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PRAYERS AFTER COMMUNION.
An Act of Thanksgiving. I return thee thanks, 0 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.
O tender and compassionate Lord Jesus, my God and my Saviour, thou art really present in my heart. Humbled before thee, I adore thee with all the powers of my soul, and love thee with all the affections of my heart. When I consider the splendours of thy awful Majesty, I scarcely dare to lift my eyes to thee; but yet thy goodness encourages me to speak to thee of my wants, and open my heart in all confidence before thee. How can I become weary of repeating that I love thee, or more nobly employ the faculties with which thou hast gifted me, than in proclaiming thy praises, and proving my boundless gratitude for thy mercies ? My highest ambition is to attain the perfection of thy love; and for this I earnestly pray to thee, reminding thee of thy own promise, that is whatsoever we ask in prayer, believing, we shall receive." Grant me the spirit of perfect obedience to thy commands, and constant fidelity to thy inspirations; as
well as a lively horror, not only of grievous sin, but of every deliberate fault, however small. Assisted by thy grace, O divine Jesus, I desire to offer thee the homage of a heart submissive to thy will; of sincere piety, founded on charity towards thee and my neighbour; of purity of intention in all my actions, and constant recollection of thy divine presence. Thus may I hope to bring forth fruits worthy of eternal life, for thou hast declared that it is only " those who do thy will who shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” Shall not so glorious a promise animate my zeal? Happy those who obtain admittance to that abode of peace and glory, where our “ God shall wipe away all tears, and death shall be no more; nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow, shall be any more." Even in this life, thou givest a faint idea of the happiness thou hast prepared for those who love thee, filling our souls with a peace which the world cannot give or take away. What felicity awaits us, when we shall see thee face to face, and through a long eternity share thy glory! From my heart, I now exclaim, with those who are prostrate before thy eternal throne, “I give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who art, and who wast, and who art to come; because thou hast taken to thee great power, and hast reigned.” O divine Jesus, reign in my heart for ever, as my King and sovereign Master. Command my desires, subdue my passions, and render my will submissive to thine. I sincerely desire to prove my love for thee; and how can I do so more effectually, than by embracing thy will on all occasions ? The thought of the happy eternity which awaits me shall animate my hope, and the remembrance of thy eternal love shall impel me to embrace without hesitation whatever thou shalt command. My study shall be to know thy will, my consolation to adore it, and my joy to fulfil it perfectly. O my God, vouchsafe ever to guide me by thy holy Spirit, for “ if thy wisdom be not with me, I shall be nothing." Thou hast fed me with thy sacred body and blood, that, united to thee, I may love thee more fervently, “ever follow that which is good towards all men,” and adhere to thee, who “art the way, the truth, and the life.” My King, my God, and
my Saviour, may I be faithful to thy graces, may I correspond with thy mercy, may my actions be ever animated by that spirit of faith and love, which will render them acceptable in thy sight, and ensure me a share in the happiness promised to those who faithfully persevere to the end in thy love and service. Amen.
An Act of Adoration. I praise and glorify thy blessed name, O my God, for the many favours thou hast now bestowed on me, and for all the blessings wherewith thou hast enriched my soul, after the many miseries and wants I have suffered, when, by my pleasures and passions, I had departed from thee. In thy great goodness, thou didst withdraw me from the precipice whither I was running; enlightening me with thy beams, and, by the inspirations of thy grace, inviting me to return. Thou hast pardoned all my sins; and, to crown all these favours, thou hast now come to visit me, that thou mightest abide in me, and I in thee. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. He hath forgiven thee all thy iniquities, and healed all thy infirmities. He hath redeemed thy life from destruction, and crowned thee with mercy and compassion. He hath satisfied thy hunger with good things, and replenished thee with all thou couldst desire. And oughtest thou not to resolve upon a change of life, and, renewing thy strength, grow young like the eagle in his service? Let thy grace, O Lord, be ever at hand to assist me; for the experience of my weakness makes me fearful; and if thou support me not, I shall certainly fall again. Be thou, therefore, my shield and defence. Grant me a firm and constant faith ; and strengthen it not only with respect to this mystery, but all other Christian truths and principles of eternal life; that, by the help thereof, I may overcome all such difficulties as I may have to encounter in my journey to that state of bliss for which I was created ; and that I may follow the faith of those who, for my example, have gone before me, have tri
umphed over their enemies, done justice, and obtained the promises.
of Hope. I adore thy infinite greatness, O divine Majesty, who fillest both heaven and earth, and art adored by all the blessed spirits, angels, and saints, 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 all thy servants, and desire to dwell within him? If the heavens, nay, the heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee, how much less this habitation, which I have prepared for thy reception! Thou knowest, o blessed Jesus, how to conceal the dazzling splendour of thy glory, and condescend to our weak capacity, 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 gavest 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 God, grant me the grace so eagerly to long after this eternal banquet, that the desire of hereafter enjoying it may make me despise all the goods and pleasures of this life, and Jabour incessantly to prepare myself, till I am happily admitted amongst its guests. 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 alone. 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 acknowledge myself unable to perform without the help of thy grace, which I most humbly implore. O Jesus, save me; conduct me through the ways of thy commandments, in which I now begin to walk, with courage and perseverance. Incline my heart to love thy divine truths; divert my eyes from beholding vain objects; refresh and 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.
An Oblation. 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 Lord, the offering which I here make thee. “Bless, O Lord, this house.” Permit not my body to be any more defiled with sensual delights, nor my soul by a will to commit any mortal sin; for, as I am now resolved to serve thee with body and soul, I will labour to correct their evil inclinations. I will declare war against myself, renounce all my vain pleasures, my passion, my pride, my self-love, my own will, and whatever else may offend thee.
A Prayer for Perseverance. 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