Chapter 98

On the Great Goodness and Love of God in this Sacrament

THE DISCIPLE. Trusting wholly in Your goodness and great mercy, Lord, I come sick to my Saviour, hungry and thirsty to the Fount of Life, (Ps. 36:9) needy to the King of Heaven, a creature to its Creator, desolate to my loving Comforter. Yet whence is this favour, that You should come to me? (Luke 1:43) What am I, that You should give me Your very Self? How dare a sinner appear before You? And how is it that You deign to visit a sinner? You know Your servant, and see that he possesses no good in himself that could merit this blessing. Thus do I confess my worthlessness ; I acknowledge Your goodness, I praise Your kindness, and I offer my gratitude for Your boundless love.(Eph. 2:4) You do this of Your own will ; not on account of my merits, but solely that Your goodness may be more evident to me, Your love more richly imparted to me, and that You may more perfectly commend humility to me. Therefore, since it is Your pleasure and You have thus commanded it, Your will is my delight; may no wickedness in me obstruct it.

0 most kind and loving Jesus, what profound reverence, gratitude and eternal praise are Your due when we receive Your sacred Body; for none on earth can rightly extol Its majesty. What shall be my thoughts as I approach my Lord in Communion? I cannot pay Him the honour that is His due, and yet I desire to receive Him with devotion. What better or more salutary desire can I have than to humble myself completely before You, and to praise Your infinite goodness to me? Therefore, 0 my God, I offer You my praise, and will glorify You for ever, while in the depths of my insignificance I despise and abase myself in Your presence.

Lord, You are the Holy of Holies : I am the worst of sinners. Yet, 0 Lord, You stoop to me, who am not worthy even to raise my eyes towards You. Lord, You come to me, and desire to be with me; You invite me to Your Table; You wish to feed me with the Heavenly Food, the Bread of Angels. This Food is none other than Yourself, The Living Bread, who came down from Heaven to give life to the world.(Ps.78.25)

See, from whom this love proceeds! See the Source whence this high glory shines! How deep a gratitude, how high a praise are Your due for all these blessings! How greatly to our profit and salvation was Your counsel when You instituted this Sacrament! How sweet and delightful the Feast in which You give Yourself to be our food! How wonderful are Your ways, 0 Lord; how mighty Your power, how infallible Your truth! You spoke the word, and all things were made; (Ps.148:5)' You commanded, and it was done.

It is indeed wonderful to consider, worthy of faith, and transcending the mind of man, how You, my Lord and God, true God and true man, are wholly present under the simple forms of bread and wine, and are eaten without being consumed by who so receives You. 0 Lord of all things, who stand in need of none, and who yet are pleased to dwell (2Macc. 14:35) in us by means of this Sacrament; keep my heart and body spotless, that with a glad and pure conscience I may be enabled to celebrate Your holy Mysteries, and receive to my eternal salvation those things that You have hallowed and ordained to Your own especial honour and for Your perpetual memorial.

Be glad, my soul, and thank God for the noblest of all His gifts, for this unique comfort bestowed on you in this vale of tears. For as often as you consider this Mystery, and receive the Body of Christ, you set forward the work of your redemption, and become a sharer in all the merits of Christ. Therefore, continually dispose yourself to the renewal of your mind, and ponder deeply the great mystery of salvation. Whenever you celebrate or hear Mass, it should be as great, as fresh and as joyful to you as if on this very day Christ had come down for the first time into the womb of the Virgin, and was made man; or, hanging on the Cross, suffered and died for man's salvation.

Chapter 97Table of ContentsChapter 99