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An Act of Humility.
In humility of heart I approach thy holy altar, O my God, to implore thy mercy and assistance. I adore thee, divine Jesus, really present in this sacred Host; I acknowledge my unworthiness to receive thee; yet, encouraged by thy goodness, I venture to follow the impulse of my heart, which powerfully attracts me to thee. "O Lord of Hosts, how lovely are thy tabernacles! my soul longeth and fainteth" for thy possession; for "blessed is the man that trusteth in thee."
Humbled, O Lord, at the view of my many miseries, and convinced of my weakness,—yet animated with a sincere desire to employ the remainder of my years in repairing my past ingratitude,—I fervently implore thy powerful assistance, for, "strengthened by thee, I can do all things;" with humble confidence I approach thy altar, "for with thee is the fountain of life, and in thy light I shall see light." Come, then, O blessed Jesus, take possession of my heart, in this adorable sacrament . Come, and give efficacy to my resolution, of living henceforth but for thee, and of devoting all my faculties to the promotion of thy glory. May thy love be the end of my existence, and the only motive of all my actions; may it be my guide amidst all the dangers of the world; may it be my light in perplexities, and my counsel in doubts; may it forcibly detach my affections from earthly things. O adorable Jesus, can there be any real comfort but in thy service, any unalloyed happiness but in the possession of thee? May I henceforth prove my conviction of this truth by constant fervour and undeviating fidelity! Amen.
A Prayer before Receiving.
I approach thy banquet, O Jesus, having nothing to confide in but thy goodness and mercy, being of myself a sinner, destitute of all virtue. I hasten to thee, most compassionate Physician, the fountain of all goodness, that I may be healed. My sins are so many and great as to make me despair, if thou didst not encourage me to hope in thy mercies, which are infinite. Look, therefore, on me with the eyes of compassion, O Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King, God and Man, who wast crucified for the sins of men. Have mercy on me, thou inexhaustible fountain of goodness. Hail, saving Victim, offered on the cross for me and all mankind! Hail, generous and precious blood, flowing from thy wounds, O Jesus, and washing away the sins of the world! Remember thy creature, O Lord, whom thou hast redeemed by thy death; and grant that thy precious body and blood, which I am now about to receive, may avail to a full discharge from all my guilt, a victory over my evil thoughts, the beginning of a new life, the seed of good works, and a sure protection of soul and body against all the snares of my enemies.
PRAYERS AFTER COMMUNION.
I return thee thanks, O eternal Father, for having, out of thy pure mercy, without any desert of mine, been pleased to feed my soul with the body and blood of thine only Son; and beseech thee, that this holy communion may not be to my condemnation, but available to the effectual remission of all my sins. May it strengthen my faith; encourage me in the practice of good works; deliver me from all evil habits and sinful desires; perfect me in charity, patience, humility, obedience, and all other virtues. May it secure me against all the snares of my enemies, visible and invisible; closely unite me to thee, the only true God, and finally settle me in unchangeable bliss, by admitting me, though an unworthy sinner, to be a guest at that divine banquet, where thou, with the Son and the Holy Ghost, art the true light, eternal fulness, everlasting joy, and perfect happiness of all the saints; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I adore thy infinite greatness, O divine Majesty, who fillest both heaven and earth, and art adored by all the blessed spirits, who, without ceasing, praise and cry out before thee, " Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth." Is it possible thou shouldst condescend to visit the most unworthy of thy servants, and desire to dwell within him? If the heavens, nay, the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this habitation! Thou knowest, O blessed Jesus, how to conceal the splendour of thy glory, and condescend to our weakness, that so thou mayest communicate thyself to us the more freely. This thou didst not only at the time of thy adorable incarnation, when thou madest thyself like to us, the more forcibly to attract our love to thee; but also when thou didst institute this mystery, wherein thou givest thyself to us for the food and nourishment of our souls, the more closely to unite us to thyself, and make us aspire to that celestial banquet thou hast prepared for the blessed in heaven. O my God, I now desire to wean my heart entirely from all irregular and corrupt affections, that I may place my whole love and confidence in thee. For this end,I am firmly resolved to watch over all my actions, to flee from sin, and avoid whatever may be displeasing to thee. I will labour to work out my salvation by observing thy precepts, and as I have resolved, so I hope to be faithful to thee; but this resolution I am unable to perform without the help of thy grace, which I most humbly implore. O Jesus, save me; help me to walk in the ways of thy commandments with courage and perseverance. Incline my heart to love thy divine truths; divert my eyes from beholding vanity; strengthen me in the paths of holiness; and attract me so powerfully to thyself, that I may at last follow thee to heaven, where thou livest and reignest for all eternity.
What pledge can I give, O my Saviour, as an earnest of the love which I have now engaged to thee? I have nothing worthy of thee, and if I had, I have nothing but what is thine; but such is thy goodness, that thou art content to accept from us what is already thine own. Wherefore, behold, I here offer to thee my body and soul, which are both now sanctified by thy divine presence; I consecrate them to thee for ever, since thou hast chosen them for thy temple; my body to be continually employed in thy service, and never more to become an instrument of sin; my soul to know thee, to love thee, and be evermore faithful to thee. Bless, O my Saviour, the offering which I here make to thee. Permit not my body to be any more defiled with sensual delights, nor my soul by a will to commit any mortal sin. I am now resolved to serve thee, O my God, with body and soul, and I will labour to correct all their evil inclinations. I will declare war against myself, renounce my vain pleasures, my passion, my pride, my self-love, my own will, and whatever else may offend thee.
Preserve, O Lord, for ever in my soul the holy resolutions wherewith thou hast now inspired me, and grant me grace faithfully to put them in execution. Without thy aid I can do nothing; I therefore earnestly crave thy assistance, to conquer all the difficulties I may meet with in the way of my salvation. Regard me with the eyes of thy mercy; have compassion on my weakness; and strengthen me daily with thy grace.
O glorious Virgin, unite with me in giving thanks to thy beloved Son, who hath restored me to his grace, and refreshed my soul with the banquet of his most precious body. Offer him all the grateful service thou didst him in this life, to supply the defects of my devotion; and obtain of him that he depart not from me without leaving behind him a benediction for my soul.
O all ye holy angels, ministering spirits of God, behold the only Son of the eternal Father, whom you adored at his entrance into the world. Plead with him in my behalf, that I may henceforth serve him with the same spirit and truth wherewith you ministered to him whilst he remained on earth, and with the same cheerfulness wherewith you now obey him in his heavenly kingdom.
O all ye men and women, saints of God, behold within my breast your Lord, the source and reward of all your sanctity and grace, and let your prayers be joined with mine; that by his grace I may follow your steps in the exact performance of every duty, till, abounding in good works, I may at length be admitted into your society, and possess my Jesus to all eternity.
O great Saints, N. and N., whose names have been conferred upon me, and under whose patronage I have placed myself, obtain for me grace to fulfil the holy resolutions
I have this day made. Help me, by your powerful intercession, to lead a life conformable to the sacred character I have received, and to imitate the virtues which you so eminently practised. Protect me through all the perils of life, and abandon me not at the hour of death.
Graciously hear all my prayers, O good Jesus; hide me within thy wounds, and there protect me from all my enemies. Oh, 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 be the