PERSONAL DEVOTIONS BEFORE THE HOLY MASS

"The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass." - St. Pius X

PRAYER BEFORE ATTENDING MASS

ETERNAL Father, I unite myself with the intentions and affections of our Lady of Sorrows on Calvary, and I offer Thee the Sacrifice which Thy beloved Son Jesus made of Himself on the Cross and which He now renews on this holy altar:

1.	To adore Thee and give Thee the honor which is due Thee, confessing Thy supreme do-minion over all things, and the absolute dependence of every-thing upon Thee, Who art our one and last End.

2.	To thank Thee for innumerable benefits received.

3.	To appease Thy justice, aroused against us by so many sins, and to make satisfaction for them.

4.	To implore grace and mercy for myself, for my loved ones, for my friends and enemies, and for all afflicted and sorrow-ing, for poor sinners, for all the world, and for the holy souls in Purgatory.

PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION

These may be said before mass or immediately before receiving Communion.

O LORD, JESUS CHRIST, King of ever-lasting 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 hast so ordained: blessed be Thy Name forever. I desire to come to Thee like Magdalen, that I may be delivered from all my evils, and em-brace 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. Amen

PRAYER OF SAINT AMBROSE

O LORD Jesus Christ, I approach your banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner, and dare not rely on my own worth, but only on your goodness and mercy. I am defiled by many sins in body and soul, and by my unguarded thoughts and words. Gracious God of majesty and awe, I seek your protection, I look for your healing. Poor troubled sinner that I am, I appeal to you, the fountain of all mercy. I cannot bear your judgment, but I trust in your salvation. Lord, I show my wounds to you and uncover my shame before you. I know my sins are many and great, and they fill me with fear, but I hope in your mercies, for they cannot be num-bered. Lord Jesus Christ, eternal king, God and man, crucified for mankind, look upon me with mercy and hear my prayer, for I trust in you. Have mercy on me, full of sorrow and sin, for the depth of your compassion never ends. Praise to you, saving sacrifice, offered on the wood of the cross for me and for all mankind. Praise to the noble and precious blood, flowing from the wounds of the my cruci-fied Lord Jesus Christ and washing away the sins of the whole world. Remember, Lord your creature, whom you have re-deemed with your blood; I repent my sins, and I long to put right what I have done. Merciful Father, take away all my offenses and sins; purify me in body and soul, and make me worthy to taste the holy of ho-lies. May your body and blood, which I intend to receive, although I am unwor-thy, be for me the remission of my sins, the washing away of my guilt, the end of my evil thoughts, and the rebirth of my better instincts. May it incite me to do the works pleasing to you and profitable to my health in body and soul, and be a firm defense against the wiles of my enemies. Amen.

PRAYER OF SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS

ALMIGHTY and eternal God, behold, I approach the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I approach as one who is sick to the physi-cian of life, as one unclean to the fountain of mercy, as one blind to the light of eternal brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. There-fore I beseech Thee, of Thine infinite goodness, to heal my sickness, to wash away my filth, to enlighten my blindness, to enrich my poverty, and to clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings, and Lord of lords with such reverence and humility, with such contrition and devotion, with such purity and faith, with such purpose and intention, as may conduce to the salvation of my soul. Grant, I beseech Thee, that I may receive not only the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord, but also the fruit and virtue of this Sacrament. O most indulgent God, grant me so to receive the Body of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He took of the Virgin Mary, that I may be found worthy to be incorporated with His mystical body and numbered among His members. O most loving Father, grant that I may one day contem-plate forever, face to face, Thy beloved Son, whom now on my pilgrimage I am about to receive under the sacramental veils; Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

AN ACT OF CONTRITION

O MY God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and serving of all my love. I firmly re-solve, with the help of Thy grace, to con-fess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

AN ACT OF FAITH

O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine persons, Fa-ther, Son and Holy Spirit; I believe that Thy divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast re-vealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.

AN ACT OF HOPE

O MY GOD, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon for my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

AN ACT OF CHARITY

O MY GOD, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have in-jured. Amen.

THANKSGIVINGS AFTER COMMUNION

These may be prayed by the faithful after receiving communion or after mass. Priests may also use them as additional devotions after celebrating mass.

MY good Jesus, I pray Thee to bless me; to keep me in Thy love; grant me the grace of final perseverance. Help me to become a saint. Safeguarded by Thee in soul and in body, may I never swerve from the right road, but surely reach Thy kingdom, where not--in dim mysteries, as in this dark world of ours, but --face to face we shall look upon Thee. There wilt Thou satisfy me with Thyself and fill me with such sweetness that I shall neither hunger nor thirst forevermore: Who with God the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

MAY the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even until the end of time. Amen.

PRAYERS OF ST. IGNATIUS LOYOLA

ACT OF SELF-CONSECRATION

TAKE, O Lord, all my liberty, receive my memory, my understanding, and my whole will. All that I am and all that I have come to me from Thy bounty; I give it all back to thee, and surrender it all to the guidance of Thy holy Will. Give me Thy Love and Thy Grace; with these I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.

ANIMA CHRISTI

SOUL of Christ, be my sanctification. Body of Christ, be my salvation. Blood of Christ, fill all my veins. Water of Christ's side, wash out my stains. Passion of Christ, my comfort be. O good Jesus, listen to me. In Thy wounds I fain would hide, Ne'er to be parted from Thy side. Guard me should the foe assail me. Call me when my life shall fail me. Bid me to come to Thee above, With Thy saints to sing Thy love World without end. Amen.

PRAYER OF SAINT THOMAS ACQUINAS

I GIVE Thee thanks, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God, who hast vouch-safed, not for any merit of mine, but solely out of the condescension of Thy mercy, to satisfy me a sinner, Thine un-worthy servant, with the precious Body and Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this holy Communion be not to me a condemnation unto pun-ishment, but a saving plea unto forgive-ness. May it be unto me the armour of faith and the shield of good will. May it be the emptying out of my vices, the extinc-tion of all concupiscence and lust, the increase of charity and patience, of humil-ity and obedience, and of all virtues; a strong defense against the snares of all enemies, visible and invisible; the perfect quieting of all my evil impulses, both fleshly and ghostly; a firm cleaving unto Thee, the one true God; and a pledge of a blessed destiny. And I beseech Thee, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring me, a sinner, to the ineffable banquet, where Thou, with Thy Son and the Holy Ghost, art to Thy saints true light, fullness of content, eternal joy, gladness without alloy and perfect bliss. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

PRAYER OF SAINT BONAVENTURE

PIERCE, O most sweet Lord Jesus, my inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love, and with true, calm and most holy apostolic char-ity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with entire love and longing for Thee, may yearn for Thee and for thy courts, may long to be dissolved and to be with Thee. Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee, the Bread of Angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and supersubstantial bread, having all sweetness and savour and every delightful taste. May my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, Whom the angels desire to look upon, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savour; may it ever thirst for Thee, the fountain of life, the fountain of widsom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the fullness of the house of God; may it ever compass Thee, seek Thee, find Thee, run to Thee, come up to Thee, meditate on Thee, speak of Thee, and do all for the praise and glory of Thy name, with humility and discre-tion, with love and delight, with ease and affection, with perseverance to the end; and be Thou alone ever my hope, my entire confidence, my riches, my delight, my pleasure, my joy, my rest and tranquil-ity, my peace, my sweetness, my food, my refreshment, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my portion, my possession, my treasure; in Whom may my mind and my heart be ever fixed and firm and rooted immovably. Amen.

 

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