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und of thy wisdom there is no end; but thy tender mer.
ies, thy bounty and goodness to me, are above all thy works: these I desire to confess and extol for ever.
Bless, then, thy Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within thee praise and magnify his name. Bless thy Lord, O my soul, and see thou never forget all that he hath done for thee. O all ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and glorify him for ever. O all ye angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and glorify his holy name. Bless the Lord, all ye saints, and let the whole Church of heaven and earth join in praising and giving him thanks for all his mercies and graces to me ; and so, in some measure, supply for what is due from me. But as all this still falls short of what I owe thee for thy infinite love, I offer to thee, O eternal Father, the same Son of thine whom thou hast given me, and his thanksgiving, which is infinite in value. Look not, then, upon my insensibility and ingratitude, but upon the face of thy Christ, and with him, and through him, receive this offering of my poor self, which I desire to make to thee.
N.B. Here also may be recited the Canticle of the Three Chile dren, the Te Deum, or some Psalms of praise.
PETITIONS AFTER COMMUNION. O most merciful Saviour, behold, I have presumed to receive thee this day into my house, relying on thy infinite goodness and mercy, and hoping, like Zaccheus, to obtain thy benediction. But, alas, with how little preparation! with how little devotion! From my heart I beg pardon for my great unworthiness, and for my innumerable sins, which I detest for the love of thee. Thou seest, O Searcher of hearts, all my maladies, and all the wounds of my soul. Thou knowest how prone I am to evil, and how backward and sluggish to good. Who can heal all these my evils but thou, the true phy
sician of my soul, who givest me thy body and blood in this blessed sacrament, as a sovereign medicine for all my infirmities? Dispel the darkness of ignorance from my understanding by thy heavenly light; drive away the corruption and malice of my will by the fire of divine love and charity; strengthen my weakness with heavenly fortitude; subdue in me all evil passions, particularly that which is most deeply rooted in me; stand by me henceforward in all my temptations, that I may never more be overcome ; and grant me that I may rather die a thousand deaths than live to offend thee mortally.
O my Jesus, thou art infinitely rich, and all the treasures of divine grace are locked up in thee ! These treasures thou bringest with thee when thou dost visit us in this blessed sacrament, and thou takest an infinite pleasure in opening them to us, to enrich our poverty. This it is that gives me confidence to present thee now with my petitions, and to beg of thee those graces and virtues which I stand so much in need of. Oh, increase and strengthen my belief of thy heavenly truths; and grant that henceforward I may ever live by faith, and be guided by the maxims of thy Gospel. Teach me to be poor in spirit, and take off my heart from the love of these transitory things, and fix it upon eternity : teach me, by thy divine example, and by thy most efficacions grace, to be meek and humble of heart, and in my patience to possess my soul. Grant that I may ever keep my body and soul chaste and pure ; that I may ever bewail my past sins, and by a daily mortification, restrain all irregular inclinations and passions for the future. Teach me to love thee, to be ever recollected in thee, and to walk always in thy presence; teach me to love my friends in thee, and my enemies for thee; grant me grace to persevere to the end in this love, and so to come one day to that blessed place where I may love and enjoy thee for ever.
Have mercy also on my parents, friends, and benefactors, and on all those for whom I am bound to pray,
that we may all love thee and faithfully serve thee. Have mercy on thy whole Church, especially on the clergy and religious men and women, that all may live up to their callings, and sanctify thy name.
Give thy grace and blessing to all princes and magistrates, and to all Christian people; convert all unbelievers and sinners, and bring all strayed sheep back to thy fold ; particularly have mercy on N and N, &c.
O blessed Virgin, Mother of my God and Saviour, recommend all these my petitions to your Son. O all ye angels and saints, citizens of heaven, unite your prayers with mine: you ever stand before the throne, and see him face to face whom I here receive under veils; be ever mindful of me, and obtain from him, and through him, that with you I may bless him and love him for ever. Amen.
Conclusion. Graciously hear all my prayers, O good Jesus ; hide me within thy wounds, and there protect me from all my enemies. O, let nothing ever separate me from thee. Call me to thee at the hour of my death, that, with thy saints, I may praise thee for ever. And now, Lord Jesus, I go from thee for a while, but, I trust, not without thee. To thy love and protection I recommend myself, as well as my brethren, my relatives, my country, my friends, and my enemies. Love us, O Lord, change our hearts, and transform us into thyself. May I be wholly employed in thee and for thee ; and may thy love he the end of all my thoughts, words, and actions, who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
ON THE SACRAMENTS IN GENERAL.
The Sacraments are sensible signs instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ for our sanctification. They are the means by which, as we are taught by the Council of Trent, "all justice is either begun, or, when begun, is increased, or, when lost, is recovered." Whatever degree of sanctity, therefore, any Christian may possess, it is principally to them that he is indebted for it. The entire efficacy of them is all derived from the passion and death of our blessed Saviour; and whatever graces they convey, are no other than the application of his merits to our souls
. Each sacrament confers a grace peculiar to itself, and in them all the wisdom and goodness of the Deity has provided appropriate helps for every stage and condition of life. 1. No sooner do we come into the world than we are made the children of God by Baptism. 2. As we grow up, we are fortified under the combats which we have to sustain against our spiritual enemies by. Confirmation. 13. The Eucharist is the daily bread which feeds and nourishes our souls to everlasting life. 4. When we fall in the spiritual conflict, Penance is the remedy which restores life to the soul. 5. In Matrimony Jesus Christ has provided graces to support us under the cares and burdens of the
married state. 6. Holy Orders keeps up a succession of pastors in the Church, and enables them faithfully to discharge their sacred functions. And lastly, when sickness forewarns the Christian that to him this world is fast passing away, and his soul is on the verge of eternity, his departing spirit is fortified and comforted by the refreshing graces of Extreme Unction.
SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM. Baptism is not only the first, but also the most indispensable of the sacraments, inasmuch as it is the only
ordinary means whereby we can be cleansed from original sin. At the same time that this sin is remitted, the soul is gifted with habitual and sanctifying grace, and the receiver becomes a child of God and a member of the mystical body of Christ, which is his Church. Baptism is one of the three sacraments which, as they confer on the soul a character that is indelible, can be received but once. By the practice and tradition of the Church, we know that when an ordinary minister of this sacrament cannot be procured to baptise an infant that is in danger death, any lay person, either man or woman, may do it (see p. xvi.); but a father or mother should never baptise their own child, when any other persons can be procured.
When baptism administered with the usual ceremonies (which is called solemn baptism), the person baptised must have a godfather, or godmother, or both; but not more than one of each. The obligation contracted by a sponsor is, to see that the child is, in due time, instructed in the duties of a Christian life, more especially if the parents are negligent in this duty, or are prevented by death.
ORDER OF BAPTISM. The priest, vested in surplice and violet stole, receives the name of the person to be baptised, and interrogates him by name as follows:
Priest. N., What dost thou ask of the Church of God?
P. If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
The priest then breathes three times upon the face of tlie person to be baptised, and says: Exi ab eo, &c.,