Abbot Guéranger


Before Holy Communion


O Savior of mankind! the magnificence of Thy works shines so brightly that we are compelled to give glory to Thy name and proclaim Thee to be the Son of God. We believed in Thee, when Thou didst show Thyself a weak Babe in the Crib of Bethlehem; there was a mysterious power that attracted us, and, with the Angels, we adored Thee wrapped in Thy humble swathing-bands. When we saw Thee hanging on the Cross, outraged and blasphemed by a whole people, we still acknowledged Thee to be our King, and said to Thee, with the Good Thief: 'Remember us, O Lord, when Thou shalt come into Thy Kingdom!' But now that Thou hast triumphed over death, and art risen glorious from the tomb; now that the whole earth resounds with Thy praise, and the tidings of Thy Resurrection, fill all nations with a gladness as fresh as though Thy triumph were but of this very year: who can refuse to confess Thy Divinity, adore Thy Mysteries, and cry out with Thy disciple: 'My Lord and my God!' Though my eyes see Thee not, though my hands cannot touch Thy sacred wounds, yet do I most firmly believe Thee to be my Lord and my God. Thou hast said:

'Happy they that have not seen, and have believed:' of these happy believers I would be one, O Jesus! I confess that Thou hast verily risen, the Son of God and the Son of Man. I believe, also, that Thou art the living Bread come down from Heaven to give life to the world, and that I am about to receive Thee into myself. Increase this my faith, O my Lord and my God! that so I may render Thee the worship Thou claimest from me, Thy poor but happy creature.



O Divine Conqueror of death  Who could see Thee in the splendor of Thy majesty, and not tremble? Before Thy passion, Thou grantest a mere glimpse of Thy glory to the three disciples on Tabor, and they fell down as though they were dead: and now, when the brightness of Thy Resurrection dazzles even the eyes of the Angels, Thou wishest to do far more than show thyself to me. Thou vouchsafest to come down to my nothingness, to unite me, a weak unworthy creature, with thyself, Who art no longer in the Crib or on the Cross, and art soon to ascend to the right hand of Thy eternal Father! Thou, the Author of light, and thyself the infinite Light, art about to shine amidst such darkness as mine! If I reflect upon my nothingness, this Thy condescension fills me with delighted wonder; but when I remember that I have been so great a sinner, this union with Thee overpowers me. How can Thy sovereign holiness and my sinfulness be brought thus together? Thine Evangelist tells me, 'that the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness doth not comprehend it,' for the darkness of pride ever thinks itself to be the light, and sees not the' true Light:' let it not be thus with me, my Jesus I I humble myself before Thee; I acknowledge my misery-----it is immense; deign then, O Divine Light! to pour out on me the riches of Thine infinite mercy.


O Savior of the world! O Conqueror of death! Thou art coming to me, and I am but a sinner. Thou wilIest to treat me as Thou didst Thy disciples on the day of Thy Resurrection. They had basely abandoned Thee in Thy Passion, and Thou didst return to them: Thou wast all affection to them; Thou badest them not fear; not a word of reproach fell from Thy lips. Thou wouldst have them learn from this Thy loving forgiveness how guilty they had been in leaving such a Master. O Thou best of masters! I, too, must learn the same lesson. But how much more grievous my sins have been than were theirs! They knew so little of Thee when they sinned; whereas I sinned with all the fulness of light upon me, knowing my Jesus so well. Thy Apostles were not initiated into all Thy Mysteries, when they lost their courage; they had not as yet received the Holy Ghost, who has been so unreservedly given to me. I will, then, imitate them in the sorrow they felt when they found that He Whom they had offended was so deserving of their love. Yes, I detest my sins whereby I have so cruelly wounded Thy Sacred Heart; I acknowledge that sin is death, and the enemy of that life which Thou renewest within us by Thy Resurrection. I wish to die to sin, and live to grace. By the Mystery of life which Thou art about to apply to my repentant heart, deign, I beseech Thee, to preserve me from the misery of ever again forfeiting Thy grace.


O Jesus! Thy Resurrection is not only the trophy of Thy victory, it is moreover, and more evidently, the grand triumph of Thy love. It was out of love for us that Thou didst assume our flesh and suffer the cruel Passion; and yet these proofs of Thine adorable goodness towards us are but a preparation of the last great act of God's love for sinful man, His creature. Thou risest from the tomb, Thou takest possession of immortality; it is a triumph well merited by Thy humiliations and sufferings: but it is all for our sake. What need hadst Thou of the Crib or the Cross, O eternal and infinitely happy God?

Why wouldst Thou die, and then return to life? Why descend into the grave, and then leave it by a glorious Resurrection? Ah yes, I understand Thee, my Jesus! it was because Thou lovest us, who had merited death by our sins. In Thine incomprehensible love, Thou wouldst share in our dcath, that we might share in Thy Resurrection. Whether nailed to the Cross, or rising from the tomb, Thou art ever our own dearest Jesus, ever working for us; but the last act of Thy almighty love is the greatest. What return can I make Thee, O my Savior, if not that of the warmest love? And when should I give it more fervently than now, when Thou art about to give me that Bread of Heaven which is Thyself, and by which Thou unitest me to Thy Resurrection, in order to make me a sharer of Thy glory and immortality? Thou art mine, O Jesus! both in Thy death and Thy life I I wish to be Thine, for time and for eternity. Amen.

In order to make your preparation complete, follow, with a lively faith and attention, all the mysteries of the Mass at which you are to receive Communion.