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Friday, 16 June 2017

Corpus Christi - Body and Blood of Christ

Body and Blood of Christ

O precious 
and wonderful banquet!

From the work by Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest

Since it was the will of God’s only-begotten Son that men should share in his divinity, he assumed our nature in order that by becoming man he might make men gods.  Moreover, when he took our flesh he dedicated the whole of its substance to our salvation.  He offered his body to God the Father on the altar of the cross as a sacrifice  for our reconciliation.  He shed his blood for our ransom and purification, so that we might be redeemed from our wretched state of bondage and cleansed from all sin.  But to ensure that the memory of so great a gift would abide with us for ever, he left his body as food and his blood as drink for the faithful to consume in the form of bread and wine.

O precious and wonderful  banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness!  Could anything be of more intrinsic value?  Under the old law it was the flesh of calves and goats that was offered, but here Christ himself, the true God, is set before us as our food.  What could be more wonderful than this.  

No other sacrament has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift.  

It is offered in the Church for the living and the dead, so that what was instituted for the salvation of all may be for the benefit of all.  

Yet, in the end, no one can fully express the sweetness of this sacrament, in which spiritual delight is tasted at its very source, and in which we renew the memory of that surpassing love for us which Christ revealed in his passion.


It was to impress the vastness of this love more firmly upon the hearts of the faithful that our Lord instituted this sacrament at the Last Supper.  

As he was on the point of leaving the world to go to the Father, after celebrating the Passover with his disciples, he left it as a perpetual memorial of his passion.  

It was the fulfillment of ancient figures and the greatest of all his miracles, which for those who were to experience the sorrow of his departure,  it was destined to be a unique and abiding consolation.

Prayer of St. Ambrose 


Preparing to Receive 
Christ in the Eucharist

Lord Jesus Christ, I approach Thy banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner, and dare not rely on my own worth, but only on Thy goodness and mercy.  

I am defiled by my many sins in body and soul, and by my unguarded thoughts and words. 

Gracious God of majesty and awe, I seek Thy protection, I look for Thy healing.  Poor troubled sinner that I am, I appeal to Thee, the fountain of all mercy.  I cannot bear Thy judgment, but I trust in Thy salvation.  

Lord, I show my wounds to Thee and uncover my shame before Thee.  I know my sins are many and great, and they fill me with fear, but I hope in Thy mercies, for they cannot be numbered.  

Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal King, God and man, crucified for mankind, look upon me with mercy and hear my prayer, for I trust in Thee.  Have mercy on me, full of sorrow and sin, for the depth of Thy compassion never ends.  

Praise to Thee, 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 my crucified Lord Jesus Christ and washing away the sins of the whole world!

Remember, Lord, Thy creature, whom Thou has redeemed with Thy 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 Holies.  

May Thy Body and Blood, which I intend to receive, although I am unworthy, 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 Thee and profitable to my health in body and soul, and be a firm defense against the wiles of my enemies.  

Amen.

Prepare your Soul to receive Christ in the Eucharist