An Act of Charity


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!'”

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9 Responses to An Act of Charity

  1. Those are beautiful prayers! Are they from the missal? (I’m a noob & don’t know these things… :) I think I’ll copy them down & start using them. Thanks!

    • Maria.Nicole says:

      I’m glad you think they beautiful too! Yes- I got them from my 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal in the “Devotions for Communion” section. There are a few other prayers in that section that are well used also ;). Are you a newbie to the Catholic faith or more just to the Extraordinary Form (TLM)?

      • New to Catholicism (tho I was raised Christian) and I’m going through RCIA. Our local church doesn’t do the Latin Mass (that I know of) but I’m sure I’d find it beautiful.

        • Maria.Nicole says:

          Ah! I’m so excited for you! Be assured of my prayers as you learn more about the one true faith :) I am a convert from (non-denominational) Christianity to Catholicism as well! If you manage to find a TLM nearby, I very much encourage you to at least check it out. If you have any questions I would be more than willing to help answer them! :)

          • Thanks so much! I sure will, both check out a Latin Mass (I’m looking forward to it!) & ask questions. :)

            • Marc says:

              Cariña, I’ll second my friend the blogger here and encourage you to attend a Latin Mass if you can. BUT do attend several times. The first couple of times can be confusing for a newcomer. But it is far easier to meditate on the Holy Sacrifice as it is much quieter.

              Welcome home !

  2. Hi Marc, I should be able to go to a Latin Mass fairly frequently because a nearby town does a Latin Mass (though it’s not quite as near as the local church I’m going to now). So, I’ll drop by a few times. I’ve even bought a Mantilla to wear! :D

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