Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941

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


The Voice of the Beloved.

ABOVE all things, it behooveth the priest of God to come to the celebrating, handling, and receiving this Sacrament with the greatest humility of heart and lowly reverence; with a full faith, and a pious intention for the honor of God.

Examine diligently thy conscience, and to the best of thy power cleanse and purify it by a true contrition and humble confession; so that thou neither have nor know of anything weighty, which may give thee remorse, and hinder thy free access.

Hold in displeasure all thy sins in general, and for thy daily excesses more especially grieve and lament.

And, if time admit, confess to God, in the secrecy of thy heart, all the miseries of thy passions.

2. Sigh and grieve that thou art still so carnal and worldly, so unmortified from thy passions.

So full of the motions of concupiscence; so unguarded in thine outward senses; so often entangled with many vain imaginations.
So much inclined to things exterior; so negligent of the interior.
So prone to laughter and dissipation; so hard to tears and compunction.
So inclined to relaxation, and to the pleasures of the flesh; so sluggish in austerity and fervor.
So curious to hear news and see fine things; so remiss to embrace humiliation and abjection.
So covetous to possess much; so sparing in giving, so close in retaining.
So inconsiderate in talking; so unobservant of silence.
So disordered in thy manners; so overeager in thine actions.
So immoderate in food; so deaf to the Word of God.
So ready for repose; so slow to labor.
So wakeful to hear idle tales; so drowsy at the sacred vigils.
So hasty to finish thy devotions; so wandering in attention.
So negligent in reciting the hours; so tepid in celebrating; so dry in communicating.
So quickly distracted; so seldom fully recollected.
So suddenly moved to anger; so apt to take offense at others.
So prone to judge; so severe in reprehending.
So joyful in prosperity; so weak in adversity.
So often proposing many good things; and bringing so little to effect.

3. Having confessed and bewailed these and thine other defects with sorrow, and great displeasure at thine own weakness, make a strong resolution of always amending thy life, and of advancing for the better.

Then, with an entire resignation, and with thy whole will, offer thyself up to the honor of My Name, on the altar of thy heart, as a perpetual holocaust; faithfully committing to Me both thy soul and body.

That so thou mayst be worthy to approach to offer up a sacrifice to God, and profitably to receive the Sacrament of My Body.

4. For there is no oblation more worthy, no satisfaction greater, for the washing away of sins, than to offer thyself purely and entirely to God, together with the oblation of the Body of Christ, in the Mass, and in the Communion.

If a man does what lieth in him, and is truly penitent, as often as he shall approach to Me for pardon and grace, I live, saith the Lord, and I will not the death of the sinner, but rather that he be converted and live; wherefore I will no longer remember his sins, but all shall be forgiven him.


I. THE first disposition for a worthy Communion is purity of heart, which consists in detachment from all willful sin, and from all affection to it. It is in this sense that St. Augustine, speaking to priests and those who communicate, says that we must come to the altar innocent. You should therefore, before Communion, carefully examine your conscience in detail upon your ordinary faults. See before God if there be not some considerable sin upon your soul, and if so, confess it with sincere sorrow; for in this case it is not sufficient, says the Council of Trent, to make an act of contrition, you must also go to Confession before you approach to the Holy Communion. In this manner it explains those words of St. Paul, "Let a man prove himself," that so he may be prepared to receive worthily this heavenly Bread, and may not eat it to his own condemnation.

II. Be not satisfied with examining whether your conscience reproaches you with any considerable sin; but examine also before God, and detest even the smallest sins which you so easily commit, especially such as are knowingly committed against the inspirations of grace; sins of habit, of attachment, and of indisposition-----that is, those which are most consonant with your natural inclinations; the sins which you may have occasioned in others, or in which you have participated; hidden sins, etc. Ask pardon for them of Jesus Christ, before you receive Him, and pray for grace to correct them, and to punish yourself for having committed them.


An Act of Contrition before Communion.

 I COME to Thee, O Jesus, as a sick man to his physician, in hopes of obtaining a cure. Thou hast said that those who are afflicted with disease, should approach to Him Who is able and willing to heal them; wherefore do I desire to approach to Thee and to receive Thee frequently, the true Physician and Savior of my soul, for I have need of Thee to heal my many maladies. To Thee do I cry with the leper in the Gospel: "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean."

Inspire me with the same holy confidence with which the sick, during Thy lifetime, presented themselves before Thee. Grant that, like them, I may say within myself, "If I shall but touch the hem of His garment," that is, the appearances under which Thou art concealed, "I shall be healed." With the like confidence, I approach and prostrate myself at Thy sacred feet, and beg pardon for all the sins of my whole life, which I detest from my heart, for the love of Thee.

Pardon, O Jesus, pardon me all that is displeasing to Thee. Suffer me not to receive Thee unworthily. I truly regret having wounded Thy heart, insulted Thy goodness, provoked Thine anger, resisted Thy grace and the allurements of Thy love. I have offended all Thy Divine perfections: forgive and chastise me, and let my punishment be to hate myself, that I may love Thee. To Thee alone do I address my grief; I have grievously offended Thee, and for this will I live and die in the sorrows of repentance. Take from me life, or take away sin, for I can no longer live and offend Thee; I desire to avoid everything that is displeasing to Thee, or can in any degree remove or separate me from Thee. Amen.

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