BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
6: OF SELF-INTERROGATION CONCERNING THE EXERCISE PROPER BEFORE COMMUNION
The Voice of the Disciple.
WHEN I consider Thy dignity, O Lord, and my own vileness, I am
affrighted exceedingly, and am confounded within myself.
For if I do not appeal to Thee, I fly from life; and if I intrude
myself unworthily, I incur Thy displeasure.
What, then, shall I do, O my God, my Helper and Counselor in
2. Do Thou teach me the right way; set before me some short exercise
suitable for thy Holy Communion.
For it is well to know after what manner indeed, I ought devoutly and
reverently to prepare my heart for Thee, for the profitable receiving
of Thy Sacrament, as well as for celebrating so great and Divine a
ONE of the best dispositions for worthily receiving the Holy
Communion, is to be resolved that Jesus shall reign forever the God of
our hearts-----that is, that we will obey Him in all
things, and refuse Him nothing that He demands of us, for it is in
quality of King that He comes to us, and as the King of all bounty; He
comes into our souls to be again born there, and to reign over our
passions and affections.
YES, my Savior, when I communicate, I indeed make Thee the
Master, the King, and the God of my heart; I then protest sincerely
that I am entirely Thine; but, after receiving Thee, I become again the
slave of my own humor, and shaking off the sweet yoke of Thine empire,
I subject myself to the servitude of concupiscence. At the time of
Communion, I am all Thine, but soon, alas I do I again become wholly
devoted to myself. What an injustice to Thy dominion! What an outrage
on Thy bounty I thus to rob Thee of a heart which upon so many titles
belongs only to Thee! No, I will never again withdraw myself from the
empire of Thy love: secure to Thyself Thine own conquest, and suffer me
not to escape from Thee, or ever more to be separated from Thee. Amen.