, the direction of the confessor, so in the spiritual, as in the eternal, that she may be found destined to the same God, by their guidance.
12. Also we must direct with opportunity, that the Lord does not desire that they should give alms, nor yet to fathers of an exemplary life, known and approved, without consulting beforehand with their confessor, and regulating the dictation of the same.
13. The confessors must take the greatest care, that the widows and their daughters of the confessional, do not go to see other fathers (i.e. non-Jesuit priests) under any pretext, nor with them. For this, we must praise our Society as the Order most illustrious of them all; of greater utility in the Church, and of greater authority with the Pope and with the princes; perfection in itself; then dismiss the dream of them, and menace them, that we can, and that we are no correspondents to them, we can say, that we do not consent to froth and do as among other monks who count in their convents many ignorant, stupid loungers who are indolent in regard to the other life, and intriguers in that to disorder, &c.
14. The confessors must propose and persuade the widows to assign ordinary pensions and other annual quotas to the colleges and houses of profession for their sustenance with especially to the professed house at Rome; and not forgetting to remind them of the restoration of the ornaments of the temples and replenishing of the wax, the wine, and other necessaries for the celebration of the mass.
15. If they do not make relinquishment of their property to the Society, it will be made manifest to them, on apparent occasion in particular, when they are found to be sick, or in danger of death; that there are many colleges to be founded; and that they may be excited with sweetness and disinterestedness, to make some disbursements as merit for God, and in that they can found his eternal glory.
16. In the same manner, we must proceed with regard to princes and other well doers, making them to see that such foundations will be made to perpetuate their memory in this world, and gain eternal happiness, and if some malevolent persons adduce the example of Jesus Christ, saying, that then he had no place to recline his head, the Society bearing his name should be poor in imitation of himself, we must make it known and imprint it in the imagination of those, and of all the world, that the Church has varied, and that in this day we have become a State; and we must show authority and grand measures against its enemies that are very powerful, or like that little stone prognosticated by the prophet, that, divided, came to be a great mountain. Inculcate constantly to the widows who dedicate their alms and ornaments to the temples, that the greater perfection is in disposing of the affection and earthly things, ceding their possession to Jesus Christ and his companions.
17. Being very little, that which we must promise to the widows, who dedicate and educate their children for the world, we must apply some remedy to it.
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