Spiritually for the Absent
from The Key of Heaven
The Sundays and Feasts were instituted by the Church that we may render unto God that worship which we owe Him every moment of our lives. This worship is the Mass; and it is offered for us even when we are not actually present. But to enjoy the benefits which it procures, we must by a spiritual Communion become partakers of the altar from which we are temporarily banished. Excite a desire of visiting the house of God and let the whole family kneel before a Crucifix, a statue of the Blessed Virgin or a pious picture. Then, transporting themselves in spirit before the altar where Mass is being celebrated, let them endeavor to follow the service there performed.
Before Holy Mass
(To be used when, by reasonable cause, one is hindered from going to church.)
I believe, Lord Jesus, that in the Last Supper Thou didst offer up a true Sacrifice; I believe it because Thou hast made it known to us through the Catholic Church, which from apostolic times has constantly taught the same to us. Since Thou didst command the Apostles and the priests ordained by them to do the same till the end of time, I therefore offer to Thee with the priest this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (which I believe to be one with that offered on Mount Calvary) to Thy honor and glory, in acknowledgement of my most bounden service, in thanksgiving for the innumerable benefits which Thou hast conferred upon me and upon the whole world, in satisfaction for my sins and the sins of all mankind, and for obtaining the grace of perfect contrition for my sins. I also offer to Thee this Holy Mass for my friends and benefactors, and for those for whom I am bound, and for whom Thou wilt me to pray. I also offer it for my enemies, that they may be converted, for all the faithful departed, particularly for my parents and relatives, and for the welfare of all Christendom.
of the Holy Mass
I. Heartfelt desire to participate in the Holy Sacrifice
Most Holy Trinity, God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, almighty source of all things; my best Father, my merciful Redeemer, the Fountain of my sanctification and happiness, I, Thy most unworthy creature, venture to appear before Thee, to show to Thee, my true God and Creator, all honor, adoration, and trustful submission; to thank Thee for the innumerable benefits which I have received from Thee, to praise Thee for Thy glory (for I am created for Thy praise); to implore Thy mercies, and to appease Thy justice, because I have so often and so grievously sinned against Thee. All this I cannot do in a worthier and more perfect manner than by hearing, with faith and devotion, Holy Mass. For in that Holy Sacrifice is offered to Thee the most sublime Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, the most efficacious Sacrifice of supplication and propitiation, the most worthy Sacrifice of salvation for the living and dead. But because I cannot this day be present bodily at Holy Mass, I will, at least in spirit, place myself before the altar where Jesus Christ, in an unbloody manner, offers Himself, O Heavenly Father, to Thee. With this glorious Sacrifice I unite my present prayer;
II. Contrition for sins, with faith and confidence in Jesus Christ, and an offering up of His precious merits
Holy Father, I confess with sorrow that I have seldom served Thee with an undivided heart, but rather have often offended Thee, and by my slothfulness and neglect have brought upon myself infinitely great guilt before Thee. I therefore take refuge in the merits of Thy Beloved Son, now present upon the altar, Who so freely commends and imparts to us His grace and favor. In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Jesus offers to Thee for me, the highest veneration and love, the most perfect praise, the most hearty thanksgiving, and the most kind expiation.. For the perfect forgiveness of my sins, O Heavenly Father, I offer up to Thee the whole suffering and death of Jesus Christ, which are now, in an unbloody manner, renewed upon the altar. O most benign Father, Thy Son has suffered and died even for me,
O Father of mercies, and God of all consolation, to Thee I turn for help and grace. Graciously look upon my misery and wretchedness, and let my supplications come before Thee. That I may the more surely be heard by Thee, I appear before the throne of Thy grace, which, for our salvation, is set up in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where the innocent Lamb of God is mysteriously offered up to Thee, Holy Father, Almighty God, for the remission of our sins. Regard, I beseech Thee, the innocence of this holy Sacrifice, and for the sake thereof extend to me Thy mercy. O my Saviour, how great is that love of Thine for me which, to make satisfaction for my sins, and to gain me the grace of Thy Father, impelled Thee to endure for me such bitter pains, and even death itself! How great is yet that love of Thine for me which causes Thee, in every Holy Mass, to renew, in an unbloody manner, Thy death of propitiation, in order to apply and communicate to me Thy merits! With my whole heart I thank Thee for this, Thy great love, and from the depths of my soul I beseech Thee to make me a partaker of the fruit of it, and to strengthen and confirm me by the grace of the Holy Ghost,
As Thou hast offered up to Thy Heavenly Father Thyself, so take me also in the arms of Thy love and mercy; and present me, a poor erring sinner, as an offering to Thy Father, and let me no more be separated from His love. Amen.
III. Adoration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, under the appearance of Bread and Wine
O most holy Jesus, before Thee the Heavenly choirs kneel and adore; with them I lift up my voice and cry: Holy, holy, holy, art Thou, O Lord of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Thy grace and glory. Thou art present, O Jesus, under the appearance of bread and wine. Hear, O hear my prayer! I strike my breast and confess my unworthiness; but with firm confidence I implore Thee, O Jesus, be merciful to me! O most benign Jesus, forgive me my sins! O holy Blood, wash me from my sins! O precious Blood of Jesus, O Blood of Jesus, rich in grace, cry out to Heaven for mercy upon me! Most holy God, receive this precious Blood, together with the love through which
IV. Unshaken Confidence in Jesus Christ
To Thee, O most benign Jesus, I lift up my eyes and my heart. Oh, turn upon me Thy gracious countenance, and Thy true love. Behold, O Lord, my manifest need, and the great danger of my soul. Receive me, O Thou Who art my only true mediator and helper! Be Thou, through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, my salvation, and obtain for me the entire remission of my sins. Oh, represent to Thy Father how cruelly Thou wast scourged, crowned, crucified and put to death for us, and thereby reconcile with the strict justice of God me, a miserable sinner. Amen. Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . .
O Lamb of God, Who
for us, miserable sinners, have mercy upon me, and offer up to the
Thy Passion for the forgiveness of my sins! O Lamb of God, Who didst
for us, miserable sinners, have mercy upon me, and offer up to God Thy
death in satisfaction for my sins! O Lamb of God, Who didst sacrifice
for us, miserable sinners, have mercy upon me, and offer up Thy holy
to the Father for the cleansing of my soul!
O precious day! but perhaps the last of my life! O happy day! if it shall make me better! Holy Mother of God, Mary, holy Angels and friends of God, pray for me and lead me in the way of truth. O God, grant Thy love to the living, and Thy peace to the dead. Amen.
With the Sacrifice of the Mass
When we cannot assist at it
As I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit to the foot of Thine altar; I unite with the Church, which, by the hands of the priest, offers Thee Thine adorable Son; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and I thank Thee, imploring Thy mercy, invoking Thine assistance, and presenting Thee the homage I owe Thee as my Creator, the love due to Thee as my Saviour. Apply to my soul, I beseech Thee, O merciful Jesus, Thine infinite merits; apply them also to those for whom I particularly wish to pray. I desire to communicate spiritually, that Thy Blood may purify, Thy Flesh strengthen, and Thy Spirit sanctify me. May I never forget that Thou, my Divine Redeemer, hast died for me; may I die to all that is not Thee, that hereafter I may live eternally with Thee. Amen.
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