Devout Exercises of Preparation and Thanksgiving
for Confession and Holy Communion
DEVOTIONS AFTER HOLY COMMUNION
Behold, my longings are fulfilled! Behold, my desires are satisfied! Now hath my God come to visit me! Now Jesus dwelleth within me! Now I am no longer my own but Christ’s: I no longer live in myself, but in Jesus, and Jesus lives in me. I am altogether the possession of Jesus, and Jesus is altogether mine.
O Infinite Goodness! A God—–the God of Heaven—–hath touched the tongue, and come within the breast, and sought the heart of a human creature, and one so vile, so unworthy as I am! My soul, of what art thou thinking? Behold thyself now in possession of that for which thou hast been sighing; behold thyself all hallowed by the presence of Jesus, transformed into Jesus. Thou and Jesus art one. O union true and wonderful! My soul, my soul, art thou thus closely united to Jesus, and yet sayest nothing to Him, and speakest not with thy God Who is in thine arms, within thy breast, at thy heart? Up, up, arise, collect thyself, gather up all the affections of thy spirit; adore Him, and say to Him:
O welcome, dearest Jesus, to the mansion of my soul. Oh, how long have I desired this hour! But, oh, how I pity Thee, now that I see Thee placed in this heart, more hard and cold than the stall where thou wast born; a heart more full of what is grief and anguish to Thee than Calvary was to Thy sacred flesh; for not once, but a hundred, and a thousand times, have I renewed Thy death and Passion by my sins! Lord, what dost Thou find in me but hardness and obduracy against Thee, and affections all given to earthly things! Ah, my God, how is it Thou hast come to dwell in me? I must cry out with St. Peter, Depart from me, depart from me, O Majesty of God; depart from this soul of sin, which is not worthy to harbor God; Exi a me, quia homo peccator sum, Domine. (St. Luke v. 8). Go, and rest within those pure and fervent souls who welcome Thee so tenderly. But, no, O my most precious blessing; no, let it never be so; do not leave me, for if Thou art far from me, I am lost. O God, my hope, I will not let Thee go! O blessing, for which I have sighed, I press Thee to my heart, and I wish to live and die thus embracing Thee. O most holy Mary, O Angels, Saints, and Souls that love your God! lend me your affections, that I may fitly welcome and cherish this presence of my Jesus.
Act of Thanksgiving
O Divine Trinity, one God, most worthy to be loved, I thank Thee from the very depth of my heart, because Thou hast given me Jesus; I thank Thee because Thou hast left me Jesus in the Sacrament; I thank Thee for having caused me to receive Him; I thank Thee, my Jesus, that Thou hast deigned to visit me. O God, what return can I make for so much love! How can I thank Thee enough, O most holy Virgin, O Angels, O Saints of Heaven, O all enamoured Souls, help me to thank our God, to thank and thank Him again and again, for this infinite kindness. But, O God, how little even is all this! The thanksgiving of all Paradise cannot attain to be thanks sufficient to an infinite God, or recommend Him for His benefits. What, then, shall I do? I know not, except, O my most holy Jesus, to offer up Thine Own love itself in thanks for Thine infinite love. May Thine infinite compassion, Thy kindness, and all the abyss of Thine infinite attributes, render to Thee that honor and that thank-offering which Thou deservest. O Most Holy Trinity, one God, I thank Thee by the hands of Jesus; and do Thou, O Triune God, thank Jesus for me! And now let my heart remain full, and let Thy Majesty accept and be satisfied with these infinite thanks. O my Blessing, to Thee alone be praise, glory, and honor from all creatures, forever and forever. Amen.
What art thou doing, my soul? Dost thou know that now thou art a living temple in which really dwells thy Redeemer? It is no time now for lying slothful, and full of wandering thoughts. It is the time for asking all the graces of which thou standest in need, and for receiving them from the true and living God Who is dwelling within thee.
Now the heavens stand open, now the Most Holy Trinity, with eyes all full of love, is above thee, looking down on the object of Its own complacency—–Jesus Christ, Who is within thy breast. Now more than ever Mary, and Angels, and Saints, thy advocates, are beseeching graces for thee from God. My soul, my soul, lose not of these precious moments; bend thy faculties to deal with the great affair of thy eternal salvation. But how? Art thou saying nothing to thy God? Ah, poor and miserable as thou art, thou delightest to live on amid thy miseries, while thou hast with Thee the God of all riches; and thou art silent, and thy mind begins already to wander, and thou art so without desire of interest, so dull and so idle of heart! Dost thou not know that if thou seekest not thou obtainest not? Were a king to enter thy house and invite thee to ask favors of him, wouldst thou be long silent? Ah, miserable race, through our little faith! The King of kings, with His royal presence, is within thee, the Lord of the heavenly treasures. A God—–thy God—–hath come to thee, Who wishes to bestow great graces on thee and thou speakest not a word! This Infinite Benignity grieves and laments that His favors are not sought; and, unable longer to endure the languid and indifference of men, forever longing to be kind to them and do them good, He Himself takes to inviting them, and beseeches them to ask. Usque modo non petistis quidquam in nomine meo. Petite, et accipietis, ut gaudium vestrum sit plenum (St. John XVI. 24). My soul, thou hast within thee a Lord omnipotent, a most loving and munificent Father, a most faithful God: and of what art thou afraid? Seek and confide, enlarge thy heart, revive thy faith; begin, ask great graces—–heavenly graces, graces worthy of God.
Act of Petition
O my dear Redeemer, since Thou hast come to me, in order to confer graces upon me, and invitest me to ask them of Thee, hear me now by the bowels of Thy compassion. Give me, O my Jesus, an increase of living faith, hope, charity, and contrition. Give me humility, purity, patience, and all virtues; take from me all my corruptions. Change this heart, so full of the world and of myself, and give me a new heart conformed to Thy will, so that I may always seek Thy greater glory, and that all its affections may aspire to Thee and aim only at Thy love, without ever deviating even in the very least. Cor mundum crea in me Deus, et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis (Ps. 1. 12). Grace is indeed a mighty gift, and though I merit it not, Thou meritest it for me. From a great and glorious God great favors may be sought; grant me this, then, which I have asked, by Thy Passion, by Thy death; grant it by the love Thou bearest to the Eternal Father; grant it me by the virtue of most holy Mary, by all the merits of the Church triumphant and militant; grant it me because Thou art Thyself infinite goodness and mercy.
Here apply yourself to ask with lively faith from God the graces and favors which are needful for yourself and your neighbor.
O Most Holy Trinity, O my omnipotent God, hear these my prayers. Now is not the time to refuse graces even to the most unworthy, because it is not I myself alone that am seeking them, but, together with me, Jesus Christ is supplicating. Though I do not deserve to be heard, Jesus Christ deserves it, Who prays with me, and in me, and for me. Eternal Father, I call up before Thee the promises of Jesus Christ, Who hath said that whatever graces we seek from Thee in His name, without any other means, they shall be obtained from Thee: Amen amen, dico vobis, si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, dabit vobis (St. John XVI. 23).
Act of Oblation
My Jesus, it is but justice and common gratitude that I should give myself entirely to Thee, after Thou hast given Thyself entirely to me. Thou hast, in coming to me, penetrated and made godlike all my being with Thy Divinity, and so I ought henceforward to continue Thine. May these eyes, renewed by Thee, continue Thine; may these ears, sanctified by Thee, continue Thine; this taste, sanctified by Thee, may it be Thine. Thou hast sanctified all my senses; may they be Thine, and so may they never again take pleasure in opposition to Thy Divine Law. Thou hast sanctified my memory; may it continually remember Thee. Thou hast sanctified my will; may it never turn to love anything in preference to Thee. Unto Thee, then, from the very depth of my heart, I offer, as a perpetual holocaust, my body and my soul, my senses and my faculties, all that I have and am, as fully as I can. Burn, O fire Divine, bum and consume, O love omnipotent, all in me which is not Thine! Amen.
PORTRAIT OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN
To know the Catholic religion, to respect it, to love it, to avoid diligently that which it prohibits, to fulfill exactly that which it commands.
To believe in God, to hope in Him, to love Him, to pray often to Him, to thank Him, to praise Him, to adore Him, to fear Him, to submit perfectly to Him.
To observe subordination, piety, justice, goodness, charity toward our superiors, or equals, and our inferiors.
To be humble, teachable, patient, modest, chaste, temperate, detached from the world and from self, and to be occupied about our own salvation, and the means of attaining it.
All this to be fulfilled with the intention of rendering glory to God, in faithful imitation of Jesus Christ, His Son, our Lord, our Head, and our Model.
This is the portrait of a true Christian. Seek to make it your own.