1. So far I have said nothing concerning the Sun of all spiritual
exercises, even the most holy, sacred and Sovereign Sacrifice and
Sacrament of the Eucharist,--the very centre point of our
Christian religion, the heart of all devotion, the soul of
piety;--that Ineffable Mystery which embraces the whole depth of
Divine Love, by which God, giving Himself really to us, conveys
all His Graces and favours to men with royal magnificence.
2. Prayer made in union with this Divine Sacrifice has untold
power; through which, indeed, the soul overflows with heavenly
grace, and leaning on her Beloved, becomes so filled with
spiritual sweetness and perfume, that we may ask in the words of
the Canticles: "Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like
pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all
powders of the merchant? " (1)
3. Strive then to your utmost to be present every day at this
holy Celebration, in order that with the priest you may offer the
your Redeemer on behalf of yourself and the whole Church to God
the Father. Saint Chrysostom says that the Angels crowd around it
in adoration, and if we are found together with them, united in
one intention, we cannot but be most favourably influenced by such
society. Moreover, all the heavenly choirs of the Church
triumphant, as well as those of the Church militant, are joined to
our Dear Lord in this divine act, so that with Him, in Him, and by
Him, they may win the favour of God the Father, and obtain His
Mercy for us. How great the blessing to my soul to contribute its
share towards the attainment of so gracious a gift!
4. If any imperative hindrance prevents your presence at this
sovereign sacrifice of Christ's most true Presence, at least be
sure to take part in it spiritually. If you cannot go to Church,
choose some morning hour in which to unite your intention to that
of the whole Christian world, and make the same interior acts of
devotion wherever you are that you would make if you were really
present at the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist in Church.
5. In order to join in this rightly, whether actually or
mentally, you must give heed to several things:
- In the beginning, and before the priest goes up to the
Altar, make your preparation with his--placing yourself in God's
Presence, confessing your unworthiness, and asking forgiveness.
- Until the Gospel, dwell simply and generally upon the Coming
and the Life of our Lord in this world.
- From the Gospel to the end of the Creed, dwell upon our Dear
Lord's teaching, and renew your resolution to live and die in
the faith of the Holy Catholic Church.
- From thence, fix your heart on the mysteries of the Word,
and unite yourself to the Death and Passion of our Redeemer, now
actually and essentially set forth in this holy Sacrifice,
which, together with the priest and all the congregation, you
offer to God the Father, to His Glory and your own salvation.
- Up to the moment of communicating, offer all the longings
and desires of your heart, above all desiring most earnestly to
be united for ever to our Saviour by His Eternal Love.
- From the time of Communion to the end, thank His Gracious
Majesty for His Incarnation, His Life, Death, Passion, and the
Love which He sets forth in this holy Sacrifice, intreating
through it His favour for yourself, your relations and friends,
and the whole Church; and humbling yourself sincerely, devoutly
receive the blessing which our Dear Lord gives you through the
channel of His minister.
If, however, you wish to follow your daily course of meditation
on special mysteries during the Sacrifice, it is not necessary
that you should interrupt yourself by making these several acts
but it will suffice that at the beginning you dispose your
intention to worship and to offer the holy Sacrifice in your
meditation and prayer; since every meditation includes all the
abovenamed acts either explicitly or implicitly.