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3, de Incompr. Dei) says, that even the angels look forward to the time of Mass, that they may intercede more efficaciously in our behalf; and he adds, that what is not obtained during Mass, is, with great difficulty obtained at any other timo.
Oh what treasures of grace may a Priest obtain for himself and for others, by praying to the Lord with confidence, while he is celebrating at the altar. The Ven. F. Antonio de Colellis, said: “When I celebrate and hold in my hands Jesus Christ, I obtain from him whatever I desire." · In a word, St. Paul says, that in Jesus Christ we obtain all riches, all graces, if through his merits we ask them of the Father. In omnibus divites facti estis in illo ...... ita ut nihil vobis desit in ulla gratia. 1. Cor. i. 5,7. But this more especially holds good, when the priest is honouring God, and delighting him by offering to him in sacrifice his own beloved Son. And if the Father has given to us his own Son in the most holy Sacrament by means of the Mass, how can he, after having thus given us his Son, refuse us any other favour? Quomodo non etiam cum illo omnia nobis donavit ? Rom. viii. 32.
AFFECTIONS. . O how miserable have I hitherto been! How many graces, O my God, have I lost through my negligence in not seeking for them during the Masses that I have celebrated! But since thou hast been pleased to enlighten me, I will no longer be thus negligent. I unite therefore, 0 Eternal Father, my prayers with those of Jesus Christ, and for the love of this thy Son, whom I am this morning about to offer thee, I beseech thee first to grant me the pardon of all my sins, for which I am sorry with my whole heart, And then grant me the grace to know how infinitely thou deservest to be loved, and how great is my obligation to love thee for thy infinite goodness, and for that great love which thou hast borne me; and give me strength to detach myself from all earthly affections, and to employ my whole heart in loving thee alone, my sovereign good, who · hast so loved me. I beseech thee also to enlighten those who do not know thee, and who are deprived of thy friendship. Give to all thy grace. Give to all a holy fear of thee. O infinite love of my God, make thy, self known, make thyself loved.
And thou, my dear Saviour, make me before I die entirely thine, and never permit
me to be separated from thee. Ah my Jesus, so long as I live I am exposed to this danger. I desire never more to lose thee. Pray to thy Father rather to take away my life than that I should again be so unhappy as to turn my back upon thee. Pray that I may ever be more and more united to thee by divine love, who hast done so much to oblige me to love thee. Jesus, thou art my hope and my love. Grant that as often as I behold thee on the altar, I may say to thee with my whole heart with St. Philip Neri when he beheld the Blessed Sacrament: “Behold my love, behold my love, behold my whole love." Most holy Mary, do thou also pray for me. I am a Priest; make me by thy holy intercession what a Priest ought to be, wholly a man of Christ Jesus.
FRIDAY.. Accipite, et commedite : hoc est corpus meum. Matth. xxvi. 26. Consider, how a Priest, by devoutly celebrating Mass is in a special manner sanctified ; inasmuch as during the celebration of Mass he is admitted to an audience with the divine Majesty, and allowed to treat familiarly with the Word
Incarnate, holding him in his hands, and speaking to him with confidence face to face.
Besides, he is then permitted to administer to himself with his own hands the sacred body and blood of Jesus Christ; as it was to Priests in particular that our Blessed Redeemer said : Accipite, et commedite : hoc est corpus meum. To seculars also is given the holy Communion, but it is not permitted them to take the holy Sacrament and communicate themselves when they please ; they must receive it from the hands of a Priest, and when he pleases; but a Priest may take "Jesus Christ and communicate himself as often as he desires.
In a word, a Priest holds the keys of all the divine treasures, to enrich himself as he pleases ; since, as St. John Chrysostom says, the Blessed Sacrament contains in itself all the treasures of God: Dicendo Eucharistiam omnem benignitatis Dei thesaurum aperio. So that a Priest, in celebrating, becomes, in a certain way, master of Jesus present on the altar: De toto Deo divis est.
Jesus Christ, then, belongs entirely to Priests; but how many Priests belong entirely to Jesus Christ? Oh God, how do the greater part love their Saviour who has so loved and exalted them? Oh God, how many poor labourers or shepherds love Jesus, Christ better than many Priests love him! Alas! what will be the anguish of a Priest lost in hell, when he shall find himself for ever at a distance from, and deprived of Jesus Christ, who on earth has been so near to him-entirely his!
AFFECTIONS. . O my dear Jesus, thou didst become a victim on the cross, to be offered by me in sacrifice upon the altar, and to inebriate me with thy precious blood. In a word, by making me a Priest, thou hast made thyself wholly mine, thou hast given thyself entirely to me; so that I may receive thee, and partake of thee as my food, as often as I desire.
My dear Redeemer, increase my faith, grant me to know what thou art, when in the Blessed Sacrament I hold thee in my hands, when thou art so near to me upon the altar, when I receive into my mouth thy sacred body, and drink with my lips thy precious blood. Why am I not inflamed with love, when I remember that thou art my God; and that thou art pleased to be treated by me with so much familiarity, as to be made my meat and drink?
Thou wast not satisfied with giving thy life and thy blood for the love of me upon the cross; but wouldst also that I should drink