Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Prayer of Preparation Before Receiving Holy Communion

Holy Mother Church dedicates the month of April to the Most Blessed Sacrament.  During this Easter season may we truly learn to contemplate and love this great Gift from Our Lord!  After Christ's burial, the Apostles and our Blessed Mother had to wait until the resurrection for Our Lord's presence once again.  However, in the Blessed Sacrament we not only have the great privilege of continuously having God physically present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the tabernacle, we also, although unworthy, are able to receive our Blessed Lord within us in holy communion!
How often do we contemplate this immense gift of our Lord?  How well do we ensure we are focused on this Gift of Love, our Lord Himself, especially during Mass and Adoration?  Do we strive to ensure our souls are worthy dwelling places for the King of Kings?  In Catholic Churches throughout the world, our Blessed Lord dwells within the tabernacles, waiting and thirsting for souls to seek Him, visit Him, and love Him.  Throughout this month of April and always, may we work to shower our Lord with thanksgiving and love, truly treasuring the wondrous gift of His Presence, the Holy Eucharist.
In the following beautiful prayer by St. Ambrose, we implore God's mercy on our sins and seek His help to overcome them, with the hope of worthily receiving our Blessed Lord in this great Sacrament.  I love reciting this prayer before Holy Communion, and I am grateful that our FSSP parish has this book, which includes St. Ambrose's prayer, in the pews.  I am also very grateful for the FSSP overall and the beautiful, reverent Masses and devotions we are privileged to experience through them.  Please keep these wonderful priests in your prayers.

Prayer of Preparation before Holy Communion

O loving Lord Jesus Christ, I a sinner, presuming not on my own merits, but trusting in Thy mercy and goodness, with fear and trembling approach the table of Thy most sacred banquet. For I have defiled both my heart and body with many sins, and have not kept a strict guard over my mind and my tongue. Wherefore, O gracious God, O awful Majesty, I, a wretched creature, entangled in difficulties, have recourse to Thee, the font of mercy; to Thee do I fly that I may be healed, and take refuge under Thy protection. And I ardently desire to have Him as my Savior, Whom I am unable to withstand as my Judge.

To Thee, O lord, I show my wounds, to Thee I lay bare my shame. I know that my sins are many and great, on account of which I am filled with fear. But I trust in Thy mercy, of which there is no end. Look down upon me, therefore, with the eyes of Thy mercy on me, who am full of misery and sin, Thou Who wilt never cease to let flow the fountain of mercy.

Hail, Victim of salvation, offered for me and for all mankind on the tree of the Cross. Hail, noble and precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord Jesus Christ and washing away the sins of the whole world. Remember, O Lord, Thy creature, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Blood. I am grieved because I have sinned, I desire to make amends for what I have done.

Take away from me, therefore, O most merciful Father, all my iniquities and sins, that, being purified both in soul, and body, I may worthily partake of the Holy of Holies. And grant that this holy oblation of Thy Body and Blood, of which, though unworthy, I purpose to partake, may be to me the remission of my sins, the perfect cleansing of my offenses, the means of driving away all evil thoughts and of renewing all holy desires, the accomplishment of works pleasing to Thee, as well as the strongest defense for soul and body against the snares of my enemies.   Amen.
--St. Ambrose

God bless!

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