BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
13: THAT A DEVOUT SOUL OUGHT TO DESIRE, WITH THE WHOLE HEART,
TO BE UNITED TO CHRIST IN THIS SACRAMENT
The Voice of the Disciple.
WHO will give me, O Lord, to find Thee alone, to open my whole
heart to Thee, and enjoy Thee as my soul desireth, and that no one may
henceforth despise me, nor anything created move or regard me, but that
Thou alone mayst speak to me, and I to Thee, as the beloved is wont to
speak to his beloved, and a friend to be entertained with a friend.
For this I pray, this I desire, that I may be wholly united to Thee,
and that I may withdraw my heart from all things created; and by Holy
Communion, and often celebrating, I may more and more learn to relish
things heavenly and eternal.
Ah, Lord God, when shall I be wholly united to, and absorbed in Thee,
and altogether unmindful of myself?
Thou in me, and I in Thee; and thus grant us both equally to continue
2. Verily, Thou art my Beloved, the choicest among thousands, in Whom
my soul is well pleased to dwell all the days of its life.
Verily, Thou art my Peace-maker, in Whom is sovereign peace and true
rest; and out of Whom is labor and sorrow and infinite misery.
Thou art in truth a hidden God, and Thy counsel is not with the wicked,
but Thy conversation is with the humble and the simple.
Oh, how sweet, O Lord, is Thy Spirit, Who, to show Thy sweetness
towards Thy children, vouchsafest to refresh them with that most
delicious Bread which cometh down from Heaven!
Truly, no other nation is there so great, that hath its gods so nigh to
it, as Thou, our God, art present to all Thy faithful; to whom for
their daily solace, and for raising up their hearts to Heaven, Thou
givest Thyself to be eaten and enjoyed.
3. For what other nation is there so distinguished as the Christian
Or what creature under Heaven so beloved as a devout soul to whom God
cometh, that He may feed it with His Own glorious flesh? O unspeakable
grace! O wonderful condescension!
O boundless love bestowed exclusively on man!
But what shall I render to the Lord for this grace, for charity so
There is not anything that I can present to Him more acceptable than to
give up my heart entirely to God, and closely unite it to Him.
Then all that is within me shall rejoice exceedingly, when my soul
shall have been perfectly united to its God; then will He say to me: If
thou wilt be with Me, I will be with thee; and I will answer Him:
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to remain with me, I will willingly be with Thee.
This is my whole desire, that my heart may be united to Thee.
Of the ends for which Jesus Christ is
present upon our altars, and the pious dispositions with which we
should visit the Blessed Sacrament, and assist at Mass and Benediction.
THE Son of God remains upon our altars not only during Mass, but
likewise a other times; first, to hear and favorably to receive our
prayers, and to continue the same mediation between God and man which
He exercised upon the Cross; secondly, to receive our visits, our
homage, and adorations; hence, those Christians who visit Him seldom,
coldly, through custom, or with indifference, are highly blamable for
thus appearing before their God, their Savior, and their Judge, without
either reverence, love, or fear; thirdly, to console us under
afflictions, to support us in difficulties, and to resolve and
dissipate our doubts, according to what is written: "Let us go to the Son of Joseph, and He
will console us;
" ["Is not this Jesus, the Son of
Joseph, whose father and mother we know?" (St. John, vi, 42).]
as a Prophet said to a prince, who sent to consult a false god: "Is it because there is no God in Israel?
fourthly, to be our nourishment during life, and our Viaticum at the
hour of death.
How should a Christian who has recourse to Jesus Christ in the Blessed
Sacrament with assiduity, respect, and gratitude, as to his King, his
God, and his Savior, who never omits hearing Mass but from necessity,
and when he assists at it, or at Benediction, endeavors to attend with
a spirit of religion, that he may depart affected, converted, and a
how, I say, should a Christian who is
faithful in the discharge of all pious duties towards Jesus Christ
immolated for him on the altar, repose his confident hope in His bounty
and mercies, both in life and in death? Will not, however, the Son of
God have reason one day to reproach multitudes of Christians who either
neglect to visit Him in the Most Holy Sacrament, or do so with very
little devotion; will He not have reason to reproach them with their
irreverence and want of faith, saying to them: "There hath stood One in the midst of you
Whom ye knew not
"? You have neglected to know and visit God, "Who was in the midst of you.
In vain have I performed prodigies of power, wisdom, and bounty in the
Blessed Eucharist, that I might gain your hearts; you would not
interrupt your employments, nor even your pleasure to come and pay Me
your homage. To answer the ends therefore for which Jesus Christ is
always present in the Most Holy Sacrament, we should visit Him, hear
Mass, and attend at Benediction, with all the respect and submission of
courtiers before their king, with the recollection and fervor of Angels
before their God, with the humble fear of criminals before their judge,
and with the confidence and love of children before their father.
Which may be recited either
during Mass or at the Benediction, or when visiting the Blessed
I. I ADORE Thee, O Sovereign Majesty, Who residest upon our altars, to
receive our homage, and dost there annihilate and immolate Thyself in
honor of Thine Eternal Father, to come and reign in our hearts. I
profoundly pay Thee all the homage due to a God Who is to decide my
eternal doom. I prostrate myself before Thee. I desire to join in the
profound adorations of the Seraphim who assist around the altar, and I
beseech Thee to accept their recollection and their love to supply the
wanderings of my mind, and the indifference of my heart.
II. Penetrated with sorrow and confusion for the irreverences and
indecencies which I have dared to commit in Thy presence, and for those
also of all other Christians. I most humbly crave pardon for them, and
am resolved to make amends for them, by appearing before Thee with all
that modesty, all that reserve, all that respect, and all that spirit
of religion with which I ought to present myself before Thee. I desire
to satisfy Thy justice for all the outrages Thou hast received from
impious libertines and heretics in the Most Holy Sacrament. Forgive
them, O Lord, for they know Thee not; and cause me to suffer the
temporal punishment which they have deserved, rather than abandon and
punish them forever.
Grant, O adorable Victim of Thy love and of our salvation, grant that
faith may immolate my mind, charity consecrate my heart, and religion
sacrifice my whole being to Thee; and that so long as I shall be in Thy
house, my eyes may behold only Thee, my heart overflow with Thy love,
and my tongue proclaim Thy praise in prayer and supplication.
III. While the Angels lie prostrate before Thee, O great God, and,
struck with humble fear, fervently pay Thee their tribute of profound
respect and ardent love, shall we mortals, who are the works of Thy
hands and the price of Thy Blood, appear in Thy presence with wandering
eyes and dissipated minds, with cold and indifferent hearts, without
addressing Thee, and almost without thinking of Thee? O my Savior,
suffer me not to be thus wanting in the respect and love which I owe to
Thy greatness, and which Thou dost so much the more deserve as Thou
dost the more humble Thyself for the love of me.
IV. Inspire me with the sentiments of the publican, who dared not lift
up his eyes towards God, penetrated with sorrow and confusion for his
sins, and of the prodigal son, when he returned to his father's house;
and grant that, like them, I may be restored, through Thy bounty and my
sorrow, to Thy grace and favor.
V. O my soul, behold thy God Who died for thee, and of Whose death thou
wert the cause; how canst thou refrain from testifying thy love and
gratitude towards Him? O my heart! be thou before Jesus Christ like the
lamp which burns before Him, and be thou in like manner consumed
His presence. No, I desire not to depart from before Thee, my Savior,
without being truly converted and entirely Thine. Amen.