Chapter 100

On the Many Blessings Granted to the Devout Communicant

THE DISCIPLE. O Lord my God, so direct Your servant with the blessings of Your goodness,(Ps 21:3) that I may worthily and devoutly approach Your glorious Sacrament. Stir up my heart to seek You, and rouse me from sleep and sloth. Visit me with Your salvation,(Ps 106:4) that my spirit may taste Your sweetness, which in this Sacrament lies richly concealed, as in a fountain. Give me light to reverence this great Mystery: give me strength, to believe with unshakeable faith. For this is Your work, and it is not within the power of man; it is by Your sacred institution, and not an invention of men. No one of himself is capable of grasping and understanding these things, which are beyond even the high knowledge of the Angels. How then shall I, an unworthy sinner, mere dust and ashes, search out and understand so deep and sacred a mystery?

Lord, in simplicity of heart,(I Chron. 29:17) in firm good faith, and at Your bidding, I approach You with hope and reverence. I firmly believe that You are truly present in this Sacrament, both God and Man. It is Your desire that I should receive You and be united to You in love. Therefore, I implore Your mercy, and beg You to give me an especial grace, that I may wholly melt and overflow with love for You and that henceforward I may seek no consolation but Yourself. For this most high and venerable Sacrament is the health of soul and body, the cure of every spiritual malady. By it our vices are cured, our passions restrained, temptations are lessened, grace is given in fuller measure, and virtue once established is fostered; faith is confirmed, hope is strengthened, and love kindled and deepened.

0 my God, Guardian of the soul, Restorer of man's weakness, and Giver of every spiritual consolation, You have given and still often give many blessings in this Sacrament to Your beloved servants who receive You with devotion. Great are the comforts that You bestow on men in their many troubles, raising them from the depths of dejection to hope in Your protection. You restore and enlighten them with fresh graces, so that those who before Communion were distraught and without devotion, find themselves changed for the better after the refreshment of this heavenly Food and Drink. You do this for Your loved ones of set purpose, that they may truly know and patiently experience their own weakness, and what blessings of grace they receive from You ; for of themselves they are cold, dry, and indifferent; but through You they become fervent, eager, and devout. Shall not any who approach the Fount of sweetness with humility carry away some of its sweetness with them? Or shall not any who stand close to a great fire njoy some of its heat? And You, Lord, are the Fountain, ever full and overflowing ; You are the ever-burning Fire that can never be extinguished.

Therefore, if I may not draw from the fullness of the Fountain, (Isa 12:3) nor fully quench my thirst, I will yet place my lips to this heavenly Spring, and receive some drops to allay my thirst. And although I may not become altogether heavenly and ardent like the Cherubim and Seraphim, yet I will give myself to devotion and prepare my heart, that I may at least obtain a portion of the divine fire by humbly receiving this life-giving Sacrament. 0 good Jesus, most holy Saviour, I pray You of Your mercy and grace to supply whatever is lacking in me; for You deign to call men to You saying, `Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.'

I labour in the sweat of my brow; (Gen 3:19) I am tortured by grief of heart; I am burdened by my sins, troubled bytemptations, entangled and oppressed by many evil passions. There is none who can help, none who can liberate and save, but You, 0 Lord God, my Saviour: to You, then, I commit myself and all I have, that You may guard and guide me to eternal life. Receive me for the praise and glory of Your Name, who have given Your Body and Blood to be my food and drink. 0 Lord God, my Saviour, grant that through the reception of Your Mysteries, the fire of devotion may kindle in me.

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