BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
14: OF THE ARDENT DESIRE OF SOME DEVOUT PERSONS TOWARDS THE BODY OF
The Voice of the Disciple.
AH, how great is the multitude of Thy sweetness, O Lord, which
Thou hast hidden for them that fear Thee!
When I call to mind some persons devout to Thy Sacrament, O Lord, who
approach with the greatest devotion and affection, then I am often
confounded within myself, and blush that I approach so tepidly and
coldly to Thine altar, and to the table of Holy Communion; that I
remain so dry and without affection of heart; that I am not wholly set
on fire in Thy presence, O my God, nor so vehemently drawn onwards and
affected, as many devout persons have been, who, from excessive desire
of Communion and a sensible love in their hearts were unable to contain
themselves from weeping; but with the mouth, both of their heart as
well as of their body, did they, from the very marrow of their soul
pant after Thee, O Lord, the Living Fountain; and being otherwise able
either to delay or satisfy their hunger, unless by receiving Thy Body
with all joy and spiritual avidity.
2. Oh, truly the ardent faith of these persons is a demonstrative
existing argument of Thy sacred presence!
For they truly know their Lord in the breaking of bread, whose heart
burneth, so mightily within them, from Jesus walking with them.
Alas, far from me too often is such affection and devotion, such
vehement love and ardor.
Be Thou merciful to me, O good Jesus, sweet and gracious, and grant Thy
poor mendicant to feel, sometimes at least, in the sacred Communion
some little of the cordial affection of Thy love, that my faith may be
more strengthened, my hope in Thy goodness increased; and that charity,
once perfectly enkindled, and having tasted the manna of Heaven, may
never die away.
3. Powerful, indeed, is Thy mercy to give me also the desired grace,
and in Thy great clemency, when the time of Thy good pleasure arrives,
to visit me with the spirit of fervor.
For though I burn not with so great desire as Thy specially devout
servants, yet, by Thy grace, I have a desire of this same greatly
inflamed desire, praying and wishing that I may be made partaker with
all such fervent lovers and be numbered in their holy company.
How to make a good Spiritual
SPIRITUAL Communion, which the Council of Trent approves of, and so
strongly advises and commends as a substitute for the sacramental and
corporal reception of Jesus Christ, may be made at all times and in all
places, whether we are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament or not.
We may make it every hour, or after a Hail Mary, said in honor of the
Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, uniting ourselves to those holy
dispositions with which she conceived Jesus Christ in her chaste womb.
We should bring our minds to a respectful remembrance of Jesus Christ
in the Most Holy Sacrament; we should there adore Him, and direct our
hearts towards Him, as Daniel did towards the Temple; we should give
all to Him, and desire to receive Him sacramentally; as, however, we
cannot enjoy that happiness, not being prepared, we should pray to Him
for the communication of His holy Spirit, in place of His Sacred Body
But the most proper time for making a good spiritual Communion, is when
we assist at Mass, at the time of the priest's Communion. Then a
Christian, animated with a lively and actual faith in the real presence
of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and with an ardent desire of
being intimately united to Him, should evince such dispositions by
humbling himself profoundly in His presence; and, esteeming himself
unworthy of really receiving Him, implore Him to come and dwell in his
mind by faith, and in his heart by love and gratitude for His goodness,
that so he may say with the Apostle: "I
live, now not ,but Christ liveth in me
O MOST amiable Saviour, Who wast the perpetual object and
reigning desire of the ancient Patriarchs and Prophets, and of all the
Saints of the Old Testament, who sighed incessantly for Thine
incarnation, come into my soul, which burns with the desire of
receiving Thee, and of being united to Thee, as the Author of my
salvation, and the Source of all good. Come and destroy within me the
tyranny of sin and self-love, and establish there the reign of Thy
grace and charity. I have reason to judge myself unworthy of really
partaking of Thy Body and Blood, but in Thy mercy grant me to partake
of Thy Spirit, and of Thy virtues, through the desire I have of
receiving Thee in the Most Holy Sacrament.
No, my Jesus, I cannot leave Thee, nor live without Thee: Thou only
canst satisfy my heart and make me happy. O ye Seraphim! who ardently
desire to be sacramentally united to Jesus Christ, yet cannot, I unite
myself to the ardor and purity of your desires, to be united to the
same God Whom with me you adore upon the altar. But, O Lord, do Thou
come and purify my heart from all attachment to myself or to creatures,
my heart which was made but to love and to possess Thee. Thou alone
canst satisfy it, and all that is not Thee is as nothing. O amiable
God! O loving God! can I know Thee and not love Thee, and love Thee and
not burn with desire to receive Thee on earth, and to see and to
possess Thee forever in Heaven! Amen.