This morning I was praying before Mass at a local parish I sometimes frequent. It’s a beautiful church – one that really feels like a sanctuary when you walk in and echoes when you whisper. It has these beautiful white marble pillars and a statue of the Sacred Heart in the centre. I really love going there, because I usually get the whole church to myself if I get there early enough! Supposedly, St. Rose Philippine Duschesne (who started a school across the street) and Fr. DeSmet were quite influential in building the church and dedicating it to The Sacred Heart… but that’s just hear-say :)
Anyways… I was attempting to prepare myself for Mass, but it was just one of those days where my mind wasn’t going to behave itself and I needed something concrete to help me. Not having my usual daily missal with me, I got one of the little missalettes out and started flipping through the pages to see if there were any prayers. I found a few, but I was rather disappointed by the short, simple, and unadorned prayers. Technically, there is really no such thing as a simple prayer, as just even repeating “I love you Jesus” can be said with enough devotion to drown us all in holiness; but at this instant the 3 simple sentences just weren’t fulfilling enough for my lazy soul.
Call me a romantic, but I missed the prayers I was used to saying and the eloquent language which the saints used in a failed attempt to describe the depths of their devotion. These two in particular, which I used as a devotion to prepare for Communion, always strike in me a holy fear and help me remember the importance, significance, and regality of the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
“O Lord Jesus Christ, King of everlasting glory, behold I desire to come to Thee this day, and to receive Thy Body and Blood in this heavenly Sacrament, for Thy honor and glory, and the good of my soul. I desire to receive Thee, because it is Thy desire, and Thou has so ordained: Blessed be Thy name forever. I desire to come to Thee like Saint Mary Magdalen, that I may be delivered from all evils, and embrace Thee, my only Good. I desire to come to Thee, that I may be happily united to Thee, that I may henceforth abide in Thee and Thou in me; and that nothing in life or death may ever separate me from Thee.”
An Act of Charity
“As the hart panteth after the fountains of water, so my soul panteth after Thee, O God! My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? For what have I in heaven? and besides Thee, what do I desire upon earth? Let blind and infatuated worldlings intoxicate themselves with the false, transient, and fading happiness of this life; for my part, nothing besides Thyself can content me, either in heaven or on earth. Come then, O Thou Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world! Come, Thou Beloved of my heart! Adorable Flesh and precious Blood of my Savior! Come, to nourish, comfort, and enliven my sickly soul. O God of my heart! let me neither love, seek, nor think on any other object but Thyself alone; for Thou alone art my consolation, my treasure, my joy, my life, my all! ‘My heart and flesh have rejoiced in the living God… Thou art, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God!’ ‘Who will give me wings like a dove and I will fly and be at rest!'”