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A BOOK OF CATHOLIC PRAYERS
Paul Gerard Horrigan
COPYRIGHT © 2000 By Paul Gerard Horrigan, Ph.D, All Rights Reserved.
This HTML edition is provided free for noncommercial and devotional use.
With ecclesiastical approval.
The Sign of the Cross In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. The Lord’s Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen. The Hail Mary Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. The Apostles’ Creed I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. The Nicene Creed We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary and
became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son He is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. The Glory Be Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Hail Holy Queen Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy; hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thy eyes of mercy toward us. And after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. The Angelus V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, etc. V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word. Hail Mary, etc. V. And the Word was made flesh, R. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary, etc. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. The Regina Coeli To be said standing during Eastertide instead of the Angelus Queen of heaven, rejoice; alleluia. For He whom you did merit to bear; alleluia, Has risen, as He said; alleluia. Pray for us to God; alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary; alleluia. R. For the Lord has risen indeed; alleluia. Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; grant that we may obtain, through His Virgin Mother, Mary, the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. The Memorare Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your aid or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to you I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petition, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen. Prayer to the Guardian Angel Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here, Ever this day be at my side, To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen. Spiritual Communion I wish Lord, to receive You with the purity, humility and devotion with which Your most holy Mother received You; with the spirit and fervor of the saints. THE HOLY ROSARY The Joyful Mysteries (Mondays and Saturdays) 1. The Annunciation 2. The Visitation 3. The Nativity 4. The Presentation 5. The Finding in the Temple The Luminous Mysteries (Thursdays) 1. The Baptism of Christ 2. The Wedding Feast at Cana 3. The Proclamation of God’s Kingdom and the Call to Conversion 4. The Transfiguration 5. The Institution of the Eucharist The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays) 1. The Agony in the Garden 2. The Scourging at the Pillar 3. The Crowning with Thorns 4. The Carrying of the Cross 5. The Crucifixion
The Glorious Mysteries (Wednesdays and Sundays) 1. The Resurrection 2. The Ascension 3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit 4. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven MORNING PRAYERS In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love. Most holy and adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I believe that Thou art here present; I adore Thee with the deepest humility, and render to Thee, with my whole heart, the homage which is due to Thy sovereign majesty. O my God, I most humbly thank Thee for all the favors Thou hast bestowed upon me up to the present moment. I give Thee thanks from the bottom of my heart that Thou hast created me after Thine own image and likeness, that Thou hast redeemed me by the precious blood of Thy dear Son, and that Thou hast preserved me and brought me safe to the beginning of another day. I offer to Thee, O Lord, my whole being, and in particular all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of this day. I consecrate them all to the glory of Thy name, beseeching Thee that through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour they may all find acceptance in Thy sight. May Thy divine love animate them, and may they all tend to Thy greater glory. Adorable Jesus, my Saviour and Master, model of all perfection, I resolve and will endeavor this day to imitate Thy example, to be, like Thee, mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable, and resigned. I will redouble my efforts that I may not fall this day into any of those sins which I have heretofore committed (here you may name any besetting sin), and which I sincerely desire to forsake. O my God, Thou knowest my poverty and weakness, and that I am unable to do anything good without Thee; deny me not, O God, the help of Thy grace; proportion it to my necessities; give me strength to avoid everything evil which Thou forbiddest, and to practice the good which Thou hast commanded; and enable me to bear patiently all the trials which it may please Thee to send me. An Act of Faith O my God! I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. An Act of Hope O my God! Relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.
An Act of Charity O my God! I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. An Act of Contrition O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen. O Holy Virgin, Mother of God, my Mother and Patroness, I place myself under thy protection, I throw myself with confidence into the arms of thy compassion. Be to me, O Mother of mercy, my refuge in distress, my consolation under suffering, my advocate with thy adorable Son, now and at the hour of my death. Amen. O faithful Guardian and Father of virgins, blessed Joseph, to whom was confided the care of Jesus, and of Mary the Queen of Virgins, I most humbly supplicate thee, by the love thou dost bear Jesus and Mary, to obtain for me that, being preserved from every stain during my whole life, I may be ever able to serve them with unspotted purity of mind and body. Amen. May the power of the Father govern and protect me! May the wisdom of the Son teach and enlighten me! May the influence of the Holy Spirit renew and quicken me! May the blessing of the All-holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with me, now and for evermore. Amen. Grace Before Meals Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Grace After Meals We give Thee thanks, O Almighty God, for all Thy mercies. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen. EVENING PRAYERS In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love. O my God, I present myself before Thee at the end of another day, to offer Thee anew the homage of my heart. I humbly adore Thee, my Creator, my Redeemer, and my Judge! I believe in Thee, because Thou art Truth itself; I hope in Thee, because Thou art faithful to Thy promises; I love Thee with my whole heart, because Thou art infinitely worthy of being loved; and for Thy sake I love my neighbor as myself. Enable me, O my God, to return Thee thanks as I ought for all Thine inestimable blessings and favors. Thou hast thought of me, and loved me from all eternity; Thou hast formed me out of nothing; Thou hast delivered up Thy beloved Son to the ignominious death of the Cross for my redemption; Thou hast made me a member of Thy holy Church; Thou hast preserved me from falling into the abyss of eternal misery, when my sins had provoked Thee to punish me; and Thou hast
graciously continued to spare me, even though I have not ceased to offend Thee. What return, O my God, can I make for Thine innumerable blessings, and particularly for the favors of this day? O all ye Angels and Saints, unite with me in praising the God of mercies, who is so bountiful to so unworthy a creature. Ask of God to discover the sins committed this day. O my God, sovereign Judge of men, who desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he should be converted and saved, enlighten my mind, that I may know the sins which I have this day committed in thought, word, or deed, and give me the grace of true contrition. Here examine your conscience, then say: O my God, I heartily repent, and I am grieved that I have offended Thee, because Thou art infinitely good, and sin is infinitely displeasing to Thee. I humbly ask of Thee mercy and pardon, through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. I resolve, by the assistance of Thy grace, to do penance for my sins, and I will endeavor never more to offend Thee. O God, hear my prayers on behalf of our Holy Father Pope N., our Bishop N., our clergy, and for all that are in authority over us. Bless, I beseech Thee, the whole Catholic Church, and convert all heretics and unbelievers. Pour down Thy blessings, O Lord, upon all my friends, relations, and acquaintances, and upon my enemies, if I have any. Help the poor and the sick, and those who are in their last agony. O God of mercy and goodness, have compassion on the souls of the faithful in purgatory; put an end to their sufferings, and grant to them eternal light, rest, and happiness. Amen. O Almighty and Eternal God, who savest all, and willest not that any should perish, look, we beseech Thee, upon the souls that are led astray by the deceits of the devil; that, rejecting all errors, the hearts of those who err may be converted, and return to the unity of Thy truth. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Bless, O Lord, the repose I am about to take, that, my bodily strength being renewed, I may better be the better enabled to serve Thee. Amen. O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of mercy, pray for me, that I may be preserved this night from all evil, whether of body or soul. Blessed St. Joseph, and all ye Angels and Saints, especially my guardian angel and my chosen patron, watch over me. I commend myself to your protection now and always. Amen. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, God of hosts: the earth is full of Thy glory. Glory be to the Father, glory be to the Son, glory be to the Holy Spirit. Amen. PRAYERS BEFORE CONFESSION Imploration of Divine Assistance in Order to Make a Good Confession O Almighty and most merciful God, who hast made me out of nothing, and redeeemed me by the Precious Blood of Thine Only Son; who hast with so much patience borne with me to this day, notwithstanding all my sins and ingratitude; ever calling after me to return to Thee from the ways of vanity and iniquity, in which I have been quite wearied out in the pursuit of empty toys and mere shadows; seeking in vain to satisfy my thirst in unclean waters, and my hunger with husks of swine:
behold, O most gracious Lord, I now sincerely desire to leave all these my evil ways, to forsake the region of death where I have so long lost myself, and to return to Thee, the Fountain of Life. I desire, like the prodigal son, to enter seriously into myself, and with the like resolution to arise without delay, and to go home to my Father – though I am most unworthy to be called His child – in hopes of meeting with the like reception from His most tender mercy. But, O my God, though I can go astray from Thee of myself, yet I cannot make one step towards returning to Thee, unless Thy divine grace move and assist me. This grace, therefore, I most humbly implore, prostrate in spirit before the throne of Thy mercy; I beg it for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who died upon the Cross for my sins; I know that Thou desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he may be converted and live; I know Thy mercies are above all Thy works; and I most confidently hope that as in Thy mercy Thou hast spared me so long, and hast now given me this desire of returning to Thee, so Thou wilt finish the work which Thou hast begun, and bring me to a perfect reconciliation with Thee. I desire now to comply with Thy holy institution of the Sacrament of Penance; I desire to confess my sins with all sincerity to Thee and to Thy minister; and therefore I desire to know myself, and to call myself to an account by a diligent examination of my conscience. But, O my God, how miserably shall I deceive myself if Thou assist me not in this great work by Thy heavenly light. O then remove every veil that hides any of my sins from me, that I may see them all in their true colors, and may sincerely detest them. O let me no longer be imposed upon by the Enemy of souls, or by my own self-love, so as to mistake vice for virtue, to hide myself from myself, or in any way to make excuses in sins. But, O my good God, what will it avail me to know my sins, if Thou dost not also give me a hearty sorrow and repentance for them? Without this my sins will be all upon me still, and I shall be still Thine enemy and a child of hell. Thou dost require that contrite heart, without which there can be no reconciliation with Thee; and this heart none but Thyself can give. O then, dear Lord, grant it unto me at this time. Give me a lively faith, and a steadfast hope, in the Passion of my Redeemer; teach me to fear Thee and to love Thee. Give me, for Thy mercy’s sake, a hearty sorrow for having offended so good a God. Teach me to detest my evil ways; to abhor all my past ingratitude; to hate myself now with a perfect hatred for my many treasons against Thee. O give me a full and a firm resolution to lead henceforward a new life; and unite me unto Thee with an eternal band of love which nothing in life or death may ever break. Grant me also the grace to make an entire and sincere confession of all my sins, and to accept the confusion of it as a penance justly due to my transgressions. Let not the Enemy prevail upon me to pass over anything through fear or shame; rather let me die than consent to so great an evil. Let no self-love deceive me, as I fear it has done too often. O grant that this confession may be good; and for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who died for me and for all sinners, assist me in every part of my preparation for it; that I may perform it with the same care and diligence as I should be glad to do at the hour of my death; that so, being perfectly reconciled to Thee, I may never offend Thee more. Amen. Prayers Before the Examination of Conscience O Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords, who hast made me out of nothing in Thine image and likeness, and hast redeemed me with Thine own Blood; whom I a sinner am not worthy to name, or call upon, or think of: I humbly pray Thee, I earnestly beseech Thee, to look mercifully on me, Thy wicked servant. Thou who hadst mercy on the woman of Chanaan and Mary Magdalen; Thou who didst spare the publican and the thief upon the cross, have mercy upon me. Thou art my hope and my trust; my guide and my succor; my comfort and my strength; my defense and my deliverance; my life, my health, and my resurrection; my light and my longing; my help and my protection. I pray and entreat Thee, help me and I shall be safe; direct me and defend me; strengthen me and comfort me; confirm me and gladden me; enlighten me and come unto me. Raise me from the dead; I am Thy creature, and the work of Thy hands. Despise me not, O Lord, nor regard my iniquities; but according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies have mercy upon me, the chief of sinners, and be gracious unto me. Turn Thou unto me, O Lord, and be not angry with me. I implore Thee, most
compassionate Father, I pray Thee meekly, of Thy great mercy, to bring me to a holy death, and to true penance, to a perfect confession, and to worthy satisfaction for all my sins. Amen. O Lord God, who enlightenest every man who cometh into this world, enlighten my heart, I pray Thee, with the light of Thy grace, that I may fully know my sins, shortcomings, and negligences, and may confess them with that true sorrow and contrition of heart which I so much need. I desire to make full amends for all my sins and to avoid them for the future to Thy honor and glory, and to the salvation of my soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. I believe in Thee, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, my Creator, my Redeemer, and Sanctifier; I believe that Thou art all-holy, just, and merciful. I believe that Thou art willing to pardon and to save me, if I repent and forsake my sins. O my God, strengthen and increase my faith, and grant me the grace of a true repentance, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. I hope in Thee, O my God, because Thou art almighty, faithful, and long-suffering. I humbly trust that Thou wilt pardon my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for me upon the Cross; and that Thou wilt cleanse my sinful soul in His precious Blood, and make me holy, and bring me to everlasting life. O Lord, in Thee have I hoped, let me never be confounded. Amen. I love Thee, O my God, above all things, because Thou hast been so good, so patient, so loving to me, notwithstanding all the sins by which I have so grievously offended Thee. I love Thee, O Blessed Jesus, my Saviour, because Thou didst suffer so much for love of me, an ungrateful sinner, and didst die on the Cross for my salvation. O make me love Thee more and more, and show my love to Thee by faithfully keeping Thy Commandments all the days of my life. Amen. O Mary Immaculate, Mother of Fair Love: obtain for me that love of God, which is so necessary for true contrition. Amen. Prayer After the Examination of Conscience O my God, I cry unto Thee with the prodigal: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee ; I am no longer worthy to be called Thy Son. I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost. O seek Thy servant, for I have not forgotten Thy commandments. Enter not into judgment with Thy servant, O Lord. O spare me for Thy mercy’s sake. Prove me, O God, and know my heart ; examine me, and know my paths. Thou whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, O meet me in pity, embrace me in love, and forgive me all my sin. I confess my sins unto Thee, O Christ, Healer of our souls, O Lord of Life. Heal me, heal me of my spiritual sickness, Thou who art long-suffering and of tender mercy ; heal me, O Lord Christ. Accept my supplication, O Thou Holy Spirit, unto whom every heart is open, every desire known, and from whom no secret is hid, and who givest life to our souls ; hear and answer, O Spirit of God. O Heavenly Father, who willest not that any sinner should perish, give me true repentance for this my sin, that I perish not ! To what misery am I come by my own fault ! O merciful God, pity and forgive me for Jesus’ sake.
Thine eyes, O God, are as a flame of fire searching my inmost heart. O pardon my sin, for it is great ! Thou, God, seest me in all the foulness of my sins ! Blessed Jesus, speak for me, plead for me, come between my soul and my offended God, that I perish not. Amen. The 7 Penitential Psalms Psalm 6 O Lord, reprove me not in your anger, nor chastise me in your wrath. Have pity on me, O Lord, for I am languishing ; heal me, O Lord, for my body is in terror ; My soul, too, is utterly terrified ; but you, O Lord, how long? Return, O Lord, save my life ; rescue me because of your kindness, For among the dead no one remembers you ; in the nether world who gives you thanks? I am wearied with sighing ; every night I flood my bed with weeping ; I drench my couch with my tears. My eyes are dimed with sorrow ; they have aged because of all my foes. Depart from me, all evildoers, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping ; The Lord has heard my plea ; the Lord has accepted my prayer. All my enemies shall be put to shame in utter terror ; they shall fall back in sudden shame. Psalm 31 Happy is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. Happy is the man to whom the Lord imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile. As long as I would not speak, my bones wasted away with my groaning all the day, For day and night your hand was heavy upon me ; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, “I confess my faults to the Lord,” and you took away the guilt of my sin. For this shall every faithful man pray to you in time of stress. Though deep waters overflow, they shall not reach him. You are my shelter ; from distress you will preserve me ; with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round. I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk ; I will counsel you, keeping my eye on you. Be not senseless like horses or mules: with bit and bridle their temper must be curbed, else they will not come near you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but kindness surrounds him who trusts in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you just ; exult, all you upright of heart. Psalm 37 O Lord, in your anger punish me not, in your wrath chastise me not ; For your arrows have sunk deep in me, and your hand has come down upon me. There is no health in my flesh because of your indignation ; there is no wholeness in my bones because of my sin, For my iniquities have overwhelmed me ; they are like a heavy burden, beyond my strength. Noisome and festering are my sores because of my folly, I am stooped and bowed down profoundly ; all the day I go in mourning, For my loins are filled with burning pains ; there is no health in my flesh. I am numbed and severely crushed ; I roar with anguish of heart. O Lord, all my desire is before you ; from you my groaning is not hid. My heart throbs ; my strength forsakes me ; the very light of my eyes has failed me.
My friends and my companions stand back because of my affliction ; my neighbors stand afar off. Men lay snares for me seeking my life ; they look to my misfortune, they speak of ruin, treachery they talk of all the day. But I am like a deaf man, hearing not, like a dumb man who opens not his mouth. I am become like a man who neither hears nor has in his mouth a retort. Because for you, O Lord, I wait ; you, O Lord my God, will answer When I say, “Let them not be glad on my account who, when my foot slips, glory over me.” For I am very near to falling, and my grief is with me always. Indeed, I acknowledge my guilt ; I grieve over my sin. But my undeserved enemies are strong ; many are my foes without cause. Those who repay evil for good harass me for pursuing good. Forsake me not, O Lord ; my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation! Psalm 50 (The Miserere) Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness ; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight” – That you may be justified in your sentence, vindicated when you condemn. Indeed, in guilt was I born, and in sin my mother conceived me ; Behold, you are pleased with sincerity of heart, and in my inmost being you teach me wisdom. Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be purified ; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness ; the bones you have crushed shall rejoice. Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my guilt. A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your holy spirit take not from me. Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners shall return to you. Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God ; then my tongue shall revel in your justice. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. For you are not pleased with sacrifices ; should I offer a holocaust, you would not accept it. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit ; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. Be bountiful, O Lord, to Sion in your kindness by rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem ; Then shall you be pleased with due sacrifices, burnt offerings and holocausts ; then shall they offer up bullocks on your altar. Psalm 101 O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you. Hide not your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me ; in the day when I call, answer me speedily. For my days vanish like smoke, and my bones burn like fire. Withered and died up like grass is my heart ; I forget to eat my bread. Because of my insistent sighing I am reduced to skin and bone. I am like a desert owl ; I have become like an owl among the ruins.
I am sleepless, and I moan ; I am like a sparrow alone on the housetop. All the day my enemies revile me ; in their rage against me they make a curse of me. For I eat ashes like bread and mingle my drink with tears, Because of your fury and your wrath ; for you lifted me up only to cast me down. My days are like a lengthening shadow, and I whither like grass. But you, O Lord, abide forever, and your name through all generations. You will arise and have mercy on Sion, for it is time to pity her, for the appointed time has come. For her stones are dear to your servants, and her dust moves them to pity. And the nations shall revere your name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth your glory, When the Lord has rebuilt Sion and appeared in his glory ; When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and not despised their prayer. Let this be written for the generation to come, and let his future creatures praise the Lord : “The Lord looked down from his holy height, from heaven he beheld the earth, To hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die” – That the name of the Lord may be declared in Sion ; and his praise, in Jerusalem, When the peoples gather together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord. He has broken down my strength in the way ; he has cut short my days. I say: O my God, Take me not hence in the midst of my days ; through all generations your years endure. Of old you established the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They shall perish, but you remain though all of them grow old like a garment. Like clothing you change them, and they are changed, but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall abide, and their posterity shall continue in your presence. Psalm 129 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord ; Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication : If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered. I trust in the Lord ; my soul trusts in his word. My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn. More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord, For with the Lord is kindness and with him is plenteous redemption ; And he will redeem Israel from all their iniquities. Psalm 142 O Lord, hear my prayer ; hearken to my pleading in your faithfulness ; in your justice answer me. And enter not into judgment with your servant, for before you no living man is just. For the enemy pursues me ; he has crushed my life to the ground ; he has left me dwelling in the dark, like those long dead. And my spirit is faint within me, my heart within me is appalled. I remember the days of old ; I meditate on all your doings, the works of your hands I ponder. I stretch out my hands to you ; my soul thirsts for you like parched land. Hasten to answer me, O Lord, for my spirit fails me. Hide not your face from me lest I become like those who go down into the pit.
At dawn let me hear of your kindness, for in you I trust. Show me the way in which I should walk, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for in you I hope. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your good spirit guide me on level ground. For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve me ; in your justice free me from distress, And in your kindness destroy my enemies ; bring to naught all my foes, for I am your servant. Prayer Before Confession Accept my confession, O my loving, most gracious Lord Jesus Christ, on whom alone my soul trusts for salvation. Grant me, I beseech Thee, contrition of heart, and give tears to mine eyes, that I may sorrow deeply for all my sins with humility and sincerity of heart. O good Jesus, Saviour of the world, who gavest Thyself to the death of the Cross to save sinners, look on me, a miserable sinner who calls upon Thy name. Spare me, Thou that art my Saviour, and pity my sinful soul ; loose its chains, heal its sores. Lord Jesus, I desire Thee, I seek Thee, I long for Thee ; show me the light of Thy countenance, and I shall be saved ; send forth Thy light and Thy truth into my soul, to show me fully all the sins and shortcomings which I must still confess, and to aid and teach me to lay them bare without reserve and with a contrite heart ; O Thou who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen. O most gracious Virgin Mary, beloved Mother of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, intercede for me with Him. Obtain for me the full remission of my sins, and perfect amendment of life, to the salvation of my soul and the glory of His name. Amen. I implore the same grace of thee, O my Guardian Angel ; of you, my holy Patrons, N. N. ; of you, O blessed Peter and holy Magdalen, and of all the Saints of God. Intercede for me a sinner, repenting of my sins, firmly resolving to confess them, and to avoid them for the future. Amen. Act Before Confession (St. Alphonsus de Liguori) O God of infinite majesty, behold at Thy feet a traitor, who has offended Thee over and over again, but who now humbly seeks forgiveness. O Lord, reject me not ; Thou dost not despise a heart that humbles itself : A contrite heart and humbled heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. I thank Thee that Thou hast waited for me till now, and hast not let me die in sin, casting me into hell, as I deserved. Since Thou hast waited for me, my God, I hope that, by the merits of Jesus Christ, Thou wilt pardon me in this confession for all the offences I have committed against Thee ; I repent, and am sorry for them, because by them I have merited hell and lost paradise. But above all, it is not so much on account of hell which I have merited, but because I have offended Thee, O Infinite Goodness! that I am sorry from the bottom of my heart. I love Thee, O Sovereign Good! and because I love Thee, I repent of all the insults I have offered Thee. I have turned my back upon Thee ; I have not respected Thee ; I have despised Thy grace and Thy friendship. O Lord! I have lost Thee by my own freewill ; forgive me all my sins for the love of Jesus Christ, now that I repent with all my heart ; I hate, detest, and abominate them above every evil. And I repent not only of mortal sins, but also of venial sins, because these are also displeasing to Thee. I resolve for the future, by Thy grace, never more wilfully to offend Thee. Yes, my God, I will rather die than ever sin again. PRAYERS AFTER CONFESSION
O most merciful God, who according to the multitude of Thy mercies dost so put away the sins of those who truly repent that Thou rememberest them no more: look graciously upon me, Thine unworthy servant, and accept my confession for Thy mercy’s sake ; receive my humble thanks, most loving Father, that of Thy great goodness Thou hast given me pardon for all my sins. O may Thy love and pity supply whatsoever has been wanting in the sufficiency of my contrition, and the fulness of my confession. And do Thou, O Lord, vouchsafe to grant me the help of Thy grace, that I may diligently amend my life and persevere in Thy service unto the end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Psalm 102 Bless the Lord, O my soul ; and all my being, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits ; He pardons all your iniquities, He heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, He crowns you with kindness and compassion, He fills your lifetime with good ; your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord secures justice and the rights of all the oppressed. He has made known all His ways to Moses, and His deeds to the children of Israel. Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He will not always chide, nor does He keep His wrath forever. Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does He requite us according to our crimes. For as the heavens are high above the earth so surpassing is His kindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He put our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him, For He knows how we are formed ; he remembers that we are dust. Man’s days are like those of grass ; like a flower of the field he blooms ; The wind sweeps over him and he is gone, and his place knows him no more. But the kindness of the Lord is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear Him, And His justice toward children’s children among those who keep His covenant and remember to fulfill His precepts. The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, all you His angels, you mighty in strength, who do His bidding, obeying His spoken word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, His ministers, who do His will. Bless the Lord, all His works, everywhere in His domain. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Psalm 15 Preserve me, O Lord, for in Thee have I put my trust: I have said to the Lord, Thou art my God, for Thou hast no need of my goods. To the saints who are in His land: He hath made wonderful all my desires in them. Their infirmities were multiplied: afterwards they made haste. I will not gather together their meetings for blood-offerings: nor will I make mention of their names with my lips. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: Thou art He that will restore my inheritance unto me. The lines are fallen unto me in goodly places: for my inheritance is goodly unto me. I will bless the Lord, who hath given me understanding: moreover my reins also have corrected me even till night. I set the Lord always in my sight: for He is at my right hand, that I be not moved. Therefore my heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced: moreover my flesh shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: nor wilt Thou give Thy holy one to see corruption. Thou hast made known unto me the ways of life: Thou shalt fill me with joy with Thy countenance: at Thy right hand
are delights forevermore. Psalm 19 May the Lord hear thee in the day of trouble: may the name of the God of Jacob protect thee. May He send thee help from the sanctuary: and defend thee out of Sion. May He be mindful of all thy sacrifices: and may thy whole burnt-offerings be made fat. May He give unto thee according to thine own heart: and confirm all thy counsels. We will rejoice in thy salvation: and in the name of our God we shall be exalted. The Lord fulfill all thy petitions: now have I known that the Lord hath saved His anointed. He will hear him from His holy heaven: the salvation of His right hand is powerful. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God. They are entangled and have fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. O Lord, save the king: and hear us in the day that we shall call upon Thee. Prayer Before Performing Penance Since I have so grievously insulted Thee, O most tender and loving God, by my manifold sins and negligences, I am ready now to make perfect satisfaction to Thy divine justice to the utmost of my ability. To this end I will faithfully and most reverently perform the penance appointed me by my confessor in Thy name ; and would that I could perform it with so great devotion and love as to give Thee an honor and delight greater than the insult and outrage of my sins! And that this may be so, I unite and blend this my penance with all the works of satisfaction which Thy beloved Son accomplished during the three-and-thirty years of His life on earth, and in union with His fastings, His watchings, and His prayers, I offer Thee this my penance and my prayer. Look down, therefore, O most loving Father, upon me Thy most bounden debtor, now prostrate at Thy feet, desiring to make thee adequate satisfaction and reparation for all the insults and injuries I have done Thee ; and grant me strength and grace to say this prayer according to Thy most holy will. Amen. Here perform your sacramental Penance, and then say: O most holy Father, I offer Thee this my confession and my satisfaction in union with all the acts of penance which have ever been done to the glory of Thy holy name: beseeching Thee that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to accept it, and to render it availing through the merits of the Passion of Thy beloved Son, and through the intercession of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, and of all Thy holy Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, and Virgins. Whatever has been lacking to me in sincere and earnest preparation, in perfect contrition, in frank and clear confession, I commend to the most loving heart of Thine onlybegotten Son, that Treasury of all good and of all grace, from whose overflowing abundance all debts to Thee are fully acquitted ; that, through it, all my negligences and defects in the reception of this holy Sacrament may be fully and perfectly supplied to Thine everlasting praise and glory: through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen. A Prayer for the Priest O Lord Jesus Christ, bless, I beseech Thee, Thy servant who has now ministered to me in Thy name. Help me to remember his good counsel and advice, and to perform duly what he has rightly laid upon me. And grant him the abundance of Thy grace and favor, that his own soul may be refreshed and strengthened for Thy perfect service, and that he may come at last to the joy of Thy heavenly kingdom. Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen. Prayers for Pardon and Amendment
I : O most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, I, an unworthy sinner, would beg Thee to be mindful of all holy thoughts which have been Thine from eternity until now ; above all, that one by which Thou, O Eternal Word, didst will to become man. Our Father. O most merciful Lord, I pray Thee, from the bottom of my heart, to pardon me all the vain, foul, and evil thoughts which, up to this hour, I have entertained, or in any way have caused others to entertain, against or beside Thy will. Our Father. II. O most compassionate Lord Jesus Christ, I, a miserable sinner, would beg Thee to be mindful of all the good and saving words which Thou didst ever speak when on earth. Our Father. I humbly pray Thee, O good Jesus, to forgive me all the words which up to this hour I have uttered or caused others to utter against Thy holy will. Our Father. III. O most sweet Jesus Christ, I, an unworthy sinner, yet redeemed by Thy precious Blood, would beg Thee to be mindful of all the good works which Thou wroughtest on the earth for our salvation. I beseech Thee, most compassionate Lord, pardon me whatsoever, by my ill deeds, I have at any time knowingly or unknowingly committed, or have caused others to commit, against Thy law and the glory of Thy name. Our Father. And now, O most gracious Lord, direct and order all my thoughts, words, and works according to Thy good pleasure, and to the praise of Thy name ; and conform them to the perfect pattern of Thy most holy life and conversation. I am Thine, and will be Thine, O Lord, in life and in death ; into Thy hands I commend myself and all that I have. Our Father. Prayers Against the Seven Deadly Sins Prayer Against Pride O Lord Jesus Christ, Pattern of humility, who didst empty Thyself of Thy glory, and take upon Thee the form of a servant: root out of us all pride and conceit of heart, that, owning ourselves miserable and guilty sinners, we may willingly bear contempt and reproaches for Thy sake, and, glorying in nothing but Thee, may esteem ourselves lowly in Thy sight. Not unto us, O Lord, but to Thy name be the praise, for Thy loving mercy and for Thy truth’s sake. Amen. Prayer Against Covetousness O Lord Jesus Christ, who though Thou wast rich yet for our sakes didst become poor, grant that all over-eagerness and covetousness of earthly goods may die in us, and the desire of heavenly things may live and grow in us: keep us from all idle and vain expenditures, that we may always have to give to him that needeth, and that giving not grudgingly nor of necessity, but cheerfully, we may be loved of Thee, and be made through Thy merits partakers of the riches of Thy heavenly treasure. Amen. Prayer Against Lust O Lord Jesus Christ, Guardian of chaste souls, and lover of purity, who wast pleased to take our nature and to be
born of an immaculate Virgin: mercifully look upon my infirmity. Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me ; help me to drive away all evil thoughts, to conquer every sinful desire, and so pierce my flesh with the fear of Thee that, this worst enemy being overcome, I may serve Thee with a chaste body and please Thee with a pure heart. Amen. Prayer Against Anger O most meek Jesus, Prince of Peace, who, when Thou wast reviled, didst not revile, and on the Cross didst pray for Thy murderers: implant in our hearts the virtues of gentleness and patience, that, restraining the fierceness of anger, impatience, and resentment, we may overcome evil with good, for Thy sake love our enemies, and as children of our heavenly Father seek peace and evermore rejoice in Thy love. Amen. Prayer Against Glutony O Lord Jesus Christ, Mirror of abstinence, who, to teach us the virtue of abstinence, didst fast forty days and forty nights, grant that, serving Thee and not our own appetites, we may live soberly and piously with contentment, without greediness, gluttony, or drunkenness, that Thy will being our meat and drink, we may hunger and thirst after justice, and finally obtain from Thee that food which endureth unto life eternal. Amen. Prayer Against Envy O most loving Jesus, Pattern of charity, who makest all the commandments of the law to consist in love towards God and towards man, grant to us so to love Thee with all our heart, with all our mind, and all our soul, and our neighborfor Thy sake, that the grace of charity and brotherly love may dwell in us, and all envy, harshness, and ill-will may die in us ; and fill our hearts with love, kindness, and compassion, so that by constantly rejoicing in the happiness and success of others, by sympathizing with them in their sorrows, and putting away all harsh judgments and envious thoughts, we may follow Thee, who art Thyself the true and perfect love. Amen. Prayer Against Sloth O Lord Jesus Christ, eternal Love, who in the garden didst pray so long and so fervently that Thy sweat was, as it were, drops of blood falling down to the ground: put away from us, we beseech Thee, all sloth and inactivity both of body and mind ; kindle within us the fire of Thy love ; strengthen our weakness, that whatsoever our hand is able to do we may do earnestly, and that, striving heartily to please Thee in this life, we may have Thee hereafter as our reward exceedingly great. Amen. SEVEN THANKSGIVING PRAYERS FOR THE SEVEN SHEDDINGS OF OUR LORD’S BLOOD (AGAINST THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS) I. O most humble Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, eternal praise and thanksgiving be to Thee, because in Thy tenderest age, on the eighth day of Thy mortal life, Thou didst vouchsafe to shed Thy precious and innocent Blood for us, and as a true Son of Abraham to bear the pain of circumcision. By this most holy shedding of Thy Blood, I beg of Thee the grace of humility against all pride and worldly vanity. Our Father. O Saviour of the world, who by Thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us: save us, and help us, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord. II. O Thou whose love is like the pelican’s for her young, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, eternal praise and
thanksgiving be to Thee, because in the Garden, out of the exceeding anguish of Thy Heart, Thou didst pour forth a bloody sweat, and, wholly resigning Thyself to death, didst offer it to Thy Father. By this most holy shedding of Thy Blood, I ask of Thee the grace of liberality against all covetousness and avarice. Our Father. O Saviour of the world, etc. III. O most chaste Spouse, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, eternal praise and thanksgiving be to Thee, because Thou didst suffer Thyself to be mercilessly bound in Pilate’s judgment hall, and Thy virginal flesh to be cruelly scourged and mangled. By this most holy shedding of Thy Blood, I implore of Thee the grace of chastity against all sensuality and lust. Our Father. O Saviour of the world, etc. IV. O most meek Lamb, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, eternal praise and thanksgiving be to Thee, because Thou didst suffer Thy sacred Head to be crowned with piercing thorns and struck with a hard reed. By this most holy shedding of Thy Blood, I pray Thee for the grace of meekness against all anger and desire of revenge. Our Father. O Saviour of the world, etc. V. O most sweet Jesus Christ, Pattern of temperance and self-denial, true God and true Man, eternal praise and thanksgiving be to Thee, because Thou didst allow Thy garments to be torn from Thy bleeding body both before and after the carrying of Thy Cross, which opened Thy wounds again, and caused them to bleed afresh. By this most holy shedding of Thy Blood, I beseech of Thee the grace of temperance and abstinence against all greediness and gluttony. Our Father. O Saviour of the world, etc. VI. O good and faithful Samaritan, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, eternal praise and thanksgiving be to Thee, because out of Thy burning love for us Thou didst suffer Thy sacred Hands and Feet to be pierced and nailed to the Cross for our redemption. By this most holy shedding of Thy Blood, I beg of Thee the grace of brotherly love against all envy and jealousy. Our Father. O Saviour of the world, etc. VII. O most zealous High-Priest, true God and true Man, eternal praise and thanksgiving be to Thee, because Thou didst suffer Thy sacred side to be pierced, opened, and wounded with a spear. By this most holy shedding of Thy Blood, I earnestly pray Thee for the grace of holy zeal and fervor against all sloth and weariness in Thy service, and in every religious exercise. Our Father.
O Saviour of the world, etc. Act After Confession (St. Alphonsus de Liguori) My dear Jesus! how much do I not owe Thee. By the merits of Thy blood I hope that I have this day been pardoned. I thank Thee above all things. I hope to reach heaven, where I shall praise Thy mercies forever. My God, if I have hitherto lost Thee so often, I now desire to lose Thee no more. From this day forward I will change my life in earnest. Thou dost merit all my love ; I will love Thee truly ; I will no longer see myself separated from Thee. I have promised Thee this already ; now I repeat my promise of being ready to die rather than offend Thee again. I promise also to avoid all occasions of sin, and to use such means as will prevent me from falling again. My Jesus, Thou knowest my weakness: give me grace to be faithful to Thee till death, and to have recourse to Thee when I am tempted. Most holy Mary, help me! Thou art the mother of perseverance ; I place my hope in thee. PRAYERS BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION Prayer for Help O my God, help me to make a good communion. Mary, my dearest Mother, pray to Jesus for me. My dear Guardian Angel, lead me to the altar of God. Act of Faith O God, because Thou hast said it, I believe that I shall receive the Sacred Body of Jesus Christ to eat, and His precious Blood to drink. My God, I believe this with all my heart. Act of Humility My God, I confess that I am a poor sinner ; I am not worthy to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus on account of my sins. Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof ; say but the word, and my soul shall be healed. Act of Sorrow My God, I detest all the sins of my life. I am sorry for them, because they have offended Thee, my God, Who art so good. I resolve never to commit sin anymore. My good God, pity me, have mercy on me, forgive me. Amen. Act of Adoration O Jesus, great God, present on the Altar, I bow down before Thee, I adore Thee. Act of Love and Desire Sweet Jesus, I love Thee, I desire with all my heart to receive Thee. Most sweet Jesus, come into my poor soul, and give me Thy flesh to eat and Thy blood to drink. Give me Thy whole self, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, that I may live forever with Thee. Act of Faith Awake, slumbering soul, to bless the Lord for all His mercies. Remember that thy God became man for thee ; and remember that the same God Who was born for thee, Who lived thirty-three years for thee, Who died for thee, and is now in heaven on His throne, is also really and truly present in the most Holy Sacrament, nay, is now standing before the door of thy heart, therein to take His abode.
Indeed so it is, O my God ! I believe it firmly that in receiving the sacred Host I will receive that very Jesus, Who has redeemed the world. Act of Adoration O my soul, what art thou doing ! Yet a little while, and the God that made heaven and earth will come to dwell within thee. O God, what can I do, but most humbly adore Thee ! So come then, Mary, my tender mother ; come, all ye Angels and Saints, and help me to adore my Jesus. Obtain for me a lively faith, and a profound veneration for the Sacrament I am about to receive. Act of Hope O Jesus, dearest hope of my soul, I rely on Thy divine promises with unshaken confidence. I hope in Thee with all the hope of my soul. I hope firmly that Thou, Whom I am about to receive, will sanctify my body and soul. So come then, my only hope ; come and enrich me ! Act of Love O Jesus, center of my love ! God of my heart, how worthy art Thou of my love, and of all the pure affections of my heart ! O God, I love Thee with all the faculties of my soul. Thou art my Creator ; Thou art my Redeemer ; Thou art my Sanctifier ; Thou art my only God. O Love ! O Love ! O eternal Love ! O that I could praise and bless, and love Thee as the Angels and Saints do in heaven ! O God, inflame my love, that it may be worthy of Thee ! Mary, mother of pure love, pray that I may love my God with all my strength. Act of Contrition My loving Jesus, by my sins I have crowned Thee with a crown of thorns ; I have fastened Thee to the cross ; I have drenched Thy lips with vinegar and gall ; I have thrust the spear into Thy side ; I have caused Thee to die. How could I be worthy to receive Thee ? But my God, Thou art infinite goodness. For an act of true penance, for a hearty tear of contrition and love Thou forgivest all my sins, restorest me to Thy favor, and makest me once more Thy child. Oh, in truth Thou art my God, infinitely kind, infinitely great, faithful and loving. Ah, how great is Thy goodness in giving Thyself to me – a miserable sinner ! O that I had never offended Thee ! O Jesus, purify with Thy most Precious Blood this sin-stained soul of mine till it is made a fit tabernacle for Thy majesty. Act of Humility O Lord, Thou art that God, before Whom heaven and earth fade into nothingness. Oh, how unworthy then am I to appear in Thy sight ! Yet I hasten to receive Thee, for this is Thy will and command. Let the Seraphim, let the Saints, let the ever blessed Mary satisfy for my defects and want of devotion. O Lord, I am not worthy to love, and receive Thee, but Thou deservest to be loved, and received by me. Act of Desire So come then, Thou bread of Angels, and satisfy the cravings of my soul. Come, Thou glowing furnace of charity, and inflame my soul with the fire of Thy divine love. Come, divine Shepherd, and guide me. Come my hope, my life, my joy, and source of all of my happiness. Come, Thou Comforter of the sorrowful ; Thou solace and refreshment of the weary ! Come, and delay not ; come, and heal my miseries ! Come, Jesus, come !
R. P. QUADRUPANI: Act of Confidence It is obedience, O my God ! that leads me to Thy Holy Table: the tender words by which Thou hast invited us would not have sufficed to draw me, for in the troubled state of my soul I cannot be sure they are addressed to me. Misery and infirmity are claims for admission to Thy Feast, but nothing can dispense from the nuptial garment. Therefore when I turn my eyes on myself, after having raised them to Thee, I doubt, I hesitate, I tremble ; for if I go from Thee I flee from life, and if I approach unworthily, to my other sins I add the crime of sacrilege. But Thy merciful wisdom, O my God, whilst foreseeing our every need, has forseen all our weaknesses and has prepared helps for us against both presumption and distrust. For if Thou hast not willed that, certain of Thy grace, we should ever advance with the assurance of the Pharisee and say like him: I come to the altar of the Lord because I know I am just in His eyes : neither hast Thou permitted that a sacrament of love should become for us a torture and an unavoidable snare. I therefore obey, O my God, and in the darkness that envelops me I wish to follow implicitly the guidance of him whom Thou hast appointed to lead me to Thee. I shall approach the Holy Table without wishing for any other warrant than the words spoken by my confessor, or rather by Thee: You may receive Holy Communion. I accept, O my God ! -- be it a well merited punishment or a salutary trial, -- this privation of light and sensible devotion, this coldness and distraction, which accompany me even into Thy presence when all the faculties of my soul should be absorbed and confounded in sentiments of adoration and of love. Faith, hope, and charity seem to be extinct in my heart, but I know that Thou never withdrawest these virtues when we do not voluntarily renounce them. Act of Faith Notwithstanding, then, the doubts that cross my mind, I wish to believe, O my God ! and I do believe all that Thy holy Church has taught me. I have not forgotten that brilliant light of Faith which Thou didst cause to illumine my soul in the days of mercy in order that the precious remembrance of it should serve me as support in the days of trial and temptation. Act of Hope In spite of these vague fears that seem to extinguish hope within my soul, I know that although Thou art the mighty and strong God before whom the cherubim veil themselves with their wings, the just and all-seeing God who discovers blemishes in the purest souls, still Thou wishest to be in the most Holy Sacrament only the Victim whose Blood effaces the sins of the world ; the Good Shepherd who hastens after the strayed sheep and carries it tenderly and unreproachfully back to the fold ; the divine Mediator who comes not to judge but to save. All this I know, O my God ! and therefore I hope. Act of Love Notwithstanding the coldness and insensibility that benumb my soul, I know that I love Thee, O my God ! since my will prefers Thy service to all the joys of this world, since Thy grace is the sole good to which I aspire, and because I suffer so much by reason of my lack of sensible love for Thee. Act of Desire No, I am not indifferent, Thou knowest, O my God ! that I am not indifferent to this Most Holy Sacrament which I approach unmoved by any sensible feeling : for Thou seest that although I find in Holy Communion neither relish nor consolation, I would yet make any sacrifice in order to receive it. Act of Contrition I feel neither hatred nor horror of sins to which the world does not attach shame and contempt ; I experience no sensible sorrow for the sins I have committed, but I know, O my God ! that, with the assistance of Thy grace, my will denounces them, for I am resolved to commit them no more. I have taken this resolution because sin displeases Thee and
because all that swerves from eternal order is abhorrent to Thy infinite sanctity. I believe, then, that I am contrite, O my God ! because I believe in Thy promises, and if Thou dost not always grant us the consolation of realizing our contrition, Thou wilt never refuse its justifying virtue to those who humbly implore it ; and this I do. No, my God, I shall not pray Thee to grant me sensible enjoyment, not even that of Thy spiritual gifts: what I implore of Thy grace is to keep my will ever turned towards Thee and never to permit it to fall or wander anew on the earth. Lord ! into Thy hands I commend my spirit. ST. LEONARD OF PORT MAURICE: Prayer Arise, my soul ; revive thy faith, which tells thee that thy God became man, that same Jesus Who was born in the stable of Bethlehem, that Jesus Who rose triumphant from the grave, that Jesus Who now sits glorious at the right hand of the Father, is now present with thee in the Most Holy Sacrament. O Faith ! O Faith ! what greater thing can be said and believed ? God is here, in order to enter my heart and become entirely mine – the Almighty God ! Act of Faith My Jesus, Thou Truth infallible, since it is part of Thy revelation, I believe that Thou art present, soul, body, and divinity, in the consecrated host. I believe that in Communion I receive the same Jesus Who died, and Who rose again ; and that in Him I receive the Father and the Holy Spirit. Act of Adoration O my soul, what art thou about ? What thoughts engage thee ? In a few minutes, thy God will enter within Thee ! O God, I profoundly humble myself, and I adore Thee. I adore Thee, beloved Jesus, in the Sacrament. Most holy Virgin, ye angels, saints, and souls who love God, adore with me my Jesus ; make up for my defect of worship, beseech for me living faith and profound veneration, now that I approach and receive Jesus Christ. What can be wanting to thee, O my soul, now that the Almighty comes to visit thee ? He comes to illuminate thee, to unite Himself heart to heart with thee, in order to give thee a lively pledge of that glory which He keeps prepared for thee in heaven. Up ! arise ! enlarge thy heart, increase thy confidence ; know that so much as thou hath promised to hear thee, and, bound by His word, He can give thee every good thing ; it costs Him no more than the opening of his hand. Thy Jesus is to thee as a Father ; much He loveth thee, and wishes to bestow on thee every sort of benefit. Thy Jesus, who is faithful, hath promised to hear thee, and, bound by His word, He will do thee great favors. Well, then, to grow rich in soul you need only to seek His graces, and ardently to hope. Act of Hope My Jesus, my hope, confiding in Thy promises through the blood which Thou hast shed for me, I hope, O Infinite Pity, I hope that in receiving Thee, Thou wilt sanctify my soul, and enkindle within it heavenly desires ; so that I may live and die loving only Thee, O Infinite Good. Yes, O my dearest God, God of all my hopes, Sanctifier of souls, sanctify me. What more could God do, in order to get loved by thee ? God has made Himself man, was born in a stable, died upon a cross and dwells in the Sacrament for love of thee. Nay, that infinite love invites thee to receive Him, calls thee to Himself with a desire so strong that He cannot endure thy delays. O ingenious devices of love ! The great God of infinite beauty and majesty wishes this morning to confer upon me such a favor as He hath never bestowed on the seraphim. He purposes to come to dwell in my heart ; He wishes to unite Himself to me. And thou, my soul, dost thou not burn and flame
with love toward a God Who is all love toward thee ? Act of Love O my Jesus, my love, God of my soul, how good Thou art, how loving, how every way dear and worthy to be loved ! My God, I love Thee with all my soul, my life, my heart, my mind, and all my faculties and strength. I love Thee more than myself, Thou one object of all my desires, my beginning and my last end. O that I had infinite tongues with which to praise and bless Thee ! O that I could at any sacrifice carry Thy most holy name through the world, to make Thee known and loved ! O God ! I would willingly waste myself away in labors for the love of Thee. I desire to burn with love, I desire to bless Thee, to thank Thee, to love Thee, with the love that the most holy Mary bore to Thee ; I desire to love Thee more than all created beings united. I love Thee, my Jesus, my treasure, my Father, my life, my hope, my heaven. Spouse of my soul, I love Thee, because Thou deservest to be loved – because Thou art God ! Ah, Lord ! would that I were all love, would that I did nothing but love Thee ! My soul, created by God to love God, love Him then, love thy God ; my heart, which can find no peace or satisfaction out of God, drive from thee every mere earthly attachment, and give welcome to thy God. Ah, Mary, mother of holy love, obtain for me to love my God ! How shouldst thou burn, my soul, to receive a God of infinite purity, holiness, and majesty, thou art an abyss of vice, ingratitude, and sins ! Hast thou forgotten all thou hast done against thy God ? Ah, how often hast thou been more cruel, more afflicting to Jesus than Calvary itself ! Jesus has been crucified in thee, so often as thou hast mortally sinned. Act of Contrition Dear Lord Jesus, by my sins I have crowned Thee with thorns, I have nailed Thee on the cross, I have given Thee gall to drink, I have pierced Thy side, I have put Thee to death ! I am not worthy to live, far less to receive Thee. I deserve that the earth should swallow me, that heaven should hurl thunderbolts on my head, that all created things should turn in anger upon me. But, O my God, how good Thou art ! How often have I trodden under foot Thy blood, insulted Thy name, dishonored Thy authority ; yet not only dost Thou pardon me, but Thou art the first to propose to be at peace with me ; and for an act of penitence, for one tear of grief and affection, Thou forgivest me all my sins, Thou replacest me in Thy favor, and Thou makest me anew Thy friend and Thy son. And this is God – that it is that is meant by God ! Oh, how I rejoice when I think that Thou art God ; that is, infinite liberality, infinite magnanimity, infinite fidelity, infinite love ; an abyss of infinite glories, attributes, and perfections ! It suffices to say that Thou art good and in giving Thyself to me Thou knowest how to ordain for Thy greater glory, and for the greater good of my soul, even my very bygone sins. Glory to Thee ! Ah, I could wish to die of grief for having offended so good a God. I am sorry that I have offended Thee ! Forgive me, O my Lord. I do not heed my own interest ; I only desire that Thou, great God, shouldst be honored and glorified by me, without ever being again offended by me. Wash, O beloved Jesus, my soul with Thy blood, and make it become a fit abode for Thy divine Majesty. O most holy Mary, obtain for me tears of true contrition. My soul, thou art about to feed upon the blessed body of Jesus. And hast thou well considered what thou art, and who God is ? If thou wert a seraph of love, if thou hadst the love felt by all the angels, the virtues of all the saints, wouldst thou even then be worthy of even once receiving God ? An Act of Humility Behold, O my Jesus, the hour is come when Thou shalt be put into the power of this great sinner. O have patience with me ; endure me by the bowels of Thy compassion ! Ah, Lord, Thou art that God before the splendor of Whose holiness heaven and earth vanish into nothing. I confess the truth, in looking at Thy Majesty and at my unworthiness ; I am so confounded and ashamed, that I should wish to hide myself in the abyss of my own nothingness. Yes, I must needs approach to receive Thee, for Thou incitest and commandest me, and like a son, I must obey Thee, O my King. Let the
seraphim make up, let the saints make up, let Mary make up – above all, let Thine own infinite goodness make up for all my shortcomings in right devotion and love. O Lord, if I do not deserve to receive Thee and to love Thee, Thou deservest to be received and loved by me ! Dispose of me for Thine own honor, make me worthy of so great a favor, give me all that I am wanting in, make me altogether Thine. The hour is come, my soul, the blessed moment is come, when thou hast to receive thy dearest Jesus. Behold the King of kings, behold the Lord of lords, behold the Friend, behold the Father, behold the Spouse, behold the Joy of paradise, behold the Delight of heaven, behold thy God Himself, behold all the Most Holy Trinity in the Divine Sacrament !  Ecce Sponsus venit, exite obviam ei. “Behold the Bridegroom cometh ; go forth to meet Him.” But how, my soul, how standest thou thus so frozen, without one burning desire to feed upon that sacred body ? Ah, should not the overflowing of the divine compassion all enkindle thee with love ? And here Shepherd, guide me. Come, O my Father, my Spouse, my Treasure, my Life, my Bliss, and my Rest. Come, Thou one end of all my longings. Come, light of souls, refreshment of hearts, consoler of the sorrowing. Come, Thou expected One of all nations, sighed for by the holy patriarchs, desire of the eternal hills, joy of angels, delight of heaven, beatitude of the saints. Come, art thou all frozen ! If it wert to do only once in all thy life, with what fervor wouldst thou not do it ! But now, while the Infinite Goodness waits ever ready at thy pleasure, thou goest up so tepid, so dull of heart, to receive a God so great ! Enamoured souls have burned with desire of this Communion, and have run like thirsty stags to that fount divine. Up, up, my soul ; awake, kindle in thyself a most ardent longing to receive Jesus ; sigh after that Supremest Good, desire Him, call on Him with tears and with sighs, and with a heart in flames of holy love. An Act of Desire Come, O thou divine food, and nourish my hungry soul. Come, furnace of charity, and kindle me ; come, flaming fire of love, inflame me by thy flames. Come, heavenly for Thou hast wounded me with love ; come, delay not, for my heart is failing, and I feel that life would not be life without Thee. Arise for pity, O my Jesus, and come. Most holy Virgin, already I am at hand, and about to receive thine and my Jesus. From thy hands I purpose to receive Him. Hold Him forth to me, as thou didst to the shepherds, and the holy kings and to holy Simeon. Prepare me to receive Him with love. Give Him to me quickly, and pray to Him to fill me with His dearest benediction ; and do thou accompany it with thine. An Act of Offering I protest, O my God, that I purpose to unite this my Communion with the Communion of most holy Mary, of Thy apostles, of thy saints, and of all the just who receive Thee this morning, or who shall ever receive Thee in time to come. My desire and purpose is, to make all their devout acts, all their preparations, all their thanksgivings ; and I mean to offer the whole in union with those virtues, that merit, that holiness, with which Thou, O my Jesus, didst receive Thyself in the sacrament, at the Last Supper. May the Church triumphant and militant now supply my defects of love, and worship, and thanks. Psalm 83 How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts : my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. For the sparrow hath found her a house : and the turtle a nest for herself, where she may lay her young : Even Thine altars, O Lord of hosts : my king and my God.
Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, O Lord : they shall praise Thee for ever and ever. Blessed is the man whose help is in Thee : in his heart he hath disposed to ascend by steps, in the vale of tears, in the place which he hath set. For the lawgiver shall give a blessing : they shall go from strength to strength : the God of gods shall be seen in Sion. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Behold, O God, our protector : and look upon the face of Thy Christ. For one day in Thy courts : is better than a thousand. I had rather be despised in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of sinners. For God loveth mercy and truth : the Lord will give grace and glory. He will not withhold good things from them that walk in innocence: O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that hopeth in Thee. Glory be to the Father, etc. Psalm 84 Thou hast blessed Thy land, O Lord: Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy people : Thou hast covered all their sins. Thou hast softened all Thine anger : Thou hast turned away from the wrath of Thine indignation. Convert us, O God our Saviour : and turn away Thine anger from us. Wilt Thou be angry with us for ever : or wilt Thou stretch out Thy wrath from generation to generation ? Thou shalt turn again, O God, and quicken us : and Thy people shall rejoice in Thee. Show us Thy mercy, O Lord : and grant us Thy salvation. I will hearken what the Lord God shall say within me : for He will speak peace unto His people : And unto His saints : and unto them that are converted in heart. Surely His salvation is nigh unto them that fear Him : that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together : justice and peace have kissed each other. Truth is sprung out of the earth : and justice hath looked down from heaven. For the Lord shall give goodness : and our earth shall yield her fruit. Justice shall walk before Him : and shall set His steps in the way. Glory be to the Father, etc. Psalm 85 Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and hear me : for I am needy and poor. Preserve my soul, for I am holy : O my God, save Thy servant, that trusteth in Thee. Have mercy upon me, O Lord : for unto Thee have I cried all the day. Give joy to the soul of Thy servant, for unto Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul. For Thou, O Lord, art sweet and mild ; and plenteous in mercy unto all that call upon Thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer : and attend to the voice of my petition. I have called upon Thee in the day of my trouble : for Thou hast heard me. Among the gods there is none like unto Thee, O Lord : and there is none that can do works like unto Thy works. All the nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord : and shall glorify Thy name. For Thou art great, and doest wondrous things : Thou art God alone. Lead me, O Lord, in Thy way, and I will walk in Thy truth : let my heart rejoice that it may fear Thy name. I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart : and I will glorify Thy name for ever. For great is Thy mercy toward me : and Thou hast delivered my soul out of the lower hell. O God, the wicked are risen up against me ; and the assembly of the mighty have sought after my soul : and they
have not set Thee before their eyes. And Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and merciful : long-suffering, and of much mercy, and true. O look upon me, and have mercy on me : give Thy strength unto Thy servant, and save the son of Thine handmaid. Show me a token for good : that they who hate me may see, and be confounded : because Thou, O Lord, hast helped me, and hast comforted me. Glory be to the Father, etc. Psalm 115 I believed, and therefore did I speak : but I was humbled exceedingly. I said in mine excess : All men are liars. What shall I render unto the Lord : for all the things that He hath rendered unto me ? I will take the chalice of salvation ; and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord, in the presence of all His people : precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. O Lord, I am Thy servant : I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid. Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder : I will offer unto Thee the sacrifice of praise, and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord in the sight of all His people : in the courts of the house of the Lord, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Glory be to the Father, etc. Psalm 129 Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord : Lord, hear my voice. O let Thine ears consider well : the voice of my supplication. If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities : Lord, who shall abide it ? For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness : and because of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord. My soul hath waited on His word : my soul hath hoped in the Lord. From the morning watch even until night : let Israel hope in the Lord. For with the Lord there is mercy : amd with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel : from all his iniquities. Glory be to the Father, etc. Ant. Remember not, O Lord, our offences, nor those of our parents ; nor take Thou revenge of our sins : Spare us, good Lord, spare Thy people whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy most Precious Blood, and be not angry with us for ever. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Our Father (inaudibly). V. And lead us not into temptation. R. But deliver us from evil. V. I said : O Lord, be Thou merciful unto me. R. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee. V. Return, O Lord, for a little space. R. And be entreated in favor of Thy servants.
V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us. R. As we have hoped in Thee. V. Let Thy priests be clothed with justice. R. And let Thy saints rejoice. V. From my secret sins cleanse me, O Lord. R. And from those of others spare Thy servant. V. O Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto Thee. Let us pray O merciful Lord, incline Thine ears to our prayers, and enlighten our hearts by the grace of Thy Holy Spirit : that we may worthily receive Thy holy Mysteries, and love Thee with an everlasting love. O God, unto whom every heart is open, every desire known, and from whom no secret is hid : cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Thee and worthily praise Thee. Inflame, O Lord, our reins and our hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit : that we may serve Thee with a chaste body, and please Thee with a pure mind. We pray Thee, O Lord, that the Comforter who proceedeth from Thee may illumine our minds, and lead us, as Thy Son hath promised, into all truth. May the power of Thy Holy Spirit, O Lord, be present with us to cleanse us from all evil and defend us from all adversities. O God, who didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful by the light of Thy Holy Spirit : grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort. Visit, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and cleanse our consciences, that Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, when He cometh, may find in us a mansion prepared for Himself, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen. Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas Almighty, Everlasting God, lo, I draw near to the Sacrament of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. As sick, I come to the Physician of Life ; unclean, to the Fountain of Mercy ; blind, to the light of eternal Brightness ; poor and needy, to the Lord of heaven and earth. I implore Thee, therefore, out of the abundance of Thy boundless mercy, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to heal my sickness, to wash my defilements, to enlighten my blindness, to enrich my poverty, and to clothe my nakedness ; that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, such contrition and devotion, such purity and faith, such purpose and intention, as is expedient for the health of my soul. Grant, I beseech Thee, that I may receive not only the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord, but also the whole grace and virtue of that Sacrament. O most merciful God, grant me so to receive the Body of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He took of the Virgin Mary, that I may be found worthy to be incorporated into His mystical Body, and accounted among His members. And, O most loving Father, grant that whom now I purpose to receive under a veil I may at last behold with unveiled face, even Thy beloved Son, who with Thee and the Holy Spirit ever liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.
Prayers of St. Ambrose I. O great High-Priest, the true Pontiff, Jesus Christ, who didst offer Thyself to God the Father a pure and spotless Victim upon the Altar of the Cross for us miserable sinners, and didst give us Thy Flesh to eat and Thy Blood to drink, and didst ordain this Mystery in the power of Thy Holy Spirit, saying, Do this for the commemoration of Me : I pray Thee, by the same Thy Blood, the great price of our salvation ; I pray Thee, by that wonderful and unspeakable love wherewith Thou deignedst so to love us, miserable and unworthy, as to wash us from our sins in Thine own Blood : teach me, Thine unworthy servant, by Thy Holy Spirit, to approach so great a Mystery with that reverence and honor, that devotion and fear, which is due and fitting. Make me, through Thy grace, always so to believe and understand, to conceive and firmly to hold, to think and to speak, of that exceeding Mystery, as shall please Thee and be good for my soul. Let Thy good Spirit enter my heart, and there be heard without utterance, and without the sound of words speak all truth. For Thy Mysteries are exceeding deep, and covered with a sacred veil. For Thy great mercy’s sake, grant me to approach Thy holy Mysteries with a clean heart and a pure mind. Free my heart from all defiling and unholy, from all vain and hurtful thoughts. Fence me round about with the holy and faithful guard and mighty protection of Thy blessed Angels, that the enemies of all good may go away ashamed. By the virtue of this mighty Mystery, and by the hand of Thy holy Angel, drive away from me and from all Thy servants the hard spirit of pride and vainglory, of envy and blasphemy, of impurity and uncleanness, of doubt and mistrust. Let them be confounded that persecute us ; let them perish who are bent upon our ruin. II. King of virgins and Lover of chastity and innocence, extinguish in my frame, by the dew of Thy heavenly blessing, the fuel of evil concupiscence, that I may be pure both in soul and in body. Mortify in my members the lusts of the flesh and all harmful emotions, and give me true and persevering chastity with Thine other gifts which please Thee in truth, so that I may with chaste body and pure heart offer unto Thee the sacrifice of praise. For with what contrition of heart and fountain of tears, with what reverence and awe, with what chastity of body and purity of soul, should not that divine and heavenly Sacrifice be celebrated, wherein Thy Flesh is indeed eaten, where Thy Blood is indeed drunk, wherein things lowest and highest, earthly and divine, are united, where the holy Angels are present, and where Thou art in a marvellous and unspeakable manner both Sacrifice and Priest ! III. Who can worthily be present at this Sacrifice, unless Thou, O God, makest him worthy ? I know, O Lord, yea, truly do I know, and this do confess to Thy loving-kindness, that I am unworthy to approach so great a Mystery, by reason of my numberless sins and negligences ; but I know, and truly with my own heart do I believe, and with my mouth confess, that Thou canst make me worthy, who alone canst make that clean which proceedeth from that which is unclean, and sinners to be just and holy. By this Thine Almighty power I beseech Thee, O my God, to grant that I, a sinner, may assist at this Sacrifice with fear and trembling, with purity of heart and plenteous tears, with spiritual gladness and heavenly joy. May my mind feel the sweetness of Thy most blessed Presence, and the love of Thy holy Angels, keeping watch around me. IV. Mindful then, O Lord, of Thy worshipful Passion, I approach Thine Altar, sinner though I am, to join in offering unto Thee that Sacrifice which Thou hast instituted and commanded to be offered in remembrance of Thee for our well-being. Receive it, I beseech Thee, O God most High, for Thy holy Church, and for the people whom Thou hast purchased with Thine own Blood. Let not, through my unworthiness, the price of their salvation be wasted, whose saving Victim and Redemption Thou didst Thyself vouchsafe to be. Also behold in pity, O Lord, the sorrows of Thy people, which I bring
before Thee ; the perils of Thy servants, the sorrowful sighing of prisoners ; the miseries of widows and orphans, and all that are desolate and bereaved ; the necessities of strangers and travellers ; the helplessness and sadness of the weak and sickly ; the depressions of the languishing ; the weakness of the aged and of children ; the trials and aspirations of young men ; and the vows of virgins. V. For Thou hast mercy upon all, O Lord, and hatest nothing that Thou hast made. Remember how frail our nature is, and that Thou art our Father and our God. Be not angry with us for ever, and shut not up Thy tender mercies in displeasure. For it is not for our just works that we present our prayers before Thy face, but for the multitude of Thy tender mercies. Take away from us, O Lord, our iniquities, and mercifully kindle in us the fire of Thy Holy Spirit. Take away from us the heart of stone, and give us a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in, to follow, and to enjoy Thee. And we entreat Thy mercy, O Lord, that Thou wouldst look down graciously upon Thy family, as it pays its vows to Thy most holy name ; and that the desire of none may be in vain, and the petitions of none unfulfilled, do Thou inspire our prayers, that they may be such as Thou delightest to hear and answer. VI. We pray Thee also, O Lord, Holy Father, for the souls of the faithful departed : that this great Sacrament of Thy love may be to them health and salvation, joy and refreshment. O Lord, my God, grant them this day a great and abundant feast of Thee, the living Bread, who camest down from heaven and givest life unto the world ; even of Thy holy and blessed Flesh, the Lamb without spot, who takest away the sins of the world ; that Flesh, which was taken of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and conceived by the Holy Spirit ; and of that Fountain of mercy which, by the soldier’s lance, flowed from Thy most sacred Side ; that they be thereby fed and satisfied, refreshed and comforted, and may rejoice in Thy praise and in Thy glory. I pray Thy loving mercy, O Lord, that on the bread and wine to be offered unto Thee may descend the fulness of Thy blessing and the sanctification of Thy Divinity. May there descend also the invisible and incomprehensible Majesty of Thy Holy Spirit, as it descended of old on the sacrifices of the Fathers, which shall make these oblations Thy Body and Blood ; and may this offering be acceptable unto Thee, through Him who offered Himself a sacrifice to Thee, O Father, even Jesus Christ, Thine only Son our Lord. VII. I entreat Thee also, O Lord, by this most holy mystery of Thy Body and Blood, wherewith we are daily fed, and cleansed, and sanctified in Thy Church, and are made partakers of the one Supreme Divinity, grant unto me Thy holy virtues, that filled therewith I may with a good conscience draw near unto Thy holy Altar, so that these heavenly mysteries may be made unto me salvation and life ; for Thou hast said with Thy holy and blessed lips : The Bread which I will give is My Flesh, for the life of the world. I am the living Bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever. O most sweet Bread, heal the palate of my heart, that I may taste the sweetness of Thy love. Heal it of all infirmities, that I may find sweetness in nothing out of Thee. O most pure Bread, having all delight and all savor, which ever refreshest us, and never failest, let my heart feed on Thee, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor. The Angels feed on Thee fully ; let pilgrim man feed on Thee after his measure, so that, refreshed by this nourishment, he may not faint by the way. Holy Bread ! Living Bread ! Pure Bread ! who didst come down from heaven, and who givest life to the world, enter into my heart and cleanse me from all impurity of flesh and spirit. Come into my soul ; heal and cleanse me within and without ; be the protection and continual health of my soul and body. Drive far from me all foes that lie in wait : let them flee afar off at the presence of Thy power ; that, strengthened by Thee without and within, I may by a straight way arrive at Thy kingdom, where, not as now in mysteries, but face to face, we shall behold Thee ; when Thou shalt have delivered up the kingdom to God Thy Father, and shalt be God All in all. Then shalt Thou satisfy me with Thyself by a wondrous fulness, so that I shall never hunger nor thirst anymore for ever. Who with the same God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, ever livest and
reignest world without end. Amen. VIII. O gracious Lord Jesus Christ, I, a sinner, nothing presuming on my own deserts, but trusting in Thy mercy and goodness, with fear and trembling approach to the Table of Thy most sweet Feast. For my heart and body are stained with many sins ; my thoughts and lips not diligently guarded. Wherefore, O gracious God, O awful majesty, in my extremity I turn to Thee, the Fount of Mercy ; to Thee I hasten to be healed, and take refuge under Thy protection ; and Thee, before whom as my Judge I cannot stand, I long for as my Saviour. To Thee, O Lord, I show my wounds, to Thee I lay bare my shame. I know my sins are many and great, for which I am afraid. My trust is in Thy mercies, of which there is no end. Look therefore upon me with the eyes of Thy mercy, O Lord Jesus Christ, God and Man, crucified for man ; hearken unto me, whose trust is in Thee ; have mercy upon me, who am full of sin and misery, O Thou fount of mercy, that wilt never cease to flow. Hail, saving Victim, offered for me and all mankind on the Cross of suffering and shame. Hail, noble and precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and washing away the sins of the whole world. Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy creature, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thine own Blood. I repent that I have sinned ; I desire to amend what I have done. Take therefore away from me, O most merciful Father, all my iniquities and sins : that, being cleansed both in body and soul, I may worthily taste the Holy of Holies ; and grant that this holy feeding on Thy Body and Blood, of which, unworthy as I am, I purpose to partake, may be for the remission of my sins, and the perfect cleansing of all my offences, for the driving away of all evil thoughts and the renewal of all holy desires, for the healthful bringing forth of fruit well-pleasing unto Thee, and the most sure protection of my soul and body against the wiles of all my enemies. Amen. Act of Contrition I desire, O my Saviour, humbly to offer Thee the sacrifice of a troubled spirit and a contrite heart. I grieve from my inmost heart that I have ever offended Thee by my sins, Thee my God and my chief good, Thee who art so gracious to me, and so oft refreshest me in Thy Blessed Sacrament. I grieve especially for the sins of ... which Thou knowest, Thou searcher of our hearts, and which I, a miserable sinner, do confess in the bitterness of my soul. Would that I had never offended Thee ! Yet a contrite and humble heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise ; Thou who for love of us didst give to us Thine OnlyBegotten Son, to wash us from our sins in His own Blood. Resolution of Amendment I desire, O Lord, earnestly longing for the help of Thy grace, to renew all my baptismal vows to Thee, to renounce all that displeaseth Thee, and to walk more perfectly in newness of life. I renounce the devil and all his works and pomps, the glory of the world with all its covetous desires, all sinful excesses in things lawful, and whatever may lead my heart from Thee or hinder my duty towards Thee ; also, I renounce all the sinful lusts of the flesh, with everything in thought, word, or deed, which displeaseth Thee, especially..., from all which let it be Thy good pleasure to deliver me, and to turn the whole stream of my affections to the love of Thee, that Thy will and Thy love may be the sole rule and guide of my life, and I may love whatever Thou lovest, and hate whatever Thou hatest. Act of Faith Of a truth I firmly believe, O Good Jesus, and with lively faith confess, that Thou Thyself, equal to God the Father in glory and in power, true God and Man, art verily and indeed present in this Sacrament. For Thou, the very Truth itself, hast said, This is My Body, This is My Blood. I believe whatever the Son of God hath said. Nothing can be truer than this word of Him who is the Truth. I do believe, Lord ; help my belief, increase my faith. Act of Hope O Christ Jesus, I am sinful dust and ashes, but Thou callest to Thee all who labor and are burdened, that Thou
mayest refresh them. Art not Thou my refuge ? To whom else shall I go ? Thou hast the words of eternal life, Thou alone canst comfort me in every trouble. Lord, I am weak and sick, but Thou art my salvation. Those who are well need not a physician, but those who are sick. Therefore I come to Thee, my physician and my refuge, hoping that this Communion may be to me the increase of Faith, Hope, and Charity ; a firm defense against the snares of my enemies ; a help to the removal of the fault and defect of ...., and to the bringing forth of works well-pleasing unto Thee, especially...., and a pledge of future glory. This is the hope and desire which I cherish in my heart, for Thou art compassionate and of tender mercy, and in all Thy promises most faithful. Act of Love O most Sweet Saviour Jesus Christ, how great was Thy love, which drew Thee from the bosom of the Father to this vale of tears, to take our flesh and endure infinite miseries and wrongs, yea, even the death of the Cross, and that only for us miserable sinners and for our salvation. O how great was Thy Love ! Thou mightest have condemned us, and Thou didst rather choose to save us: we were guilty, and Thou, the sinless One, didst endure our punishment to set us free. Out of love it was that Thou camest down to take our flesh ; and when about to depart from this world to the Father, Thou didst leave to us this Sacrament as a pledge of Thy love, that after a new and wondrous manner Thou mightest abide with us for ever ; Thou whose delights are to be with the children of men. O Lord, how worthy art Thou of love, who dost so much for love of us ! Wherefore I will love Thee, O Lord, my Strength, my Refuge, and my Deliverer. O God, Thou art true Love ! He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in Thee. I desire to receive Thee in this Sacrament, that I may be more firmly united with Thee in the bond of love. Who shall separate me from the love of Christ my Saviour ? O that neither life, nor death, nor any creature may have power to do so. Act of Humility How dare I approach Thee, O Lord ? Art Thou not, O God, my Lord, my Creator, my Redeemer, the King of heaven and earth ? And who am I ? A poor worm of the earth, and what is yet more unworthy, so often a disobedient and ungrateful sinner against Thee ! Of a truth, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof ; yet remember, O Lord, that, although Thou wast Lord of all, yet Thou didst take upon Thyself the form of a servant, and coming unto us didst converse familiarly with publicans and sinners ; and lastly didst humble Thyself and become obedient unto death. Let this Thy humility move Thee, I beseech Thee, not to despise me, vile and worthless as I am, but graciously to come unto me, and mercifully to receive me, who come to Thee. Act of Reparation O Lord, my God and Saviour, who, as Thou didst endure for our salvation the outrages of those who crucified Thee, so now deignest to bear with those who by careless or unworthy Communions approach and touch Thee, not discerning Thee, and endurest all irreverences rather than withhold Thy sacred Presence from our Altars : I bewail these indignities, and most earnestly desire to prevent, to the utmost of my power, whatever thus still grieves Thee. I beseech Thee, accept this sorrow and this desire as the only offering I can make in reparation of so great dishonor. O Lord, increase my faith, and preserve me from the least profanation of this adorable Mystery, and kindle in me and in the hearts of all Thy people, especially of all who celebrate or assist in its ministration, such reverence and devotion that Thy most holy name may more and more be honored and glorified in this Sacrament of love. Amen. Offering of the Holy Mass Accept, Most Holy Trinity, this sacrifice fulfilled at one time by the Divine Word and now renewed on this altar by the hands of Your priest. I unite myself to the intentions of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim, that I may be entirely offered for Your glory and for the salvation of men. I intend through Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ to adore Your eternal majesty, to thank Your immense goodness, to satisfy Your offended justice, and to beseech Your mercy for the
Church, for my dear ones, and for myself. Acts of Faith, Hope and Love Act of Faith Jesus, eternal Truth, I believe You are really present in the holy Host. You are here with Your body, blood, soul, and divinity. I hear Your invitation: “I am the living bread descended from heaven,” “take and eat ; this is my body.” I believe, O Lord and Master, but increase my weak faith. Act of Hope Jesus, sole Way of salvation, You invite me: “Learn from me.” But I resemble You so little! Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed. Jesus, You pleased the Father; You are my Model. Draw me to Yourself, and give me the grace to imitate You especially in the virtue I need most. Act of Love O Jesus Master, You assure me: “I am the Life,” “whoever eats my flesh will have eternal life.” In Baptism and in confession You have communicated to me this life of Yours. Now You nourish it by making Yourself my food. Take my heart ; detach it from the goods, pleasures, joys and vanities of the earth. With all my heart and above all else I love You, infinite Good and eternal happiness. ST. ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI: Prayer before Holy Communion My Beloved Jesus, true Son of God, who didst die for me in the cross in a sea of sorrow and ignominy, I firmly believe that Thou art present in the Most Holy Sacrament ; and for this faith I am ready to give my life. My dear Redeemer, I hope by Thy goodness, and through the merits of Thy blood, that when Thou dost come to me this morning, Thou wilt inflame me with Thy holy love, and wilt give me all those graces which I need to keep me obedient and faithful to Thee till death. Ah, my God ! true and only lover of my soul, what couldst Thou do more to oblige me to love Thee ? Thou wert not satisfied, my love, with dying for me, but Thou wouldst also institute the Most Holy Sacrament, making Thyself my food, and giving Thyself all to me ; thus uniting Thyself most closely to such a miserable and ungrateful creature. Thou dost Thyself invite me to receive Thee, and dost greatly desire that I should receive Thee. O Infinite Love ! A God gives himself all to me ! O my God, O Infinite love, worthy of infinite love, I love Thee above all things ; I love Thee with all my heart ; I love Thee more than myself, more than my life ; I love Thee because Thou art worthy of being loved ; and I love Thee also to please Thee, since Thou dost desire my love ! Depart from my soul, all ye earthly affections ; to Thee alone, my Jesus, my treasure, my all, will I give all my love. This morning Thou dost give Thyself all to me, and I give myself all to Thee. Permit me to love Thee ; for I desire none but Thee, and nothing but what is pleasing to Thee. I love Thee, O my Saviour, and I unite my poor love to the love of all the angels and saints, and of Thy Mother Mary, and the love of Thy Eternal Father ! Oh, that I could see Thee loved by all ! Oh, that I could make Thee loved by all men, and loved as much as Thou dost deserve ! Behold, O my Jesus, I am now about to draw near to feed on Thy most sacred Flesh ! Ah, my God, who am I ? And who art Thou ? Thou art a Lord of infinite goodness, and I am a loathsome worm, defiled by so many sins, and who have
driven Thee out of my soul so often. Domine, non sum dignus. Lord, I am not worthy to remain in Thy presence ; I ought to be in hell forever, far away, and abandoned by Thee. But out of Thy goodness Thou callest me to receive Thee : behold, I come, I come humbled and in confusion for the great displeasure I have given Thee, but trusting entirely to Thy mercy and to the love Thou hast for me. I am exceedingly sorry, O my loving Redeemer, for having so often offended Thee in time past ! Thou didst even give Thy life for me ; and I have so often despised Thy grace and Thy love, and have exchanged Thee for nothing. I repent, and I am sorry with all my heart for every offence which I have offered Thee, whether grievous or light, because it was an offence against Thee, who art infinite goodness. I hope Thou hast already pardoned me ; but if Thou hast not yet forgiven me, pardon me, my Jesus, before I receive Thee. Ah, receive me quickly into Thy grace, since it is Thy will soon to come and dwell within me. Come, then, my Jesus, come into my soul, that sighs after Thee. My only and infinite good, my life, my love, my all, I would desire to receive Thee this morning with the same love with which those souls who love Thee most have received Thee, and with the same fervor with which Thy Most Holy Mother received Thee ; to her Communions I wish to unite this one of mine. O Blessed Virgin, and my Mother Mary, give me thy Son ; I intend to receive him from thy hands ! Tell him that I am thy servant, and thus will he press me more lovingly to his heart now that he is coming to me. An Act of Faith  Behold, He cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. Ah, my most amiable Saviour, over how many, what rough and craggy mountains, hast Thou had to pass in order to come and unite Thyself to me by means of this most holy sacrament ! Thou, from being God, hadst to become man ; from being immense, to become a babe ; from being Lord, to become a servant. Thou hadst to pass from the bosom of Thy Eternal Father to the womb of a Virgin ; from heaven into a stable ; from a throne of glory to the gibbet of a criminal. And on this very morning Thou wilt come from Thy seat in heaven to dwell in my bosom.  Behold, He standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. Behold, O my soul, thy loving Jesus, burning with the same love with which he loved thee when dying for thee on the Cross, is now concealed in the Most Blessed Sacrament under the sacred species ; and what is he doing ? Looking through the lattices. As an ardent lover, desirous to see you correspond to his love, from the Host, as from within closed lattices, whence he sees without being seen, he is looking at you, who are this morning about to feed upon his divine flesh ; he observes your thoughts, what is it that you love, what you desire, what you seek for, and what offerings you are about to make to him. Awake, then, my soul, and prepare to receive thy Jesus ; and, in the first place, by faith, say to him : So, then, my beloved Redeemer, in a few moments Thou art coming to me ? O hidden God, unknown to the greater part of men, I believe, I confess, I adore Thee in the Most Holy Sacrament as my Lord and Saviour ! And in acknowledgement of this truth I would willingly lay down my life. Thou comest to enrich me with Thy graces and to unite Thyself entirely to me ; how great, then, should be my confidence in this Thy so loving visit ! An Act of Confidence My soul, expand thy heart. Thy Jesus can do Thee every good, and, indeed, loves thee. Hope thou for great things from this thy Lord, who, urged by love, comes all love to thee. Yes, my dear Jesus, my hope, I trust in Thy goodness, that, in giving Thyself to me this morning, Thou wilt enkindle in my poor heart the beautiful flame of Thy pure love, and a real desire to please Thee ; so that, from this day forward, I may
never will anything but what Thou willest. An Act of Love Ah, my God, my God, true and only love of my soul, and what more couldst Thou have done to be loved by me ? To die for me was not enough for Thee, my Lord ; Thou wast pleased to institute this great sacrament in order to give Thyself all to me, and thus bind and unite Thyself heart to heart with so loathesome and ungrateful a creature as I am. And what is more, Thou Thyself invitest me to receive Thee, and desirest so much that I should do so ! O boundless love ! incomprehensible love ! infinite love ! a God would give himself all to me ! -- My soul, believest thou this ? And what doest thou ? what sayest thou ? O God, O God, O infinite amiability, only worthy object of all love, I love Thee with my whole heart, I love Thee above all things, I love Thee more than myself, more than my life ! Oh, could I but see Thee loved by all ! Oh, could I but cause Thee to be loved by all hearts as much as Thou deservest ! I love Thee, O most amiable God, and I unite my miserable heart in loving Thee to the hearts of the Seraphim, to the heart of the most blessed Virgin Mary, to the Heart of Jesus, thy most loving and beloved Son. So that, O Infinite Good, I love Thee with the love with which the saints, with which Mary, with which Jesus love Thee. And I love Thee only because Thou art worthy of it, and to give Thee pleasure. Depart, all earthly affections, that are not for God, depart from my heart. Mother of fair love, most holy Virgin Mary, help me to love that God whom Thou dost so ardently desire to see loved ! An Act of Humility Then, my soul, thou art even now about to feed on the most sacred flesh of Jesus ! And art thou worthy ? My God, and who am I, and who art Thou ? I indeed know and confess who Thou art that givest Thyself to me ; but dost Thou know what I am who am about to receive Thee ? And is it possible, O my Jesus, that Thou who art infinite purity desirest to come and reside in this soul of mine, which has been so many times the dwelling of Thy enemy, and soiled with so many sins ? I know, O my Lord, Thy great Majesty and my misery ; I am ashamed to appear before Thee. Reverence would induce me to keep at a distance from Thee ; but if I depart from Thee, O my life, whither shall I go ? to whom shall I have recourse ? and what will become of me ? No, never will I depart from Thee ; nay, even I will ever draw nearer and nearer to Thee. Thou art satisfied that I should receive Thee as food, Thou even invitest me to this. I come then, O my amiable Saviour, I come to receive Thee this morning, all humbled and confused at the sight of my defects ; but full of confidence in Thy tender mercy, and in the love which Thou bearest me. An Act of Contrition I am indeed grieved, O God of my soul, for not having loved Thee during the time past ; what is still worse, so far from loving Thee, and to gratify my own inclinations, I have greatly offended and outraged Thy infinite goodness : I have turned my back upon Thee, I have despised Thy grace and friendship ; in a word, O my God, I was deliberate in my will to lose Thee. Lord, I am sorry, and grieve for it with my whole heart. I detest the sins which I have committed, be they great or small, as the greatest of all my misfortunes, because I have thereby offended Thee, O Infinite Goodness. I trust that Thou hast already forgiven me ; but if Thou hast not yet pardoned me, oh, do so before I receive Thee: wash with Thy blood this soul of mine, in which Thou art so soon about to dwell. An Act of Desire And now, my soul, the blessed hour has arrived in which Jesus will come and take up his dwelling in thy poor heart. Behold the King of Heaven, behold thy Redeemer and God, who is even now coming ; prepare thyself to receive him with love, invite him with the ardor of thy desire. Come, O my Jesus, come to my soul, which desires Thee. Before Thou givest Thyself to me, I desire to give Thee, and I now give Thee, my miserable heart ; do Thou accept it, and come quickly to take possession of it. Come, my God !
hasten ; delay no longer. My only and Infinite Good, my treasure, my life, my Paradise, my love, my all, my wish is to receive Thee with the love with which the most holy and loving souls have received Thee ; with that with which the most blessed Virgin Mary received Thee ; to their Communions I unite this Communion of mine. Most holy Virgin and my Mother Mary, behold, I already approach to receive thy Son. Would that I had the heart and love with which thou didst communicate ! Give me this morning thy Jesus, as thou didst give him to the shepherds and to the kings. I intend to receive him from thy most pure hands. Tell him that I am thy servant and thy client ; for he will thus look upon me with a more loving eye, and now that he is coming, will press me more closely to himself. Affections and Prayers O my Jesus ! what has induced Thee to give Thyself entirely to us for our food ? After this gift, what more remains for Thee to give us in order to oblige us to love Thee ? Ah, Lord ! give us light, make us understand the excess of Thy love in becoming food in order to unite Thyself to poor sinners ! But, if Thou givest Thyself entirely to us, it is just that we too give our whole being to Thee. O my Redeemer ! how have I been able to offend Thee, who hast loved me so tenderly, and who hast done so much to gain my love ? Thou hast become man for my sake, Thou hast died for me, Thou hast become my food ; tell me, what more couldst Thou have done ? I love Thee, O infinite Goodness ! I love Thee, O infinite Love ! Lord, come often to my soul ; inflame my whole heart with Thy holy love ; grant that I may forget all things in order to think only of Thee, and to love nothing but Thee. Most Holy Mary, pray for me, and, by thy intercession, make me worthy to receive thy Son frequently in the Holy Sacrament. Affections and Prayers O infinite love of Jesus, worthy of infinite love ! Ah ! my Jesus, when shall I love Thee as Thou hast loved me ? Thou couldst do nothing more to make me love Thee ; and I have forsaken Thee, O infinite Good ! for the sake of vile and miserable goods ! Ah ! enlighten me, O my God ! discover to me always more and more the greatness of Thy goodness, that my whole soul may be enamoured of Thee, and that I may labor to please Thee. I love Thee, O my Jesus ! my love, my all ; and I wish to unite myself frequently to Thee in this sacrament, in order to detach myself from all things, and to love Thee alone, who art my life. Through the merits of Thy Passion, assist me, O my Redeemer ! O Mother of Jesus, and my Mother ! do thou, too, assist me ; beg of him to inflame my whole heart with his holy love. Affections and Prayers O enamoured of souls, O my Jesus ! it is not in Thy power to give us greater proofs of love in order to show us that Thou lovest us. And what more couldst Thou invent to induce us to love Thee ? Ah ! grant, O infinite Goodness ! that I may love Thee tenderly and with all my strength ! And who is there that has greater claims on the affections of my heart, than Thou, my Redeemer, who, after having given Thy life for my salvation, hast given me Thyself entirely in this sacrament ? Ah ! Lord, that I always remembered Thy love in order to forget all things, and to love Thee alone without interruption and without reserve ! I love Thee, O my Jesus, above all things, and I wish to love Thee alone. Banish from my heart, I entreat Thee, all affections which are not for Thee. I thank Thee for giving me time to love Thee and to weep over the offences I have offered to Thee. My Jesus, I desire that Thou mayest be the only object of my affections. Assist me, save me, and let my salvation consist in loving Thee with my whole heart, and in loving Thee always in this life and in the next. Mary, my Mother, obtain for me the grace to love Jesus Christ ; pray to him for me. Affections and Prayers O Jesus, my Redeemer, O love of my soul ! how much has it cost Thee to remain with us in the sacrament ? To be able to remain on our altars, Thou hadst first to suffer death ; afterward, in order to aid us by Thy presence, Thou hadst to submit to so many grievous insults in this sacrament. And, after all this, we are so slothful and negligent in visiting Thee,
though we know that Thou so ardently desirest our visits for the purpose of enriching us with Thy graces when Thou seest us in Thy presence. Lord, pardon me ; for I too have been one of these ungrateful souls. From this day forward, O my Jesus ! I wish to visit Thee often, and to remain as long as I can in Thy presence, to thank Thee, to love Thee, and to ask Thy graces ; for it is for this purpose that Thou remainest on earth shut up in our tabernacles, and made our prisoner of love. I love Thee, O infinite Goodness ! I love Thee, O God of love ! I love Thee, O sovereign Good ! amiable above every good. Grant that I may forget myself and all things, in order to remember only Thy love and to spend the remainder of my life wholly occupied in pleasing Thee. Grant that from this day forward I may relish no pleasure more than that of remaining at Thy feet. Inflame my whole soul with Thy holy love. Mary, my mother, obtain for me a great love for the Most Holy Sacrament ; and whenever Thou seest that I am negligent, remind me of the promise I now make of going every day to visit the Holy Sacrament. Affections and Prayers Since then, my beloved Jesus, Thou remainest on our altars to hear the supplications of the miserable who have recourse to Thee, hear the prayer which I, a miserable sinner, present to Thee. O Lamb of God ! sacrificed and lifeless on the cross, I am a soul redeemed by Thy blood ; pardon me all the offences I have offered to Thee, and assist me by Thy grace, that I may never lose Thee again. Impart to me, O my Jesus ! a portion of the sorrow which Thou didst feel in the garden of Gethsemane for my sins. O my God ! that I had never offended Thee ! My dear Lord, had I died in sin, I could never more love Thee ; but Thou hast waited for me that I might love Thee. I thank Thee for the time which Thou givest me : and since I can now love Thee, I wish to love Thee. Give me the grace of Thy holy love, but of a love which will make me forget all things, to think only of pleasing Thy most loving heart. Ah, my Jesus ! Thou hast spent Thy whole life for me : grant that I may spend at least the remainder of my life for Thee. Draw me entirely to Thy love ; make me all Thine before I die. I hope for all graces through the merits of Thy Passion. I also hope in thy intercession, O Mary ! Thou knowest that I love thee : have pity on me. Affections and Prayers Ah, my Jesus ! make Thyself known, make Thyself loved. Thou art so amiable, Thou canst do nothing more to induce men to love Thee ; how then does it happen that so few among them love Thee ? Alas ! I have been among these ungrateful wretches. I have been sufficiently grateful to creatures, who have bestowed no gift or favor upon me : to Thee only, who hast given me Thyself, have I been ungrateful, so as often to offend Thee grievously, and insult Thee by my sins. But I see that, instead of abandoning me, Thou continuest to seek after me, and to ask my love. I feel that Thou continuest to propose to me this loving precept – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart.” Since, then, Thou didst wish to be loved even by me after my ingratitude, I desire to love Thee. Thou wishest for my love, and at present through Thy grace, I desire only to love Thee. I love Thee, my love, my all. Through that blood which Thou hast shed for me, help me to love Thee. My beloved Redeemer ! I place all my hopes in this blood, and also in the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou wishest to assist me by her prayers in the work of my salvation. O Mary, my Mother ! pray to Jesus for me. Thou inflamest all thy lovers with the divine love ; I love thee tenderly ; procure it also for me. Loving Aspirations to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament Before Holy Communion I. Egredimini et videte, filiae Sion, regem Salomonem in diademate, quo coronavit illum mater sua in die  desponsationis illius -- “Go forth, ye daughters of Sion, and see king Solomon in the diadem wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals.”
O daughters of grace, O ye souls who love God quit the darkness of the earth, and behold Jesus, your king, crowned with a crown of thorns ; the crown of contempt and suffering with which the impious synagogue, his mother crowned him on the day of his espousals, -- that is to say, on the day of his death, by means of which he espoused himself on the Cross to our souls. Go forth again, and behold him all full of compassion and love, now that he comes to unite himself to thee in this sacrament of love. Has it indeed, then, cost Thee so much, my beloved Jesus, before Thou couldst come and unite Thyself to souls in this most sweet Sacrament ? Wert Thou indeed obliged to suffer so bitter and ignominious a death ? Oh, come, then, without delay, and unite Thyself to my soul also. It was at one time Thy enemy by sin ; but now Thou desirest to espouse it by Thy grace. Come, O Jesus, my spouse, for never more will I betray Thee ; I am determined to be ever faithful to Thee. As a loving spouse, my whole thought shall be to find out Thy pleasure. I am determined to love Thee without reserve ; I desire to be all Thine, my Jesus, -- all, all, all. II.  Fasciculus myrrhae Dilectus meus mihi, inter ubera mea commorabitur -- “A bundle of myrrh is my Beloved to me ; he shall abide between my breasts.” The myrrh plant, when pricked, sends forth tears, and a healthful liquor from the wounds. Before his Passion, our Jesus determined to pour forth his divine blood from his wounds in so painful a way to give it afterwards all to us for our salvation in this bread of life. Come then, O my beloved bundle of myrrh, O my enamored Jesus ; Thou art indeed a subject of grief and pity to me when I consider Thee all wounded for me on the Cross : but then, when I receive Thee in this most sweet Sacrament, Thou becomest indeed to me more sweet and delicious than a bunch of the choicest grapes can be to one who is parched with  thirst : A cluster of cypress my Love is to me, in the vineyards of Engadai . Come, then, to my soul, and revive and satiate me with Thy holy love. Ah, what sweetness do I feel in my soul at the thought, that I have to receive within myself that same Saviour of mine who for my salvation was pleased to be drained of all his blood, and sacrificed on a cross ! He shall abide between my breasts. No, my Jesus, never more will I drive Thee hence ; and Thou shalt never more have to leave me. I am determined ever to love Thee, and to be always united and closely bound up with Thee. I will always belong to Jesus, and Jesus will be always mine : forever, forever, forever He shall abide between my breasts. III.  Dum esset Rex in accubitu suo, nardus mea dedit odorem suum -- “While the King was at His repose my spikenard sent forth the odor thereof.” When Jesus comes to dwell in a soul in the Holy Communion, oh, how clearly does she see and know her own nothingness by the bright light which the king of heaven brings with him ! As the spikenard is the most lowly among plants, so does the soul confess itself the most vile of all creatures ; and when thus humbled, oh, how sweet is the odor which she breathes forth to her beloved king ! and for this reason he invites her to unite herself to him in closer and closer bonds. If, then, my soul, thou desirest that thy Jesus should repose in thee, consider thy own nothingness. Who art thou ? what dost thou deserve ? Humble thyself as thou shouldst do, by casting away from thyself all self-esteem which may keep Jesus at a distance from thee, or prevent him from coming to repose in thee. Come to me, my dear Redeemer, come ; and by thy divine light make me to see my own lowliness, my misery, my
nothingness, that Thou mayest be enabled to repose in me with satisfaction to Thyself, to separate Thyself no more from me. IV.  Sentite de Domino in bonitate -- “Think of the Lord in goodness.” My soul, why art thou so timid and fearful at the sight of the goodness and infinite love of thy Lord ? why such distrust ? Now that thou art made worthy to receive within thee Jesus Christ, let thy sentiments correspond to this grace, by confiding in that goodness of God, who gives thee all himself. Truly his judgments are terrible but they are terrible only to the proud and to the obstinate ; but to the humble and penitent, who desire to love and please him, his judgments are all mercy and love, emanating from a heart full of compassion and kindness. So that David, considering these judgments of God, superabounds with hope : I have more than hoped in Thy judgments. These judgments made him happy and consoled him :  Thy judgments are delightful ; I remembered Thy judgments, and was comforted. Ah ! our great God is only too loving  and generous to those who seek him with love : The Lord is good to the soul that seeketh Him. How good is God to  those who seek to unite their will to the divine will : How good is God to Israel, to those that are of a right heart. My God, my love, my hope, my all, I desire Thee, and Thee alone, -- to love Thee, to please Thee, and to do Thy will in all things. Let me always find Thee ; make me agreeable to Thee ; and never let me leave Thee again. So be it. Amen, amen. V.  Vox Dilecti mei pulsantis : Aperi mihi, soror mea, amica mea, columba mea, immaculata mea -- “The voice of my Beloved knocking: Open to Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My undefiled.” Such are the words which Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament speaks to those who love and desire him. Open to me, he says, O soul, thy heart, and there I will come to unite myself to thee ; so that, being one with me, thou mayest become my sister by resemblance, my friend by participation in my riches, my dove by the gift of simplicity, my undefiled by the gift of purity, which I shall communicate to thee. And then he goes on to say, Open to me, for my head is full of dew and my locks of the drops of the night. As if he said: Consider, my beloved, that I have waited for thee all the night of the bad life thou hast led in the midst of darkness and error. Behold, now, instead of bringing scourges to chastise thee, I come in the Blessed Sacrament, with my hair full of heavenly dew, to extinguish in thee all impure desires towards creatures, and to kindle in Thee the happy fire of my love. Come, then, O my beloved Jesus, and work in me what Thou wilt. I renounce the love of all things, in order to be all Thine, and that Thou mayest make me as Thou wouldst have me, entirely united to Thy will. VI. Veniat Dilectus meus in hortum suum, et comedat fructum pomorum suorum. garden, and eat the fruit of His apple-trees.” Cornelius à Lapide says that this is precisely the invitation that a soul desirous of the Holy Communion makes to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Come, my beloved, she says, into my poor heart, which at one unhappy time did not belong to Thee ; but which now, by the help of Thy grace, has returned to Thee : Come and eat the fruit of Thy apple-trees. Come and taste in me those virtues which Thou dost bring with Thyself when Thou comest to me. O my Lord, at least for the honor of Thy majesty, purify my heart, adorn it, inflame it with Thy love, and make it beautiful in Thy sight, that it may be a worthy dwelling-place for Thee. VII.  “Let my beloved come into His
Ad ubera portabimini
-- “You shall be carried at the breasts.”
It is thus that Jesus from the sacred altars invites our souls. Come, he says, and suck my divine milk, which I give  you in this Sacrament, wherein I offer you my own blood to drink. But what shepherd, says St. John Chrysostom, ever feeds his sheep with his own blood ? Even mothers give their children to nurses to be fed. But Thou, O divine Pastor, art so enamoured of our souls as to wish to nourish them with Thine own blood. St. Catharine of Sienna, then, did well in approaching the holy Communion as if panting to suck the divine milk, in the same way as an infant presses anxiously to suck the milk from its mother’s breasts. And well might the Sacred Spouse say to her Beloved, Thy breasts are better than  wine, signifying that she esteemed the milk of this sacrament, as the sacred interpreters explain it, above all the pleasures of the world, which are transitory and vain, as are transitory and vain also the joys and pleasures of wine. O my beloved Jesus, since Thou wilt feed me this morning with Thine own blood in the Holy Communion, it is but reasonable that I should willingly renounce all the delights and pleasures which the world might give me. Yes, I give them all up ; I protest that I choose rather to suffer all evils united to Thee, than to enjoy all the goods of the world away from Thee. It is sufficient happiness for me to please Thee, who art worthy of all that we can do to please Thee. I will say, then, with St. Ignatius of Loyola, give me, I pray Thee, but Thy love and Thy grace ; that is sufficient for me, and I am contented. VIII.  Comedite, amici, et bibite, et inebriamini, charissimi – “Eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved.” The “friends,” that is beginners, who scarcely enjoy the divine friendship, when they receive the Holy Communion, feed indeed on the flesh of Jesus Christ, but they eat with labor ; while those who are on the way to perfection eat with less difficulty. But by the “dearly beloved” are meant the perfect, who, inebriated with holy love, live almost out of the world, forgeting all things, even themselves, and think only how they may love and please their God. My beloved Jesus, I am not yet perfect ; but Thou canst make me perfect. I am not dear to Thee, and it is my own fault, because I have been ungrateful and unfaithful ; but Thou canst make me become so, by inebriating me this morning with  Thy love. Thy kingdom come. Come, my beloved Lord, and take possession of my whole soul. Establish Thy kingdom in me ; so that Thou alone mayest reign in me, that Thy love alone may command me, and that Thy love only may I obey. Inebriate me, inebriate me entirely ; make me forget all creatures, myself, my interests, and all, that I may love nothing but Thee, my God, my treasure, all my good, my all ; may I sigh for Thee alone, seek Thee alone, think of Thee alone, and please Thee alone. Do this by the merits of Thy Passion. This only do I ask of Thee ; this I hope. IX. Fulcite me floribus, stipate me malis ; quia amore langueo with apples: because I languish with love.” The languor of the soul is when, forgetful of herself and her affairs, she thinks only of seeking refreshment for her languishing love by holy desires, which are the flowers, and by good works, which are the fruits of divine love. O my God, O Blessed Sacrament, since Thou wilt have me to be all Thine, make me what Thou wouldst have me. Make me forget everything that does not belong to Thy love. Increase in me always more and more the desire of pleasing Thee. Grant that these flowers may not always remain flowers ; make them also become fruits, by my doing and suffering something for Thee, who hast done and suffered only too much for me. O God, O God of my soul, make Thyself loved, but  – “Stay me up with flowers, compass me about
really loved, by me, -- not only in word, but in deed, -- before death comes upon me. X.  Dilectus meus candidus et rubicundus, electus et millibus – “My Beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands.” Our beloved Jesus is all white by his purity, and all red by the flames of his divine love. My spotless Lamb, all burning with love for me, when shall I make myself like to Thee, pure as Thou art, O lily, burning with love of Thee as Thou dost burn with love of me ? Yes, I do renounce all other love, and choose for myself Thy sweet love, my God, my all. Begone, ye creatures ! what do you want with me ? Go and enjoy the love of those who seek you. I wish only for my God ; for God alone will I keep all my hearts and all my affections. XI.  Benignitas et humanitas apparuit Salvatoris nostri Dei – “The goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared.” St. Paul says that God, by making himself man, showed the world how far his goodness towards us went. But by giving himself in this sacrament, he makes us know the depth of the tenderness of his love towards our souls. “Does it not seem madness to say, Eat my flesh, and drink my blood ?” St. Augustine says, does it not seem a madness, Jesus Christ   saying to us, as he said in that blessed night, Take and eat, this is My body ? O men, he says, to make you understand how much I love you, I will that you should come and feed on my very flesh. O holy faith ! And who among us would have been able to demand so much ? Who could have even thought of it, if Jesus had not thought it and done it ? Some of the followers of Jesus Christ, when they heard that from his mouth, that is, that he wished to give them his body to eat, said that this was too hard a thing, and that they could neither believe nor hear it : This saying is hard, and who can  hear it ? And they went so far as to leave him, because they would not believe it: but yet it is of faith that so it is. But what else does Jesus Christ ask of us, by all this he has done for us, but that we should love him ? as the Lord had once before instructed his people: And now, Israel, what does the Lord thy God require of thee, but that thou... love Him and  serve Him with all thy heart ? O my most loving Jesus, what dost Thou not give, what dost Thou not promise to those that love Thee ? Thou dost  Thou dost promise them Thy caresses, even when they have already promise them Thy love : I love those that love Me.  Thou dost promise to come with the Father and turned their backs upon Thee : Turn ye to Me, and I will turn to you. the Holy Spirit to abide forever in their souls: He who loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, ...and We will come to him  and make our abode with him. And what more hast Thou to promise and to give, to entice men to love Thee ? My dearest Lord, I see how it is ; Thou dost wish also to be loved by me : yes, I love Thee with all my heart ; and if I do not love Thee, do Thou teach me to love Thee ; make me to love Thee, and to love Thee above all things : “Give what Thou  commandest, and command what Thou wilt.” XII.  Nolite me considerare quod fusca sim, quia decoloravit me sol – “Do not consider me, that I am brown ; for the sun has discolored me.” The heat of my passions, said the Sacred Spouse (and still more ought I to say it, O my dear Jesus), has deformed  and blackened me: I am black, but beautiful. But I am black by my own works ; I am beautiful by Thy merits, O my Redeemer. I was black at one time, when I was alone and separated from Thee ; but now that I am united to Thee, Thy
grace, Thy beauty, Thy love has made me beautiful. Yes, my Jesus, so do I hope. Mayest Thou be blessed forever. Never permit me to lose Thee again, and to return to my former depravity. I love Thee, O infinite beauty ; I wish also that my soul should be beautiful, always beautiful, that it may be always pleasing in Thy divine sight, and that Thou mayest always love it. THOMAS A KEMPIS: Prayer for Help O my God, help me to make a good Communion. Mary, my dearest Mother, pray to Jesus for me. My dear Guardian Angel, lead me to the altar of God. Act of Faith O God, because Thou hast said it, I believe that I shall receive the Sacred Body of Jesus Christ to eat, and His precious Blood to drink. My God, I believe this with all my heart. Act of Humility My God, I confess that I am a poor sinner ; I am not worthy to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus on account of my sins. Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof ; say but the word, and my soul shall be healed. Act of Sorrow My God, I detest all the sins of my life. I am sorry for them, because they have offended Thee, my God, Who art so good. I resolve never to commit sin any more. My good God, pity me, have mercy on me, forgive me. Amen. Act of Adoration O Jesus, great God, present on the altar, I bow down before Thee, I adore Thee. Act of Love and Desire Sweet Jesus, I love Thee. I desire with all my heart to receive Thee. Most sweet Jesus, come into my poor soul, and give me Thy Flesh to eat and Thy Blood to drink. Give me Thy whole self, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, that I may live forever with Thee. PRAYERS AFTER HOLY COMMUNION Act of Faith O Jesus, I believe that I have received Thy Flesh to eat and Thy Blood to drink, because Thou hast said it, and Thy word is true. Act of Adoration O Jesus, my God, my Creator, I adore Thee, because from Thy hands I came and with Thee I am to be happy forever. Act of Humility
O Jesus, I am but dust and ashes, and yet Thou hast come to me, and my poor heart may speak to Thee. Act of Love Sweet Jesus, I love Thee ; I love Thee with all my heart. Thou knowest that I love Thee and wish to love Thee daily more and more. Act of Thanksgiving My good Jesus, I thank Thee with all my heart. How good, how kind Thou art to me, sweet Jesus. Blessed be Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Act of Offering Jesus, receive my poor offering. Jesus, Thou hast given Thyself to me, and now let me give myself to Thee : I give Thee my body, that it may be chaste and pure. I give Thee my soul, that it may be free from sin. I give Thee my heart, that it may always love Thee. I give Thee every breath that I shall breathe, and especially my last ; I give Thee myself in life and in death, that I may be Thine forever and ever. O Jesus, wash away my sins with Thy precious Blood. O Jesus, the struggle against temptation is not yet finished. My Jesus, when temptation comes near me, make me strong against it. In the moment of temptation, may I always say : “Jesus, mercy ! Mary, help !” O Jesus, may I lead a good life ; may I die a happy death. May I receive Thee before I die. May I say when I am dying: “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.” Listen now for a moment to Jesus Christ ; perhaps He has something to say to you. There may be some promise you have made and broken, which He wishes you to make again and keep. Answer Jesus in your heart, and tell Him all your troubles. Then pray for others. O Jesus, have mercy on Thy Holy Church ; take care of it. O Jesus, have pity on poor sinners, and save them from hell. O Jesus, bless my father, my mother, my brothers and sisters, and all I ought to pray for, as Thy Heart knows how to bless them. O Jesus, have pity on the poor souls in Purgatory, and give them eternal rest. Sweet Jesus, I am going away for a time, but I trust not without Thee. Thou art with me by Thy grace. I will never leave Thee by mortal sin. I do not fear that I shall do so, though I am weak, because I have hope in Thee. Give me grace to persevere. O blessed Virgin, Mother of my God and Saviour, recommend all these my petitions to your Son. O all ye Angels and Saints of God, unite your prayer with mine ; be ever mindful of me, and obtain from Him, and through Him, that with you I may bless Him and love Him forever. Amen. Prayer Behold, my cravings are appeased. Behold, all my longings are now satisfied. My God has deigned to visit me. Now Jesus abides in my heart. Now I can say with the apostle : I am no longer my own, but Christ’s ; I no longer live in myself, but in Christ, and Christ lives in me. I belong entirely to Christ, and Christ is mine.
Welcome, beloved Jesus, I bless Thee for having come to dwell within me. Oh, how it grieves me to think that Thou art come to abide in a heart that has caused Thee so much sorrow and affliction ! O Lord, what dost Thou discover in me, but a heart devoted to the perishable things of this world ! Wherefore, then, hast Thou come to dwell in me ? Let me in the bitterness of self-reproach say with St. Peter : “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” Go and reside within those sinless, loving souls, who long for Thy coming. But no, O my heavenly Guest, depart not from me ; for if I lose Thee, I am lost. O God, Thou art my chief hope, and I will not be separated from Thee. I will clasp Thee to my heart ; and oh, may I live and die in Thy tender embrace ! Mary, my holy protectress, and all ye Angels and Saints, inspire me with love like yours, that I may welcome my Jesus as I should. Act of Thanksgiving O adorable Trinity, one God, most worthy of my love, I thank Thee with my whole heart for having given Jesus to me, a poor sinner. And, O sweet Jesus, how can I ever thank Thee sufficiently for having deigned to visit me ! O spotless Virgin ! O all ye blessed citizens of heaven ! O all ye souls glowing with purest love, enable me to thank my Lord incessantly for His infinite goodness. O God, to Thee be thanksgiving, praise, adoration, and glory from all creatures through endless ages. Act of Petition My loving Lord, since Thou hast deigned to visit me that I may be enriched with Thy graces, and since Thou hast commanded me to ask them of Thee, listen to me now, I implore Thee. Bestow on me, O Jesus, an increase of faith, hope, charity, and sorrow for my sins. Grant me humility, purity, patience, and every other virtue ; cleanse me of all my sins. Detach my heart from the perishable things of this world, and conform it to Thy divine Will. Act of Oblation O Jesus, Thou hast given Thyself entirely to me ; and gratitude requires that I should give myself wholly to Thee. Thou hast sanctified me by dwelling in me ; henceforth I will, with Thy divine assistance, be entirely consecrated to Thee. My eyes, which Thou hast opened to the true light, shall be Thine. My ears, which have heard Thy gentle invitation, shall be Thine. And this tongue, which has been touched by Thy adorable Body and Blood, shall be Thine forevermore. May all my senses be devoted to Thy greater glory and honor ; may they never again rebel against Thy holy Law. To Thee I offer all that I am and have, O Jesus. Confirm me now in Thy holy grace ; let me never lose it again, let me ever love and serve Thee here on earth, so as to be happy with Thee in heaven. Amen. Prayer after Holy Communion Behold, my longings are fulfilled ! Behold, my desires are satisfied ! Now hath my God come to visit me ! Now Jesus dwelleth within me ! Now I am no longer my own but Christ’s : I no longer live in myself, in Jesus, and Jesus lives in me. I am altogether the possession of Jesus, and Jesus is altogether mine. O Infinite Goodness ! A God – the God of heaven – hath touched the tongue, and come within the breast, and sought the heart of a human creature, and one so vile, so unworthy as I am ! My soul, of what art thou thinking ? Behold thyself now in possession of that for which thou hast been sighing ; behold thyself all hallowed by the presence of Jesus, transformed into Jesus. Thou and Jesus art one. O union true and wonderful ! My soul, my soul, art thou thus closely united to Jesus, and yet sayest nothing to Him, and speaketh not with thy God Who is in thine arms, within thy breast, at thy heart ? Up, up, arise, collect thyself, gather up all the affections of thy spirit ; adore Him, and say to Him: O welcome, dearest Jesus, to the mansion of my soul. Oh, how long have I desired this hour ! But, oh, how I pity Thee, now that I see Thee placed in this heart, more hard and cold than the stall where thou wast born ; a heart more full of
what is grief and anguish to Thee than Calvary was to Thy sacred flesh ; for not once, but a hundred, and a thousand times, have I renewed Thy death and Passion by my sins ! Lord, what dost Thou find in me but hardness and obduracy against Thee, and affections all given to earthly things ! Ah, my God, how is it Thou hast come to dwell in me ? I must cry out with St. Peter, Depart from me, depart from me, O Majesty of God ; depart from this soul of sin, which is not worthy to harbor  Go, and rest within those pure and fervent souls who welcome Thee God ; Exi a me, quia homo peccator sum, Domine. so tenderly. But, no, O my most precious blessing ; no, let it never be so ; do not leave me, for if Thou art far from me, I am lost. O God, my hope, I will not let Thee go ! O blessing, for which I have sighed, I press Thee to my heart, and I wish to live and die thus embracing Thee. O most holy Mary, O angels, saints, and souls that love your God! lend me your affections, that I may fitly welcome and cherish this presence of my Jesus. Act of Thanksgiving O Divine Trinity, one God, most worthy to be loved, I thank Thee from the very depth of my heart, because Thou hast given me Jesus ; I thank Thee because Thou hast left me Jesus in the Sacrament ; I thank Thee for having caused me to receive Him ; I thank Thee, my Jesus, that Thou hast deigned to visit me. O God, what return can I make for so much love ! How can I thank Thee enough, O most holy Virgin, O angels, O saints of heaven, O all enamoured souls, help me to thank our God, to thank and thank Him again and again, for this infinite kindness. But, O God, how little even is all this ! The thanksgiving of all paradise cannot attain to be thanks sufficient to an infinite God, or recommend Him for His benefits. What, then, shall I do ? I know not, except, O my most holy Jesus, to offer up Thine own love itself in thanks for Thine infinite love. May Thine infinite compassion, Thy kindness, and all the abyss of Thine infinite attributes, render to Thee that honor and that thank-offering which Thou deservest. O Most Holy Trinity, one God, I thank Thee by the hands of Jesus ; and do Thou, O Triune God, thank Jesus for me ! And now let my heart remain full, and let Thy Majesty accept and be satisfied with these infinite thanks. O my Blessing, to Thee alone be praise, glory, and honor from all creatures, forever and forever. Amen. What art thou doing, my soul ? Dost thou know that now thou art a living temple in which really dwells thy Redeemer ? It is no time now for lying slothful, and full of wandering thoughts. It is the time for asking all the graces of which thou standest in need, and for receiving them from the true and living God Who is dwelling within thee. Now the heavens stand open, now the Most Holy Trinity, with eyes all full of love, is above thee, looking down on the object of Its own complacency – Jesus Christ, Who is within thy breast. Now more than ever Mary, and angels, and saints, thy advocates, are beseeching graces for thee from God. My soul, my soul, lose not of these precious moments ; bend thy faculties to deal with the great affair of thy eternal salvation. But how ? Art thou saying nothing to thy God ? Ah, poor and miserable as thou art, thou delightest to live on amid thy miseries, while thou hast with Thee the God of all riches ; and thou art silent, and thy mind begins already to wander, and thou art so without desire of interest, so dull and so idle of heart ! Dost thou not know that if thou seekest not thou obtainest not ? Were a king to enter thy house and invite thee to ask favors of him, wouldst thou be long silent ? Ah, miserable race, through our little faith ! The Kings of kings, with His royal presence, is within thee, the Lord of the heavenly treasures. A God – thy God – hath come to thee, Who wishes to bestow great graces on thee and thou speakest not a word ! This Infinite Benignity grieves and laments that His favors are not sought ; and, unable longer to endure the languid and indifference of men, forever longing to be kind to them and do them good, He Himself takes to inviting them, and beseeches them to ask. Usque modo non petistis quidquam in nomine meo.  Petite, et accipietis, ut gaudium vestrum sit plenum. My soul, thou hast within thee a Lord omnipotent, a most loving and munificent Father, a most faithful God : and of what art thou afraid ? Seek and confide, enlarge thy heart, revive thy faith ; begin, ask great graces – heavenly graces, graces worthy of God. Act of Petition
O my dear Redeemer, since Thou hast come to me, in order to confer graces upon me, and invitest me to ask them of Thee, hear me now by the bowels of Thy compassion. Give me, O my Jesus, an increase of living faith, hope, charity, and contrition. Give me humility, purity, patience, and all virtues ; take from me all my corruptions. Change this heart, so full of the world and of myself, and give me a new heart conformed to Thy will, so that I may always seek Thy greater glory, and that all its affections may aspire to Thee and aim only at Thy love, without ever deviating even in the very least. Cor mundum  crea in me Deus, et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis. Grace is indeed a mighty gift, and though I merit it not, Thou meritest it for me. From a great and glorious God great favors may be sought ; grant me this, then, which I have asked, by Thy Passion, by Thy death ; grant it by the love Thou bearest to the Eternal Father ; grant it me by the virtue of most holy Mary, by all the merits of the Church triumphant and militant ; grant it me because Thou art Thyself infinite goodness and mercy. Here apply yourself to ask with lively faith from God the graces and favors which are needful for yourself and your neighbor. O Most Holy Trinity, O my omnipotent God, hear these my prayers. Now is not the time to refuse graces even to the most unworthy, because it is not I myself alone that am seeking them, but, together with me, Jesus Christ is supplicating. Though I do not deserve to be heard, Jesus Christ deserves it, Who prays with me, and in me, and for me. Eternal Father, I call up before Thee the promises of Jesus Christ, Who hath said that whatever graces we seek from Thee in His name, without any other means, they shall be obtained from Thee: Amen amen, dico vobis, si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine  meo, dabit vobis. Act of Oblation My Jesus, it is but justice and common gratitude that I should give myself entirely to Thee, after Thou hast given Thyself entirely to me. Thou hast, in coming to me, penetrated and made godlike all my being with Thy Divinity, and so I ought henceforward to continue Thine. May these eyes, renewed by Thee, continue Thine ; may these ears, sanctified by Thee, continue Thine ; this taste, sanctified by Thee, may it be Thine. Thou hast sanctified all my senses ; may they be Thine, and so may they never again take pleasure in opposition to Thy divine Law. Thou hast sanctified my memory ; may it continually remember Thee. Thou hast sanctified my will ; may it never turn to love anything in preference to Thee. Unto Thee, then, from the very depth of my heart, I offer, as a perpetual holocaust, my body and my soul, my senses and my faculties, all that I have and am, as fully as I can. Burn, O fire divine, burn and consume, O love omnipotent, all in me which is not Thine! Amen. The Benedicite (Daniel 3: 57-88 and 56) Antiphon. Let us sing the song of the Three Children. All ye Works of the Lord, bless the Lord : praise and exalt Him above all forever. O ye Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye Heavens. O all ye Waters that are above the Heavens, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O all ye Powers of the Lord. O ye Sun and Moon, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye Stars of Heaven. O every Shower and Dew, bless ye the Lord : bless the Lord, O all ye Spirits of God. O ye Fire and Heat, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye Cold and Heat. O ye Dews and Hoarfrost, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye Frost and Cold. O ye Ice and Snow, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye Nights and Days. O ye Light and Darkness, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye Lightnings and Clouds. O let the Earth bless the Lord : let it praise and exalt Him above all forever.
O ye Mountains and Hills, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O all ye things that spring up in the earth. O ye Fountains, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye Seas and Rivers. O ye Whales, and all that move in the Waters, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O all ye Fowls of the air. O all ye Beasts and Cattle, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye Sons of men. O let Israel bless the Lord : let them praise and exalt Him above all forever. O ye Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye Servants of the Lord. O ye Spirits and Souls of the Just, bless the Lord : bless the Lord, O ye holy and humble of heart. O Ananiah, Azariah, and Misael, bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt Him above all forever. Let us bless the Father, and the Son, with the Holy Spirit : let us praise and exalt Hm above all forever. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, in the firmament of Heaven : and worthy to be praised and glorified, and exalted above all forever. Psalm 150 Praise the Lord in His holy places : praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise Him in His mighty acts : praise Him according to the multitude of His greatness. Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet : praise Him with psaltery and harp. Praise Him with timbrel and choir : praise Him with strings and organs. Praise Him upon the high-sounding cymbals : praise Him upon cymbals of joy : let every spirit praise the Lord. Alleluia. Glory be to the Father, etc. Antiphon. Let us sing the song of the Three Children, which they sang in the fiery furnace, blessing the Lord. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Our Father (inaudibly). V. And lead us not into temptation. R. But deliver us from evil. V. Let all Thy works, O Lord, praise Thee. R. And let Thy Saints bless Thee. V. The Saints shall rejoice in glory. R. They shall be joyful in their beds. V. Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us. R. But unto Thy name give the glory. V. O Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto Thee. Let us pray. O God, who for the Three Children didst assuage the flames of fire : mercifully grant that the flames of sin may not consume us Thy servants. Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy inspiration, and further them with Thy continual help ; that
every prayer and work of ours may always begin from Thee, and through Thee be brought to an end. Vouchsafe, O Lord, to extinguish within us the flames of sin ; Thou who didst grant to Blessed Lawrence grace to arise whole from his fiery torments. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas I render thanks to Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Everlasting God, who hast vouchsafed, not for any merits of mine, but of Thy great mercy only, to feed me a great sinner, Thine unworthy servant, with the precious Body and Blood of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ ; and I pray that this Holy Communion may not be for my judgment and condemnation, but for my pardon and salvation. Let it be unto me an armor of faith and a shield of good purpose, a riddance of all vices, and a rooting out of all evil desires ; an increase of love and patience, of humility and obedience, and of all virtues ; a firm defense against the wiles of all my enemies, visible and invisible ; a perfect quieting of all my impulses, fleshy and spiritual ; a cleaving unto Thee, the one true God ; and a blessed consummation of my end when Thou dost call. And I pray that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring me a sinner to that unspeakable Feast where Thou, with Thy Son and Thy Holy Spirit, art to Thy holy ones true light, full blessedness, everlasting joy, and perfect happiness Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. Prayer of St. Bonaventure O most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, transfix the affections of my inmost soul with that most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love, with true, serene, holiest Apostolic charity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with genuine love and longing for Thee, that it may desire Thee, and faint for Thy courts, long to be dissolved and to be with Thee. Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee, the Bread of Angels, the Refreshment of holy souls, our daily and supersubstantial Bread, who hast all sweetness and savor, and the sweetness of every taste. Let my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, upon whom the Angels desire to look, and my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor. May it ever thirst for Thee, the Fountain of life, the Source of wisdom and knowledge, the Fountain of eternal light, the Torrent of pleasure, the Richness of the House of God. May it ever yearn for Thee, seek Thee, find Thee, stretch towards Thee, attain to Thee, meditate upon Thee, speak of Thee, and do all things to the praise and glory of Thy holy name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with readiness and affection, with perseverance even unto the end. And be Thou ever my hope and my whole confidence ; my riches ; my delight, my pleasure, and my joy ; my rest and tranquillity ; my peace, my sweetness and my fragrace ; my sweet savor, my food and refreshment ; my refuge and my help ; my wisdom ; my portion, my possession, and my treasure, in whom my mind and my heart may ever remain fixed and firm, and rooted immovably, henceforth and forevermore. Amen. Prayer to the Blessed Virgin O most holy, O most benign, O noble and glorious Virgin Mary, who wast worthy to bear in thy sacred womb the Creator of all, and at thy virginal breast to nourish Him whose true, real, and most holy Body and Blood I, an unworthy sinner, have just now dared to receive: vouchsafe, I humbly beseech thee, to intercede with Him for me, a sinner ; that whatsoever, by ignorance or neglect, by accident or irreverence, I have left undone, or have done amiss, in this unspeakably holy Sacrifice, may be pardoned through thy prayers to the same our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen. Aspirations Who art Thou, O Lord, and what am I ? Dost Thou come unto me, O King most High, even to the very lowest of Thy servants ?
Behold, O Lord, I now have Thee, who hast all things : I possess Thee, who possessest all things and canst do all things ; therefore, O my God and my All, do Thou wean my heart from all other things beside Thee, for in them there is nothing but vanity and weariness of spirit ; on Thee alone may my heart be fixed ; in Thee be my rest, for in Thee is my treasure, in Thee is sovereign truth, true happiness, and eternal life. Let my soul, O Lord, feel the sweetness of Thy presence. May it taste how sweet Thou art, O Lord, that drawn by love of Thee, it may seek for nothing wherein to rejoice out of Thee ; for Thou art the joy of my heart, and my God, and my portion forever. Thou art the Physician of my soul, who with Thine own stripes hast healed our sickness. I am that sick soul whom Thou camest from heaven to heal ; heal my soul, therefore, for I have sinned against Thee. Thou art the Good Shepherd, who hast laid down Thy life for Thy sheep. Behold, I am that sheep which was lost, and yet Thou dost vouchsafe to feed me with Thy Body and Blood ; lay me now upon Thy shoulders. What wilt Thou refuse me, who hast given Thyself unto me ? O be Thou my Shepherd, and I shall lack nothing in the green pasture wherein Thou feedest me, until I am brought to the pastures of eternal life. O Thou true Light, which enlightenest every man who cometh into the world, enlighten mine eyes, that I sleep not in death. O Fire continually burning, and never failing ! behold how lukewarm and cold I am ; O do Thou inflame my reins and my heart, that they may be on fire with the love of Thee. For Thou camest to send fire on the earth, and what wilt Thou but that it be kindled ? O King of Heaven and earth, rich in pity ! behold, I am poor and needy : Thou knowest what I most require ; Thou alone art able to enrich and help me ; help me ; O God, and out of the treasure of Thy goodness succor Thou my needy soul. O my Lord and my God ! behold, I am Thy servant : give me understanding and kindle my affections, that I may know and do Thy will. Thou art the Lamb of God, the Lamb without spot, who takest away the sins of the world ; take away from me whatever hurteth me and displeaseth Thee ; and give me what Thou knowest to be pleasing to Thee and good for me. Thou art my love and all my joy ; Thou art my God and my all ; Thou art the portion of my inheritance and of my cup ; Thou art He that will restore my inheritance unto me. O my God and my All ! may the sweet and burning power of Thy love, I beseech Thee, so absorb my soul, that I may die unto the world for the love of Thee, who for the love of me hast vouchsafed to die upon the Cross, O my God and my All. Lord, if I had lived innocently, I could not have deserved to receive the crumbs that fall from Thy Table. How great is Thy mercy, who hast feasted me with the Bread of Angels, with the Wine of Virgins, with Manna from heaven ! O when shall I pass from this dark glass, from this veil of the Sacraments, to the vision of Thy eternal light ; from
eating Thy Body, to beholding Thy face in Thy eternal kingdom ? Let not my sins crucify the Lord of life again ; let it ever be said of me, The hand of him who betrayeth Me is with Me on the table. O that I might love Thee as well as ever any creature loved Thee ! Let me think nothing but Thee, desire nothing but Thee, enjoy nothing but Thee. O Jesus, be a Jesus unto me. Thou art all things unto me. Let nothing ever please me but what savors of Thee and Thy unspeakable sweetness. Blessed be the mercies of our Lord, who of God is made unto me wisdom, and justice, and sanctification, and redemption. Let him who glorieth glory in the Lord. Amen. Act of Adoration and Praise O Lord Jesus, sweetest Guest, mayest Thou have come happily to me, Thy poor and humble servant. Mayest Thou have entered in blessing under this mean and lowly roof. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, in the highest, for that Thou hast come into my heart, Thou Day-spring from on high. O King of peace, drive from my heart all vain and idle thoughts, that my soul may imitate and love Thee only, the Author of peace. For what beside Thee, O Thou peace, Thou calm and sweetness of my heart, should my soul seek for or desire ? Prayer for Grace Grant me Thy grace, most merciful Jesus, that it may be with me, and work with me, and continue with me even to the end. Grant me ever to will and desire what is most pleasing to Thee. Let Thy will be mine, and my will ever perfectly follow Thine, that so I may neither choose nor reject, save that Thou choosest and rejectest. Grant me to die to all that is in the world, and for love of Thee to be content to be despised and unknown in this life. Grant me, above all things, to rest in Thee, and to still my heart to perfect peace in Thee. For Thou art the true peace of the heart, Thou art its only rest, and out of Thee there is no rest. In this peace, that is in Thyself alone, my chief and eternal good, may I lie down and take my rest. Amen. Act of Thanksgiving What shall I render unto Thee, O Lord Jesus for all that Thou hast done unto me, especially on this day ? In Thy care for me Thou hast given me Thy Body for my food, and Thy Blood for my drink, and both as a pledge of future glory. Would that my lips might be opened, and my mouth filled with Thy praise, that I might sing of Thy glory and of Thy greatness all the day long, and tell of all Thy wondrous works. O my soul, magnify the Lord, from whom thou hast received blessings so many and so great ; and rejoice, my spirit, in God thy Saviour : for He hath looked down on my lowliness ; and the Mighty One hath done great things for me, and hath filled me, when hungry, with good things. Let my words please Thee, O Lord ; my joy shall be in Thee, and I will strive to practice Thy commandments. Hold Thou me by Thy right hand, and guide me by Thy will, that Thou mayest afterwards receive me into Thy glory, for Thy mercy’s sake. Amen. Act of Union with Christ and the Blessed Virgin O most merciful Father, who hast so loved me as to give me Thine Only-begotten Son for my food and drink, and
with Him all things, look upon the Face of Thine Anointed, in whom Thou art well pleased. This Thy Beloved Son, and with Him my heart, I offer and present to Thee for all the blessings Thou hast this day given me. Mayest Thou, O Father, be now well-pleased in Him, and through Him turn away Thine indignation from me. Behold the One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, my Advocate and High-Priest, who intercedes for me. Him do I offer and plead before Thee, who committed no sin, but bore the sin of the world, and by whose stripes we are healed. Accept, therefore, O Holy Father, this Unspotted Victim, to the honor and glory of Thy name, in thanksgiving for all the blessings Thou hast ever bestowed upon me, for the remission also of my sins, and for the supply of all my defects and shortcomings. O Blessed Virgin, Mother of my God and Saviour, present my petitions to thy Son. O all ye Angels and Saints, citizens of heaven, join also your prayers with mine. Ye stand always before the Throne, and see Him face to face, whom I here receive under veils. Be ever mindful of me, and obtain from Him and through Him that with you I may bless Him and love Him forever. Amen. Act of Self-Consecration O Lord, since I am Thy servant and the son of Thy handmaid, I renounce the devil and all his works and pomps ; all the vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh. Thou alone art the God of my heart ; Thou, O God, art my portion for ever. Thou art the portion of my inheritance and of my cup. Thou art He that will restore my inheritance unto me. Do Thou therefore take for Thine own all the powers of my soul, my memory, my intellect, and my will. All that I am, and all that I have, Thou hast bestowed upon me : therefore I give back all to Thee, and surrender it to be wholly governed by Thy sovereign will. Grant me but grace to love Thee alone, and I am rich enough and ask no more. Prayer Before a Crucifix Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul I pray and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart, lively sentiments of Faith, Hope, and Charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, whilst with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five most precious Wounds ; having before my eyes the words which David in prophecy spoke concerning Thyself, O good Jesus: “They have pierced my hands and feet ; they have numbered all my bones.” ST. ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI: Prayer Behold, my Jesus, Thou art come, Thou art now within me, and hast made Thyself all mine. Be Thou welcome, my Beloved Redeemer. I adore Thee, and cast myself at Thy feet ; I embrace Thee, I press Thee to my heart, and thank Thee for that Thou hast deigned to enter into my breast. O Mary, O my patron saints, O my guardian angel, do you all thank him for me! Since then, O my Divine King! Thou art come to visit me with so much love, I give Thee my will, my liberty, and my whole self. Thou hast given Thyself all to me, I will give myself all to Thee ; I will no longer belong to myself ; from this day forward I will be Thine, and altogether Thine. I desire that my soul, my body, my faculties, my senses, should be all Thine, that they may be employed in serving and pleasing Thee. To Thee I consecrate all my thoughts, my desires, my affections, and all my life. I have offended Thee enough, my Jesus ; I desire to spend the remainder of my life in loving Thee, who hast loved me so much. Accept, O God of my soul, the sacrifice which I, a miserable sinner, make to Thee, and who desires only to love and
please Thee. Work Thou in me, and dispose of me, and of all things belonging to me all those affections which are displeasing to Thee, that I may be all Thine, and may live only to please Thee! I ask Thee not for goods of this world, for pleasures, for honors ; give me, I pray Thee, by the merits of Thy Passion, O my Jesus, a constant sorrow for my sins! Enlighten me, and make me know the vanity of worldly goods, and how much Thou dost deserve to be loved. Separate me from all attachment to the world, and bind me entirely to Thy love, that from henceforth my will may neither seek nor desire anything but what Thou willest. Give me patience and resignation in infirmities, in poverty, and in all those things which are contrary to my self-love. Make me gentle towards those who despise me. Give me a holy death. Give me Thy holy love. And, above all, I pray Thee to give me perseverance in Thy grace till death ; never permit me to separate myself from Thee again: Jesu dulcissime, ne permittas me separari a Te. And I also ask of Thee the grace always to have recourse to Thee, and to invoke Thy aid, O my Jesus, in all my temptations ; and the grace to ask Thee always for holy perseverance. O Eternal Father, Thy Son Jesus Christ has promised me that Thou wilt grant me everything that I shall ask Thee in his name: If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you. In the name therefore, and by the merits of this Son, I ask for Thy love and holy perseverance, that I may one day love Thee in heaven with all my strength, and sing Thy mercies forever, secure of never more being separated from Thee. O most holy Mary, my mother and my hope, obtain for me these graces which I so desire ; as also a great love for thee, my Queen: may I always recommend myself to thee in all my necessities! An Act of Faith Behold, my God is even now come to visit me ; my Saviour to dwell in my soul. My Jesus is even now within me. He is come to make himself mine, and at the same time to make me his. So that Jesus is mine, and I belong to Jesus: Jesus is all mine, and I am all his. O Infinite Goodness! O Infinite Mercy! O Infinite Love ! that a God should come to unite himself to me, and to make himself all mine ! My soul, now that thou art thus closely bound to Jesus, that thou art thus one with him, what doest thou? Hast thou nothing to say to him ; dost thou not converse with thy God, who is with thee ? Ah, yes, renew thy faith ; remember that the angels now surround thee adoring their God, who is within thy breast, do thou also adore thy Lord within thyself. Enter into thyself, and banish thence every other thought. Unite all thy affections, and, clinging closely to thy God, say: An Act of Welcome Ah, my Jesus, my love, my infinite good, my all, be ever welcome in the poor dwelling of my soul ! Ah, my Lord, where art Thou ! to what a place art Thou come ! Thou hast entered my heart, which is far worse than the stable in which Thou wast born ; it is full of earthly affections, of self-love, and of inordinate desires. And how couldst Thou come to dwell  there ? I would address Thee with St. Peter: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man. Yes, depart from me, O Lord, for I am indeed unworthy to receive a God of infinite goodness ; go and find repose in those pure souls who serve Thee with so much love. But no, my Redeemer ; what do I say ? Leave me not ; for if Thou departest, I am lost. I embrace Thee, my life ; I cling to Thee. Mad indeed have I been in having separated myself from Thee for the love of creatures ; and in my ingratitude I drove Thee from me. But now I will never more separate myself from Thee, my treasure ; I desire to live and die ever united to Thee. Most blessed Virgin Mary, Seraphim, and all souls, do ye who love God with pure love lend me your affections, that I may worthily attend on my beloved Lord.
An Act of Thanksgiving My God and Lord, I thank Thee for the grace which Thou hast this morning bestowed upon me, of coming to dwell in my soul ; but I would wish to thank Thee in a manner worthy of Thee and of the great favor which Thou hast done me. But what do I say ? how can so miserable a creature as I am ever worthily thank Thee ? Father Segneri says, that the feeling most becoming a soul that communicates is that of wondering astonishment at the thought, and to repeat, “A God is united  to me ; a God is mine !” David said, What shall I render to the Lord for all the things that He hath rendered to me? But I ! what return shall I make to Thee, my Jesus, who, after having given me so many of Thy good things, hast this morning, moreover, given me Thyself ? My soul, bless, then, and thank thy God as best as thou canst. And thou, my Mother Mary, my holy advocates, my guardian angel, and all ye souls who love God, Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I  will tell you what great things He hath done for my soul. Come and bless and thank my God for me, admiring and praising the indeed great graces which he has granted me. An Act of Oblation  My Beloved to me, and I to Him. Should a king go to visit a poor shepherd in his hut, what can the shepherd offer him other than his whole hut, such as it is ? Since, then, O Jesus, my divine king, Thou hast come to visit the poor house of my soul, I offer and give Thee this house and my entire self, together with my liberty and will: My Beloved to me, and I to Him. Thou hast given Thyself all to me ; I give myself all to Thee. My Jesus, from this day forward I will be no longer mine ; I will be Thine, and all Thine. May my senses be Thine, that they may only serve me to please Thee. And what greater pleasure, says Peter of Alcantara, can be found, than that of pleasing Thee, most amiable, most loving, most gracious God? I at the same time give Thee all the powers of my soul, and I will that they shall be all Thine ; my memory I will only use to recall to mind Thy benefits and Thy love ; my understanding I will only use to think of Thee, who always thinkest of my good ; my will I will only use to love Thee, my God, my all, and to will only that which Thou willest. My most sweet Lord, I offer, then, and consecrate to Thee this morning all that I am and have – my senses, my thoughts, my affections, my desires, my pleasures, my inclinations, my liberty ; in a word, I place my whole body and soul in Thy hands. Accept, O Infinite Majesty, the sacrifice of the hitherto most ungrateful sinner Thou hast ever had on earth ; but who now offers and gives himself all to Thee. Do with me and dispose of me, O Lord, as Thou pleasest. Come, O consuming fire, O divine love! And consume in me all that is mine, and that is displeasing in Thy most pure eyes, so that henceforward I may be all Thine, and may live only to execute, not Thy commands and counsels only, but also all Thy holy desires and Thy good pleasure. Amen. O most holy Mary, do thou present this offering of mine to the Most Blessed Trinity with thine own hands ; and do thou obtain their acceptance of it, and that they may grant me the grace to be faithful unto death. Amen, amen, amen. An Act of Petition O my soul, what art thou doing ? The present is no time to be lost : it is a precious time, in which thou canst receive all the graces that thou askest. Seest thou not the Eternal Father, who is lovingly beholding thee ? for within thee he sees his beloved Son, the dearest object of his love. Drive, then, far from thee all other thoughts ; rekindle thy faith, enlarge thy heart, and ask for whatever thou willest.  Hearest thou not Jesus himself who thus addresses thee : What wilt thou that I should do to thee? O soul, tell me, what dost thou desire of me ? I am come for the express purpose of enriching and gratifying thee ; ask with confidence,
and thou wilt receive all. Ah ! my most sweet Saviour, since Thou hast come into my heart in order to grant me graces, and desirest that I should ask Thee for them, I ask Thee not for the goods of the earth – riches, honors, or pleasures ; but grant me, I beseech Thee, intense sorrow for the displeasure that I have caused Thee ; impart to me so clear a light, that I may know the vanity of this world, and how deserving Thou art of love. Change this heart of mine, detach it from all earthly affections ; give me a heart conformable in all things to Thy holy will, that it may seek only that which is more pleasing to Thee, and have no other  desire than Thy holy love: Create a clean heart in me, O God. I deserve not this ; but Thou, my Jesus, deservest it, since Thou art come to dwell in my soul : I ask it of Thee through Thy merits, and those of Thy most holy Mother, and by the love which Thou bearest to Thy Eternal Father. Eternal Father, Jesus Christ himself, Thy Son, has said, Amen, amen, I say to you, If you ask the Father anything in  My Name, He will give it to you. For the love, then, of this Son, whom I now hold within my breast, do Thou graciously hear me and grant my petition.  Amores mei dulcissimi, Jesu et Maria ! pro vobis patiar, pro vobis moriar ; sim totus vester, sim nihil meus . “My most sweet Loves, Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you, may I die for you ; may I be all yours, and in nothing my own !” Loving Aspirations to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament After Holy Communion I.  Trahe me : post te curremus in odorem unguentorum tuorum – “Draw me : we will run after Thee to the odor of Thy ointments.” Since, then, O my dear Jesus, I cannot, while in this life, ascend to Thee, Thou hast willed to descend to me, to unite Thyself to me in this sacrament of love. Draw me, my Lord, all to Thee. I do not wish to draw Thee to me, that Thou shouldst do my pleasure ; but I desire that Thou shouldst draw me so entirely to Thee by Thy sweet attractions, that I may not be able to desire or to do anything else but Thy most holy will. It is just that my inclinations should yield to Thy disposition. Take me up wholly to Thyself ; and so united, I shall be free from earthly affections, and shall run with Thee in the path of virtue, and be able to repose peacefully in Thy divine will both in this life and in the next : In peace, in the self same I will sleep, and I will rest. II.  Introduxit me in cellam vinariam, ordinavit in me charitatem – “The King brought me into the cellar of wine, and set in order charity in me.” It is precisely by this cellar of wine that St. Bonaventure understands the Holy Communion which introduces and then unites the soul to its divine king, and gives it to taste that wine of love which destroys the desire of created things ; infuses a well-regulated love, that is just towards itself, charitable towards its neighbor, supreme towards God, loving him above all things, who above all things deserves to be loved. O Jesus, my king, only Lord of my heart, Thou hast already brought me into the beautiful cellar of Thy love, that is,
into Thyself, uniting me to Thee by means of this sacrament of love. Yes, my Lord, I already feel my heart changed. I feel a holy desire, which gives me peace, and makes me loathe all impure affections, and enkindles in me the pure love of Thee. O my Jesus, since Thou hast given me an entrance to this beautiful cellar, let me no more depart from it. Since Thou hast united Thyself to me, do not leave me again. Detach me from the love of all creatures. Unite me to Thee continually more and more on this earth, that I may one day come to be perfectly united to Thee in heaven ; where I shall love Thee face to face with all my strength, without interruption and without imperfection throughout all eternity. III.  Dilectus meus descendit ad hortum suum, ...ut pascatur in hortis, et lilia colligat – “My Beloved is gone down into His garden ... to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.” My sweet Saviour, since Thou dost descend from heaven to come into my soul, by Thy grace do Thou make it become Thy garden, that Thou mayest gather in it lilies and fruits which are agreeable to Thee. Pardon me, if I have offended Thee. Receive me, if I have left Thee, now that I return penitent to Thee. Give me that purity which Thou dost desire to see in me. Give me strength to do what Thou desirest. Grant me Thy true love, and then shall I become pleasing to Thee. I sacrifice to Thee all my inclinations, and I desire and wish for nothing but to please Thee. IV.  Totus desiderabilis, talis est Dilectus meus – “He is all lovely ; such is my Beloved.” Jesus, to those souls who love him as spouses, makes himself altogether desirable, whether he chastises or consoles them, whether he appears near or distant, because he does it all for love, and that he may be loved. Treat me then, O my Jesus, as Thou wilt, I will always love Thee ; whether Thou dost give me sweetnesses or tribulations, I know that all will come to me from Thy loving heart, and that all will be for my greater good. My heart is  ready, O God, my heart is ready. Behold, my will is ready, O Lord, to accept all that Thou shalt ordain. I will bless the  Lord at all times. At all times, whether prosperous or adverse, I will bless Thee, and love Thee, O my Creator. I neither seek nor merit any consolation from Thee ; for I have given Thee nothing but bitterness by my sins: I seel only Thy good pleasure. Provided Thou art satisfied, I shall be content with any punishment. My Jesus, my Jesus, whether far off or near, Thou shalt always be desirable to me, always dear ; whether Thou dost console or afflict me, I will always love Thee, always thank Thee. V. Quae est ista quae ascendit de deserto, deliciis affluens, innixa super Dilectum suum ? cometh up from the desert flowing with delights, leaning upon her Beloved ?” Who, then, are those souls who, living on the earth, esteem it a desert ? so that, detached from visible things, they live only to God ; as if there was no one else but God, whom alone they love and desire to please. And in this way they almost go out of the world, and raise themselves above it ; enjoying the delights which are experienced by those who wish for God alone, and who place in God all their hopes. Who, then, are these faithful souls, if not those who often and with pure love unite themselves to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament ? Yes, my God, such do I also desire to be by the means of Thy grace, detached from all things, and to be all Thine. Henceforth the world shall be to me a desert, where, flying from all attachment to creatures, I will think of nothing but Thee ; as if Thou and I were the only persons there. In Thee alone will I put all my confidence, all my love, O God, O beloved God,  -- “Who is this that
my hope, my love, my all. VI. If she be a wall, let us build upon it bulwarks of silver ; if she be a door, let us join it together with boards of  This is precisely what Jesus does when he comes to a soul in the Holy Communion. He sees that she is a wall too weak to be able to resist the assaults of hell ; therefore, by the virtue of the sacrament, he fortifies her with bulwarks of silver, that is, with his divine light. He sees that she is a door inclined easily to be corrupted, and he renews it, adjusting her with the planks of strength and perseverance, as is signified by cedar, which is a strong and incorruptible wood ; that is, with the gifts of holy fear, with detachment from creatures, with the love of prayer, with supplications, with holy desires, and still more with  the gift of divine love, which are the support of holy perseverance: Bread strengthens man’s heart. Jesus teaches us, that as earthly bread preserves the life of the body, so the heavenly bread of the Holy Communion preserves the life of the soul :  He that eatheth Me, the same shall live by Me. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in Me and I in  him. Such are the gracious promises which Jesus makes to him who receives him in the Blessed Sacrament. Ah, my Jesus ! who is weaker and more unfaithful than I ? Thou knowest well how many times I have yielded to my enemies, and how many times they have seized the gate, that is, my will, by which they have entered to ruin me by causing me to lose Thy friendship. Oh, fortify me with Thy light and strength, that I may no more lose Thee or drive Thee from me ! My Lord and my dear Redeemer, if I am to turn back and offend Thee again, oh, let me die now, while I hope that I am in Thy grace and united to Thee ! I trust not myself ; no, nor will I ever, my dear Jesus, live without Thee. But as long as I live, I am in danger of changing my will and betraying Thee, as I have done before: do Thou help me. Help me also, most holy Mary ; have pity on me : thou who art the Mother of perseverance, obtain for me this gift from thy Jesus. Of thee I seek it, of thee I hope it, of thee I ask it. VII.  Inveni, quem diligit anima mea ; tenui eum, nec dimittam! “I found Him whom my soul loveth : I held Him, and I will not let Him go.” So ought every soul to say who is united with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament: Creatures, depart from me ; go out altogether from my heart. I loved you once, because I was blind ; now I love you not, nor can I ever love you again. I have found another good, infinitely more delightful than you ; I have found in myself my Jesus, who has enamoured me by his beauty ; to this love I have given myself entirely. He has already accepted me, so that I am no longer my own. Creatures, farewell: I am not, nor shall I ever again be yours ; but I am and shall be always Christ’s. He, too, is mine, and will always be  mine: I held Him, and I will not let Him go. Now I have pressed him to my heart, receiving him in the Holy Communion ; for the future I will hold him with my love, and will not let him leave me anymore. Permit me, sweet Saviour, to embrace Thee so closely, that I may never more be separated from Thee. Behold, I press Thee to myself, my Jesus ; I love Thee, I love Thee ; and, oh, that I could love Thee worthily. I wish that my only happiness and repose should be to love Thee and please Thee. Do Thou command all creatures to leave me, and not to  disturb me ; say to them, I adjure you, do not arouse or waken My love. Ah, if I do not wish it, creatures cannot enter in to disturb and divide me from Thee. Strengthen, then, my will, unite my miserable heart to Thy divine heart, that it may always will what Thou wilt. Do this, Lord, by Thy merits. Amen, amen. So do I hope ; so may it be. VIII.
 Surge, aquilo, et veni, auster ; perfla hortum meum, et fluant aromata illius – “Arise, O north wind, and come, O south wind, blow through my garden, and let the aromatical spices thereof flow.” Fly from me, O north wind ! hurtful and cold wind of earthly affections ; and come, thou soft, warm breeze of the sacred love of the Holy Spirit, which comes from the Heart of my Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Do thou alone breathe through my soul, which has been chosen by Jesus for his garden of delights. Blow ; for by thy breath how many fresh and sweet odors of holy virtues shalt thou draw forth from me ! My Jesus, my Jesus, Thou canst do this ; and this do I hope from Thee. IX. Messui myrrham meam cum aromatibus meis, comedi favum cum melle meo my aromatical spices: I have eaten the honeycomb with my honey.” A soul which has received Jesus must be careful to gather myrrh, that it may always offer the sweet odor of those virtues which arise from mortification. I have eaten honeycomb with my honey. In like manner, the soul that loves God alone is not satisfied with the honey, but will also have the honeycomb ; therefore it says to Jesus: O Lord, Thy consolations are not sufficient for me, unless Thou givest me Thyself, who art the fountain of consolation ; the fruits of love are not enough for me, if Thou dost not give me also Thyself, who art the object of my love. Truly Thou alone wilt suffice for me ; I am ready to renounce all Thy delights, provided I possess Thee alone, my God, and my only good. I love Thee, not to please myself, but to please Thee ; for Thou dost desire to be loved by me, and Thou art worthy of all our love, whether Thou dost console or try us. X. Nihil mihi deerit ; in loco pascuae ibi me collocavit nothing.” Ah, my beloved Jesus ! since Thou dost invite me in this feast of love to feed on Thy divine flesh, what more can I  ever want? The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Whom shall I fear, if Thou, O God omnipotent, art my light and my salvation ? I give myself all to Thee. Accept me, and then do with me what Thou wilt ; chastise me, show Thine indignation towards me when Thou wilt ; kill me, destroy me, and I will say always, with Job: Although He should kill  me, I will trust in Him. Whilst I am Thine, and Thou lovest me, I am content to be treated by Thee with every hardship ; to be even annihilated, if it so pleases Thee. XI. In manibus meis descripsi te ; muri tui coram oculis meis semper are always before my eyes.” See the loving care that God takes of a soul that he wishes to have to himself. He carries it written in his hands, so that he may never forget it, and says, that sooner would a mother forget her own son that he a soul in grace: And if she  should forget, yet will I not forget thee. And thy walls are always before My eyes. His eyes are always open, to watch  over that soul, so that its enemies do it no harm : Thou hast crowned us, as with a shield of Thy good-will. Our good God surrounds us with the protection of his good-will, wholly solicitous for our good ; and so he delivers us from all dangers. Ah, my God ! infinite goodness, who more than any other lovest me and desirest my good, I abandon myself entirely to Thee. Should every other hope fail me, Thou wilt never fail me. I know that I also must cooperate by obeying Thy  holy will. Lord, what wilt Thou have me do? Nothing else can I say ; behold me ready and determined, my sweet  – “I have graven thee in My hands ; thy walls  – “He hath sent me in a place of pasture, and I shall want  – “I have gathered my myrrh, with
 Saviour, to do what Thou pleasest: Thy will be done. Nothing else do I desire but to accomplish Thy will. But do Thou help me, otherwise I shall do no good at all. Teach me not only to know, but also to do, all that pleases Thee: teach me to do  Thy will. Eternal Father, grant that I may be able to say with truth, as Thy Jesus did wilst he was on earth : I always do  the things that are pleasing to Him. My God ! this I desire, this I pray for, and this I hope, through the merits of Thy Son and the most holy Mary. XII.  Praebe, fili mi, cor tuum mihi – “My son, give Me thy heart.” O my soul, behold this is all that thy Lord asks of thee ; when he comes to visit thee, he would have thy heart and thy will. He gives himself to thee without reserve ; it is but reasonable that thou shouldst also give him all thyself without reserve,  taking care to follow his will in all things: For the Lord will return to rejoice over thee in all good things. Act in such a manner as that Jesus, when he comes to thee again, may find that thou hast executed all his designs. My Jesus ! I wish to please Thee ; help Thou my desire. Give me strength, and do with me whatsoever Thou pleasest. XIII.  Quid est quod debut ultra facere vineae meae, et non feci ei? -- “What is there that I ought to do to my vineyard, that I have not done to it ?” My soul, hear what thy God says to thee: What ought I to do more for thee than I have done? For love of thee I   became man: I am the Word made flesh. Instead of Lord, I have become servant: taking the form of a servant. I  went so far as to be born in a stable, like a worm – for worms are born in stables : I am a worm, and no man. I died for  thee, I died upon the tree of shame : I was made obedient to death, even the death of the Cross. What remained more for me to do, but to give my life for thee ? Greater love than this no man hath, that he should lay down his life for his friends.  But my love has invented and done more for thee. After my death, I have chosen to leave myself in the Most Blessed Sacrament, to give my whole self as food. Tell me what more could I have done to gain thy love? It is true, my Lord and my Redeemer ; what can I answer? I have nothing to say. Thou hast been too good to me, and I have been too ungrateful towards Thee. I wonder at Thy immense goodness ; I see my own baseness, and I throw myself at Thy feet, and say: Have pity on me, my Jesus, though I have repaid Thy love with so much ingratitude. Avenge Thyself, therefore, I pray Thee, avenge Thyself upon me, and chastise me ; but do not abandon me ; chastise me and change me. Let me not live any longer ungrateful to Thee. Grant that I may love Thee at least out of gratitude, and that before I die I may make Thee some recompense for Thy love. XIV. Pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum  – “Put Me as a seal upon thy heart.”
Yet, my beloved Jesus, since I have consecrated to Thee my whole heart, it is but just that I should put Thee as a seal of love upon it, to close the entrance against any other affection ; and thus to make known to all that my heart is Thine, and that Thou alone possessest dominion over it. But, my Lord, what dost Thou hope from me, if Thou dost not do the work Thyself ? I can do nothing but give Thee my poor heart, that Thou mayest dispose of me according to Thy pleasure. Behold, I give it all to Thee, I consecrate it to Thee, I sacrifice it to Thee. Do Thou possess it forever ; I will no longer have any part in it. If Thou lovest it, mayest Thou be able to preserve it for Thyself. Leave it no longer in my hands, lest I should again take it from Thee. O God most gracious, O infinite love, since Thou hast so constrained me to love Thee, I pray Thee, make Thyself loved, make Thyself loved by me. I only wish to love Thee in order to please Thee. Thou who dost work
miracles to be able to enter into my heart in this sacrament, work also this one, make my heart all Thine ; but all, all, all, without division, without reserve, so that I may say, both in this life and in eternity, that Thou art the only Lord of my heart,  and my only treasure: God is the God of my heart, and my portion forever. Most holy Mary, my Mother and my hope, do thou help me, and I shall certainly be heard. Amen, amen. This I wish, this I hope. So be it. Adoro Te Devote Hidden God, devoutly I adore you, Truly present underneath these veils: All my heart subdues itself before you, Since it all before you faints and fails. Not to sight, or taste, or touch be credit, Hearing only do we trust secure; I believe, for God the Son has said it – Word of Truth that ever shall endure. On the cross was veiled your Godhead’s splendor, Here your manhood lies hidden too; Unto both alike my faith I render, And, as sued the contrite thief, I sue. Though I look not on your wounds with Thomas, You, my Lord, and you, my God, I call: Make me more and more believe your promise, Hope in you, and love you over all. O memorial of my Saviour dying Living Bread, that gives life to man; Make my soul, its life from you supplying, Taste your sweetness, as on earth it can. Deign, O Jesus, Pelican of heaven, Me, a sinner, in your Blood to lave, To a single drop of which is given All the world from all its sin to save. Contemplating, Lord, your hidden presence, Grant me what I thirst for and implore, In the revelation of your essence To behold your glory evermore. Prayer of Self-Dedication to Jesus Christ Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will. All that I have and cherish you
have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will. Your grace and your love are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more. Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you, asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall, good Jesus, the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have counted all my bones! Anima Christi Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, heal me. Blood of Christ, drench me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. Good Jesus, hear me. In your wounds shelter me. From turning away keep me. From the evil one protect me. At the hour of my death call me. Into your presence lead me, to praise you with all your saints for ever and ever. Amen. Prayer to the Virgin Mary Mary, holy virgin mother, I have received your Son, Jesus Christ. With love you became his mother, gave birth to him, nursed him, and helped him grow to manhood. With love I return him to you, to hold once more, to love with all your heart, and to offer to the Holy Trinity as our supreme act of worship for your honor and for the good of all your pilgrim brothers and sisters. Mother, ask God to forgive my sins and to help me serve him more faithfully. Keep me true to Christ until death, and let me come to praise him with you for ever and ever. Amen. A Prayer to St. Joseph St. Joseph, father and guardian of virgin, to whose faithful keeping Christ Jesus, innocence itself, and Mary, the virgin of virgins, were entrusted, I pray and beseech you by that twofold and most precious charge, by Jesus and Mary, to save me from all uncleanness, to keep my mind untainted, my heart pure, and my body chaste ; and to help me always to serve Jesus and Mary in perfect chastity. Amen. Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle ; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen. Litany of Humility (composed by Cardinal Merry del Val)
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, hear me From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me Jesus From the desire of being loved, etc. From the desire of being extolled, From the desire of being honored, From the desire of being praised, From the desire of being preferred to others, From the desire of being consulted, From the desire of being approved, From the fear of being humiliated, From the fear of being despised, From the fear of suffering rebukes, From the fear of being calumniated, From the fear of being forgotten, From the fear being ridiculed, From the fear of being wronged, From the fear of being suspected, That others may be loved more than I, Jesus grant me the grace to desire it That others may be esteemed more than I, etc. That in the opinion of the world others may increase and I may decrease, That others may be chosen and I set aside, That others may be praised and I unnoticed, That others may be preferred to me in everything, That others become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should. Whom I Have Received I welcome the true Body born of the Virgin Mary. The Body that truly suffered and was sacrificed on the cross for mankind. The Body whose pierced side poured out true Blood. Be for us a food of future strength for the time of death. Dear king, holy, sweet Jesus, Son of Mary. Prayer of Adoration I adore You present in me, Incarnate Word, only-begotten Son and splendor of the Father, born of Mary. I thank You, sole Master and Truth, for Your supreme condescension in coming to me, ignorant and sinful as I am. With Mary I offer You to the Father: through You, with You, in You, may there be eternal praise, thanksgiving and supplication for peace to man. Enlighten my mind ; make me a docile disciple of the Church ; grant that I may live of faith ; give me an understanding of the Scriptures. Make me Your ardent apostle. Let the light of Your Gospel, O Divine Master, shine to the farthest bounds of the world. Prayer of Resolution O Jesus, You are the Way which I must follow ; the perfect Model which I must imitate. In presenting myself at the judgment I want to be found similar to You. O divine Model of humility and obedience, make me similar to You. O perfect example of mortification and purity, make me similar to You. O Jesus, poor and patient, make me similar to You. O exemplar of charity and ardent zeal, make me similar to You.
Prayer of Petition O Jesus, my Life, my joy and source of all good, I love You. Above all, I ask of You that I may love You more and more and the souls redeemed by Your blood. You are the vine and I am the branch: I want to stay united to You always so as to bring forth many fruits. You are the source: pour out an ever greater abundance of grace to sanctify my soul. You are my head, I, Your member: communicate to me Your Holy Spirit with all His gifts. May Your kingdom come through Mary. Console and save those dear to me. Free the souls in purgatory. Multiply and sanctify those called to the apostolate. Prayer for Purity Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give and consecrate my entire self to you: mind, heart and body. Guard and defend me always from every sin. May my mind be uplifted to heavenly things. May my heart love God ever more. May I avoid every evil occasion. Keep me near you, so that I may keep a close watch over my internal and external senses. In heaven may I join the company of the pure forever. Amen. Prayer of St. Pius X to Foster the Practice of Daily Communion O most sweet Jesus, who has come into this world to give to all souls the life of Your grace, and who, to preserve and increase it in them, has willed to be the daily Remedy of their infirmity and the Food for each day, we humbly beg You – by Your heart so burning with love for us – to pour Your divine Spirit upon all souls in order that those who have the misfortune to be in the state of mortal sin may, returning to You, find the life of grace which they have lost. And grant that those who are already living by this divine life may devoutly approach Your divine table every day when it is possible, so that receiving each day in Holy Communion the antidote of their daily venial sins, and each day sustaining in themselves the life of Your grace and thus ever purifying themselves the more, they may finally come to a happy life with You. THOMAS A KEMPIS: Act of Faith O Jesus, I believe that I have received Thy Flesh to eat and Thy Blood to drink, because Thou hast it and Thy word is true. Act of Adoration O Jesus, my God, my Creator, I adore Thee, because from Thy hands I came, and with Thee I am to be happy forever. Act of Humility O Jesus, I am but dust and ashes, and yet Thou hast come to me, and my poor heart may speak to Thee. Act of Love Sweet Jesus, I love Thee ; I love Thee with all my heart. Thou knowest that I love Thee, and wish to love Thee daily more and more. Act of Thanksgiving My good Jesus, I thank Thee with all my heart. How good, how kind Thou art to me, sweet Jesus! Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.
Act of Offering O Jesus, receive my poor offering ; Jesus, Thou hast given Thyself to me, and now let me give myself to Thee. Sweet Jesus, I am going away for a time, but I trust not without Thee. Thou art with me by Thy grace. I will never leave Thee by mortal sin. I do not fear to do so, though I am so weak, because I have so much hope in Thee. Give me the grace to persevere. Amen. POPE CLEMENT XI (attributed to): The Universal Prayer Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith. I trust in you : strengthen my trust. I love you: let me love you more and more. I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow. I worship you as my first beginning. I long for you as my last end, I praise you as my constant helper, and call on you as my loving protector. Guide me by your wisdom, correct me with your justice, comfort me with your mercy, protect me with your power. I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you ; my words : to have you for their theme ; my actions : to reflect my love for you ; my sufferings : to be endured for your greater glory. I want to do what you ask of me : in the way you ask, because you ask it. Lord, enlighten my understanding, strengthen my will, purify my heart, and make me holy. Help me to repent of my past sins and to resist temptation in the future. Help me to rise above my human weakness and to grow stronger as a Christian. Let me love you, my Lord and my God, and see myself as I really am : a pilgrim in this world, a Christian called to respect and love all whose lives I touch, those in authority over me or those under my authority, my friends and my enemies. Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor. Help me to forget myself and reach out toward others. Make me prudent in planning, courageous in taking risks. Make me patient in suffering, unassuming in prosperity. Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer, temperate in food and drink, diligent in my work, firm in my good intentions. Let my conscience be clear, my conduct without fault, my speech blameless, my life well-ordered. Put me on guard against my human weakness. Let me cherish your love for me, keep your law, and come at last to your salvation. Teach me to realize that this world is passing, that my true future is the happiness of heaven, that life on earth is short, and the life to come eternal. Help me to prepare for death with a proper fear of judgment, but a greater trust in your goodness. Lead me safely through death to the endless joy of heaven. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. For the Whole Church Defend us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, from all dangers both of soul and body; and, by the intercession of the glorious and blessed Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of Thy holy Apostles Peter and Paul, of blessed N. [here insert the name of your Patron Saint], and of all Thy Saints, grant us, in Thy mercy, health and peace; that all adversities and errors being done away, Thy Church may serve Thee with a pure and undisturbed devotion. For the Pope O God, the Pastor and Ruler of all the faithful, look down, in Thy mercy, upon Thy servant N. [here mention the Pope’s name], whom Thou hast appointed to preside over Thy Church; and grant, we beseech Thee, that both by word and example he may edify all those who are under his charge; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may arrive at length unto life everlasting. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, etc. Amen. For Bishops, and the People Committed to Them Almighty and Everlasting God, who alone dost great wonders, send down upon Thy servants, and the congregations committed unto them, the spirit of Thy saving grace; and that they may truly please Thee, pour forth upon them the continual dew of Thy blessing.
For the Bishop of the Diocese Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to Thy servant our Bishop, that, by preaching and doing such things as are right, he may by the example of good works edify the minds of those under his authority, and receive of Thee, most tender Shepherd, an everlasting recompense and reward. Against the Persecutors of the Church Mercifully hear, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the prayers of Thy Church: that, all adversities and errors being done away, we may serve Thee with a pure and undisturbed devotion. In Any Necessity O God, our refuge and our strength, who art the Author of all goodness: hear, we beseech Thee, the devout prayers of Thy Church; and grant that what we faithfully ask we may effectually obtain. Through our Lord. In Any Tribulation O Almighty God, despise not Thy people who cry unto Thee in their affliction; but, for the glory of Thy name, turn away Thine anger, and help us in our tribulations. For the Gift of Tears Almighty and most merciful God, who didst cause a fount of living water to spring out of a rock, for Thy people in their thirst: draw forth tears of compunction from our stony hearts; that we may weep over our sins, and by Thy mercy deserve to obtain pardon for the same. For Forgiveness of Sins O God, who rejectest none that come unto Thee, but in loving-kindness art appeased even with the greatest sinners who repent: mercifully regard our prayers in our humiliation, and enlighten our hearts that we may be able to fullfil Thy commandments. For the Tempted and the Afflicted O God, who justifiest the ungodly, and willest not the death of a sinner: we humbly entreat Thy majesty to protect Thy servants, who trust in Thy mercy, with Thy heavenly assistance, and preserve them by Thy continual protection; that they may constantly serve Thee, and by no temptation be separated from Thee. Against Evil Thoughts Almighty and most merciful God, graciously hearken unto our prayers: and free our hearts from the temptations of evil thoughts; that we may worthily become a fit habitation for Thy Holy Spirit. For the Gift of Continence Inflame, O Lord, our reigns and our hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit: that we may serve Thee with a chaste body, and please Thee with a pure mind. For the Gift of Humility O God, who resistest the proud, and givest grace to the humble: grant us the virtue of true humility, whereof Thine Only-begotten showed in Himself a pattern for Thy faithful; that we may never by our pride provoke Thine anger, but rather by our meekness receive the riches of Thy grace.
For the Gift of Patience O God, who didst crush the pride of the enemy by the long-suffering of Thine Only-begotten Son: grant, we bessech Thee, that we may worthily recall those things which in His tender love He bore for us; and thus following His example may patiently endure all our adversities. For the Gift of Charity O God, who makest all things to work together for good unto those who love Thee; give to our hearts the lasting affection of Thy love; that such desires as are inspired by Thee may never be changed by any temptation. For Heretics and Schismatics O Almighty and Everlasting God, who hast compassion on all, and wouldst not that any should perish: favorably look down upon all those who are seduced by the deceit of Satan; that, all heretical impiety being removed, the hearts of such as err may repent and return to the unity of Thy truth. For Pagans O Almighty and Everlasting God, who desirest not the death but the life of sinners mercifully accept our prayers, and, delivering pagans from the worship of idols, unite them to Thy Church, to the praise and honor of Thy glorious name. For Our Friends O God, who, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, hast poured into the hearts of Thy faithful the gifts of charity: grant to Thy servants and handmaids, for whom we implore Thy mercy, health both of body and soul; that they may love Thee with all their strength, and cheerfully perform those things which are pleasing unto Thee. For Enemies O God, the lover and preserver of peace and charity: grant unto all our enemies peace and true charity; give them remission of all their sins, and by Thy power deliver us from their snares. A Short Recommendation to God Into the hands of Thy unspeakable mercy, O Lord, I recommend my soul and body; my senses, my words, my thoughts, and all my actions, with all the necessities of my body and soul; my going forth and my coming in; my faith and conversation; the course and end of my life; the day and hour of my death; my rest and resurrection with the Saints and the Elect. For the Sick Almighty and Eternal God, the everlasting help of those who believe: hear us for Thy sick servant N., for whom we implore the aid of Thy tender mercy, that, being restored to bodily health, he (or she) may give thanks to Thee in Thy Church. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. For a Sick Person Near Death Almighty and Merciful God, who hast conferred upon mankind both the remedies of health, and the gifts of everlasting life: look upon this Thy servant who laboureth under sickness of body, and comfort the soul which Thou hast created; that, freed from the stains of sin, he (or she) may, at the hour of departure, deserve to be presented unto Thee, his (or her) Creator by the hands of the holy angels. Prayer Before Study or Instructions
Incomprehensible Creator, the true Fountain of light and only Author of all knowledge: vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, to enlighten our understandings, and to remove from us all darkness of sin and ignorance. [Thou, who makest eloquent the tongues of those that want utterance, direct our tongues, and pour on our lips the grace of Thy blessing.] Give us a diligent and obedient spirit, quickness of apprehension, capacity of retaining, and the powerful assistance of Thy holy grace; that what we hear or learn we may apply to Thy honor and the eternal salvation of our own souls. Prayers of Parents, for Themselves and for Their Children O Father of mankind, who hast given unto me these my children, and committed them to my charge to bring them up for Thee, and to prepare them for everlasting life: assist me with Thy heavenly grace, that I may be able to fulfill this most sacred duty and stewardship.Teach me both what to give and what to withhold; when to reprove and when to forbear; make me gentle, yet firm; considerate and watchful; and deliver me equally from the weakness of indulgence, and the excess of severity; and grant that, both by word and example, I may be careful to lead them in the ways of wisdom and true piety, so that at last I may, with them, be admitted to the unspeakable joys of our true home in heaven, in the company of the blessed Angels and Saints. O heavenly Father, I commend my children unto Thee. Be Thou their God and Father; and mercifully supply whatever is wanting in me through frailty or negligence. Strengthen them to overcome the corruptions of the world, to resist all solicitations to evil, whether from within or without; and deliver them from the secret snares of the enemy. Pour Thy grace into their hearts, and confirm and multiply in them the gifts of Thy Holy Spirit, that they may daily grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and so, faithfully serving Thee here, may come to rejoice in Thy presence hereafter. For Choosing a State of Life O Lord, I beseech Thee to grant me Thy divine light, that I may know the designs of Thy providence concerning me, and that, filled with a sincere desire for my soul’s salvation, I may say, with the young man in the Gospel: What must I do to be saved? All states of life are before me; but, still undecided what to do, I await Thy commands, I offer myself to Thee without restriction, without reserve, with a most perfect submission. Far be it from me, O Lord, to oppose the order of Thy wisdom, and, unfaithful to the inspiration of Thy grace, to strive to subject the will of the Creator to the caprice of the creature. It is not for the servant to choose the way in which he will serve his master: do Thou lay upon me what commands Thou pleasest. My lot is in Thy hands. I make no exception, lest perchance what I except be that which Thou willest, and because I am too short-sighted to discover in the future the different obstacles I shall meet with, if, without Thy guidance, I make myself the arbiter of my own conduct. Speak, Lord, to my soul; speak to me as Thou didst to the youthful Samuel: Speak Lord; for Thy servant heareth. I cast myself at Thy feet, and I am ready, if it be Thy will, to sacrifice myself as a victim to Thee for the remainder of my days, in such wise as Thou shalt deem most worthy of Thy greatness. O my God, inspire the affections of my parents, and guide their projects according to the counsels of Thy wisdom. Lord, I sincerely desire to consult Thee who art the Eternal Truth; grant that my parents also may submit themselves to its decrees, faithfully and without reserve.
      
Matthew 25: 6. Cant. 2: 8. Cant. 2: 9. Cant. 3: 11. Cant. 1: 12. Cant. 1: 13. Cant. 1: 11.
Wisdom 1 :1.
Psalm 118: 43, 39, 52.  Lam. 3: 25.  Psalm 72: 1.  Cant. 5: 2.  Cant. 5: 1.  Isaiah 66: 12.  Ad pop. Ant. Hom. 60.  Cant. 1: 1.  Cant. 5: 1.  Matthew 6: 10.  Cant. 2: 5.  Cant. 5: 10.  Tit. 3: 4.  In Ps. 33: en. 1.  Matthew 26: 26.  John 6: 61.  Deut. 10: 12.  Prov. 8: 17.  Zach. 1: 3.  John 14 : 23.  ST. AUGUSTINE, Confessions, I, ch.29.  Cant. 1: 5.  Cant. 1: 4.  Luke 5: 8.  John 16: 24.  Psalm 1: 12.  John 16: 23.  Luke 5: 8.  Psalm 115: 12.  Psalm 65: 16.  Cant. 2: 16.  Mark 10: 51.  Psalm 50: 12.  John 16: 23.  Alphonsus Rodriguez  Cant. 1: 3.  Psalm 4: 9.  Cant. 2: 4.  Cant. 6: 1.  Cant. 5: 16.  Psalm 56: 8.  Psalm 33: 2.  Cant. 8: 5.  Cant. 8: 9.  Psalm 103: 15.  John 6: 58.  John 6: 57.  Cant. 3: 4.  Ibid.  Cant. 8: 4.  Cant. 4: 16.  Cant. 5: 1.  Psalm 22: 1.  Psalm 26: 1.  Job 13: 15.  Isaiah 49: 16.  Isaiah 49: 15.  Psalm 5: 13.  Acts 12: 6.  Matthew 6: 10.  Psalm 142: 10.  John 8: 29.  Prov. 23: 26.
        
Deut. 30: 9. Isaiah 5: 4. John 1: 14. Phil. 2: 7. Psalm 21: 7. Phil. 2: 8. John 15: 13. Cant. 8: 6. Psalm 72: 26.
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