A Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
By St. Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri
My eyes and my heart shall be there always. (Et erunt oculi mei et cor meum ibi cunctis diebus. – 3 Kings, ix. 3.)
Behold, Jesus has verified this beautiful promise in the Sacrament of the Altar, wherein he dwells with us night and day.
My Lord, would it not have been enough hadst Thou remained in this Sacrament only during the day, when Thou couldst have had adorers of Thy presence to keep Thee company; but why remain also the whole night, when the churches are all closed, and when men retire to their homes, leaving Thee quite alone? Ah, yes! I already understand Thee: love has made Thee our prisoner; the excessive love which Thou bearest us has so bound Thee down on earth, that neither night nor day canst Thou leave us. Ah, most amiable Saviour, this refinement of love alone should oblige all men ever to stay with Thee in the sacred ciboriums, and to remain with Thee until forcibly compelled to leave Thee; and when they do so, they should all leave at the foot of the altar their hearts and affections inflamed with love towards an Incarnate God, who remains alone and enclosed in a tabernacle, all eyes to see and provide for them in their necessities, and all heart to love them, and who awaits the coming day to be again visited by his beloved souls.
Yes, my Jesus, I will please Thee; I consecrate my whole will and all my affections to Thee. O infinite Majesty of God, Thou hast left Thyself in this divine Sacrament, not only that Thou mightest be present with us and near us, but principally to communicate Thyself to Thy beloved souls. But, Lord, who will presume to approach Thee to feed upon Thy flesh? And who, on the other hand, can keep a distance from Thee? Or this purpose Thou concealest Thyself in the consecrated Host, that Thou mayest enter into us and possess our hearts. Thou burnest with the desire of being received by us, and Thou rejoicest in being there united with us. Come, then, my Jesus, come; I desire to receive Thee within myself, that Thou mayest be the God of my heart and of my will. All that is within me I yield, my dear Redeemer, to Thy love; satisfactions, pleasures, self-will, all I give up to Thee. O Love, O God of love, reign, triumph over my entire self; destroy and sacrifice all in me which is mine and not Thine. Permit not, O my Love, that my soul, which, having received Thee in the Holy Communion, is filled with the Majesty of God, should again attach itself to creatures. I love Thee, my God, I love Thee; and I will love Thee alone and forever.
Ejaculatory Prayer: Draw me by the chains of Thy love! (Trahe me vinculis amoris tui.)
A Visit to Mother Mary
St. Bernard exhorts us, saying: “Let us seek for grace, and let us seek it by Mary.” “She”, says St. Peter Damian, “is the treasure of divine graces.” She can enrich us, and she desires to do so. She therefore invites and calls us, saying: Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me. Most amiable Lady, most exalted Lady, most gracious Lady, look on a poor sinner who recommends himself to Thee, and who places all his confidence in Thee.
Ejaculatory Prayer: We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God!
Prayer of St. Ildefonsus
Most humble handmaid of thy divine Son! I prostrate myself before thee, conjuring thee to obtain pardon of my sins, that I may be cleansed from all the imperfections of my life. I entreat thee to procure me the grace of being always united to God and to thee, and to be ever a faithful servant of thy Son and of thee: of thy Son, as my Lord and my Redeemer; and of thee, as the cause of my redemption: for if he has paid the price of my redemption, it was with the body which he received from thee.
Ejaculatory Prayer: O Mary! Obtain for me confidence in thy intercession, and the grace that I may continually have recourse to thee.