Chapter 113

On Ardent Love and Eager Desire to Receive Christ

THE DISCIPLE. Dear Lord, I long to receive You with deepest devotion and ardent love, and with all the affection and favour of my heart, as many Saints and holy persons have longed to receive You in Communion, who were especially pleasing to You by the holiness of their lives, and were on fire with devotion. 0 my God, Eternal Love, my supreme good and eternal delight, I wish to receive You with the most eager devotion and deepest reverence that any of Your Saints have ever felt, or could feel.

Although I am not fit to enjoy such feelings of devotion as they, yet I offer You all the love in my heart, as though I alone were moved by these most fitting and ardent longings. So, whatever a pious heart can conceive or desire, that I offer You with all reverence and love. I wish to withhold no part of myself, but freely and most gladly to make an offering to You of all that I am or have. 0 Lord my God, my Creator and Redeemer, I wish to receive You today with that affection, reverence, praise and honour, with that gratitude, worthiness, and love, with that faith, hope, and purity with which Your most holy Mother, the glorious Virgin Mary, desired and received You, when she devoutly and humbly answered the Angel who brought the joyful message of the Mystery of the Incarnation: `Behold, the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to Your word.' (Luke 1:38)

And as Your blessed herald John the Baptist, greatest among the saints, who was glad and leaped for joy (Luke 1:44) of the Holy spirit while yet in his mother's womb, and who, when he later saw Jesus walking among men, (John1:36) devoutly and lovingly humbled himself, saying `The friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, is glad because of the Bridegroom's voice.' (John 3:29) Like these, I too wish to be afire with great and holy desires, and to offer myself to You with all my heart. I also offer and present before You the praises, the glowing affections, the raptures, the supernatural revelations and heavenly visions of all devout hearts, together with all the virtues and praises that are or ever shall be offered by all creatures in Heaven or on earth. I plead them for myself and for all who have been commended to my prayers, that You may be worthily praised and glorified for ever.

Accept, O Lord my God, my vows and my desire to offer You infinite praise and boundless blessing; for these are Your rightful due, by reason of Your unspeakable greatness (Ps. 150:2) These I render, and wish to render every day and every moment of time; and I lovingly pray and entreat all the heavenly host to join with me and all the faithful in offering You praise and thanksgiving.

Let all people, tribes and tongues (Rev. 7:9) praise and exalt Your sweet and holy Name with great joy and fervent devotion. And may all who reverently and devoutly celebrate Your sublime Sacrament, and receive It with full faith, merit to obtain Your grace and mercy, humbly interceding for me, a sinner. And when they shall have obtained the devotion they desire, and blissful union with Yourself, and have left Your sacred and heavenly Table truly comforted and marvellously refreshed, let them, I pray, remember me, who am so poor.

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