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in desiring or loving too much the things of this world? Have you sought after them too eagerly? or been too much distressed at the loss of them? How often?
For the sins of Lust, see the Sixth Commandment.
For the sins of Anger, see the Fifth Commandment,
Gluttony.—Have you been guilty of gluttony, by eating or drinking to excess, so as to endanger or injure your health or reason? How often? and with what scandal?
Have you indulged an inordinate gratification of your appetite? How often 1
Have you made others drunk? or sought to make them so? or boasted of having made them so? How often?
Envy.—Have you envied or repined at your neighbour's good, either spiritual or temporal? or rejoiced at his harm? How often?
Have you been guilty of jealousy, in consequence of any attention or preference shewn to others? Have you rejoiced to see them disappointed or mortified 1
Sloth. — Have you been guilty of sloth, or laziness of mind or body, which has prevented you from discharging your duty? How often?
Have you neglected your spiritual duties? or discharged them with tepidity or indolence? Have you studied too much your own ease, leading an unmortified and unchristian life?
Have you squandered away much of your time in idleness or useless occupation?
Have you entertained with pleasure the thoughts of saying or doing any thing which it would be a sin to say or do? How often?
Have you had the desire or design of committing any «in? What sin? How often?
Have you gloried in any sin whatsoever? How often? and before what company? and what sin?
N.B.—Here, also, masters and servants, husbands and wives, lawyers and physicians, ecclesiastics and magistrates, &c. ought Jo examine into the sins which are peculiar to their states, and how far they may have neglected the duties of their respective
SACRED banquet, in which Christ is re-
0 Lord, how sweet is thy Spirit, who, to shew thy
1 am the bread oflife. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert; and they died. This is the bread that came down from heaven, that if any one eats of it, he may not die.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.
The merciful Lord hath given food to them that fear him, in remembrance of his wonderful works.
He fed them with the fat of wheat; and filled them with honey out of the lock. Alleluia.
DEVOTIONS BEFORE COMMUNION.
An Act of Faith,
My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I firmly believe that in this blessed sacrament thou art present verily
1 Prayers for Plenary Indulgences, see p. 152.
and indeed; I believe that here are thy body and blood, thy soul and divinity. I acknowledge these truths; I believe these wonders; I adore thy power, which hath wrought them; I praise thy infinite goodness, which hath prepared them for me. In this faith, and with this acknowledgment, I approach this adorable banquet, wherein thou bestowest on me the divine food of thy body and blood. Grant, O blessed Jesus, that I may approach thee with such a profound sense of reverence and humility as is due to thy infinite Majesty. Grant, O Lord, that I may now receive thee with a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a sincere and lively faith. Pardon my sins, which have rendered me most unworthy to approach thee: I hate them, because they are displeasing to thee, my God; I renounce them for ever, and promise to be faithful to thee. Take courage, then, my soul, raise thyself up; go and receive thy God, and with him all the favours he hath prepared for thee in this most divine sacrament.
An Act of Hope.
In thee, O Jesus, do I place all my hope, because thou alone art my salvation, my strength, my refuge, and the foundation of all my happiness. Encouraged by thy goodness, I come to thee as a poor and infirm sheep to its shepherd; as a sick man to his physician; as a condemned criminal to his powerful intercessor: that, as the true shepherd of my soul, thou mayest strengthen me; that, as my physician, thou mayest heal me; and, as my merciful advocate, deliver me from the sentence of sin and death. Though my sins are innumerable, and very grievous, yet they are but light and trivial when compared to thy boundless mercy, and the infinite ransom of thy blood. Have pity, therefore, on me, O Jesus, and save me, for thou forsakest none that put their trust in thee.
An Act of Charity,
How strong was the force of thy love, my dear Redeemer, when, being about to depart out of this world to thy eternal Father, thou providedst for us this divine banquet, enriched with all heavenly sweetness. Through thine infinite goodness thou didst humble thyself to such an excess for our redemption, as to take upon thee the infirmity of our nature. And through an infinite excess of thy love, thou hast left us thy body and blood for the food and nourishment of our souls; that, as thou didst unite thyself to our humanity, so we might here be made partakers of thy divinity. In return for this thy infinite love, I desire to love thee, O Lord Jesus, who art my only comfort in this place of banishment, the only hope of my infirm soul, and my happiness, above all else that I can enjoy. Make me to love thee, my God, with my whole heart, with my whole soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength; that as every moment is an increase of my life, so it may be also of my love towards thee.
An Act of Desire.
As the wearied hart thirsts after the fountains of water, so doth my soul pant after thee, my Saviour, and my God. It ardently longs to drink of those fountains which thy love hath opened for its comfort and relief. Tired with my own evil ways, I return hungry and thirsty, crying out aloud, Have mercy on me, O Son of God, and permit me to taste of thy banquet, that my soul may be refreshed. Oh, that my soul did truly hunger after thee, the bread of angels, the food of blessed souls; and that all that is within me might be delighted with the taste of thy sweetness! I here despise all human consolations, that I may be comforted by thee, my only good, my God and Saviour, whom I love above all things, and desire to entertain within my breast, with as much devotion and affection as is conceived by thy chosen servants, who now sit at thy table of celestial bliss. And however I may have been hitherto wanting in my duty, or unjust to thee, in misplacing my affections, I now renounce for ever my folly and weakness, and from my heart desire that, for the future, my joy, my relief, my treasure, and rest, may be entirely centred in thee.
An Act of Thanksgiving.
Who am I, O God of infinite goodness, that thou shouldst permit me to partake of this bread of angels 1 How have I found such favour in thy sight, as to be the object of so unspeakable a mercy! Come, all ye angels and saints of God, and I will recount to you what great things the Lord hath done for my soul. He hath raised me out of the dust, and delivered me from the bonds of sin ; he hath told me not to be dejected, for that he himself will be my support and my strength; and though I have most unworthily forsaken him by my repeated follies, yet behold he calls me once more, and invites me to partake of the bread of life, that, as he made me, so I may ever live by him. What thanks can I give thee, O merciful Jesus, Saviour of the world? What return shall I make thee for all thou hast done for my soul 1 Were I to give all I have in acknowledgment of thy love, it would still be as nothing; for thou, Lord, hast plentifully poured forth thyself upon me, and given me even all that thou art; and if, in thanksgiving for thy mercies, I were to lay before thee my body and soul, my life, liberty, and all I possess, what would they be, when compared to the blessings thou hast here bestowed on me; what to the debt I owe, which is in some kind equal to what I receive, infinite as thyself? Thou hast mercifully given thyself to me, for the food of my soul; and now behold I offer thee all that I have, all that I am, all that I possess; to thee I make a full surrender of them all, that, being wholly thine, I may now no longer have any part in myself.