BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 17: OF AN ARDENT LOVE AND
VEHEMENT DESIRE TO RECEIVE CHRIST
The Voice of the Disciple.
WITH great devotion and ardent love, with all affection and
fervor of heart, I desire to receive Thee, O Lord, as many Saints and
devout persons, who were most pleasing to Thee in holiness of life and
in the most burning devotion, have desired Thee when they communicated.
O my God, Eternal Love, my whole good and never-ending happiness, I
desire to receive Thee with the most vehement desire and most worthy
reverence that any of the Saints have ever had, or could experience.
2. And although I am unworthy to possess all those sentiments of
devotion, nevertheless I offer Thee the whole affection of my heart, as
though I alone had all those highly-pleasing and inflamed desires.
Yet whatever a pious mind can conceive and desire, all these with the
greatest reverence and most inward fervor I present and offer Thee.
I desire to reserve nothing for myself, but freely and most willingly
to immolate to Thee myself and all that is mine.
O Lord my God, my Creator and Redeemer, I desire to receive Thee this
day with such affection, reverence, praise, and honor, with such
gratitude, worthiness, and love, with such faith, hope, and purity, as
Thy most holy Mother, the glorious Virgin Mary, received and desired
Thee, when, to the Angel announcing to her the mystery of the
Incarnation, she humbly and devoutly answered: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it
done unto me according to Thy word
3. And as Thy blessed precursor, the most excellent amongst the Saints,
John the Baptist, in Thy presence rejoicing, leapt through joy of the
Holy Ghost whilst he was yet enclosed in his mother's womb; and
afterwards seeing Jesus walking among men, humbling himself
exceedingly, with devout affection, said: "The friend of the Bridegroom, who standeth
and heareth Him, rejoiceth with Joy for the voice of the Bridegroom;
so I also wish to be inflamed with great and holy desires, and to
present myself to Thee from my whole heart.
Wherefore I here offer and present to Thee the joys of all devout
hearts, their ardent affections, their ecstasies, supernatural
illuminations, and heavenly visions; together with all the virtues and
praises that are or shall be celebrated by all creatures in Heaven and
earth, for myself and all such as have been recommended to my prayers;
and thus by all Thou mayst be worthily praised and glorified forever.
4. Receive my vows O Lord my God, and my desires of infinite praise and
boundless blessing, which, according to the multitude of Thine
unspeakable greatness, are most justly due to Thee.
These I render, and desire to render Thee every day and every moment of
time; and I invite and entreat all the Heavenly Spirits, and all the
Faithful, by prayers and affections, to render with me thanksgiving and
5. Let all peoples, tribes, and tongues praise Thee, and magnify Thy
holy and most sweet Name, with the highest jubilation and ardent
And may all, whoever reverently and devoutly celebrate Thy most high
Sacrament, and receive it with full faith, at Thy hands deserve to find
grace and mercy, and humbly to pray for me, a sinner.
And when they shall have obtained their wished-for devotion and
blissful union, and shall retire from Thy sacred heavenly table fully
comforted and wonderfully refreshed, let them vouchsafe to remember me,
a poor creature.
Practical Reflections and Prayer as
in the preceding chapter.