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this same blood to become wholly united with thee, and one and the same with thee. Ipsa re nos suum effecit corpus. S. Jo. Chryst.
Enlighten me, O my God, and help me, that I may no longer be ungrateful for thy intense love. Detach me from the earth. Grant that I may no more oppose any impediment in the way of those abundant graces which thou dispensest to all who lovingly receive thee in the holy communion. I love thee, O Jesus, who didst die upon the cross for me, and art now about to become my food. Eternal Father, by the merits of Jesus Christ, whom I am about to offer thee this morning, bestow upon me all those graces which I stand in need of to become entirely thine. And do thou, most holy Mary, pray to Jesus for me.
SATURDAY. Festinans descende, quia hodie in domo tua oportet me manere. Luc. xix. 5. Imagine to thyself, O my soul, that Jesus Christ addresses thee this morning with the same words which he addressed to Zacheus: Make haste, approach the altar, for I must enter this day into the house of thy soul, to preserve its life, to heal its wounds, and to inflame it
with my love. Yes, all this will the Blessed Sacrament effect for thee. It is the bread which gives life to the soul: Panis quem ego dabo, caro mea est pro mundi vita. Jo. vi. 52. It is a medicine by which we are healed and preserved from sin. Antidotum, quo liberemur a culpis quotidianis et a peccatis mortalibus præservemur. Trid. Sess. 13. cap. 2. It is a fire which inflames the soul with divine love; so that, according to St. Chrysostom, if we opposed no impediment in the way, we should leave the altar, flammam spirantes, terribles effecti Diabolo.
But, my God, how comes it that so many Priests, notwithstanding that they are every morning nourished with this divine bread, in lieu of being inflamed with divine love, become daily more and more attached to the world, and approach again and again to the altar addicted to the same deliberate venial sins? All this arises from celebrating Mass without any view or desire to become Saints, but from interested motives, or from habit. And hence are they ever subject to the same defects; death finds them in the same state, and they go to render an account to Jesus Christ of their priestly lives spent in tepidity and negligence.
My soul, if thou art of their number, take heed lest if this celestial bread does not make thee holy, it may render thee more culpable before the Divine Tribunal. Take heed to thyself and amend thy faults: remember, death is near at hand. Reflect and see what are the attachments, what the defects which hinder thee from advancing in Divine love, and correct them. Think that thou art a Priest. Think that God has chosen thee as his favoured one, and cannot make thee greater than he has made thee.
AFFECTIONS. O God of infinite majesty, thou desirest to come to me this morning and dwell within my soul, but thy dwelling-place should be holy. Domum tuam decet sanctitudo Domine, Ps. lxiii. 5. How shall I receive thee, I who am so imperfect, so full of defects ! Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum.
Ah! if now I were summoned to appear before thee in judgment, what good account could I render thee of the many Masses which I have celebrated, and of the years which I have spent in the Priesthood ? 0 Lord, wait yet a little and judge me not now in thy wrath. Non intres in judicium cum servo tuo. Ps. cxlii. 2. Wait for me in thy mercy yet a little longer: Dimitte ergo me, ut plangam paululum dolorem meum, antequam
vadem et non revertar. Job. x. 20. Give me yet a little longer life, that I may bewail the ingratitude with which I have hitherto treated thee, my Jesus. Thou hast made me a Priest; but has my life until now been the life of a Priest? With the advantage of so many Masses and Communions I ought to have become all on fire with thy love, all pure and holy. On thy part nothing has been wanting to me; all has been wanting on my part, and I have even opposed obstacles in the way of thy graces. My life, instead of honouring thee, has dishonoured thee in the light of heaven and of earth. Thou hast separated me from the world, and I have loved the world even more than worldlings love it. O God, be merciful to me; do not abandon me, I will amend my life. I repent with my whole soul of all the offences which I have committed against thee. I will begin now to love thee in earnest; I will begin this morning in which I am about to receive thee.
I love thee, O God of my soul, I love thee, my Saviour, who hast laid down thy life to save me and to make me a Priest: Domine, non sum dignus ; ut intres sub tectum meum sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea. Pardon me, O Jesus, and save me. Detach me from the world, and unite me intimately to thyself; grant that I may live the life of å Priest after thine own heart. My dear Redeemer thy merits are my hope. Eternal Father, I am about to offer thee this morning Jesus Christ that thou mayest make me all thine own. Most holy Mary, pray to Jesus for me.