Feast of Corpus Christi
By St. Thomas Aquinas
From the Sequence of the Mass of the Feast of Corpus Christi
Sion, lift thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Saviour and thy King,
Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true.
All thou canst, do thou endeavor,
Yet thy praise can equal never
Such as merits thy great King.
See today before us laid
The living and life-giving Bread!
Theme for praise and joy profound!
The same which at the sacred board
Was, by our incarnate Lord,
Giv’n to His Apostles round.
Let the praise be loud and high;
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt today in every breast
On this festival divine
Which records the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.
On this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite.
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light.
His own act, at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
In His memory divine.
Wherefore now, with adoration,
We, the Host of our salvation
Consecrate from bread and wine.
Hear what Holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending
Leaps to things not understood.
Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things, are all we see.
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine,
Yet is Christ in either sign
All entire, confessed to be.
They, who of Him here partake,
Sever not, nor rend, nor break:
But entire, their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousands eat,
All receive the self-same meat,
Nor the less for others leave.
Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food:
But with ends how opposite!
Here it is life: and there it is death:
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.
Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before;
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form,
The signified remaining one
And the same for evermore.
Lo! Upon the altar lies,
Hidden deep from human eyes,
Bread of Angels from the skies,
Made the food of mortal man.
Children’s meat to dogs denied.
In old types presignified:
In he manna heaven-supplied,
In Isaac, and the Paschal lamb.
Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thou Thy flock in safety keep.
Living Bread! Thy life supply:
Strengthen us, or else we die:
Fill us with celestial grace!
Thou, Who feedest us below!
Source of all we have or know!
Grant that with Thy Saints above,
Sitting at the feast of love,
We may see Thee face to face.
Affections of Love towards the Heart of Jesus
This was written by St. Alphonsus, but remained unpublished till 1875.
O amiable Heart of my Saviour! Thou art the seat of all virtues, the source of all graces, the burning furnace in which are inflamed all holy souls. Thou art the object of all God’s love; thou art the refuge of the afflicted, and the abode of the souls that love thee, O Heart worthy of reigning over all hearts, and of possessing the affection of all hearts! O Heart that was wounded for me on the Cross by the lance of my sins, and that remained afterwards continually wounded for me on the altar in the Blessed Sacrament, but not by any other lance than that of the love that thou entertainest for me! O loving Heart, that loves men with so much tenderness, and that is so little loved by men! Do thou apply a remedy to so great an ingratitude, inflame thou our hearts with a true love for thee. Ah! Why can I not go all over the world to make known the graces, the sweetness, the treasures that thou dispensest to those who truly love Thee? Accept the desire that I have of seeing all hearts burning with love for thee. O Divine Heart! Be Thou my consolation in trials, my repose in labours, my solace in anxieties, my haven in tempests. I consecrate Thee my body and my soul, my heart and my life, together with all that I am. I unite to Thine all my thoughts, all my affections, all my desires. O Eternal Father! I offer Thee the pure affections of the Heart of Jesus. If Thou dost reject mine, Thou canst not reject those of Thy Son, who is sanctity itself; may they supply what is wanting in me, and may they render me pleasing in Thy eyes!