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Acts of Virtues and Graces relative to the Mystery, to be used before or at the Celebration of the Divine Sacrament.
I. The Address.
It is well, O sweetest Saviour Jesus, it is very well, that thou art pleased to be a daily sacrifice for us, and to become our daily super-substantial bread to feed our souls. Certain it is, that we, by our daily failings and the remaining pollution of our sins, frequently sink down into the bottom of thy displeasure. But do thou grant, that, being refreshed by the sacrament, recreated by thy grace, strengthened by thy Spirit, and comforted with thy miraculous sweetness, my heart and my affections may be lifted up on high.
O grant, that by thee my soul may be lifted up to thee, and from herself may pass into thee, with a pure mind, with an unfeigned religion, with an unblamable faith, and burning devotion; with filial piety, and a profound reverence. For thou art the true God, the Word of life, the bright image and splendour of thy Father's glory, the reward of saints, and the Lord of angels, the brightness of an eternal light, the unspotted mirror of eternal purity.
An Act of Love.
Thee alone, O Lord, my soul desires; thou art eternal sweetness in my soul. If the perfume of thy ointment be sufficient to all the world, what is the refection of thy table? If we live by every word proceeding out of thy mouth, what felicity and joy is it to live upon thee, the eternal Word, chewing thee by faith, and digesting thee by love, and entertaining thee in our hearts for ever? How shall not my bowels melt into thee, the Sun of Righteousness? How is it that I do not forget all deliciousness besides thee?
A single pleasure, poor and empty, wearying and unsatisfying, hath often made me to forget thee. Now that thou art truly and effectively present with me, how can any other pleasure in the world seem pleasant to me any more? I will
forget all the world, I will quit all the world to live on thee, if thou pleasest, O dearest Saviour; but do thou open thy ark and repositories of sweetness, and fill my soul and all my desires, that there may be no room for any thing else.
Thou hast called unto me to open my hand, and thou wouldest fill it but I would not open it; I held the world fast, and kept my hand shut, and would not let it go. But do thou open it for me; not my hand only, but my mouth; not my mouth, but my heart also.
An Act of Desire after Jesus.
O blessed Jesus, that hast said, "It is thy delight to be with the sons of men:" thou hast made thyself the companion of our journeys, the light of our ignorance, the remedy of our infirmity. Dwell with me, sweetest Saviour, and delight in me. It is no small thing I ask; O my God, can it ever be, that my God should delight in me? That is too much, O God; grant that I may delight in thee; and do thou delight to pardon me, to sanctify, and to save me.
Grant, that I may never offend thee, that I may never grieve thy Holy Spirit, that I may not provoke the Angel of the everlasting covenant to anger. But thou delightest in the works of thy hand, in the graces of the Spirit, in thy own excellencies and glories. Endue me with thy graces; fill me with thy excellencies; let me communicate of thy Spirit; and then enjoy these thy delights with thy servant; for thou canst not else delight in me. Thou art thy own essential joy, and everlasting blessedness, and inseparable felicity but this thou hast said, that thou delightest to be with the sons of men,' because thou truly lovest us. Blessed be thy name for ever and ever.
An Act of Thanksgiving.
O blessed Saviour Jesus, I adore the secrets of thy eternal wisdom; I admire the mysteriousness of our salvation; and I love, and praise, and give all possible thanks to thee, the Author of our spiritual life, the Deliverer that came out of Sion, the Redeemer of thy people, the Spoiler of all spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, the Conqueror over
* Prov. viii.
sin and death, the Triumpher over devils; thou hast taken from our strongest enemies all their armour, and divided the spoil. Grant that I may know nothing but thee, account all things loss in comparison of thee, and endeavour to be made conformable to thee, in the imitation of thy actions and obedience of thy laws; in the fellowship of thy sufferings, in the communion of thy graces, and participation of thy glories; that, beginning here to praise thy name, according as I can, I may, hereafter, for ever rehearse and adore thy excellencies, according to the measures of glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Ejaculations and Meditations to be used at any Time, but particularly after the Consecration of the Symbols, when the holy Man that ministers, is bringing the Sacrament.
1. O HOLY JESU, I behold thee stretched upon the cross, with thy arms spread, ready to embrace and receive all mankind into thy bosom.
O take me to thee, in 2. I come, Lord Jesus, I come. the comprehensions of an unalterable, of an everlasting love: for thou hast opened thy heart, as well as thine arms, and hast prepared a lodging-place for me in the seat of love.
3. I see thy symbols, the holy bread, and the blessed cup; but I also contemplate thy authority establishing these rites; I adore thy wisdom, who hast made these mysteries like thy own infancy; I see thyself wrapt up in swaddling clouts, and covered with a veil; I hear thy voice blessing these symbols, thy mercy reaching out my pardon, thy Holy Spirit sanctifying my spirit, thy blessed self making intercession for me at the eternal altar in the heavens.
4. Thy infinite arm of mercy is reached unto us, and our arm of faith reaches unto thee. Blessed be Jesus, who will be joined unto his servants!
5. This is thy body, O blessed Saviour Jesus, and this is thy blood, but these are not thy wounds. My Lord had the smart, but we, the ease; his were the sufferings,-but ours, the mercy; he felt the load of stripes, but from thence
a S. Ambr. Serm. 44. de S. Latrone.
a holy balm did flow upon us: he felt the thorns, but we shall have the crown: and after he had paid the price, we got the purchase. Holy Jesus! Blessed be God!
6. I adore thy unspeakable goodness; I delight in thy unmeasurable mercy; I rejoice in thy cross; I desire to know nothing but the Lord Jesus, and him crucified. “O let the power of thy cross" prevail against all the powers of darkness; let “the wisdom of thy cross" make me wise unto salvation; let "the peace of thy cross" reconcile me to thy eternal Father, and bring to me peace of conscience; let" the victory of thy cross" mortify all my evil and corrupt affections; let "the triumph of thy cross" lead me on to a state of holiness, that I may sin no more, but in all things please thee, and in all things serve thee, and in all things glorify thee.
7. Great and infinite are thy glories; infinite and glorious are thy mercies. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, and yet humbleth himself, to behold the things that are in heaven and earth? Heaven itself does wholly minister to our salvation; God takes care of us, God loves us first. God will not suffer us to perish, but employs all his attributes for our good. The Son of God dies for us: the Holy Spirit descends upon us, and teaches us: the angels minister to us: the sacrament is our food; Christ is married to our souls; and heaven itself is offered to us for our portion.
8. O God, my God, assist me now and ever, graciously and greatly grant that I may not receive bread alone, for man cannot live by that, but that I may eat Christ; that I may not search into the secret of nature, but inquire after the miracles of grace. I do admire, I worship, and I love. Thou hast overcome, O Lord, thou hast overcome; ride on triumphantly, because of thy words of truth and peace; lead my soul in this triumph, as thy own purchase; thy love hath conquered, and I am thy servant for ever.
9. Thou wilt not dwell in a polluted house; make my soul clean, and do thou consecrate it into a temple, O thou great Bishop of our souls, by the inhabitation of thy Holy
Spirit of purity; let not these teeth that break the bread of angels, ever grind the face of the poor; let not the hand of Judas be with thee in the dish; let not the eyes which see the Lord, any more behold vanity; let not the members of Christ ever become the members of a harlot, or the ministers of unrighteousness.
10. I am nothing, I have nothing, I desire nothing but Jesus, and to be in Jerusalem, the holy city from above. Make haste, O Lord; behold my heart is ready, my heart is ready: come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.
When the holy man that ministers, reaches the consecrated Bread, suppose thy Lord entering into his Courts, and say,
Lord, I am not worthy thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word, Lord, and thy servant shall be whole.
After receiving the Bread, pray thus:
Blessed be the name of our gracious God: hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he, that cometh in the name of our Lord! Hosanna in the highest! Thou, O blessed Saviour Jesus, hast given me thy precious body to be the food of my soul; and now, O God, I humbly present to thee my body and soul, every member and every faculty, every action and every passion. Do thou make them fit for thy service: give me an understanding to know thee, and wisdom, like as thou didst to thy apostles; ingenuity and simplicity of heart, like to that of Nathanael; zeal and perfect repentance, like the return of Zaccheus. Give me eyes to see thee, as thy martyr Stephen had; an ear to hear thee, as Mary; a hand to touch thee, as Thomas; a mouth, with Peter, to confess thee; an arm, with Simeon, to embrace thee; feet to follow thee, with thy disciples; an heart open, like Lydia, to entertain thee; that as I have given my members to sin and to uncleanness, so I may henceforth walk in righteousness and holiness before thee, all the days of my life. Amen, Amen.
If there be any time more between the receiving the holy Body, and the blessed Chalice, then add,
O immense goodness, unspeakable mercy, delightful
Nempe amor in parva te jubet esse casa.—Tibull.