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Bless the Lord, O my soul: and forget not all His benefits.
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities: who healeth all thine infirmities.
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction: who crowneth thee with mercy and compassion.
Who satisfieth thy desire with good things: thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord doeth mercies and judgment for all that suffer wrong.
He hath made His ways known to Moses: His wills to the children of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful: long suffering and plenteous in mercy.
He will not always be angry: nor will He threaten for ever.
He hath not dealt with us according to our sins: nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For according to the height of the heaven above the earth: He hath strengthened His mercy towards them that fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west: so far hath He removed our iniquities from us.
As a father hath compassion on his children, so hath the Lord compassion on them that fear Him: for He knoweth our frame.
He remembereth that we are dust: man's days are as grass, as the flower of the field so shall he flourish.
For the spirit shall pass in him, and he shall not be and he shall know his place no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from eternity and unto eternity: upon them that fear Him.
And His justice unto children's children, to such as keep His covenant: and are mindful of his commandments to do them.
The Lord hath prepared His throne in heaven: and His kingdom shall rule over all.
Bless the Lord, all ye His Angels: you that are mighty in strength, and execute His word, hearkening to the voice of His orders.
Bless the Lord, all ye His hosts: ye ministers of His, that do His will.
Bless the Lord, all His works in every place of His dominion, O my soul, bless thou the Lord. Glory &c.
The Sacramental penance imposed by the Priest should be performed with the greatest care; but it will be well if, in addition, we voluntarily endeavour to make all the satisfaction we can-by self-mortification, alms-giving, prayer, and other pious exercises, for the injury offered to God by sin, and the punishment thereby incurred: remembering that this punishment is a debt, of which whatever is not paid in this life, will have to be paid after death in Purgatory.
Devotions before Holy Communion.
I. The following devotions are intended as a prepa ration for Holy Communion, either on the same morning before Mass, or on the previous evening after Confession.
YOME to me, all you that labour and are heavyladen, and I will refresh you.-The Bread which I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world. Take ye and eat: This is my Body which shall be delivered for you; do this in memory of me.—He that eateth my Flesh, and drinketh my Blood, abideth in me, and I in him.
HESE, O Lord, are Thy words; and words of so great a tenderness, so full of sweetness and love, encourage me; but my sins and mine unclean conscience keep me back from approaching to so great a Sacrament. The sweetness of Thy words invites me; but the multitude of my offences weighs me down.
Thou commandest me to approach Thee with confidence, if I would have part with Thee; and to receive the food of immortality, if I desire to have life and glory everlasting. Come to me, Thou sayest, all you that labour and are heavyladen, and I will refresh you.
O sweet and welcome words in the ear of a sinner, that Thou, our Lord and God, shouldst invite the poor and needy to the Communion of Thy most sacred Body!
But who am I, O Lord, that I should presume to come to Thee? Behold the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee, and Thou sayest, come you all to me! What meaneth this most loving condescension, this most friendly invitation? How shall I dare to approach, I who am conscious to myself of no good on which I can presume? How shall I introduce Thee into my house, I who have so often provoked Thine indignation? The Angels and Archangels stand before Thy throne in reverential awe; the Saints and the Just approach Thee in fear and yet to us sinners Thou sayest, come you all to me. Unless Thou, O
Lord, hadst said it, who could believe it true; and unless Thou hadst invited us, who could presume to approach?
Behold, Noe, a just man, laboured a hundred years in building the Ark, that he with a few might be preserved :-and how shall I, in this short space of time, be able to prepare myself to receive with reverence the Maker of the world?
Moses, Thy servant, Thy great and special friend, made an ark of incorruptible wood, covering it with the most pure gold, that he might deposit therein the Tables of the Law-and shall I, a worthless creature, so readily presume to receive Thee, the Framer of the Law and the Giver of Life?
Solomon, the wisest of the kings of Israel, employed seven years in building a magnificent temple to the praise of Thy Name; and for eight days together celebrated the feast of its dedication; he sacrificed a peace-offering of a thousand
victims; and in the most solemn manner brought the Ark of the Covenant into the place prepared for it and how shall I, perhaps the most unworthy of Thy creatures, presume to bring Thee, God, into my house? I, who can hardly spend one half-hour devoutly and would that I had ever once spent one half-hour as I ought!
LORD my God, how much have all Thy Saints done in their endeavours to please Thee! Alas, how little is it that I do! How short a time do I spend in preparing to receive Thee; how seldom am I wholly recollected; how seldom free from all distraction!
And yet, surely in the life-giving presence of Thy Godhead, no unbecoming thought should occur, nor anything created take up my mind? For it is not an Angel, but the Lord of Angels, whom I am about to entertain! And there is a very great difference between the Ark of the Covenant with its relics, and Thy most pure Body with its unspeakable virtues; between those sacrifices of the Law, which were but figures of things to come, and the true Sacrifice of Thy Body, which is the accomplishing of all those ancient sacrifices. How carefully, then, ought I to prepare myself to receive this priceless Gift, and how ardently to be inflamed with Thy love!
GOD, the invisible Maker of the world, how
wonderfully dost Thou deal with us! How sweetly and graciously dost Thou order all things in favour of Thine elect, to whom Thou offerest Thyself to be received in this Sacrament! For it