A Treatise on Holy Meditations

By Francesco Tittelmans di Hasselt

Translated by Patrick Colbourne O.F.M.Cap.

Translator’s note:

This translation is based on the introduction, text and footnotes which were published by P. Costanzo Cargnoni O.F.M. Cap. In I Frati Cappuccini: Documenti e testimonianze dell primo secolo, Edizioni Frate Indovino, Perugia, vol III/1, pp.249-264. The only additions to the notes made by the translator are references to Francis of Assisi: The Early Documents, edited by Regis Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap., J. A. Wayne Hellmann, O.F.M. and William J. Short O.F.M. Conv., New York City Press, New York, London, Manila, for an English version of quotations from the Writings or Biographies of St Francis.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Constanzo Cargoni O.F.M.Cap.

Francesco Tittelmans (+ 1537), great theologian and scholarly Dutchman, was much admired by Erasmus of Rotterdam and transferred from the Observant Franciscans to the Capuchins in 1536 following an intensive stretch of academic and literary activity while he was a professor at Louvain. In Rome he was welcomed by Bernardino d’Asti. He no longer wished to be associated with books and withdrew to continual prayer and manual work observing the Testament of St Francis to the letter. As a novice he chose to serve the incurably sick in the Roman hospital of S. Giacomo where ten Capuchins were occupied in the same ministry.

Having been dispensed from this heavy work because of concern that he would become ill, he immersed himself even more in “holy meditation” and, according to the chronicler Bernardino of Colpetrazzo who knew him personally, “he composed a small booklet of most beautiful prayers in which he set out a marvellous method of praising God.” We do not know the content of these prayers as the booklet was not well known and was probably lost like many of Tittelmans’ other manuscripts. However, it is significant that he had also composed a book of prayers.

After he had been elected Vicar of the Roman Province at the Pentecost Chapter in 1537, he died prematurely on 12 September of the same year in the friary of Anticoli di Camapgna (Fiuggi) in the hills where he had been taken on foot to visit the friars.

To introduce the reader to this friar and to his spirituality, we have chosen certain pages from his “Treatise on Sacred Meditations” which was composed when he was an Observant Friar at Louvain in 1528 and which was translated repeatedly and also published in Italy. Here the treatise has been reproduced from the Venice edition of 1548. One can see immediately the wealth of his thought that is interspersed with biblical quotations and replete with affective spirituality.

A Treatise on Holy Meditations

Preface

3756 The human mind is so unstable that it never stops still, or settles on only one thing, so that it is almost impossible to restrain it so that it does not run away immediately and drift from one thing to another, unless you bring it under control with all diligence, care and effort with the help of divine grace and focus it on one thing alone. This is a deplorable experience! Anyone who wants to step aside from the business of the world and converse with God knows this only too well.

Thus, according to what the saints say, our heart is a workplace, something unfathomable, a mystery that resembles a waterwheel that spins because of the large and continual rush of water. It cannot stop or prevent itself from turning. If you throw corn or barley into it they will be ruined. If you throw something bigger such as the bark of a tree into it, do not expect to get back anything better than what you threw in. The human is like that in so far as thoughts continue to spin around within it. However, it is within your control to throw either good or bad thoughts into your soul. If you put good things into you heart and into your soul, they will produce sacred thoughts and holy meditations or serious divine converse which will lead to eternal life.

3757 It is necessary for a man to take care that his mind is always full of holy thoughts. When they continue to bear fruit, the person experiences an abundance of the grace of holy longings and bursts out into enflamed sighs of prayer that have the power to chase the enemy away. This causes the person to shed copious tears and experience bitterness so that he may easily extinguish the fiery arrows and darts of the adversary whom he has cast into the distance.

However, we do not want our meditations to disturb the Holy Spirit who has inspired the mind from heaven and prevent the person following him wherever he is leading.[1] We want to direct the mind towards heavenly things and to avoid instability of our heart.

Third distinction [2]

3758 On the third day, that is Wednesday, occupy your mind with the solemnity of the Holy Spirit by considering the grandeur of that gift. It is so very great that without it nobody could do anything that was worthwhile or good. By means of his presence he can achieve supernatural things in a person. We receive a measure of the Holy Spirit from the fullness of Christ.[3] Christ received him from the Father without measure.[4] The Holy Spirit also appeared above Christ in the form of a dove when the Father’s voice was heard.[5]

According to the Apostle, this is the Spirit of adoption of the sons of God, who has filled us with charity. He is also the pledge of the eternal inheritance that awaits us. Whoever does not possess this does not belong to God and lacks all union with God. However, he who possesses this becomes a child of God.[6]

3759 In the Gospel Christ often speaks about the Holy Spirit as St Luke says in Chapter 11: “If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?”[7] Also “when you appear before kings and governors for my name’s sake do not consider how to speak or what to say since at that time you will be given what you ought to say. It will not be you who are speaking but the Spirit of your Father who is speaking in you. Truly I tell you he will give you a mouth and wisdom which all of your adversaries shall not be able to resist, and you shall have all of this by means of the Holy Spirit.[8] In another place he says: “When the Comforter comes, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all the truth and suggest everything that I have told you.”[9] He also said: “he will convince the world of sin and of justice and of judgement, [10] and he will bear witness concerning Christ that he is the Son of God.”[11] According to the Apostle: “what the eye cannot see or the ear hear can be understood and revealed to us by means of the Holy Spirit.”[12] In another place it says; “the Spirit supports our infirmity and pleads with sighs beyond description, crying out within us Abba, that is Father”. The Spirit gives testimony to our spirit, speaking in us assuring us that we are children of God,[13] at present having hope and in the future possession. He tells us what is to come and describes future glory to our hearts.[14] He enlightens and purifies from sin and ignites our affection with love for God and makes it hate vice and sin.

3760 Remember how many things the Holy Spirit has already done for the saintly fathers and ancient patriarchs and prophets and most of all for the Apostles who after they had received his initial prompting and developed a taste for him changed, once they had received the Holy Spirit, from foolish and weak as they formally had been to rejecting all prestige and worldly wisdom and, because the Holy Spirit had come to then in abundance, became without fear of any creature because of their love for God.

Once again read the deeds and lives of the holy fathers who, after the Apostles, led a holy life. See how excellent and wonderful was their conversation with the people because of the grace of the Holy Spirit. They could not have done this on their own, especially as they had to recall the sayings, deeds and miracles of those who had received the Holy Spirit. This is especially the case as our human nature is more easily impressed by examples of what is familiar to us and by incidents that happened to those who are our equals rather than by external abstract arguments.[15] Do this both to give thanks to God and to mortify yourself, for in comparison to these men you are nothing but a painted figure or a statue dressed up in Christian clothes. This is how you will stimulate yourself to imitate the fervour of the saintly fathers, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and be prepared to assist all those who ask you for help just like the holy fathers because you will have made the same preparation and received the same grace.

3761 Therefore let us desire more than anything else to possess the Spirit of the Lord[16] and to continually ask for this in prayer, so that in truth we can do nothing without him[17] or do anything that is pleasing to God. We may also ask for his special gifts, and these are seven: wisdom, intellect, counsel in what we do, fortitude in combating vice, knowledge, piety and the fear of the Lord which is the basis of wisdom.[18] These gifts of the Holy Spirit are better, more worthy, more effective than whatever graces you may try to acquire through human effort.

Forth Distinction

3762 On Thursday think about the Sacrament of the Eucharist in which the Lord’s great familiarity is very obvious as it implies that he wishes to remain present to us in his human nature forever. It is truly logical and commendable that we devoutly contemplate such intimate love on the part of God our Father at least once a week and recall this holy Sacrament in the depth of our heart. This is especially important for priests, who ought to celebrate and receive it every day even though they recall it at other times whenever they celebrate Mass.

Above all we ought to stir up our faith so as not to assess it only with our vulgar senses and understanding or just adore what we see with our eyes, that is bread and wine. Rather with faith and reverence let us adore the one who we believe to be hidden under these species, namely the whole Christ in the bread and the whole Christ in the wine.

Let us approach this Sacrament with hope and love so that each time we receive it we firmly believe that all our sins have been forgiven and have great reverence for all that pertains to this Sacrament.[19]

3763 At this moment the priest considers with devotion his own great unworthiness and lowly life, on the one hand, and on the other Christ’s great glory and he devoutly humbles himself.[20] Let him acknowledge that he is not worthy of what God has given him. Let him recall how often he has celebrated this Sacrament without being properly prepared or with something on his conscience or while having a scruple concerning sin, or while being tepid or celebrating in a hurry for financial gain rather than for the honour of God.

However, the lay and secular person who does not have to approach the Sacrament every day should seriously consider when to approach this Sacrament, the places where it is reserved and expect the priests to celebrate the sacrament and to have respect for the chalices and that those who are ministers care for the other vessels. Whoever helps the priests should always do so with fear. But the priests experience vainglory concerning the honour that belongs to them as priests, even though such honour does not belong to them but to God. All that honour and glory belongs to God. They should rather be humble about being held in respect.[21]

3764 According to what has been said consider how this Sacrament is the most effective way to recall the Passion and death of our Lord: “For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord”. It also says: “Do this as a commemoration of me.”[22] So that men might not forget the blessed Passion of the Lord he left us his body under a different species as a remembrance. If the memory of Christ’s death were to be forgotten it would also necessarily imply the loss of the memory of its fruits and the loss of evidence that when he came to die he left and bequeathed to us the clearest sign and testimonial of the eternal love with which he had always loved the Church and would always love it.[23] Indeed had he not always loved us, and not always wanted to love us, he would never have left us his most sacred body as such intimate company. It is also the bond of love that binds us to him, joins us to him, unites us to him and joins us together.

3765 In truth whoever eats this bread, as Christ himself said, remains in God and God in him. Whoever eats him lives through him.[24] How can we not love Christ if we remember his most intimate gift and kindness? It is also bread that feeds our soul and spirit, just as bodily food feeds our body and nourishes it, just as the body receives life and obtains strength by means of bodily food. Just as the body that neglects taking the required food becomes weak in the long run, so anyone who does not frequent this Sacrament, either as sacramental or spiritual communion,[25] will not have spiritual vigour and strength for long. That is why Christ said: “My flesh is real food, and this is the food that came down from heaven. This is the living bread.”[26] This really is food that nourishes feeds and sustains our spirit more effectively than corporal food nourishes the body.

Finally, this is an altar, a pledge of the eternal inheritance that we are awaiting. [27] This is why we believe and at present cling to the hope that, as we now consume this Sacrament, while on our journey, and it refreshes us, it will completely satisfy us in abundance in future when we shall see him face to face when the blessed union and accompaniment, that begun with this meditation on communion of the most blessed Sacrament is accomplished.

Seventh Distinction

3766 On Sunday, which is always filled with festivity and joy, contemplate how Christ after the three days that he spent in the tomb following his death, rose from death to life, setting death aside by means of his own might and power, in the same manner and way that people usually awake from sleep, even doing this incomparably more easily. A person who is asleep does not wake up because he wants to wake but only after sleep has passed or someone calls him. But Christ using his own divine might and power which never left his body and soul raised his own body when he wanted to rise, reuniting his sacred soul to his glorious body. This does not contradict the saying that the Father raised his Son from death as Holy Scripture says. This is because the Father did not raise his Son by commanding him to rise as if the Son did not have the power to rise himself, like other dead people. The Father raised him because Christ was given his divine nature by the Father by means of which he rose, like all children say that they have comes from their father since all their power and strength comes from their father.

3767 Consider how that body when it was placed in the grave on Friday had been so racked with wounds and lacerations, so pale and bruised from blows so as to be frail[28] and covered with blood, so heavy and weighty. It has now been raised to glorious immortality, according to what was said: “Knowing that Christ, rising from the dead, dies now no more. Death shall no more have dominion over him. For that he died to sin, he died once but now that he lives, he lives unto God.”[29] He rose all covered with glory, with a delicate and glorious body, so that it was able to penetrate doors and pass through any obstacle without trouble. This is how he went to his disciples when the doors were closed since his glorified body was immortal and beyond suffering, indeed it was something spiritual.

Here you can consider his various apparitions to his Mother and other women and the disciples as they are recounted in the Gospel and all that he did up to the time of his Ascension, in order to prove that he had really risen and was the same person that he had been before.

3768 Then think about how our Lord, who when the time of his journey that had been set by his Father was over, returned to where he had come from by ascending into heaven by the power that he had within him, taking with him the sack containing our mortality, namely human flesh, which he had assumed here below. Think of how much glory was seen by the Angels and how much happiness there was in heaven! Once more rejoice with them as the Apostle commanded when he said: “Therefore if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth.”[30] Finally, let our hearts be concentrated on the values that will bring lasting joy.[31]

Look carefully at how the good Jesus exalted the humble state, the wretchedness, the lowliness of our flesh when he carried it with him above all the orders of the blessed spirits and placed it in great splendour and clarity to the left of God the Father,[32] after God the Father had given him, once again in his human nature, all power in heaven and on earth and established him as judge of the living and of the dead.[33] This is he who had stood before Pilate to be judged and condemned to death.

3769 How great his authority is now, and how great is the glory that he has achieved by means of such abominable jibes and insults! Here let us reinforce our hope since by ascending into heaven Christ opened the way for all of us because he is not the only one to enter by taking this road, but he has made it possible and open to us. He was the first to pass this way and as the first among all those who die, he conquered and overcame the powers of evil and obtained our inheritance by means of his glorious victory which he acquired and purchased by the price of his blood for those who believe and trust in him.

He had already predicted this when he spoke with his Father: “Father, I will that where I am, they also whom you have given me may be with me, that they may see the glory you have given me.”[34] I want them to receive this for I love them as you have loved me so that they may be one, just as we are one.”[35] “I give you a kingdom as the Father has given me a kingdom so that you may eat and drink at my table in my Father’s kingdom.”[36] It says in the Apocalypse: “To the one who conquers I will give to sit on my throne, for I have already conquered and sit on my father’s throne.”[37]

Indeed, whoever wishes to follow the Lord and reach his glory, ought to firstly follow the road of penance, the road of tribulation, the road that is hard and bitter, the one that Christ trod, otherwise it will be useless to waste our effort looking for hope., and in the end we will see that we have accomplished nothing. Christ says: “If a man ministers to me, let him follow me: and where I am, there also shall my minister be”.[38] Whoever does not suffer with him will not reign with him,[39] because whoever refuses to follow Christ’s road at present through penance cannot accompany him to glory.

3770 Consider how many armies and multitudes of saints have following in the footsteps of Christ along one or other road and how many thousands have already entered to where they permanently exult with the Lord to rejoice and be happy with him forever. Once again arouse your desire and heart to consider heavenly things, things that are immeasurably grand so that very soon you will want to die and be with Christ rather than stay in the flesh with this frail body.[40]

We know for certain that when the house in which we live is dissolved. I mean when our earthly body is dissolved, we shall have an eternal dwelling with God in heaven.[41]Therefore, whatever tribulations come our way they should not seem to be heavy if we hold eternal joy in our memory and in our heart.[42] We know that all the martyrs and other saints reached eternal joy by means of tribulation. We know that others have suffered or brought affliction on themselves for the love of God by making use of continual punishment or by slashing their body and that the greater this wounding was on earth, the greater was the glory that they received in heaven. At least meditate on the glory of the Son of God Jesus Christ which will also lead you to contemplate the immeasurable happiness of the most blessed Trinity and to adoring God as one and three, blessed above all, and to adoring and praising with a simple heart all that you have discovered written in Sacred Scripture, or ever heard said in the Church of those who believe.

3771 I adore you most blessed Trinity,[43] Father Son and Holy Spirit, one, true, living, eternal and infinite God, omnipotent, most wise and good King and Lord of all. Not three gods, but three Lords or three who are omnipotent. I believe in the unity of the substance of the three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who possess one and the same substance, the same power and strength, distinct as persons in as much as the Father is not the Son nor the Holy Spirit, the Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. However, I believe that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one and the same substance and essence.

I adore you, omnipotent Father, who has been derived from no one, from whom the Son and the Holy Spirit proceed. I adore you, Son, who was born of the Father by means of eternal generation, and proceeds from the Father, being Word of the Father, as light comes from light, co-eternal, consubstantial and equal in everything to the Father. The Father is generating eternally, and you are generated by the Father.

3772 I adore you God the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son. You are the sweetest love that unites the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father in one substance and you are of one and the same substance completely consubstantial with the Father and the Son. All three persons are equally eternal and equal.

Although such things are exalted and profound, nevertheless what we have said here requires that you think them over and meditate on them in a simple manner in order to know the Catholic Christian faith. There is no need to investigate them further out of curiosity because they are things that go beyond our intellect and knowledge had God not revealed them to each of us and breathed them into our mind.

However, there are those who want to know about the Trinity for no reason. We do not want to say anything more on the matter, other than that this is exalted contemplation and does not originate in us people of flesh so much so that many clergy, priests and brothers do not know what is involved in faith in the blessed and holy Trinity which we ought to believe and hear proclaimed. We should have doubts about people like this and be afraid for them because with this frame of mind they regard enquiry as worthless and do not continue to search and so do not know what they ought to know.[44]

3773 I will say something to state what we ought to know about the Holy Trinity, even though this will not be much, concerning how the three Persons proceed from one another, the generation of light from light that sheds light and warmth.[45] This is light that does not come from any other light, which sheds light without loss to itself and this is God the Father, who comes from none other, generates the Son from himself without loss of his substance that was always within him. Since light sheds forth both illumination and warmth, so the Father through the Son breathes forth the Holy Spirit, who is love and charity, which resembles warmth or ardour. If you ever find a corporeal light source that is eternal, it will generate eternal light from itself and warmth and ardour. So too the eternal Father continually generates the Son who is also eternal and through the Son breathes forth the Holy Spirit who is equally eternal and consubstantial.

3774 We have taken this image from corporeal and material things, but it cannot fully represent the eternal procession and derivation of the Word and the eternal Holy Spirit. If these things are too difficult, keep on contemplating and consider how the omnipotent Father, in the union of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is blessed and self-sufficient, and did not need anything, in time, by an act of his will, created the world and all that it contains out of nothing, that was either in heaven no on earth, not for his own benefit, but to share, bestow and demonstrate his immense goodness so as we could be part in it.

Do not think that God made the sky because he needed to make it as the men of this world usually do to fulfil their needs, nor did he make the fields and the plains so that he could gather something for his own use and comfort. He did not create water so that he might drink it, or bread, sheep, cows, fish, birds and the other animals to eat them himself or to put them to any use. He made all of these things just to show his infinite goodness. Because he could not display his immense beauty in just one thing, he made and created many diverse kinds of creatures with each one having a particular kind of beauty that reflected his power, his work, that is, so that they could function and achieve the perfection that he wanted. Above all of these bodily creatures he created mankind, on whom he impressed his image, giving him memory, intellect and will and indeed love.[46]

Now consider how the Father created everything and now governs everything through his Son in the Holy Spirit as the Apostle says: “O the depth of the riches of his wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgements, and how unsearchable his ways! For of him, and by him, and in him are all things, to him be glory for ever. Amen.”[47]

Conclusion and close of our tract

3775 Going back to where we have come from and to where we began, because he is the beginning and the end of everything,[48] let us bring our meditations to an end. If a person keeps them in mind and engraves them on his heart and wants to go through them faithfully so as to quickly arouse his emotions, so as to cultivate within himself special love for God, and wants to possess virtue and hate vice, he ought to know that the Lord God is with him by means of the secure hope of really finding him.

At present, while they are despising the cares of this world and the secular business of the world, those who are continually intensely waiting for God with heart, mind, intellect and affection are unable to see what they will become.[49] However, when Christ appears and it can be seen that he is our real life and the spouse of those who have been associated with him in inseparable friendship, then they too will appear with him in glory.[50] Then they will say to those who had placed every care, solicitude and thought on the things of this world, “Behold those who considered us to be fanatics and crazy, who regarded us as people who were stupid, who looked here and there, up and down, for unimportant things. They regarded us as a joke as foolish and called us fools and made fun of us.[51] See now how we are counted and numbered among the children of God and our lot and future is amongst his saints. We thought that their thoughts were stupid, and their solicitude and silence was fastidious and their austerity unpleasant.”[52]

3776 I tell you truly, I predict, I announce, I warn that all those who are rewarded with blessed glory, who faithfully, by night and day, voluntarily meditate from the heart, and make an effort to go over the sacred mysteries of the Christian faith will learn, much more quickly that those who continually study all the subtleties of theology[53], all the movements of the universe of the sky, the working and force natural phenomena, the severity of law, and every medical experiment. For this is real wisdom, and the science dealing with our salvation. This will give life to all of those who persevere in it just as the Son said to the Father after his Last Supper with his disciples: “This is eternal life. That they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent,”[54] who lived and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, three and one, living and true God, blessed for all ages. Amen.


Endnotes:

  1. Franciscan prayer is more affective than discursive. It sets the mind free and disposes it towards union and the activity of the Holy Spirit who guides it wherever he wishes.
  2. The Tract assembles meditations that “are divided according to the number of days in a week in order to focus our mind on God.” as it says in the full title. The topics are set out in this way: Christ’s Resurrection, the Most Holy Trinity, (Sunday), the creation of the world, Original Sin, the Devil, the Flood, the Incarnation and the life of Christ, (Monday), the final judgement of Christ. (Tuesday), the Solemnity of the Holy Spirit, (Wednesday), the sacrament of the Eucharist, (Thursday), Christ’s most bitter Passion, (Friday), the death and burial of Christ and meditation on the Sorrowful Mother, (Saturday). We have chosen pages concerning the Holy Spirit, the Eucharist, the Resurrection and the Most Holy Trinity and the conclusion to the entire Tract.
  3. Cf. Jn 1:16 “Of his fullness we have all received, grace for grace,”
  4. Cf. Jn 3:34 “God does not give the Spirit by measure.”
  5. Cf. Mk 10:10-11; Mt 3:16-17; Lk 3:22.
  6. This is an example of the style of Tittlemans which is full of Biblical quotations. Cf. Rom 8:14-16; Eph 1:14; Heb 9:15,
  7. Lk. 11:13.
  8. Lk. 12:12; 21:12-15; Mk 13:11; Mt 10:17-20.
  9. Jn. 14:26.
  10. Jn 16:8.
  11. Jn 1:34.
  12. 1 Cor. 2:9.
  13. Rom. 8:15-16, 26.
  14. Jn 16:13-14.
  15. The early Capuchin and in general the Franciscan ascetical school used this criterion.
  16. Cf. LR. 10, 8 (FAED I, p. 105). “… let them pay attention to what they must desire above all else; to have the Spirit of the Lord and Its holy activity.”
  17. Cf. Jn 15:5.
  18. Prov. 1:7.
  19. Tittelmans had already dealt with the Eucharist in a commentary on the Holy Mass which was very successful and influential. Tractatus de expositione mysteriorumMissae (Lovanio 1528)
  20. This echoes what St Francis wrote in A Letter to the Entire Order. (FAED I, p. 118:23)
  21. According to profound Franciscan spirituality belief in this Sacrament and the little things that are connected with it could not have been expressed more clearly.
  22. Cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Lk. 22:19.
  23. Cf. Eph. 5:25; Jer. 11:3.
  24. Cf. Jn. 6:56-57.
  25. Sacramental or spiritual communion.
  26. Cf. Jn 6:50-51, 55.
  27. Cf. Tit. 2:13.
  28. Valore in the text = vigore.
  29. Rom. 6:9-10.
  30. Col. 3:1-2.
  31. The phrase is taken from the Prayer from XX! Sunday in Ordinary Time.
  32. Eph. 1:20-21; 2:6.
  33. Cf. Acts 10:42
  34. Cf Jn. 17:24.
  35. Cf. Jn 17, 21
  36. Cf. Lk. 22:29-30.
  37. Cf. Rev. 3:21. 
  38. Cf. Jn. 12:26
  39. Cf. Rom. 8:17.
  40. Cf. Phil. 1:23.
  41. CF. 2 Cor. 5:1.
  42. Cf. Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor, 2:17.
  43. Compare this prayer to the Trinity with that of Bernradino d’Asti. See above n. 3742 ss.
  44. This is a fair protest against uninformed piety.
  45. These are traditional images taken from Patristic and Scholastic theology to illustrate the mystery of the Trinity. Cf. for example, S. Atanasio, Lett. I, a,Scrap. PG 26, 594-99; see also the second reading in the Office of the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity.
  46. This is a splendid example of Tittelmans’ style that is simple, profound, theologically precise and filled with unction.
  47. Rom. 11:33, 36.
  48. Rev. 22:13
  49. 1 Jn 3:2.
  50. Cf. Col 3:4.
  51. In the text bottoneggiandoli and betteggiandoli.
  52. CF Wis 5:5.
  53. What Tittlemans expressed here became a reality when he said goodbye to books to completely dedicate himself to “prayer from the heart” and care for the sick.
  54. Jn 17:3.