IN ORDER TO ASK THAT SOME DEFECT WITHIN OURSELVES MAY BE CORRECTED
18. PREFACE - Our bad instincts result from the imperfections of our own Spirit, and not from our physical body. If this were not so then Man would be exempt from all responsibility. Our betterment depends on ourselves, because every person who has all their faculties has in everything the liberty to do or not to do. In order to do good the only thing lacking is will-power (See chapter 15, item 10 and chapter 19, item 12).
Dear Lord, You gave me the necessary intelligence so as to distinguish right from wrong. Thus, on recognising something to be wrong, I am guilty in not struggling to resist the temptation.
Preserve me from pride which can prevent me from perceiving my defects, and also from the bad Spirits, who can incite me to continue in the wrong.
Amongst my 'imperfections I recognise that I am especially inclined to..., and if I am unable to resist, it is because I have already acquired the habit of giving in to it.
Because You are just, You did not create us guilty but with equal aptitude for good and for bad. If I have preferred the bad road it was because of my free-will. But for the same reason that I had the liberty to do wrong, I also have the liberty to do good and therefore to change my pathway.
My actual defects are the remains of the imperfections I brought from my past existences; this is my original sin, from which I may liberate myself through the action of my will and with help from the good Spirits.
Accordingly, protect me kindly Spirits, and above all my Guardian Angel, by giving me the strength to resist evil suggestions and so be victorious in this battle.
These defects are the barrier which separate us from God, and each defect surmounted is a step further along the pathway of progress which will draw us nearer to Him.
O Lord, in Your infinite mercy, You thought fit to concede me this present life so that it would serve for my advancement. Good Spirits, help me to take advantage of this opportunity so that I may not lose it. When it pleases God to remove me from it, help me to leave it in a better condition than on entering (See chapter 5, item 5 & chapter 17, item 3).