Consideration on the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Consideration on the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
What honour Jesus Christ has done me in this Sacrament! He makes Himself in the Eucharist my friend, my guest, my spouse; He nourishes me from His Flesh and His Blood; He transforms me wholly into Himself. My bosom becomes then more sacred than church, altars, chalices, or consecrated vessels. My soul may then call itself a Paradise, since the King of Glory sojourns in it!
But what dishonour do I shew to Jesus in that Sacrament! To address myself to my Spouse with such coldness, to abandon Him so soon, to thank Him never, to shun meeting Him in procession, to visit Him never, I may almost say, in churches, to laugh and jest in His presence in public, even when exposed upon the altars — can one treat Him with greater disrespect? Indeed there may be greater; and perhaps I have committed it, by receiving Him in a body unclean with sins, with a sacrilegious mouth, like that of Judas, and in a soul as full of devils as is hell.
What graces does Jesus Christ give me in the Eucharist! Graces against the passions to weaken them; against the devil to affright him; against the deceits of the world to wean me from them. This food of life fortified the martyrs, encouraged the virgins, made the saints.
I am then a fool, if I take no care about these graces. Whence comes it that I find myself so weak in temptations, and that I never take a single step in the path of virtue? I say that I do not approach Jesus Christ through respect, and yet I have no difficulty in dishonouring Him in His churches and before His altars. I say that I am not worthy to receive Him; why then not make myself worthy at once by a pure and spotless life?
MARY has a particular care that her devout servants may not die without the Sacraments. In Louvain (Auriem. t. ii. p. 162), in the year 1621, there was a sick priest, whose complaint, however, was not judged by the physicians to be dangerous, when he suddenly called his sister, and ordered her to get the sacred Viaticum sent him. Those in the house made a great resistance, telling him not to vex himself about it yet, since the complaint was not one to cause him any anxiety; to whom he said, “Be quick; for death, far of as you think it, is close at hand; I have scarce two hours to live.” At these words they marvelled, it not seeming to them as if he was so near his end; so they took it very leisurely, which the sick man took notice of, and replied, “Be quick; I shall die as I have said; for the Virgin Mary has appeared to me, and told me to hold myself ready to depart for Paradise, and to make my communion first.” His sister obeyed at once; and the people of the house having called the parish priest, he received the Sacraments with great devotion, and with his faculties perfect. At the second hour, as the Virgin had told him, he died.
ACT OF HOMAGE.
If you cannot communicate this morning, at all events make a spiritual communion in honour of the most holy Mary, and in reparation for communions hitherto ill-made.
“Ave verum corpus, natum ex Maria Virgine.”
“O Virgin-born, O flesh divine
Cleanse us, and make us wholly Thine.”
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
Sequence of Pentecost
O HOLY SPIRIT! Lord of light!
From Thy clear celestial height
Thy pure and beaming radiance give.
Come, Thou Father of the poor!
Come, with treasures which endure!
Come, Thou light of all that live!
Thou of all Consolers best,
Visiting the troubled breast,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.
Thou in toil art Comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal! Light Divine!
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.
If Thou take Thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness, pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
In Thy sevenfold Gifts descend.
Give them comfort when they die;
Give them life with Thee on high;
Give them joys which never end. Amen.
May Devotion: The Blessed Virgin Mary
Virtue to practice: Meekness, purity, the spirit of poverty
O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special keeping, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen. (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins and Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
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