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Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941

------Book 4------


The Voice of the Disciple.

CONFIDING, O Lord, in Thy goodness, and in Thy great mercy, I come sick to my Savior, hungry and thirsty to the Fountain of life, needy to the King of Heaven, a servant to my Lord, a creature to my Creator, and one in desolation to my loving Comforter.

But whence is this to me, that Thou shouldst come to me? Who am I, that Thou shouldst give to me Thyself?

How dare a sinner appear before Thee? And how dost Thou vouchsafe to come to a sinner?

Thou knowest Thy servant, and dost know that he has nothing of good in himself, that Thou shouldst bestow this favor upon him.

 I confess, therefore, my unworthiness; I acknowledge Thy bounty; I praise Thy goodness; and I give Thee thanks for Thine exceeding love.

For it is for Thine Own sake Thou dost this, not on account of my merits-----that Thy goodness may be the more manifest to me, that Thy love may be more abundantly imparted, and Thy humility more perfectly commended.
Since, therefore, this pleaseth Thee, and Thou hast ordained it thus, Thy merciful condescension pleaseth me also; and, oh! that my iniquity may be no obstacle!

2. O most sweet and most benign Jesus, how great reverence and thanksgiving, with perpetual praise, are due to Thee for the receiving of Thy sacred Body, whose dignity no man can be found able to unfold!

But on what shall I think in this Communion, when I approach to my Lord, Whom I can never duly venerate, and yet desire to receive with devotion?

What can I think on better or more salutary than to humble myself entirely before Thee and extol Thine infinite goodness above me?

I praise Thee, O my God, and I extol Thee forever; I despise myself, and cast myself down into the depth of my own vileness.

3. Behold, Thou art the Saint of Saints, and I am the scum of sinners.

Behold, Thou bowest Thyself down to me, who am not worthy to look up to Thee.

Behold, Thou comest to me; Thou wishest to be with me; Thou invitest me to Thy banquet; Thou desirest to give me heavenly food, even the Bread of Angels, to eat; no other, indeed, than Thyself, the living Bread, Who didst come down from Heaven, and givest life to the world.

4. Behold, whence love proceedeth; what a condescension shineth forth! How great thanksgiving and praise are due to Thee for these!

Oh! how salutary and profitable was Thy design when Thou didst institute it! How sweet and delightful this banquet, wherein Thou hast given Thyself for our food!

Oh, how admirable is Thy work, O Lord! How mighty is Thy power! How infallible Thy truth!

For Thou hast spoken, and all things were made, and that which Thou commandest has been done.

5. A wonderful thing it is, and worthy of faith, and transcending all human intelligence, that Thou, O Lord
my God, true God and man, art contained entire under a small form of bread and wine, art eaten by the receiver, and without being consumed.

Thou, the Lord of all things, Who standest in need of no one, art pleased by this Sacrament to dwell in us.

Preserve my heart and my body immaculate, that, with a joyful and pure conscience, I may often be able to celebrate Thy sacred mysteries, and, receive for my eternal salvation what Thou hast principally ordained and instituted for Thy honor and perpetual remembrance.

6. Rejoice, O my soul, and give thanks unto God for so noble a gift, and so singular a solace left to thee in this valley of tears.

For as often as thou repeatest this mystery and receivest the Body of Christ, so often dost thou perform the work of thy redemption, and art made partaker of all the merits of Christ.

For the charity of Christ is never diminished, and the greatness of His propitiation is never exhausted.

Therefore oughtest thou to dispose thyself for this by an ever-recurring renovation of spirit, and weigh with attentive consideration the great mystery of salvation.

And as often as thou celebratest or hearest Mass, it ought to seem to thee as great, new, and delightful, as if Christ that very day first descending into the Virgin's womb was made man; or, hanging on the Cross, suffered and died for man's salvation.


I. WHEN thou approachest the Holy Communion, consider the greatness and majesty of God, Whom thou art going to receive, and the baseness and unworthiness of thyself, a vile and sinful creature, who art about to receive Him. Humble thyself in His presence, and say to Him: Who am I, Lord, that I should dare to approach Thee; and Who art Thou, that Thou shouldst debase Thyself so low as to come to me! When I consider, on the one hand, the excellence of Thy sanctity and purity, and, on the other, the corruption and disorders of my soul, I am forced to acknowledge that I am most unworthy to receive Thee, and that I cannot, without rashness, permit Thee to enter into my heart. But, knowing the excess of Thy goodness, and the need which I have of Thee for my sanctification and salvation, I will approach to Thee, my Savior! with a holy confidence; for Thou hast said that those who are well stand not in need of a physician, but only those who are sick; to Thee, Who comest to seek and to save those who are gone astray, and are in danger of perishing; to Thee, Who art the "Word made flesh for love of man;" to Thee Whose desire is that we be converted and live. I am indeed a grievous sinner, but I will no longer remain such. I feel neither consolation nor delight in Thy holy presence, but sensible of my many miseries, I come to lay them all at Thy sacred feet; here I will rest.

II. Whence comes this honor and this happiness, that my God should so far conceal His sovereign majesty as to become the food and nourishment of my soul? Ah! it is the profound humility of a Man-God, Who would carry His abjection not only so far as not to appear as God, but not even as man, and thus eclipse all the splendors of His majesty, to evince the excess of His bounty and the charms of His love for us. O my Savior, whilst Thou concealest Thy Divine perfections from our sight, that we may not be dazzled by their glory, Thou dost disclose to us the depth of Thy humility, that we may be induced to copy it in our conduct. O my soul, canst thou desire to be known by others, when thou beholdest thy God concealed and hidden in the Holy Eucharist! How shall such a miserable worm of the earth as I am dare to exalt myself, when I reflect that my God annihilates Himself in this mystery, to impress upon me the character of His humility?

III. Say not, Christian soul, that thou dost not dare to approach frequently to a God so great and awful. Thou art indeed unworthy, and thou wilt not cease to be so, if thou dost not endeavor to attend diligently to thy correction; but, says St. Augustine, this Bread of Angels is not a poison; it is a nourishment given for thy use, and necessary for thy salvation. Receive it, therefore, and frequently nourish thy soul with it, but let not habit deprive thee of all relish for this heavenly food, as it generally does for all worldly dainties. The holy dispositions in which thou shouldst receive the God of holiness ought to increase with the frequency of thine approach to the holy table. It is not for thee to know this increase; but there is always advancement when thou dost strive with greater earnestness to become more holy by means of recollection and humility.


I BELIEVE, O Lord, that Thou art my God and the sovereign Judge Who will decide my eternal doom. With what respect, therefore, ought I to approach Thee. Alas! Who am I, that I should dare even so much as to lift up my eyes towards Thee? How then shall I dare to receive Thee into my heart, which is so miserable, so corrupt, and so unworthy of Thee? Supply, O Lord, my great unworthiness by the excess of Thy merciful goodness, which does not suppose, but constitutes the merit of Thy creatures.

O infinite greatness! O sovereign majesty! O immensity of my God, concealed and annihilated in the Sacred Host which I am going to receive! To Thee do I give all glory, and to myself all possible contempt, which alone is my due. Come, O Jesus, come and fill my empty and depraved heart with the plenitude of Thy love. Come, and do Thou take place of self within me, and raise me, who am poor, from the dust and from nothing, and elevate me to the possession of Thy love. But am I nothing? I am worse, I am a sinner, and deserve Hell. Ah! I would willingly say, with St. Peter, "Depart from me, O Lord;" but fearing lest Thou shouldst say to me, as Thou didst say to him, that I shall have no part in Thy glory, if I do not honor Thy humility, I consent to Thy being born in my soul, although a thousand times poorer than the crib, that henceforth I may live only by and for Thee. Amen.

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