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Grant that I may then receive with great love the most holy Viaticum; that embracing thee, burning with divine love and with an ardent desire of seeing thee, I may depart this life, to embrace thy feet as soon as I behold thee.
O my king, come and reign alone in my soul; do thou take full possession of it, that it may serve and obey only thy love.
O that I could, my Jesus, be wholly consumed for thee, who didst consume thy whole life for me!
O Lamb of God, sacrificed upon the cross, remember that I am one of those souls whom thou didst redeem with so many labours and sufferings. Grant that I may never lose thee. Thou hast given thyself wholly to me; grant that I may be wholly thine, and have no other end in view but to please thee. I love thee, O immense and sovereign good, in order to please thee; I love thee because thou art infinitely worthy of love. My greatest affliction is to have lived so long without loving thee.
My beloved Redeemer, grant me to share in that grief for my sins which overwhelmed thee in the garden of Gethsemani. O my Jesus, that I had died rather than have ever offended thee! O love of my Jesus, thou art my love and my hope. I desire to lose
my life a thousand times rather than lose thy grace.
My God, had I died in the state of sin, I could not now have loved thee any more. I thank thee for affording me time and calling me to love thee. Now that I am able, I will love thee with my whole soul. Thou hast preserved me until now in order that I may love thee; and I will love thee. O for the sake of thy precious blood which thou didst shed for me, never suffer me again to forsake thee: In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in æternum. What is the world! what are riches, pleasures, honours! God, and God only do I desire. My God, thou alone art sufficient for me, for thou art the sovereign, infinite good.
O my Jesus, bind me wholly to thy love, and draw to thyself all my affections, so that I may not be able to love any other but thee. Grant that before death I may be indeed wholly thine.
Ah, my God, so long as I live I am in dan. ger of offending thee! Alas, when shall that day come when I shall be able to say: my Jesus, I now can never lose thee!
O Eternal Father, for the love of Jesus Christ do not despise me; accept of me to love thee, and give me divine love. I desire to love thee as much as I am able in this
world, that I may love thee for ever in the next.
O infinite good, I love thee; but enable me to know how great a good I love, and to love thee as thou desirest. Grant that I may overcome all in order to please thee.
O Mary, who so much desirest to see thy dear Son loved, this do I entreat of thee, that thou wilt obtain for me to love him dur. ing the whole remainder of my life, and nothing more do I wish for. Most blessed Lady, my Mother, in thee do I confide: thou dost obtain whatever thou askest of God; thou prayest for all who are devout to thee, pray also for me.
On the Divine Office.
Christian Le majesty of the
OF DEVOUTLY RECITING THE DIVINE OFFICE.
To those who are deputed by the Church to recite the Canonical Hours, two very great and important offices are entrustedthat of praising and glorifying God, and that of imploring the divine mercies upon all Christian people. In the first place, then, the supreme majesty of God is to be honoured by the reciting of the Office. Sacrificium laudis honorificabit me: et illic iter, quo ostendam illi salutare Dei. Ps. xlix. 23. I declare myself honoured, saith the Lord, by him who offers me a sacrifice of praise; and thereby he shall find the way of obtaining eternal salvation. St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, when she heard the bell for Office, was filled with consolation, and hastened immediately to the choir, delighted with the thought that she was going to be engaged in the employment of the angels, whose constant occupation it is to praise God. And it is for this end that the Church has appointed her ministers to sing the Divine Office, that men on earth may join with the blessed in heaven in honouring their common Creator.
Sed illa sedes coelitum
Almoe Sionis cemuli. St. Gregory Nazianzen says, that the chanting of the Psalms is a prelude of the praises with which the Saints honour God in heaven: Psalmorum cantus illius (cælestis) hymnodice præludium est. S. Greg. Naz. Or. 40, in fin. Thus, according to Tertullian, when we recite the Canonical Hours, we as it were take possession of heaven, inasmuch as we discharge the same duty as the inhabitants of that blessed country. Hence, St. Catharine of Bologna took so much delight in reciting the Divine Office, that she wished her death might take place while she was so engaged.
In the second place, by the office God is to be thanked for all the graces and favours which he is continually bestowing on man. kind, and his divine mercy is to be obtained for poor sinners. It is the duty of the faithful in general to thank God for all his benefits: and as all stand in need here below of the divine assistance, in order to resist their spiritual enemies, and to obtain eternal salvation, so all are likewise bound to implore by prayer the succour of his mercies; but, as seculars are constantly distracted with the