Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Honoring the Blessed Sacrament in April

Holy Mother Church dedicates the month of April to the Blessed Sacrament since it is often during this month that Catholics celebrate Holy Thursday, the day on which we remember the Last Supper when Our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist. The best way to honor Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is by attending Holy Mass as often as possible and worthily receiving Him in Holy Communion .

 After receiving Our Lord, we should always remember to spend those next moments speaking with Him in thanksgiving, worship, and love for we truly hold Jesus within us at that time. St. Alphonsus Liguori once wrote,
“there is no prayer more dear to God than that which is made after communion...” and that our loving thoughts and prayers after communion have greater merit “because they are then animated by the presence of Jesus Christ, Who is united to our souls.” 

 Once Holy Mass has ended, again we should kneel in silence before Our Lord to thank Him for coming to us in such a great sacrament and for the graces He has bestowed on us out of love, although we are unworthy to even receive Him. Numerous prayers, many written by the saints, are fitting to recite after Holy Communion. The following prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas is one example.

The Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar

Thanksgiving After Communion

Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank You, for even though I am a sinner, Your unprofitable servant, not because of my worth but in the kindness of Your mercy, You have fed me with the Precious Body and Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions. May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in the power to do good. May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. May it unite me more closely to You, the One true God, and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with You.  And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where You, with Your Son and Holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to Your saints. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
--written by St. Thomas Aquinas

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