When I consider Your dignity, O Lord, and my own
meanness, I become very much frightened and confused.
For if I do not receive, I fly from Life, and if I
intrude unworthily, I incur Your displeasure. What,
then, shall I do, my God, my Helper and Adviser in
necessity? Teach me the right way. Place before me
some short exercise suitable for Holy Communion, for
it is good to know in what manner I ought to make my
heart ready devoutly and fervently for You, to
receive Your Sacrament for the good of my soul, or
even to celebrate so great and divine a sacrifice.
The Voice of Christ
Above all, God's priest should approach the celebration and
reception of this Sacrament with the deepest humility of heart and
suppliant reverence, with complete faith and the pious intention
of giving honor to God.
Carefully examine your conscience, then.
Cleanse and purify it to the best of your power by true contrition
and humble confession, that you may have no burden, know of no
remorse, and thus be free to come near. Let the memory of all your
sins grieve you, and especially lament and bewail your daily
transgressions. Then if time permits, confess to God in the secret
depths of your heart all the miseries your passions have caused.
Lament and grieve because you are still so worldly, so carnal,
so passionate and unmortified, so full of roving lust, so careless
in guarding the external senses, so often occupied in many vain
fancies, so inclined to exterior things and so heedless of what
lies within, so prone to laughter and dissipation and so
indisposed to sorrow and tears, so inclined to ease and the
pleasures of the flesh and so cool to austerity and zeal, so
curious to hear what is new and to see the beautiful and so slow
to embrace humiliation and dejection, so covetous of abundance, so
niggardly in giving and so tenacious in keeping, so inconsiderate
in speech, so reluctant in silence, so undisciplined in character,
so disordered in action, so greedy at meals, so deaf to the Word
of God, so prompt to rest and so slow to labor, so awake to empty
conversation, so sleepy in keeping sacred vigils and so eager to
end them, so wandering in your attention, so careless in saying
the office, so lukewarm in celebrating, so heartless in receiving,
so quickly distracted, so seldom fully recollected, so quickly
moved to anger, so apt to take offense at others, so prone to
judge, so severe in condemning, so happy in prosperity and so weak
in adversity, so often making good resolutions and carrying so few
of them into action.
When you have confessed and deplored these and other faults with
sorrow and great displeasure because of your weakness, be firmly
determined to amend your life day by day and to advance in
goodness. Then, with complete resignation and with your entire
will offer yourself upon the altar of your heart as an everlasting
sacrifice to the honor of My name, by entrusting with faith both
body and soul to My care, that thus you may be considered worthy
to draw near and offer sacrifice to God and profitably receive the
Sacrament of My Body. For there is no more worthy offering, no
greater satisfaction for washing away sin than to offer yourself
purely and entirely to God with the offering of the Body of Christ
in Mass and Communion.
If a man does what he can and is truly penitent, however often he
comes to Me for grace and pardon, "As I live, saith the Lord God,
I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn
from his way and live";(1) I will no longer remember his sins, but
all will be forgiven him.