Visits To The Most Holy Sacrament and The Blessed Virgin Mary

VISITS TO THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT AND THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

By St Alphonsus Liguori

A NEW TRANSLATION EDITED BY
THE REV. R. A.. COFFIN, CSSR

NEW YORK:
P. J. KENEDY
EXCELSIOR CATHOLIC PUBLISHING HOUSE,
5 BARCLAY STREET.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855, by
JAMES B. KIRKER,
in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the United
States for the Southern District of New York.

TO MARY, THE EVER-IMMACULATE VIRGIN MOTHER OF GOD

My most holy Queen, – On the point of publishing the present little work, in which I treat of the love of thy Son, I know not to whom I can better dedicate it than to thee, my most beloved Mother, who, amongst all creatures, art His most tender lover. I believe that by this little offering which I present to thee, and which is composed for the sole purpose of inflaming souls more and more with the love of Jesus Christ, – I believe, I say, that by it I shall greatly please thee, who desirest to see Him loved by all as He deserves. To thee, then I consecrate it, such as it is; do thou graciously accept and protect it; not indeed that I may receive the praises of men, but that all who read it may for the future correspond, by their greater devotion and affection, with the tender and excessive love which our most sweet Saviour has been pleased to show us in His Passion, and in the institution of the Most Holy Sacrament. As such, I place it at thy feet, and beseech thee to accept the gift as wholly thine, as also the giver, who has long since placed all his hopes in thee, and wishes and hopes always to call himself, and to rejoice in being, Most gracious Lady,

Thy most loving, though most unworthy servant,
ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI,
Of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

INTRODUCTION.

FOR THE VISIT TO THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT

Our holy faith teaches us, and we are bound to believe, that in the consecrated Host, Jesus Christ is really present under the species of bread. But we must also understand that He is thus present on our altars as on a throne of love and mercy, to dispense graces, and there to show us the love which He bears us, by being pleased to dwell night and day hidden in the midst of us. It is well known that the Holy Church instituted the Festival of Corpus Christi with a solemn octave, and that she celebrates it with the many usual processions, and such frequent expositions of this Most Holy Sacrament, that men may thereby be moved gratefully to acknowledge and honor this loving presence and dwelling of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar, by their devotions, thanksgivings, and the tender affections of their souls. O God! how many insults and outrages has not this amiable Redeemer had, and has He not daily, to endure in this Sacrament on the part of those very men for whose love He remains upon their altars on earth! Of this He indeed complained to His dear servant Sister Margaret Alacoque, as the author of the Book of the Devotion to the Heart of Jesus relates. One day, as she was in prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament, Jesus showed her His Heart on a throne of flames, crowned with thorns, and surmounted by a cross, and thus addressed her: “Behold that Heart which has loved men so much, and which has spared Itself nothing; and has even gone so far as to consume Itself, thereby to show them Its love; but in return the greater part of men only show Me ingratitude, and this by the irreverences, tepidity, sacrileges, and contempt which they offer Me in this sacrament of Love; and that which I feel the most acutely is, that they are hearts consecrated to me.” Jesus then expressed His wish, that the first Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi should be dedicated as a particular festival in honor of His adorable Heart; and that on that day all souls who loved Him should endeavor, by their homage, and by the affections of their souls, to make amends for the insults which men have offered Him in this Sacrament of the Altar; and at the same time He promised abundant graces to all who should thus honour Him.

We can thus understand what our Lord said of old by His prophet, that His delight is to be with the children of men; since He is unable to tear Himself from them, even when they abandon and despise Him. This also shows us how agreeable all those souls are to the Heart of Jesus who frequently visit Him, and remain in His company in the churches in which he is under the sacramental species. He desired St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi to visit Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament thirty-three times a day; and this beloved Spouse of His faithfully obeyed Him, and in all her visits to the altar approached it as near as she possibly could, as we read in her life. But let all those devout souls who often go and spend their time with the Most Blessed Sacrament speak: let them tell us the gifts, the inspirations which they have received, the flames of love which are there enkindled in their souls, the paradise which they enjoy in the presence of this hidden God. The servant of God and great Sicilian missionary-father, Louis La Nusa, was, even in his youth and as a layman, so enamoured of Jesus Christ, that he seemed unable to tear himself from the presence of his beloved Lord; and such were the joys which he there experienced, that his director, having commanded him, in virtue of obedience, not to remain there for more than an hour; when that time had elapsed, he showed in obeying (says the author of his life), that in tearing himself from the bosom of Jesus Christ, he had to do himself just such violence as a child which has to detach itself from its mother’s breast in the very moment in which it is satiating itself with the utmost avidity; and when he had to do this, we are told that he remained standing with his eyes cast on the altar, making repeated inclinations, as if he knew not how to quit his Lord, whose presence was so sweet and gracious to him. St. Aloysius was also forbidden to remain in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament; and as he used to pass before it, finding himself drawn, so to say, by the sweet attractions of his Lord, and almost forced to remain there, he would, with the greatest effort, tear himself away, saying, with an excess of love: Depart from me, O Lord, depart! There it was also that St. Francis Xavier found refreshment in the midst of his many labors in India; for he employed his days in toiling for souls, and his nights in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament. St. John Francis Regis did the same thing: and sometimes finding the church closed, he endeavored to satisfy his longings by remaining on his knees outside the door, exposed to the rain and cold, that at least at a distance he might attend upon his Comforter concealed under the sacramental species. St. Francis of Assisi used to go and communicate all his labors and undertakings to Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament. But tender indeed was the devotion of St. Wenceslaus, duke of Bohemia, to the Most Holy Sacrament. This holy king was so enamoured of Jesus there present, that he not only gathered the wheat and grapes, and made the hosts and wine with his own hands, and then gave them to be used in the Holy Sacrifice, but moreover, he used, even during the winter, to go at night to visit the church in which the Blessed Sacrament was kept; and these visits enkindled in his beautiful soul such flames of Divine love, that their ardour imparted itself even to his body, and took from the snow on which he walked its wonted cold; for it is related, that the servant who accompanied him in there nightly excursions having to walk through the snow, suffered much from the cold. The holy king, on perceiving it, was moved to compassion, and commanded him to follow him, and only to step in his footmarks: he did so, and never afterwards felt the cold.

In the visits you will read other examples of the tender affection with which souls inflamed with the love of God loved to dwell in the presence of the Most Holy Sacrament. But you will find that all the Saints were enamoured of this most sweet devotion; since, indeed, it is impossible to find on earth a more precious gem, or a treasure more worthy of all our love, than Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament. Certainly amongst all devotions, adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament holds the first place, is the most pleasing to God, and the most useful to ourselves. Be not then loth, devout soul, now to begin; and forsaking the conversations of men, dwell each day, from this time forward, for at least half or quarter of an hour, in some church, in the presence of Jesus Christ under the sacramental species. “Taste, and see how sweet is the Lord.” Only try this devotion, and by experience you will see the great benefit that you will derive from it. Be assured that the time you will thus spend with devotion before this Most Divine Sacrament, will be the most profitable to you in life, and the source of your greatest consolations in death and in eternity. You must also be aware, that in a quarter of an hour’s prayer spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, you will perhaps gain more than in all the other spiritual exercises of the day. It is true, that in every place God graciously hears the petitions of those who pray to Him, having promised to do so: “Ask, and you shall receive;” yet the disciple tells us that Jesus dispenses His graces in greater abundance to those who visit Him in the Most Holy Sacrament. Blessed Henry Suso used to also say, that Jesus Christ hears the prayers of the faithful more graciously in the Sacrament of the Altar than elsewhere. And where, indeed, did holy souls make their most beautiful resolutions, but prostrate before the Most Holy Sacrament? Who knows but that you also may one day, in the presence of a tabernacle, make the resolution to give yourself entirely to God? In this little book I feel myself bound, at least out of gratitude to my Jesus in the Holy Sacrament to declare, that through the means of this devotion of visiting the Most Blessed Sacrament, which I practiced, though with so much tepidity and in so imperfect an manner, I abandoned the world, in which, for my misfortune, I lived until I was six-and-twenty years of age. Fortunate indeed will you be if you can detach yourself from it at an earlier period, and give yourself without reserve to that Lord who has given Himself without reserve to you. I repeat it, that indeed you will be blessed, not only in eternity, but even in this life. Believe me, all is folly: feasts, theatres, parties, excursions, – these are the pleasures of this world, but pleasures which are filled with bitterness of gall and with sharp thorns. Believe me, who have experienced it, and now weep over it. Be also assured that Jesus Christ finds means to console a soul which remains with a recollected spirit before the Most Blessed Sacrament, far beyond what the world can do with all its feasts and pastimes. Oh, how sweet a joy it is, to remain with faith and tender devotion before an altar, and converse familiarly with Jesus Christ, who is there for the express purpose of listening to and graciously hearing those who pray to Him; to ask His pardon for the displeasures which we have caused Him; to represent our wants to Him, as a friend does to a friend in whom he places all his confidence; to ask Him for His graces, for His love, and for His kingdom; but above all, oh, what a heaven is it there to remain making acts of love towards that Lord who is on the very altar, praying to the Eternal Father for us, and is there burning with love for us; since indeed that love it is which detains Him there, thus hidden and unknown, and when He is even despised by ungrateful souls! But why should we say more? “Taste and see”

And now as to the visits to the Most Blessed Virgin, the opinion of St. Bernard is well known, and generally believed: it is, that God dispenses no graces otherwise than through the hand of Mary: ‘God wills that we should receive nothing which does not pass through Mary’s hands.’ Hence Father Suarez declares that it is now the sentiment of the universal Church, that ‘the intercession of Mary is not only useful, but even necessary to obtain graces.’ And we may remark that the church gives us strong grounds for this belief, by applying the words of the Sacred Scripture to Mary, and making her say: “In me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me” (Ecclus. xxiv. 25). Let all come to me; for I am the hope of all that you can desire. Hence she then adds: “Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors” (Prov. viii. 34). Blessed is he who is diligent in coming every day to the door of my powerful intercession; for by finding me he will find life and eternal salvation: “He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord” (ibid. 35). Hence it is not without reason that the Holy Church wills that we should all call her our common hope, by saluting her saying, ‘Hail, our hope!’

‘Let us then,’ says St. Bernard (who went so far as to call Mary ‘the whole ground of his hope’), ‘seek for graces, and seek them through Mary.’ Otherwise, says St. Antoninus, if we ask for graces without her intercession, we shall be making an effort to fly without wings, and we shall obtain nothing: ‘He who asks without her as his guide, attempts to fly without wings.’

In Father Auriemma’s little book, Affetti Scambievoli, we read of innumerable favors granted by the Mother of God to those who practiced this most profitable devotion of often visiting her in her churches or before some image: we read of the graces which she granted in these visits to Blessed Albert the Great, to the Abbot Rupert, to Father Suarez, especially when she obtained them the gift of understanding, by which they afterwards became so renowned throughout the Church for their great learning; the graces which she granted to the Venerable John Berchmans of the Society of Jesus, who was in the daily habit of visiting Mary in a chapel of the Roman college, and declared that he renounced all earthly love, to love no other after God than the Most Blessed Virgin, and had written at the foot of the image of his beloved Lady: ‘I will never rest until I shall have obtained a tender love for my Mother;’ the graces which she granted to St. Bernardine of Sienna, who in his youth also went every day to visit her in a chapel near the city gate, and declared that that Lady had ravished his heart; hence he called her his beloved, and said that he could not do less than often visit her; by her means he afterwards obtained the grace to renounce the world, and to become what he afterwards was, a great saint and the apostle of Italy.

Do you, then, be also careful always to join to your daily visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament a visit to the most holy Virgin of Mary in some Church, or at least before a devout image of her in your own house. If you do this with tender affection and confidence, you may hope to receive great things from this most gracious Lady, who, as St. Andrew of Crete says, always bestows great gifts on those who offer her even the least act of homage

Mary, Queen of sweetest hope,
Who can e’ver forget thee?
By thy mercy, by thy love,
Have pity, Queen, on me!

ON SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.

As in all the following visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament a spiritual communion is recommended, it will be well to explain what it is, and the great advantages which result from its practice. A spiritual communion, according to St. Thomas, consists in an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament, and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him. How pleasing these spiritual communions are to God, and the many graces which He bestows through their means, was manifested by our Lord Himself to Sister Paula Maresca, the foundress of the convent of St Catherine of Sienna in Naples, when (as it is related in her life) He showed her two precious vessels, the one of gold, the other of silver; He then told her that in the gold vessel He preserved her sacramental communions, and in the silver one her spiritual communions. He also told Blessed Jane of the Cross, that each time that she communicated spiritually, she received a grace of the same kind as the one which she received when she really communicated. Above all, it will suffice us to know that the holy Council of Trent greatly praises spiritual communions, and encourages the faithful to their practice.

Hence all devout souls are accustomed often to practice this holy exercise of spiritual communion. Blessed Agatha of the Cross did so two hundred times a day. And Father Peter Faber, the first companion of St. Ignatius, used to say that it was of the highest utility to make spiritual communions, in order to receive the sacramental communion well.

All those who desire to advance in the love of Jesus Christ, are exhorted to make a spiritual communion at least once in every visit that they pay to the Most Blessed Sacrament, and at every mass that they hear; and it would even be better on these occasions to repeat the communions three times, that is to say, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. This devotion is far more profitable than some suppose, and at the same time nothing can be easier in practice. The above-named Blessed Jane of the Cross used to say, that a spiritual communion can be made without any one remarking it, without being fasting, without the permission of our director, and that we can make it at any time we please: an act of love does all.

ACT FOR SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.

My Jesus, I believe that Thou are truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things, and I desire to possess Thee within my soul. Since I am unable to now to receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace Thee as being already there, and unite myself wholly to Thee; never permit me to be separated from Thee.

A SHORTER ACT.

I believe that Thou, O Jesus, art in the Most Holy Sacrament! I love Thee and desire Thee! Come into my heart. I embrace Thee; oh, never leave me!

‘May the burning and most sweet power of Thy love, O Lord Jesus Christ, I beseech Thee, absorb my mind, that I may die through love of Thy love, who wast graciously pleased to die through love of my love.’ – St. Francis of Assisi.

‘O Love who are not loved! O Love who are not known!’ – St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi.

‘O my Spouse, when wilt Thou ravish me in Thyself?’ – St. Peter of Alcantara.

Jesus, my good, my sweetest love,
Strike and inflame this heart of mine,
Make it all fire for love of Thee!

Hail to the love of Jesus, our Life, and our All! Hail to Mary, our hope! Amen.

ACTS TO BE MADE BEFORE EACH VISIT TO THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT.

My Lord Jesus Christ, who for the love which Thou bearest to men, remainest night and day in this Sacrament full of compassion and of love, awaiting, calling, and welcoming all who come to visit Thee; I believe that Thou art present in the Sacrament of the Altar; I adore Thee from the abyss of my nothingness, and I thank Thee for all the graces which Thou hast bestowed upon me, and in particular for having given me Thyself in this Sacrament, for having given me Thy most holy Mother Mary for my advocate, and for having called me to visit Thee in this church. I now salute Thy most loving Heart; and this for three ends: 1. in thanksgiving for this great gift; 2. to make amends to Thee for all the outrages which thou receivedst in this Sacrament from all Thine enemies; 3. I intend by this visit to adore Thee in all the places on earth in which Thou art present in this Sacrament, and which Thou are the least revered and the most abandoned. My Jesus, I love Thee with my whole heart. I grieve for having hitherto so many times offended Thy infinite goodness. I purpose by Thy grace never more to offend Thee for the time to come; and now, miserable and unworthy though I be, I consecrate myself to Thee without reserve; I give Thee and renounce my entire will, my affections, my desires, and all that I possess. From henceforward do Thou dispose of me and of all that I have as Thou pleasest. All that I ask of Thee and desire is thy holy love, final perseverance, and the prefect accomplishment of Thy will. I recommend to Thee the souls in purgatory; but especially those who had the greatest devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. I also recommend to Thee all the poor sinners. In fine, my dear Saviour, I unite all my affections with the affections of Thy most loving Heart; and I offer them, thus united, to Thy Eternal Father, and beseech Him in Thy Name to vouchsafe, for Thy love, to accept and grant them.

First Visit

Behold the source of every good, Jesus in the Most Holy sacrament, who says, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me” (St. John vii. 37). Oh, what torrents of grace have the Saints drawn from the fountain of the Most Blessed Sacrament! for there Jesus dispenses all the merits of His Passion, as it was foretold by the Prophet: “You shall draw waters with joy out of the Saviour’s fountains” (Is. xii. 3). The Countess of Feria, that illustrious disciple of the Venerable Father John d’Avila, afterwards a poor Clare, and surnamed the spouse of the Most Blessed Sacrament from her long and frequent visits to it, on being asked how she employed the many hours thus passed in the presence of the Holy of holies, replied: ‘I could remain there for all eternity. And is not the very essence of God, which will be the food of the blessed, there present? Good God! am I asked what I do in His presence? Rather what is not done there? We love, we ask, we praise, we give thanks. We ask, what does the poor man do in the presence of one who is rich? What does a sick man do in the presence of his physician? What does a man do who is parched with thirst in the presence of a limpid fountain? What is the occupation of one who is starving, and is placed before a well-charged table?’

O my most amiable, most sweet, most beloved Jesus, my Life, my Hope, my Treasure, the only Love of my soul; oh, what has it cost Thee to remain thus in the midst of us in this Sacrament! Thou hadst to die, that Thou mightest thus dwell amongst us on our altars; and then, how many insults has Thou not had not to endure in this Sacrament, in order to aid us by Thy presence! Thy love, and the desire which Thou hast to be loved by us, have conquered all.

Come then, O Lord, come and center Thyself within my heart; close its doors for ever, that henceforward no creature may enter there, to divide the love which is due to Thee, and which it is my ardent desire to bestow all on Thee. Do Thou alone, my dear Redeemer, rule me; do Thou alone in full possess me; and if betimes I no not obey Thee perfectly, chastise me with rigour, that thenceforward I may no longer seek for any other pleasure than that of giving Thee pleasure; that all my pleasure may be to visit Thee often on Thine altars; to entertain myself with Thee, and to receive Thee in the Holy Communion. Let all who will, seek other treasures; the only treasure which I love, the only one which I desire, is that of Thy love; for this alone will I ask at the foot of the altar. Do Thou make me forget myself, that thus I may alone remember Thy goodness. Blessed Seraphim, I envy you, not for your glory, but for the love which you bear to your and my God; oh, do you teach me what I must do to love Him, and to give Him the greatest pleasure.

Ejaculatory Prayer. My Jesus, I will love thee alone.

Then follows the Spiritual Communion, after which the visit should be to the ever blessed Mary, the Mother of God, before some image of her.

VISIT TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

In our Mother Mary we have another fountain, which is indeed fruitful to us. She is so rich in good things and in graces, says St. Bernard, that there is no one in the world who does not participate in them: ‘Of her fullness we have all received.’ The Most Blessed Virgin Mary was filled by God with grace, and such was saluted by the angel: “Hail, full of grace;” not for herself alone, but also for us. St. Peter Chrysologus adds, that she received that great abyss of grace, that she might then impart it to all who are devout to her: ‘The Blessed Virgin received this grace, that she might give in return salvation to all.”

Ejaculatory Prayer. Cause of our joy, pray for us.

Then is said the following Prayer to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary which should be recited every day after each visit to her, thereby to obtain her most powerful patronage.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Second Visit

The devout Father Nieremberg says, that bread being a food which is consumed by eating, and which keeps when preserved for use, Jesus was pleased to dwell on earth under its species, that He might thus not only be consumed by uniting Himself to the souls of His lovers by the means of the Holy Communion, but also that He might be preserved in the tabernacle, and be present with us, and thus remind us of the love which He bears us. St. Paul says: “He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant” (Phil. ii. 7). But what must we say when we see Him ‘taking the form of bread?’ ‘No tongue would suffice,’ says St. Peter of Alcantara, ‘to proclaim the greatness of the love which Jesus bears to every soul which is in a state of grace; and therefore, in order that His absence might be to them an occasion of forgetting Him, this most sweet Spouse, when He was pleased to quit this life, left as a memorial this Most Blessed Sacrament, in which He Himself remained; He willed not that between these souls and Himself any other pledge but Himself should remain, whereby to keep alive their remembrance of Him.’

Since, then, my Jesus, Thou art enclosed in this tabernacle to receive the supplications of miserable creatures who come to seek an audience of Thee, listen this day to the petition addressed to Thee by the most ungrateful sinner living on earth.

I come repentant to Thy feet; for I now know the evil which I have committed in giving Thee displeasure. My first prayer and desire, then, is, that Thou wilt be pleased to pardon me all the sins which I have committed against Thee. Ah, my God, would that I had never offended Thee! After this I must tell Thee my next desire. Now that I have found out Thy sovereign goodness, I have become enamoured of Thee; I feel an ardent desire to love Thee and to please Thee; but I have not the strength to do this unless Thou helpest me. Manifest, O great Lord, They supreme power, and Thy immense goodness to the whole court of heaven; change me from a great rebel, such as I have hitherto been to Thee, into a great lover of Thee. Thou canst do it, and I know that such is Thy will; supply all that is wanting in me, that thus I may be enabled to love Thee much, – at least that I may love Thee as much as I have offended Thee. I love Thee, my Jesus; I love Thee above all things; I love Thee more than my life, my god, my Love, my All!

Ejac. My God and my All.

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

“Let us go with confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid.” Heb. iv. 16

St. Antoninus says, that Mary is this throne, from which God dispenses all graces. O most amiable Queen, since thou hast so great a desire to help sinners, behold a great sinner who has recourse to thee; help me much, and help me without delay!

Ejac. Sole refuge of sinners, have mercy on me. S. Aug.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Third Visit

“And My delights were to be with the children of men.” Prov. viii. 31.

Behold our Jesus, who, not satisfied with dying on earth for our love, is pleased even after His death to dwell with us in the Most Holy Sacrament, declaring that He finds His delights among men. ‘O men,’ exclaims St. Teresa, ‘how can you offend a God who declares that it is with you that He finds His delights!’ Jesus finds His delights with us; and shall we not find ours with Jesus? And we especially who have had the honour to dwell in His palace? How greatly do those vassals esteem themselves honoured to whom the king assigns an abode in his own residence! Behold the palace of the King; it is this house in which we dwell with Jesus Christ. Let us, then, learn to thank Him for it, and to avail ourselves of conversing with Jesus Christ.

Behold me, then, O my Lord and God, before this altar, on which Thou residest night and day for my sake. Thou art the Source of every good; Thou art the Healer of every ill; Thou art the Treasure of every poor creature. Behold now at Thy feet a sinner, who is of all others the poorest and most infirm, and who asks Thy mercy; have pity upon me! Now that I see Thee in this Sacrament, come down from heaven upon earth only to do me good, I will not be disheartened at the sight of my misery. I praise Thee, I thank thee, I love Thee; and if Thou willest that I should ask Thee for an alms, I will ask for this; O listen to me; I desire never more to offend Thee; and I desire that Thou shouldst give me light and grace to love Thee with all my strength. Lord, I love Thee with my whole soul; I love Thee with all my affections. Do Thou grant that I may thus speak with truth; and that I may speak in the same way during life and for all eternity. Most holy Virgin Mary, my holy patron saints, ye angels, and all ye blessed spirits of paradise, help me to love my most amiable God.

Ejac. O Good Shepherd, true Bread, Jesus, have mercy on us: do Thou feed us; do Thou guard us; do Thou show us good things in the land of the living!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

“Her bands are a healthful binding.” Ecclus. vi. 31.

The devout Pelbart says, that devotion to Mary is a chain of predestination. Let us beseech our sovereign Lady to bind us always more closely by the chains of love to confidence in her protection.

Ejac. O clement, O pious, O sweet Virgin Mary!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Fourth Visit

“Her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness.” Wisd. viii. 16.

Friends on earth find such pleasure in being together, that they lose entire days in each other’s company: with Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, those who love Him not get weary. After her death, St. Teresa who was already in heaven, said to a nun: ‘Those who are in heaven and those who are on earth should be one and the same in purity and in love; we enjoying, and you suffering; and that which we do in heaven with the Divine Essence, you should do on earth with the Most Blessed Sacrament.’ Behold, then, our paradise on earth; – the Most Blessed Sacrament. O immaculate Lamb, sacrificed for us upon the cross, remember that I am one of those souls which Thou hast redeemed by so many sufferings, and by Thy death. Grant that Thou mayest be mine, and that I may never lose Thee, since Thou hast given Thyself to me, and givest Thyself every day, sacrificing Thyself for my love on the altar; and grant that I may be all Thine. I give myself to Thee without reserve, that thou mayest dispose of me as Thou pleasest. I give Thee my will; chain it with the sweet bonds of Thy love, that it may be for ever be the slave of Thy most holy will. I wish no longer to live for the satisfaction of my desires, but only to please Thy goodness. Destroy in me all that does not please Thee; grant me the grace never to have any other thought than to please Thee, any other desire than that which Thou desirest. I love Thee, O my dear Saviour, with my whole heart; I love Thee because Thou desirest that I should love Thee; I love Thee because Thou indeed art worthy of my love I grieve that I love Thee not as much as Thou deservest. I desire, Lord, to die for Thy love; accept my desire, and give me Thy love. Amen.

Ejac. O good pleasure of my God, I sacrifice myself all to Thee!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

Mary says: “I am the Mother of fair love” (Ecclus xxiv. 24); that is to say, she is the Mother of that love wich beautifies souls. St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi saw the Most Blessed Virgin Mary going about dispensing a sweet liquid, which was Divine love. This gift is dispensed only by Mary; from Mary let us seek it.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Fifth Visit

“The sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest for herself, where she may lay her young ones: Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God..” Ps. lxxxiii. 4.

The sparrow, says David, finds a dwelling in houses; turtle-doves in nests; but Thou my King and my God hast made Thyself a nest and found a dwelling on earth on our altars, that we might find Thee, and that Thou mightest dwell amongst us. Lord, we cannot but say, that Thou art too much enamoured of men; Thou no longer knowest what to do to gain their love. But do Thou, my most amiable Jesus, give us the grace that we also may be passionately enamoured of Thee. It would indeed be unreasonable were we cold in our love towards a God who loves us with such affection. Draw us to Thee by the sweet attractions of Thy love; make us understand the endearing claims which Thou hast on our love.

O infinite Majesty and infinite Goodness, Thou lovest men so much, Thou hast done so much that Thou mighest be loved by men: how is it, then, that amongst men there are so few who love Thee? I will no longer be as I have hitherto been, of the unhappy number of those ungrateful creatures; I am resolved to love Thee as much as I can, and to love no other than Thee: thou deservest it; Thou commandest me with so much earnestness to do so, I am resolved to satisfy Thee. Grant, O God of my soul, that I may fully satisfy Thee. I entreat Thee to grant me this favour by the merits of Thy passion, and I confidently hope for it. Bestow the good of the earth on those who desire them; I desire and seek the great treasure of Thy love alone. I love Thee, my Jesus; I love Thee, infinte Goodness; thou art all my riches, my whole satisfaction, my entire love.

Ejac. My Jesus, Thou hast given Thy whole self to me; I give my whole self to Thee!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY

My Lady, St. Bernard calls thee ‘the ravisher of hearts.’ He says, that thou goest about stealing hearts by the charms of thy beauty and goodness. Steal also my heart and will, I beseech thee: I give them wholly to thee; offer them to God with thine own.

Ejac. Mother most amiable, pray for me!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Sixth Visit

“Where your treasure is, there is your heart be also.” St. Luke xii. 34.

Jesus Christ says, that where a person esteems his treasure to be, there also he keeps his affections. Therefore the saints, who neither esteem nor love any other treasure than Jesus Christ, center their hearts and all their love in the Most Blessed Sacrament. My most amiable Jesus, hidden under the sacramental veils, who for the love which Thou bearest me remainest night and day imprisoned in this tabernacle, draw, I beseech thee, my whole heart to Thee, that I may think of none but Thee, that I may love and seek and hope for Thee alone. Do this by the merits of Thy Passion, through which I seek and hope for it.

Ah, my Sacramental* Lord and Divine Lover, how amiable and tender are the inventions of Thy love to gain the love of souls! O Eternal Word, Thou, in becoming man, wast not satisfied with dying for us; Thou hast also given us this Sacrament as a companion, as food, and as a pledge of heaven. Thou reducest Thyself so as to appear amongst us, at one time as an infant in a stable, at another as a poor man in a workshop, then as a criminal on a gibbet, and now as bread on an altar. Tell me, couldst Thou invent other means to win our love? O infinite Goodness, when shall I really begin to correspond with such refinements of love? Lord, I will only live to love Thee alone. And of what use is life to me, if I do not spend it wholly in loving and pleasing Thee, my beloved Redeemer, who hast poured out Thy whole life for me? And what I have to love, if it is not Thee, who art all beauty, all condescension, all goodness, all loving, all worthy of love? May my soul live only to love Thee; may the sole remembrance of Thy love dissolve my soul with love; may the very names of Crib and Cross, and Sacrament inflame it

* It is almost impossible to give the full force of this original, sacramentato, in English. The word sacramental has been adopted from time to time to avoid the necessity of paraphrasing the expression. Literally translated it is sacramented, which is not English. ED.

with the desire to do great things for Thee, O my Jesus, who hast indeed done and suffered great things for me!

Ejac. Grant, my Lord, that before I die, I may do something for Thee!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

“As a fair olive-tree in the plain.” Ecclus. xxiv. 19.

I am, says Mary, the beautiful olive-tree, from which the oil of mercy always flows. And I stand in the plain, that all may see me, that all may have recourse to me. ‘Remember (let us say in the words of the prayer of St. Bernard), O most compassionate Mary, that is has never been heard of in any age, that anyone having recourse to thy protection was abandoned by thee.’ Most merciful Queen, such a thing was never heard of, that any one having recourse to thy aid was abandoned: I will not be the first unfortunate creature who, having recourse to thee, was abandoned.

Ejac. O Mary, grant me the grace of always to have recourse to thee!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Seventh Visit

“Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” St. Matt. xxviii. 20.

Thus our loving Shepherd, who has given His life for us who are His sheep, would not separate Himself from us by death. Behold Me, He says, beloved sheep, I am always with you; for you I have remained on earth in this Sacrament; here you find Me whenever you please, to help and console you by My presence; I will not leave you until the end of the world, as long as you are on earth. The Bridegroom, says St. Peter of Alcantara, wished to leave His Bride company, that she might not remain alone during so long an absence; and therefore He left this Sacrament, in which he Himself, the best companion He could leave her, remains.

My sweetest Lord, my most amiable Saviour, I am now visiting Thee on this altar; but Thou returnest me the visit with far other love when Thou enterest my soul in the Holy Communion. Thou art then not only present to me, but Thou becomest my food; Thou unitest and givest Thy whole self to me, so that I can then say with truth, My Jesus, Thou art mow all mine. Since, then, Thou givest Thyself all to me, it is reasonable that I should give myself all to Thee. I am a worm, and Thou art God. O God of Love! O Love of my soul! When shall I find myself all Thine, in deeds, and not only in words? Thou canst do it; by the merits of Thy Blood increase my confidence, that I may at once obtain this grace of Thee, that I may find myself al Thine, and in nothing mine own. Thou graciously hearest, O Lord, the prayers of all; hear now the prayers of a soul who indeed desires really to love Thee. I desire to love Thee with all my strength, I desire to obey Thee in all that Thou willest, without self-interest, without consolations, without reward. I wish to serve Thee through love, only to please thee, only to content Thy heart, which is so passionately enamoured of me. My reward will be to love Thee. O beloved Son of the Eternal Father, take possession of my liberty, of my will, of all I possess, and of my entire self, and give me Thyself. I love Thee, I seek after Thee, I sigh after Thee; I desire Thee, I desire Thee, I desire thee!

Ejac. My Jesus, make me all Thine own!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

O our own most amiable Lady, the whole Church proclaims and salutes thee as ‘our hope!’ Thou, then, who art the hope of all, be also my hope. St. Bernard called thee ‘the whole ground of his hope,’ and said: ‘Let him who despairs hope in thee.’ Thus also will I address thee: My own Mary, thou savest even those who are in despair; in thee I place all my hope.

Ejac. Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Eighth Visit

To every soul that visits Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, He addresses the words which He said to the Sacred Spouse: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. [Cant. ii. 10] Thou, O soul, that visitest Me, "arise" from thy miseries; I am here to enrich thee with graces. "Make haste," approach, come near Me; fear not My majesty, which has humbled itself in this Sacrament in order to take away thy fear, and to give thee confidence. "My beloved," thou art no longer My enemy, but My friend; since thou lovest Me and I love thee. "My beautiful one," My grace has made thee fair. "And come," draw near and cast thyself into My arms, and ask Me with the greatest confidence for whatever thou willest.

St. Teresa says that this great king of glory has disguised Himself in the Sacrament under the species of bread, and that He has concealed His majesty to encourage us to approach His Divine Heart with greater confidence. Let us, then, draw near to Jesus with great confidence and affection; let us unite ourselves to Him, and let us ask Him for graces.

O Eternal Word made man, and present for my sake in this Sacrament, what joy should be mine now that I stand in Thy Presence, Who art my God, Who art infinite majesty and infinite goodness, and hast so tender an affection for my soul! Ye souls who love God, wherever you may be, either in Heaven or on earth, love Him for me also. Mary, my Mother, help me to love Him. And Thou, most beloved Lord, make Thyself the object of all my love. Make Thyself the Lord of my entire will; possess my entire self. I consecrate my whole mind to Thee, that it may always be occupied with the thought of Thy goodness; I also consecrate my body to Thee, that it may help me to please Thee: I consecrate my soul to Thee, that it may be all Thine. Would, O beloved of my soul, that all men could know the tenderness of the love which Thou bearest them, that all might live only to honor Thee and to please Thee, as Thou desirest and deservest. Grant that at least I may always live enamoured of Thine infinite beauty. From this day forward my desire is to do all that I can to be pleasing to Thee. I now resolve to abandon everything, be it what it may, as soon as I perceive that it displeases Thee, however much it may cost me, even should it be necessary for this purpose to lose all, or even to lay down my life. Fortunate indeed shall I be, if I lose all to gain Thee, my God, my treasure, my love, my all!

Ejaculatory prayer. Jesus, my love, take all that I have; take full possession of me!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

Whoever is a little one, let him come to me. [Prov. ix. 4] Mary invites all children who need a mother to have recourse to her, as to the most loving of all mothers. The devout Nieremberg says, that the love of all mothers is a shadow in comparison with the love which Mary bears to each one of us. [De Affect. ergo B. V. c. 14] My Mother, mother of my soul, thou who lovest me, and desirest my salvation more than any other after God, O Mother, "show thyself a Mother."

Ejaculatory Prayer. My Mother, grant that I may always remember thee!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Ninth Visit

St. John says that he saw our Lord girt up with a golden girdle, which supported His breasts: I saw the Son of Man girt about the paps with a golden girdle. [Apoc. i. 12] Thus also is Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar, with His breasts all filled with milk; that is to say, with the graces which, in His mercy, He desires to bestow upon us. And as a mother, whose breasts are overcharged with milk goes about seeking for children who may draw it off, and relieve her of its weight, [St. Francis de Sales, in his treatise The Love of God, B. 1, ch. 15, uses the same comparison in explaining it, to show us that the Divine goodness takes greater pleasure in giving us His graces than we do in receiving them.-----ED.] so also does He call out to us, You shall be carried at the breasts. [Isa. lxvi. 13]

The Venerable Father Alvarez saw Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with his hands filled with graces, and seeking to whom He might dispense them. Of St. Catherine of Sienna it is related, that when she approached the Most Holy Sacrament, she did so precisely with the same loving avidity with which a child flies to its mother's breast.

O most beloved and only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, I know that Thou art the object most worthy of being loved. I desire to love Thee as much as Thou deservest to be loved, or at least as much as a soul can ever desire to love Thee, I fully understand that I, who am a traitor, and so great a rebel to Thy love, deserve not to love Thee, neither do I deserve to approach Thee so near as I now am in this church, but I feel that Thou, for all this, seekest my love; I hear Thee say My son, give Me thy heart. [Prov. xxiii, 26] Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. [Matt. xxii. 37] I understand that it is for this end that Thou hast spared my life, and not sent me to Hell, that I might be converted and turn all my affections to Thee. Since, then, Thou art pleased that even I should love Thee, oh, yes, my God, I will do so. Behold me: to Thee I yield myself up; I give myself to Thee; I love Thee. O God! all goodness, all love, I choose Thee for the only king and lord of my poor heart. Thou desirest it, and my will is to give it to Thee: it is cold, it is loathsome; but if Thou acceptest it, Thou wilt change it. Change me, my Lord, change me; I no longer have courage to live as I have hitherto done, ungrateful, and with so little love towards Thine infinite goodness, which loves me so much, and deserves an infinite love. Enable me to supply from this day forward i for all the love which I have hitherto failed to bear Thee.

Ejaculatory prayer. My God, my God, I will love Thee, I will love Thee, I will love Thee!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

In all things like to her Son Jesus is His Mother Mary; and as she is the Mother of mercy, she is thrice happy when she helps and consoles the miserable. So great is the desire of this Mother to bestow graces on all, that Bernardine de Bustis says, that "she desires more to do us good, and to impart to us graces, than we can desire to receive them." [Mar. p. 2, s. 5]

Ejaculatory prayer. Hail, our hope!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Tenth Visit

O foolish ones of the world, says St. Augustine, miserable creatures, where are you going to satisfy your hearts? Come to Jesus; for by Him alone can that pleasure which you seek be bestowed. "Unhappy creatures, whither are you going? The good you seek for comes from Him." [Conf. 1. 4, c. 12] My soul, be not of the number of these foolish ones; seek God alone: "seek for that one good in which are all good things." [Man. c. 34] And if thou desirest soon to find Him, behold, He is close to thee; tell Him what thou desirest, since for this end it is that He is in the ciborium, to console thee, and to grant thy prayer. St. Teresa says that all are not allowed to speak to their king: the most that can be hoped for is to communicate with him through a third person. To converse with Thee, O King of glory, no third person is needed; Thou art always ready in the Sacrament of the Altar to give audience to all. All who desire Thee always find Thee there, and converse with Thee face to face. And even if anyone at length succeeds in speaking with a king, how many difficulties has he had to overcome before he can do so! Kings grant audiences only a few times in the year; but Thou, in this Sacrament, grantest audience to all night and day, and whenever we please.

O Sacrament of love, Thou who, whether Thou givest Thyself in the Communion, or dwellest on the Altar, knowest, by the tender attractions of Thy love, how to draw so many hearts to Thyself, who, enamoured of Thee, and filled with amazement at the sight of such love, burn with joy, and think always of Thee; draw also my miserable heart to Thyself; for it desires to love Thee, and to live enslaved by Thy love. For my part, I now and henceforward place all my interests, all my hopes, and all my affections, my soul, my body,-----I place all in the hands of Thy goodness. Accept me, O Lord, and dispose of me as Thou pleasest. I will never again complain, O my love, of Thy holy dispensations; I know that, as they all take their source in Thy loving heart, they all will be full of love, and for my good. It is enough for me to know that Thou willest them; I will them also in time and in eternity. Do all that Thou willest in me and with me; I unite my entire self to Thy will, which is all holy, all good, all beautiful, all perfect, all loving. O will of my God, how dear art Thou to me! My will is ever to live and die united to and bound up with Thee. Thy pleasure is my pleasure. I will that Thy desires shall also be my desires. My God, my God, help me; make me henceforward live for Thee alone; make me will only what Thou willest, and make me live only to love Thy amiable will. Grant that I may die for Thy love, since Thou hast died and become food for me. I curse those days in which I did my own will, so much to Thy displeasure. I love thee, O will of God, as much aa I love God, since Thou art one with Him. I love Thee, then, with my whole heart, and give myself all to Thee.

Ejaculatory prayer. O will of God, thou art my love!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

The great Queen says, With me are riches . . . that I may enrich them that love me. [Prov. xviii. 8] Let us love Mary, if we would be rich in graces. The writer who calls himself "the Idiot" styles her "the treasurer of graces." [Cont. de V. M. c. i] Blessed is he who has recourse to Mary with love and confidence. My Mother, my hope, thou canst make me a Saint; from thee I hope for this favor.

Ejaculatory prayer. Mother most amiable, pray for me!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

My Lord Jesus Christ, who for the love which Thou bearest to men, remainest night and day in this Sacrament full of compassion and of love, awaiting, calling, and welcoming all who come to visit Thee; I believe that Thou art present in the Sacrament of the Altar; I adore Thee from the abyss of my nothingness, and I thank Thee for all the graces which Thou hast bestowed upon me, and in particular for having given me Thyself in this Sacrament, for having given me Thy most holy Mother Mary for my advocate, and for having called me to visit Thee in this church. I now salute Thy most loving Heart; and this for three ends: 1. in thanksgiving for this great gift; 2. to make amends to Thee for all the outrages which thou receivedst in this Sacrament from all Thine enemies; 3. I intend by this visit to adore Thee in all the places on earth in which Thou art present in this Sacrament, and which Thou are the least revered and the most abandoned. My Jesus, I love Thee with my whole heart. I grieve for having hitherto so many times offended Thy infinite goodness. I purpose by Thy grace never more to offend Thee for the time to come; and now, miserable and unworthy though I be, I consecrate myself to Thee without reserve; I give Thee and renounce my entire will, my affections, my desires, and all that I possess. From henceforward do Thou dispose of me and of all that I have as Thou pleasest. All that I ask of Thee and desire is thy holy love, final perseverance, and the prefect accomplishment of Thy will. I recommend to Thee the souls in purgatory; but especially those who had the greatest devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. I also recommend to Thee all the poor sinners. In fine, my dear Saviour, I unite all my affections with the affections of Thy most loving Heart; and I offer them, thus united, to Thy Eternal Father, and beseech Him in Thy Name to vouchsafe, for Thy love, to accept and grant them.

Eleventh Visit

"Let us be careful," says St. Teresa, "never to be at a distance from Jesus our beloved Shepherd, nor to lose sight of Him; for the sheep which are near their shepherd are always more caressed and better fed, and always receive some choice morsels of that which he himself eats. If by chance the shepherd sleeps, still the lamb remains near him, and either waits until his slumber ends, or itself awakens him; and it is then caressed with new favors."

My Redeemer, present in this Most Holy Sacrament, behold me near Thee: the only favor which I ask of Thee is, fervor and perseverance in Thy love. I thank thee, O holy faith; for thou teachest and assurest me that in the Divine Sacrament of the Altar, in that heavenly bread, bread does not exist; but that my Lord Jesus Christ is all there, and that He is there for love of me. My Lord and my all, I believe that Thou art Present in the Most Holy Sacrament; and though unknown to eyes of flesh, by the light of holy faith I discern Thee in the consecrated Host, as the monarch of Heaven and earth, and as the Saviour of the world. Ah, my most sweet Jesus! as Thou art my hope, my salvation, my strength, my consolation, so also I will that Thou shouldst be all my love, and the only subject of all my thoughts, of my desires, and of my affections. I rejoice more in the supreme happiness which Thou enjoyest, and wilt enjoy forever, than in any good thing which I could ever have in time or in eternity. My supreme satisfaction is, that Thou, my beloved Redeemer, art supremely happy, and that Thy happiness is infinite. Reign, reign, my Lord, over my whole soul; I give it all to Thee; do Thou ever possess it. May my will, my senses, and my faculties be all servants of Thy love, and may they never in this world serve for anything else than to give Thee satisfaction and glory. Such was thy life, O first lover and Mother of my Jesus! Most holy Mary, do thou help me; do thou obtain for me the grace to live henceforward, as thou didst always live, in the happiness of belonging to God alone.

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, may I be all Thine, and be Thou all mine!

Then follows the Spiritual Communion, after which the visit should be to the ever blessed Mary, the Mother of God, before some image of her.

VISIT TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

Blessed is the man . . . that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. [Prov. viii. 34] Blessed is he who, like the poor who stand before the gates of the rich, is careful to seek for the alms of graces before the doors of the mercy of Mary! And thrice blessed is he who moreover seeks to imitate the virtues which he remarks in Mary, and more especially her purity and humility! Ejaculatory prayer. My hope, help me!

Then is said the following Prayer to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary which should be recited every day after each visit to her, thereby to obtain her most powerful patronage.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twelveth Visit

God is charity; and he that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him. [John, iv. 16] He who loves Jesus dwells with Jesus, and Jesus with him. If any one love Me . . . My Father will love him; and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him. [John, xiv. 23] When St. Philip Neri received the Holy Communion as Viaticum, on seeing the Most Blessed Sacrament enter his room, he exclaimed: "Behold my love! behold my love.!" Let each one of us, then, say, here in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament: Behold my love! behold the object of all my love for my whole life and for all eternity!

Since, then, my Lord and my God, Thou hast said in the Gospel that he who loves Thee will be beloved by Thee, and that Thou wilt come and dwell in him, and never more leave him, I love Thee above every other good: do Thou, then, also love me; for I, indeed, esteem being loved by Thee above all the kingdoms of the world. Come and fix Thy dwelling in the poor house of my soul in such a way that Thou mayest no more depart from me; or rather, so that I may never more drive Thee from me. Thou dost not go, if Thou art not expelled; but as I have already done this, so I might do again. Ah, never allow such a fresh act of wickedness, such horrible ingratitude, to be perpetrated in the world, as that I, who have been so especially favored by Thee, and who have received so many graces, should again drive Thee from my soul! But this might happen. I therefore, my Lord, desire death, if it so pleases Thee; that by dying united to Thee, I may live united to Thee forever. Yes, my Jesus; for this I hope. I embrace Thee; I press Thee to my poor heart; grant that I may always love Thee, and always be beloved by Thee. Yes, my most amiable Redeemer, I will always love Thee; and Thou wilt always love me. I trust that our love will ever be mutual, O God of my soul, and this for all eternity. Amen.

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I desire always to love Thee, and always to be beloved by Thee.

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

They that work by me shall not sin. [Ecclus. xxiv. 30] He, says Mary, who endeavors to honor me shall persevere to the end. They that explain me shall have life everlasting; [Ibid. 31] and those who endeavor to make me known and loved by others will be of the number of the elect. Promise, then, that whenever you can, be it in public or in private, you will speak of the glories of Mary, and of devotion to her.

Ejaculatory prayer. Vouchsafe that I may praise Thee, most sacred Virgin!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Thirteenth Visit

My eyes and My heart shall be here always. [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 at a distance from Thee? For 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!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO 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." [De Aquaed.] 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. [Prov. ix. 4] 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!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Fourteeth Visit

Most amiable Jesus, I hear Thee say from this tabernacle in which Thou art Present, This is my rest forever and ever; here will I dwell, for I have chosen it. [Ps. cxxxi. 14] Since, then, Thou hast chosen Thy dwelling on our Altars in the midst of us, remaining there in the Most Holy Sacrament, and since Thy love for us makes Thee there find Thy repose, it is but just that our hearts also should ever dwell with Thee in affection, and should find all pleasure and repose in Thee. Blessed are you, O loving souls, who can find no sweeter repose in the world than in remaining near to your Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament! And blessed should I be, my Lord, did I from this time forward find no greater delight than in remaining always in Thy Presence, or in always thinking of Thee, Who in the Most Holy Sacrament art always thinking of me and of my welfare.

Ah, my Lord! and why have I lost so many years, in which I have not loved Thee? O miserable years, I curse you; and I bless Thee, O infinite patience of my God, for having for so many years borne with me, though so ungrateful to Thy love. And still, notwithstanding this ingratitude, Thou waitest for me: and why, my God, why? It is, that one day, overcome by Thy mercies and by Thy love, I may yield wholly to Thee. Lord, I will no longer resist, I will no longer be ungrateful. It is but just that I should consecrate to Thee the time, be it long or short, which I have still to live. I hope for Thy help, O my Jesus, to become entirely Thine. Thou didst favor me so much when I fled from Thee and despised Thy love; how much more may I now hope that Thou wilt favor me, now that I seek and desire to love Thee! Give me, then, the grace to love Thee, O God, worthy of infinite love. I love Thee with my whole heart; I love Thee above all things; I love Thee more than myself, more than my life. J am sorry for having offended Thee, O infinite goodness: pardon me; and with Thy pardon grant me the grace to love Thee much in this life until death, and in the next life for all eternity. O Almighty God, show the world the greatness of Thy power, in the prodigy of a soul ungrateful as mine has been becoming one of Thy greatest lovers. Do this by Thy merits, my Jesus. It is my ardent desire. and I resolve thus to love Thee during my whole life: do Thou, Who inspirest me with this desire, give me also the strength to accomplish it.

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I thank Thee for having waited for me until now!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

St. Germanus, addressing the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, says: "No one is saved but through thee; no one is delivered from evils but through thee; there is no one on whom any gift is bestowed but through thee." [De Zona Diep. ap. Sur. 31 Aug.] Therefore, my Lady and my hope, if thou dost not help me I am lost, and shall be unable to bless thee in Heaven. But, Lady, I hear all the Saints say that thou never abandonest those who pave recourse to thee. He only is lost who has not recourse to thee. I then, miserable creature that I am, have recourse to thee, and in thee place all my hopes.

Ejaculatory prayer, in the words of St. Bernard. Mary is my whole confidence; she is the whole ground of my hope!--S. Bern. De Aquaed.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Fifteeth Visit

I am come to cast fire on the earth . . . and what will I but that it be kindled? [Luke, xii. 49] Father Francis Olimpio, the Theatine, used to say that there was nothing on earth which enkindled so ardent flames of Divine love in the hearts of men as the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Hence our Lord showed Himself to St. Catherine of Sienna in this Blessed Sacrament as a furnace of love, from which issued forth torrents of Divine flames, spreading themselves over the whole earth: so much so, indeed, that the Saint, in perfect astonishment, wondered how it was possible that men could live without burning with love for such love on the part of God towards them.

My Jesus, make me burn with the desire of Thee; I grant that all my thoughts, and sighs, and desires, and seekings, may be for Thee alone. Oh, happy should I be, did this Thy heavenly fire fully possess me, and as I advance in years, gradually consume all earthly affections in me!

O Divine Word! O my own Jesus! I see Thee all sacrificed, all annihilated, and so to say destroyed on the Altar, for my love. It is, then, but right that, as Thou sacrificest Thyself as a victim of love for me, I at least should consecrate myself wholly to Thee. Yes, my God and my sovereign Lord, I now sacrifice to Thee my whole soul, my entire self, my whole will and my whole life. I unite this poor sacrifice of mine, O Eternal Father, to the infinite sacrifice of Himself which Jesus, Thy Son and my Saviour, once offered to Thee on the Cross, and which He now offers to Thee so many times every day on our altars. Accept it, then, through the merits of Jesus; and grant me the grace to renew it every day of my life, and to die sacrificing my whole self to Thy honor. I desire the grace granted to so many Martyrs, to die for Thy love. But if I am unworthy of so great a grace, grant at least, my Lord, that I may sacrifice my life to Thee, together with my entire will, by accepting the death which Thou sendest me. Lord, I desire this grace; I desire to die with the intention of honoring and pleasing Thee thereby: and from this moment I sacrifice my life to Thee; and I offer Thee my death, when or wheresoever it may take place.

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I desire to die in order to please Thee!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY

Allow me also, my most sweet Queen, to call thee, with thine own St. Bernard, "the whole ground of my hope," [De Aquaed.] and to say with St. John Damascene, "I have placed my whole hope in thee." [Carmina] Thou hast to obtain for me the forgiveness of my sins; thou, perseverance until death; thou, deliverance from Purgatory. All who are saved obtain salvation through thee: thou, then, O Mary, hast to save me: "He will be saved whom thou willest." [Cant. post Psalt.] Will, then, my salvation, and I shall be saved. But thou savest all who invoke thee; behold, then, I invoke thee, and say:

Ejaculatory prayer. O salvation of those who invoke Thee, save me!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Sixteenth Visit

Had men but always recourse to the Most Blessed Sacrament to seek from it the remedy for their ills, they certainly would not be so miserable as they are. The prophet Jeremias, lamenting, exclaimed: Is there no balm in Galaad? or is there no physician there? [Jer. viii. 22] Galaad, a mountain of Arabia, rich in aromatical spices, according to venerable Bede, is a figure of Jesus Christ, Who in this Sacrament keeps in readiness all the remedies for our woes. Why, then, our Redeemer seems to ask, do you complain of your misfortunes, O sons of Adam, when you have the physician and the remedy for them all in this Sacrament? Come to Me, and I will refresh you. [Matt. xi. 28] I will, then, address Thee in the words of the sisters of Lazarus: Behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick. [John, xi. 3] Lord, I am that miserable creature whom Thou lovest; my soul is all wounded by the sins which I have committed; my Divine physician, I come to Thee, that Thou mayest heal me; if Thou wilt, Thou canst cure me: Heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee. [Ps. xl. 5] Draw me wholly to Thyself, my most sweet Jesus, by the all-winning attractions of Thy love. Far rather would I be bound to Thee than become the lord of the whole earth. I desire nothing else in the world but to love Thee. I have but little to give Thee; but could I gain possession of all the kingdoms of the world, I would do so, that I might renounce them all for Thy love. For Thee, then, I renounce what I can; I give up all relatives, all comforts, all pleasures, and even spiritual consolations: for Thee I renounce my liberty and my will. On Thee I desire to bestow all my love. I love Thee, infinite goodness; I love Thee more than myself, and I hope to love Thee for all eternity.

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I give myself to Thee: do Thou accept me!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

My Lady, though didst say to St. Bridget: "However much a man sins, if he returns to me with a real purpose of amendment, I am instantly ready to welcome him: neither do I pay attention to the greatness of his sins, but to the intention alone with which he comes. I do not disdain to anoint and heal his wounds; for I am called, and truly am, the Mother of mercy." [Rev. l. 2, c. 23; et l. 6, c. 117] Since, then, thou hast both the power and the will to heal me, behold, I have recourse to thee, O heavenly physician; heal the many wounds of my soul: with a single word addressed by thee to thy Son I shall be restored.

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, have pity on me!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Seventeenth Visit

Loving souls can find no greater delight than to be in the company of those whom they love. If we, then, love Jesus Christ much, behold we are now in His Presence. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament sees us and hears us: shall we, then, say nothing to Him? Let us console ourselves in His company; let us rejoice in His glory, and in the love which so many enamoured souls bear Him in the Most Holy Sacrament. Let us desire that all should love Jesus in the Holy Sacrament, and consecrate their hearts to Him; at least let us consecrate all our affections to Him. He should be all our love and our whole desire. Father Salesius, of the Society of Jesus, felt consolation in only speaking of the Most Blessed Sacrament; he could never visit it enough. When called to the parlor, on returning to his room, when going about the house, he always profited by these occasions to repeat his visits to his beloved Lord; so much so, that it was remarked that scarcely an hour of the day passed without his visiting Him. At length he obtained the favor to die by the hands of heretics while defending the truth of the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

Oh, had I but the happiness to die for so noble a cause as the defence of this Sacrament, in which, O most amiable Jesus, Thou hast taught us the tenderness of the love which Thou bearest us! But since, my Lord, Thou workest so many miracles in this Sacrament, work this one also: draw my entire self to Thee. Thou indeed desirest that I should be all Thine, and Thou dost also indeed deserve that I should be so. Give me the strength to love Thee with all the affection of my soul. Give the goods of this world to whomsoever Thou willest. I renounce them all: I sigh after and desire Thy love alone; this alone do I now and will always seek. I love Thee, my Jesus; grant me the grace always to love Thee, and grant me this alone.

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, when shall I really love Thee?

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

My most sweet Queen, how pleasing to me is that beautiful name by which thy devout clients address thee: "Most amiable Mother!" Yes, my Lady, thou art truly and indeed amiable. Thy beauty has captivated thy Lord Himself: And the king shall greatly desire thy beauty. [Ps. xliv. 12] St. Bernard says that thy very name is so amiable to thy lovers, that when they pronounce or hear it they are inflamed with a fresh desire to love thee: "O sweet, O pious, O exceedingly amiable Mary! Thou canst not be named without inflaming, neither can thy name be heard without enkindling, the affections of those who love thee." [Spec. B. V. c. 9] It is, then, reasonable, my most amiable Mother, that I should love thee. But I am not satisfied with only loving thee: I desire in the first place on earth, and then in Heaven, to be, after God, thy greatest lover. If my desire is presumptuous, it is thou thyself who art to blame, on account of thy amiability, and the special love which thou hast shown me. If thou wert less amiable, my desire to love thee would be less. Accept, then, O Lady, this my desire; and in token that thou hast accepted it, do thou obtain me from God this love for which I ask thee, since He is so well pleased with the love which is borne thee.

Ejaculatory prayer. My most amiable Mother, I love thee much.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Eighteenth Visit

One day Jesus will be seated on a throne of majesty in the valley of Josaphat; but now, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, He is seated on a throne of love. Did a king, to show his love for a poor shepherd, go and live in his village, how great would be the ingratitude of this peasant did he not often go to visit him, knowing the king's wish to see him, and that for this purpose he had come to reside there!

Ah, my Jesus, for love of me Thou dwellest in the Sacrament of the Altar. Could I, then, do so, my desire I would be to remain night and day in Thy Presence. If the Angels, O my Lord, filled with astonishment at the love which Thou bearest us, remain always around Thee, it is but reasonable that I, seeing Thee for my sake on this Altar, should endeavor to please Thee, at least by remaining in Thy Presence, to praise the love and goodness which Thou hast for me: I will sing praise to Thee in the sight of the Angels; I will worship towards Thy holy temple, and I will give glory to Thy name: for Thy mercy and for Thy truth. [Ps. cxxxvii. 1, 2]

O God, Present in this Most Holy Sacrament, O Bread of Angels, O heavenly food, I love Thee; but Thou art not, neither am I, satisfied with my love. I love Thee; but I love Thee too little. Do Thou, my Jesus, make known to me the beauty, the immense goodness which I love: make my heart banish from itself all earthly affections, and give place to Thy Divine love. To fill me with Thy love, and to unite Thyself all to me, Thou descendest every day from Heaven on our Altars: it is, then, but just that I should think of nothing else but of loving, adoring, and pleasing Thee. I love Thee with my whole soul, I love Thee with all my affections. If Thou art graciously pleased to make me a return for this love, increase my love; render its flames more ardent; that thus I may always love Thee more, and desire more and more to please Thee.

Ejaculatory prayer. Jesus, my love, give me love!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

As poor sick persons, who on account of their miseries are abandoned by all, find shelter in the public hospitals; so also do the most miserable sinners, who, although discarded by all, find protection in the mercy of Mary, by whom they are never rejected; for God has placed her in the world as a receptacle and as a public hospital for sinners, as St. Basil of Seleucia gives us to understand. Hence St. Ephrem also calls her "the asylum of sinners." [De Laud. Dei Gen.] Therefore, my Queen, if I have recourse to thee, thou canst not reject me en account of my sins; nay, even the more wretched I am, the greater is the claim which I have upon thy protection, since God has created thee as the refuge of the most miserable. Therefore to thee I have recourse, O Mary; I place myself under thy mantle. Thou art the refuge of sinners; thou art, then, my refuge, the hope of my salvation. If thou reject me, to whom shall I have recourse?

Ejaculatory prayer. Mary, my refuge, save me!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Nineteeth Visit

It is sweet to everyone to be in the company of a dear friend; and shall we not find it sweet, in this valley of tears, to remain in the company of the best friend we have, and Who can do us every kind of good; Who loves us with the most tender affection, and therefore dwells always with us? Behold, in the Most Blessed Sacrament we can converse at pleasure with Jesus, we can open our hearts to Him, we can lay our wants before Him, and we can ask Him for His graces; in a word, in this Sacrament we can treat with the King of Heaven, in all confidence and without restraint. Joseph was only too happy when, as the sacred Scripture tells us, God descended by His grace into his prison to comfort him: She went down with him into the pit, and in bands she left him not. [Wisd. x. 13] But we are yet more highly favored; for we have always with us in this land of miseries our God made Man, Who, by His Real Presence, is with us all the days of our life, and comforts and helps us with the greatest affection and compassion. What a consolation it is to a poor prisoner to have an affectionate friend, who keeps him company, consoles him, gives him hope, succors him, and thinks of relieving him in his misery! Behold our good friend Jesus Christ, Who in this Sacrament encourages us, saying: Behold, I am with you all days. [Matt. xxviii. 20] Behold Me, He says, all thine: I am come from Heaven into thy prison expressly to console thee, to help thee, to deliver thee. Welcome Me, and do so always; cling to Me and thus thou wilt never feel thy miseries; and afterwards thou wilt come with Me to My kingdom, where I shall make thee perfectly happy.

O God, O incomprehensible ocean of love, since Thy condescension towards us is so great, that in order to dwell near us Thou descendest upon our Altars, I propose often to visit Thee; I am determined, as often as I possibly can, to enjoy Thy most sweet presence, which is the beatitude of the Saints in Heaven. Oh, could I but always remain in Thy presence, to adore Thee and to make Thee acts of love! Arouse, I beseech Thee, my soul, when through tepidity or worldly affairs it neglects to visit Thee. Enkindle in me a great desire always to remain near Thee in this Sacrament. Ah, my loving Jesus, would that I had always loved Thee! would that I had always pleased Thee! I console myself that I still have time to do so, not only in the next life, but also in this. I am determined to do so; I am determined to love Thee indeed, my sovereign good, my love, my treasure, my all. I will love Thee with all my strength.

Ejaculatory prayer. My God, help me to love Thee!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

The devout Bernardine de Bustis says: "O sinner, whoever you may be, despair not; but with confidence have recourse to this Lady: you will find her hands filled with mercies and graces." [Mar. p. 1, s. 5] "And know also," he adds, "that this most compassionate Queen has a greater desire to do you good than you can have to be succored by her." I will ever, O my Lady, thank God for having taught me to know thee. Unfortunate indeed should I be, did I not know thee, or did I forget thee. Ill would it fare with my salvation. But, my Mother, I bless thee, I love thee; and so great is my confidence in thee, that I place my whole soul in thy hands.

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, blessed is he who knows thee, and puts his trust in thee!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twentieth Visit

The prophet Zacharias says: In that day there shall be a fountain open to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for the washing of the sinner. [Zach. xiii. 1] Jesus in the Holy Sacrament is the fountain foretold by the prophet as open to all, and to which we can go whenever we please, to wash our souls from all the stains of sin which are daily contracted. When anyone falls into some fault, what more beautiful remedy is there than to have immediate recourse to the Most Blessed Sacrament?

Yes, my Jesus, I resolve always to do this; for I know that the waters of this fountain of Thine not only cleanse me, but also give me light, and strengthen me not to fall, and enable me cheerfully to bear contradictions, and also inflame me with Thy love. I know that for this end it is that Thou awaitest my visits, and recompensest those of Thy lovers with so many graces. My Jesus, delay not; but wash me now from all the defects that I have committed this day, and for which I am grieved because they have displeased Thee; strengthen me against relapse by giving me a great desire to love Thee much.

Oh, could I but always dwell near Thee, as did Thy faithful servant Mary Diaz, who lived in the time of St. Teresa, and had permission from the Bishop of Avila to inhabit the tribune of a church, where she remained almost always in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament, which she called her neighbor, and which she only left to go to Confession and Communion. When the Venerable Brother Francis of the Infant Jesus, of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, passed before a church in which the Blessed Sacrament was kept, he could not refrain from entering to visit it, saying: "That it was not becoming for a friend to pass before the door of a friend without entering, at least to salute him and exchange a word." But a word did not satisfy him; he always remained as long as obedience allowed him in the Presence of his beloved Lord.

My only and infinite good, I see that Thou hast instituted this Sacrament, and that Thou remainest on this Altar, to be loved by me; and that for this end Thou hast given me a heart capable of loving Thee much. Why is it, then, that I am so ungrateful as not to love Thee? or that I love Thee so little? Now it is not just that such goodness as Thou art should be so little loved. The love, at least, which Thou bearest me, deserves other and greater love on my part. Thou art an infinite God, and I am a miserable worm. It would be little, did I die for Thee, or wear myself out for Thee, Who didst die for me, and dost sacrifice Thy entire self for me every day on the Altar. Thou deservest to be much loved; I will love Thee much: help me, my Jesus, help me to love Thee, and to do that which pleases Thee so much, and which Thou so earnestly seekest of me.

Ejaculatory prayer. My Beloved to me, and I to my Beloved!-----Cant. ii. 16. 1

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

My most sweet, most compassionate, most amiable Queen, oh, how great is the confidence with which St. Bernard inspires me when I have recourse to thee! He says that thou dost not go examining the merits of those who have recourse to thy compassion; but that thou offerest thyself to help all who pray to thee: "Mary does not discuss merits, but shows herself ready to hear and welcome all." [ In Sign. magn.] Therefore, if I pray to thee, thou dost graciously hear me. Well, then, listen to what I have to ask thee: I am a poor sinner, deserving of a thousand Hells. I wish to change my life; I wish to love my God, whom I have so greatly offended. I dedicate myself to thee as thy slave; to thee I give myself, miserable as I am; save, then, a poor creature who is no longer his own, but thine. My Lady; dost thou understand me? Yes; I trust that thou hast understood me, and graciously heard my prayer.

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, I am thine; save me!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twenty First Visit

Wheresoever the body shall be, thither will the eagles also be gathered together. [Matt. xxiv. 23] The Saints generally understand by this body that of Jesus Christ; and by the eagles, souls who being detached from creatures, rise above the things of the earth, and fly towards Heaven, after which they always sigh in thought and affection, and where they constantly dwell. These eagles also find their paradise on earth wherever they find Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament; so much so, indeed, that they seem never to tire hovering around Him. If eagles, says St. Jerome, [In Matt. loco cit.] on scenting a dead body go from afar to seek it, how much more should we run and fly to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, as to the most delicious food of our hearts! Hence Saints in this valley of tears have always as parched harts run to this fountain of paradise. Father Balthasar Alvarez, of the Society of Jesus, in whatever occupation he was engaged, used often to cast his eyes towards the place in which he knew that the Blessed Sacrament was; he often visited it, and even spent entire nights before it. He used to weep when he saw the palaces of the great ones of this world filled with people, who courted a man from whom they hoped for some miserable earthly good, and the churches so abandoned, in which the supreme sovereign of the world dwells, and remains with us as on a throne of love, rich in immense and eternal treasures. He used also to say, that religious persons were indeed fortunate, because in the very houses in which they reside, they can, whenever they please, either night or day, visit this great Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament; and this lay people cannot do.

Since, then, my most loving Lord, notwithstanding that Thou seest me as a leper, and so ungrateful to Thy love, Thou invitest me to approach Thee, I will not be discouraged at the sight of my miseries: I come and approach thee; but do Thou wholly change me. Drive from me every love which is not for Thee, every desire which displeases Thee, every thought which does not tend toward Thee. My Jesus, my love, my treasure, my all, I am determined to please Thee alone. I will give pleasure only to Thee. Thou alone deservest all my love; Thee only will I love with my whole heart. Detach me from everything, my Lord, and bind me to Thyself alone; but bind me so firmly, that I may never more be able to separate myself from Thee, either in this life or in the next.

Ejaculatory prayer. My most sweet Jesus, never allow me to be separated from Thee!

Then follows the Spiritual Communion, after which the visit should be to the ever blessed Mary, the Mother of God, before some image of her.

VISIT TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

Denis, the Carthusian, calls the Most Blessed Virgin "the advocate of all the wicked who have recourse to her." [De Laud. V. M. l. 2, a. 23]

Since, then, O great Mother of God, thy office is to defend the causes of the most guilty criminals who have recourse to thee, behold me now at thy feet; to thee I have recourse, and I address thee in the words of St. Thomas of Villanova: "O gracious advocate, fulfill thy charge." [In Nat. B. V. conc. 3] Now quickly enter upon thy office, undertake my cause: it is true that I have indeed been guilty before my Lord, having offended Him, after the many benefits and graces He has conferred upon me; but the evil is done; thou canst save me. Thou hast only to tell thy God that thou defendest me, and then I shall be forgiven, and shall be saved.

Ejaculatory prayer. My dear Mother, thou hast to save me!

Then is said the following Prayer to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary which should be recited every day after each visit to her, thereby to obtain her most powerful patronage.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twenty Second Visit

The Spouse in the sacred Canticles went about seeking for her Beloved; and not finding Him, she asked all whom she met: Have you seen Him Whom my soul loveth? [Cant. iii. 3] Jesus was not then on earth; but now, if a soul that loves Him seeks Him, she can always find Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The Venerable Father John Avila used to say, that amongst all sanctuaries he could neither find nor desire a more delightful one than a church in which the Most Blessed Sacrament is reserved.

O infinite love of my God, worthy of infinite love! And how couldst Thou, my Jesus, ever abase Thyself so far as, in order to dwell amongst men, and to unite Thyself to their hearts, to humble Thyself to such a degree as to conceal Thyself under the species of bread? O incarnate Word, Thou art supreme in Thy humility, because Thou art supreme in Thy love! How can I do otherwise than love Thee with my entire self, knowing as I do how much Thou hast done to captivate my love? I love Thee much; and therefore I give Thy good pleasure the preference above every interest and every satisfaction of my own. My pleasure is to give Thee pleasure, my Jesus, my God, my love, my all. Make me hunger to be continually in Thy Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, to receive Thee into myself, and to keep Thee company. I should be indeed ungrateful did I not accept so sweet and gracious an invitation. Ah, Lord, annihilate in me all affection for created things! Thou willest that Thou alone, my Creator, shouldst be the object of all my sighs, of all my love. I love Thee, most amiable goodness of my God. I ask nothing of Thee but Thyself. I desire not my own pleasure; Thy pleasure is all my desire, and sufficient for me. Accept, my Jesus, this good desire of a sinner who wishes to love Thee. Help me by Thy grace. Grant that I, a miserable slave of Hell, may from this day forward be the happy slave of Thy love.

Ejaculatory prayer. I love Thee, Jesus, my treasure, above every other treasure!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

My most sweet Lady and Mother, I am a vile rebel to thy great Son; but I come repentant to thy mercy, that thou mayest obtain for me pardon. Say not that thou canst not do so; for St. Bernard calls thee "the minister of propitiation." [In Sign. magn.] To thee also it belongs to succor those who are in dangers. St. Ephrem calling thee "the helper of those in peril." [De Laud. Dei Gen.] My Lady, who is in greater danger than I am? I have lost God: it is certain that I have been condemned to Hell. I know not whether God has yet pardoned me. I may again lose Him. But thou canst obtain me all; and from thee I hope for every good, for forgiveness, perseverance, and Heaven. I hope to be one of those who, in the kingdom of the blessed, will most praise thy mercies, O Mary, for having saved me by thy intercession.

Ejaculatory prayer. I will sing the mercies of Mary for all eternity; I will sing them forever and ever! Amen, amen.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twenty Third Visit

Many Christians submit to great fatigue, and expose themselves to many dangers, to visit the places in the Holy Land where our most loving Saviour was born, suffered, and died. We need not undertake so long a journey, or expose ourselves to so many dangers; the same Lord is near us, and dwells in the church, only a few steps distant from our houses. If pilgrims, says St. Paulinus, [Epist. 36 ad Mac.] consider it a great thing to bring back a little dust from the crib, or from the holy sepulchre in which Jesus was buried, with what ardor should not we visit the Most Blessed Sacrament, where the same Jesus is in Person, and where we can go without encountering so much fatigue and so many dangers! A religious person, to whom God had given great love for the Most Blessed Sacrament, amongst other things wrote as follows in a letter: "I see that every good thing that I have comes to me from the Most Blessed Sacrament. I have given and consecrated my whole self to Jesus in this Sacrament. I see innumerable graces, which are not granted because people do not go to this Divine Sacrament. I see the great desire that our Lord has to dispense His graces in the Sacrament. O holy mystery! O sacred Host! Where is it that God manifests His power the most, if it is not in this Host? For this Host contains all that God has ever done for us. Let us not envy the blessed who are in Heaven, since on earth we have the same Lord, with greater wonders of His love. Induce all with whom you speak to devote themselves to the Most Blessed Sacrament. I speak thus because this Sacrament enraptures my soul. Nor can I cease to speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament, which deserves so greatly to be loved, I know not what to do for Jesus in this Sacrament." Thus the letter ends.

O ye Seraphim, who remain sweetly burning with love around your and my Lord; though it is not indeed for love of you but of me that this King of Heaven is pleased to be Present in this Sacrament-----O loving Angels, let me also burn with love; and do you enkindle your love in me, that with you I also may burn! O my Jesus, teach me to know the greatness of the love which Thou bearest to men, that at the sight of so great love my desire to love Thee and please Thee may go on always increasing! I love Thee, most amiable Lord, and will always love Thee; and this alone to please Thee.

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and I give myself to Thee!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

Most amiable Virgin, St. Bonaventure calls thee, "the Mother of orphans;" [Psalt. min. B.V.] and St. Ephrem, moreover, calls thee "the receiver of orphans." [De Laud. Dei Gen.] Alas, these wretched orphans are no others than poor sinners who have lost God! Behold, then, I have recourse to thee, most holy Mary. I have lost my Father; but thou art my Mother, who must enable me to recover Him. In this my so great misfortune I call thee to my aid; do thou succor me. Shall I remain disconsolate? No; for Innocent III, speaking of thee, asks, "Whoever called upon her, and was not graciously heard by her? [De Ass. B.V. s. 2] And whoever prayed to thee, and was not heard and helped by thee? Who was ever lost who had recourse to thee? He alone is lost who has not recourse to thee. Then, my Queen, if thou desirest my salvation, enable me always to invoke and confide in thee.

Ejaculatory prayer. My own most holy Mary, give me confidence in thee!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twenty Fourth Visit

Verily Thou art a hidden God. [Isa. xlv. 15] In no other work of Divine love are these words so fully verified as in this adorable mystery of the Most Holy Sacrament, where our God is entirely hidden. When the Eternal Word took flesh, He hid His Divinity, and appeared as a Man on earth; but remaining with us in this Sacrament, He hides even His humanity, and, as remarks St. Bernard, appears only under the form of bread, to show thereby the tenderness of the love which He bears us: "The Divinity is hid, the humanity is hid; the bowels of charity alone appear." O my Beloved Redeemer, at the sight of the excessive tenderness Thou hast for men, I am beside myself, my Lord, and know not what to say. In this Sacrament Thou goest so far for their love as to hide Thy majesty and lower Thy glory; Thou goest so far as even to consume and annihilate Thy Divine life. And whilst Thou art on the Altar Thou seemest to have nothing else to do than to love men, and to show them the love which Thou bearest them. And what gratitude do they show Thee in return, O great Son of God?

O Jesus, O too great a lover of men, allow me to say so, for I see that Thou preferrest their advantage to Thine Own glory. And didst Thou not know to how much contempt this loving design of Thine would expose Thee? I see, and before me Thou didst see it full well Thyself, that the greater part of men adore Thee not, neither will they acknowledge Thee for what Thou art in this Sacrament. I know that these very men have gone so far as to trample on the consecrated Hosts, that they have thrown them on the ground, into water, and into fire. And I see the greater part even of those who believe in Thee, O God, who, so far from repairing so many outrages by the homage of their devotion, either come to the church to offend Thee still more by their irreverences, or else abandon Thee on Thine Altar, and sometimes even leave it unprovided with a lamp or the necessary ornaments!

Oh, could I, my most sweet Saviour, but wash with my tears, or even with my blood, those unhappy places in which, in this Sacrament, Thy love and Thy enamoured heart have been so greatly outraged! But if so much is not granted me, I desire at least, my Lord, and determine, to visit Thee often, in order to adore Thee as I now adore Thee, and this in compensation for the insults which Thou receivest in this most Divine mystery. Accept, O Eternal Father, this scanty honor, which I, the most miserable of men, now offer Thee in reparation of the outrages offered to Thy Son in the Most Holy Sacrament; accept it in union with that infinite honor which Jesus Christ gave Thee on the Cross, and which He daily gives Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament. O my Sacramental Jesus, would that I could fill all men with love for the Most Blessed Sacrament!

Ejaculatory prayer. O amiable Jesus, make Thyself known, make Thyself loved!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

My most powerful Lady, in the midst of my misgivings as to my eternal salvation, how great is the confidence which I feel when I have recourse to thee; and when I think that thou, my Mother, art, on the one hand, so rich in graces, that St. John Damascene calls thee "a sea of graces;" [In Nat. V. M. or. 1] St. Bonaventure, "the assemblage of graces," [Spec. B. V. c. 7] that is, the source in which all graces are congregated; St. Ephrem, "a fountain of grace and of all consolation;" [De Laud. Dei Gen.] and St. Bernard, "the fullness of every good;" [De Aquaed.]----and when, on the other hand, I reflect that thy desire to do us good is so great, that thou esteemest thyself offended, as St. Bonaventure says, by him who does not ask thee for thy graces: "they sin against thee, O Lady," he says, "who do not ask of thee;"----O most rich, O most wise, and most merciful Queen, I see that thou knowest far better than I do the wants of my soul, and that thou lovest me far more than I can love thee! Know, then, the grace for which I now ask thee; obtain me the grace which thou knowest to be the most expedient for my soul. Ask this favor from God, and I am satisfied.

Ejaculatory prayer. My God, grant me the graces which Mary asks Thee for me!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twenty Fifth Visit

St. Paul praises the obedience of Jesus Christ, saying, that He obeyed His Eternal Father even to death: becoming obedient to death. (Phil. 2,18.) But in this Sacrament He has gone still farther; for here He has been pleased to become obedient, not only to death, but as long as the world shall last; so that we can say: "He has become obedient even unto the consummation of the world." He, the King of Heaven, comes down from heaven in obedience to man, and then seems to dwell and converse there, in order to obey men: And I do not resist. (Isa. 50, 5.) There He remains without moving Himself; He allows Himself to be placed where men will, be it for exposition in the monstrance, or to be enclosed in the tabernacle. He allows Himself to be carried wheresoever He is borne, be it into houses or through the streets: He allows Himself to be given in Communion to whomsoever He is administered, be they just or sinners. St. Luke says that while He dwelt on earth He obeyed the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph; but in this Sacrament He obeys as many creatures as there are priests on earth: and I do not resist.

Permit me now to address Thee, 0 most loving Heart of my Jesus, from which indeed all the Sacraments flowed forth, but principally this Sacrament of love. I would gladly give Thee as much glory and honor as Thou givest in the Holy Sacrament in our churches to the Eternal Father. I know that on this altar Thou still lovest me with that same love with which Thou didst love me when Thou didst close Thy divine life in the midst of so much anguish on the cross. 0 divine Heart, enlighten all those who know Thee not with the knowledge of Thyself! Through Thy merits deliver from purgatory, or at least relieve, the afflicted souls, who are already Thy spouses for all eternity. I adore Thee, I thank Thee, I love Thee in union with all souls who at this moment love Thee, be they on earth or in heaven. 0 most pure Heart, purify my heart from all attachment to creatures, and fill it with Thy holy love! 0 most sweet Heart, possess my whole heart, so that henceforward it may be all Thine, and always be enabled to say: "Who shall separate .... . from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord? (Rom. 8, 35. 39.) Write, 0 most Sacred Heart, upon my heart all the bitter sorrows, which for so many years Thou didst endure on earth with so much love for me, that, on seeing them, I may henceforward desire, or at least endure with patience, all the sorrows of this life. Most humble Heart of Jesus, give me a share of Thy humility. Most meek Heart, impart Thy sweetness to me. Take from my heart all that displeases Thee; convert it wholly to Thee, so that I may no longer will or desire other than what Thou willest. In a word, grant that I may live only to obey Thee, only to love Thee, only to give Thee pleasure. I know that I, indeed, owe Thee much; and that Thou hast indeed placed me under great obligations: it will be but little if I consume and wear myself out for Thee.

Ejaculation. 0 Heart of Jesus, Thou art the sole Lord of my heart!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY

St Bernard says, that Mary is that heavenly ark, in which if we take timely refuge, we shall certainly be delivered from teh shipwreck of eternal damnation: " The ark in which Noe escaped from the general wreck of the world was indeed a type of Mary. But Hesychius says that Mary is a more spacious, a stronger, and a more compassionate ark. Only a few men and a few beasts were received into and saved by the ark of Noe; but Mary, our ark, receives all who take refuge under her mantle, and with certainty saves them all. Unfortunate should we be had we not Mary! But still, my Queen, how many are lost! and why? Because they have not recourse to thee?

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary! all my hopes are directed towards thee.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twenty Sixth Visit

Rejoice, and praise, O thou habitation of Sion; for great is He that is in the midst of thee, the Holy One of Israel. [Isa. xii. 6]

O God, and what joy ought not we men to conceive, what hopes and what affections, in knowing that in the midst of our land, in our churches, near our houses, the Holy of holies, the true God, dwells and lives in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar! He who by His Presence alone renders the Saints in Heaven blessed! He Who is love itself. "It is not so much that He has love, as that He is love itself," [In Cant. s. 59] says St. Bernard. This Sacrament is not only a Sacrament of love, but is love itself; it is God Himself, Who, for the immense love which He bears His creatures, calls Himself, and is, love itself: God is love. [1 John, iv. 16]

But I hear Thee complain, O my Sacramental Jesus: I was a stranger, and you took Me not in; [Matt. xxv. 43] that Thou camest on earth to be our guest for our good, and that we have not welcomed Thee. Thou art right, Lord, Thou art right, and I am one of these ungrateful creatures who have left Thee alone, without even visiting Thee. Chastise me as Thou pleasest; but not by depriving me of Thy Presence, which is the chastisement I deserve: no, I will repair my fault, and the indignities which I have heaped upon Thee. From this day forward I will not only visit Thee often, but will remain with Thee for as long a time as I can. O most compassionate Saviour, be pleased to make me faithful to Thee; and grant that I may also, by my example, excite others to keep Thee company in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I hear the Eternal Father, Who says: This is My beloved Son: in Whom I am well pleased. [Matt. iii. 17] A God, then, finds all His complacency in Thee; and shall not I, a miserable worm, find mine in dwelling with Thee in this valley of tears! O consuming fire, destroy in me all affections for earthly things; for they alone can render me unfaithful, and take me away from Thee. Thou canst do so, if Thou wilt: Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. [Matt. viii. 2] Thou hast already done so much for me, do this also: banish from my heart all love which does not tend towards Thee. Behold, I give myself all to Thee: I now dedicate the whole remainder of my life to the love of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Thou, O Sacramental Jesus, hast to be my comfort, my love in life, and at the hour of my death, when Thou wilt come to be my Viaticum and my guide to Thy blessed kingdom. Amen, amen. So do I hope; so may it be!

Ejaculatory prayer. When, O my Jesus, shall I behold Thy beautiful face!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

In thee, our own most holy Mother, we find the remedy for all our woes; in thee we find strength in our weakness; for St. Germanus calls thee the "strength itself of our weakness." [En. Deiparae.] In thee we find a door by which to make our exit from the slavery of sin; for St. Bonaventure calls thee "the gate of liberty." [Psalt. min. B. V.] In thee we find our certain peace; for the same Saint calls thee "the safe repose of men." In thee we find relief in our miserable life. Thou art "the solace of our pilgrimage," [S. in Nat. V. M.] as St. Laurence Justinian calls thee. In thee, in a word, we find Divine grace and God Himself, for St. Bonaventure calls thee "the throne of God's grace;" and St. Proclus, "the bridge by which God descends to men;" [Or. I in Dei gen. M.] that happy bridge by which God, Who had been driven to a distance by our sins, returns to dwell by His grace in our souls.

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, thou art my strength, my deliverance, my peace, and salvation!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twenty Seventh Visit

The holy Church sings in the Office of the Most Blessed Sacrament: "There is no other country, however great, whose gods are nigh it as our God is nigh to us." [Resp. 7,-----Deut. iv. 7] When the Gentiles heard how far our God carried His works of love, they exclaimed: Oh, how good a God is this God of the Christians! And, indeed, although the Gentiles imagined their gods according to their own caprices,-----yet, if you read history, you will never find in all their fables, and among the many gods they invented, that they went so far as even to imagine a god as enamoured of men as is our true God; Who, to show His love for His adorers, and to enrich them with graces, has worked such a prodigy of love as to become their constant companion, and to remain night and day concealed on their Altars, seeming as if He knew not how to separate Himself from them, even for a moment: He hath made a remembrance of His wonderful works. [Ps. cx. 4]

Thou, then, my most sweet Jesus, hast been pleased to work the greatest of Thy miracles in order to satisfy the excessive desire which Thou hast to remain always near and present to us. Why, then, do men fly from Thy Presence? And how can they live for so long a time at a distance from Thee, or visit Thee so seldom? How is it that when in Thy Presence they get so weary that a quarter of an hour appears an age? Oh, patience of my Jesus, how great art Thou! Yes, my Lord, I understand Thee; Thy patience is great, because the love Thou bearest to men is great. and this it is which, so to say, forces Thee to dwell always in the midst of creatures so ungrateful.

Ah, my God, Who, because Thou art infinite in perfections art also infinite in love, permit not that I should for the future be, as I have hitherto been, of the number of these ungrateful ones. Grant me a love equal to Thy merits and to my own obligations. At one time I also was weary in Thy Presence, either because I loved Thee not, or because I loved Thee too little; but if by Thy grace I am enabled to love Thee much, I shall no longer find it tedious to remain even for whole days and nights at Thy feet in the Most Holy Sacrament. O Eternal Father, I offer Thee Thine Own Son Himself; accept Him for me, and through His merits give me so ardent and tender a love towards the Most Blessed Sacrament, that, constantly turning towards some church in which He dwells, I may think of, and desire with longing anxiety, the time when I may be able to go and entertain myself in His Presence.

Ejaculatory prayer. My God, for the love of Jesus, give me a great love towards the Most Blessed Sacrament!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

Mary is that tower of David, of which the Holy Ghost says in the sacred Canticles: It is built with bulwarks; a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armor of valiant men. [Cant. iv. 4] A tower built with a thousand fortresses, and containing a thousand shields and weapons, for the benefit of those who have recourse to it. Thou art, then, according to an expression of St. Ignatius, Martyr, O most holy Mary, a most powerful defence for all those who are engaged in battle. Oh, how constantly are my enemies attacking me, in order to deprive me of the grace of God and of thy protection, my most dear Lady! But thou art my strength. Thou, indeed, dost not disdain to battle for those who trust in thee; for St. Ephrem calls thee "the bulwark of all who confide in thee." Do thou, then, defend and fight for me, who have such great hope and confidence in thee.

Ejaculatory prayer. Mary, Mary, thy name is my defence!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twenty Eighth Visit

God, having given us His Own Son, says St. Paul, what good thing is there that we can fear He might deny us! How hath He not also with Him given us all things? [Rom. viii. 32] We know, indeed, that all that the Eternal Father has He has given to Jesus Christ. The Father has given Him all things into His hands. [John. xiii. 2] Let us, then, ever thank the goodness, the mercy, the liberality of our most loving God, Who has been pleased to make us rich in all good things, and in every grace, by giving us Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar: In all things you are made rich in Him, . . . so that nothing is wanting to you in any grace. [1 Cor. i. 5, 7]

Therefore, O Saviour of the world, O Incarnate Word, if I desire to have Thee, I can really think that Thou art mine, and all mine. But can I at the same time say that I am all Thine, as Thou desirest? Ah, my Lord, prevent it; and never let the world witness such disorder and such ingratitude, as that I should not be Thine when Thou desirest me! Ah, no; let it never be! If it has been so hitherto, let it never be so again. I now, with the utmost determination, consecrate myself entirely to Thee; for time and eternity I consecrate my life, my will, my thoughts. my actions, my sufferings, to Thee. Behold me Thine; as a victim consecrated to Thee, I bid farewell to all creatures, and offer my whole self to Thee. Consume me with the flames of Thy Divine love. No, I am determined that creatures shall no longer share my heart. The proofs which Thou hast given me of the love which Thou bearest me, even at a time when I did not love Thee, make me hope that Thou certainly acceptest me now that I love Thee, and out of love give myself to Thee.

Eternal Father, I now offer Thee all the virtues, the actions, the affections, of the Heart of Thy dear Jesus. Accept them, and by His merits, which are all mine,-----for He has given them to me,-----grant me the graces which Jesus asks Thee for me. With these merits I thank Thee for the many mercies which Thou hast shown me; with these I satisfy for what I owe Thee for my sins; through these I hope for every grace from Thee,-----pardon, perseverance, Paradise, and above all, the crowning gift ot Thy pure love. I well see that to all these gifts I myself place impediments; but do Thou also remedy this. I ask it of Thee in the name of Jesus Christ, Who has promised: Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, that will I do. [John, xvi. 23] Then Thou canst not refuse me. Lord, my only desire is to love Thee, to give myself to Thee without reserve, and no longer to be ungrateful to Thee, as I have hitherto been. Behold me, and graciously hear me; grant that this may be the day of my entire conversion to Thee, so that I may never more cease to love Thee. I love Thee, my God! I love Thee, Infinite Goodness! I love Thee, my love, my paradise, my good, my life, my all!

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, Who art all mine, Thou desirest me, and I desire Thee!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

What relief do I feel in my miseries, and what consolation in my tribulations, what strength do I not find in the midst of temptations, when I remember and call thee to my aid, O my most sweet and most holy Mother Mary! Yes, indeed, you were right, O ye Saints, in calling my Lady "the haven of those who are in tribulation," [Or. ad Deip.] with St. Ephrem; "the repairer of our calamities," and "the solace of the miserable," [Cant. post Psalt.] with St. Bonaventure; and "the rest from our mournings," [Enc. Deiparae.] with St. Germanus. My own Mary, do thou console me. I see myself loaded with sins, and surrounded by enemies; without virtue, and cold in my love towards God. Comfort me, comfort me; and let my consolation be to make me begin a new life-----a life which will be really pleasing to thy Son and to thee.

Ejaculatory prayer. Change me, O Mary my Mother: change me; thou canst do it.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Twenty Nineth Visit

Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. [Apoc. iii. 20] O most loving shepherd, Who, not satisfied with sacrificing Thyself once to death on the altar of the Cross for the love of Thy sheep, hast moreover been pleased to hide Thyself in this Divine Sacrament on the Altars of our churches, to be always near, and to knock at the doors of our hearts, and thus obtain Thy admission! Ah, did I but know how to enjoy Thy nearness to me as did the Sacred Spouse in the Canticles, who says: I sat down under His shadow, Whom I desired. [Cant. ii. 3] Ah, did I but love Thee, did I but really love Thee, my most amiable Sacrament, I also should wish never to leave the foot of a tabernacle either night or day; and fixing myself near Thy Majesty, concealed under the apparent shadow of the sacred species, I also should find those Divine sweetnesses and that happiness which souls enamoured of Thee there find. Ah, do Thou be graciously pleased to draw me by the odor of Thy beauties, and of the immense love which Thou manifest in this Sacrament: Draw me: we will run after Thee to the odor of Thy ointments. [Cant. i. 3] Yes, my Saviour, I will leave creatures and all earthly pleasures, to run after Thee in this Sacrament: As olive-plants, round about Thy table. [Ps. cxxvii. 3] Oh, what abundant fruits of virtues do those happy souls, like olive-plants. bring forth to God, who assist with love before the sacred tabernacle! But I am ashamed to appear before Thee, O my Jesus, so naked and so devoid of all virtues. Thou hast commanded that all who approach the altar to honor Thee should present a gift: Thou shalt not appear empty before Me. [Exod. xxiii. 15] What, then, am I to do? Am I no more to appear before Thee? Ah, no; this would not please Thee. Poor as I am, I will approach Thee; and do Thou provide me with the gifts which Thou desirest. I see that Thou dwellest in the Sacrament, not only to reward Thy lovers, but also to provide for the poor out of Thy riches.

Be it so, then; let us now begin. I adore Thee, O King of my heart, and true lover of men. O shepherd, loving Thy sheep beyond all bounds, to this throne of Thy love I now approach; and having nothing else to present to Thee, I offer Thee my miserable heart, that it may be entirely consecrated to Thy love and to Thy good pleasure. With this heart I can love Thee, and I will love Thee as much as I can. Draw it, then, to Thyself, and bind it wholly to Thy will, so that, filled with consolation, it may be able from henceforth to say, as Thy dear disciple said, that it is bound by the chains of Thy love: I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ. [Eph. iii. 1] Unite me, my Lord, entirely to Thyself, and make me forget myself, that I may have the happiness one day to lose all things, and even myself, to find Thee alone, and to love Thee forever. I love Thee, my Sacramental Lord; to Thee do I bind myself, to Thee do I unite myself; make me find Thee, make me love Thee, and never more separate Thyself from me.

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, Thou alone art sufficient for me!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

St. Bernard calls Mary" the royal road of the Saviour;" [De. Adv. Dom. s. 2] the safe road by which to find the Saviour and salvation. Since, then, it is true, O Queen, that thou art, as the same Saint says, "the chariot in which our souls go to God,"-----the one who guides us to Him,-----ah, Lady, thou must not suppose that I shall advance towards God, if thou dost not carry me in thine arms! Carry me, carry me; and if I resist, carry me by main force; do all the violence that thou canst by the sweet attractions of thy charity to my soul and to my rebellious will, that they may leave creatures, to seek for God alone and His Divine will. Show the court of Heaven the greatness of thy power. After so many wonders of thy mercy, show this one more: make a poor creature who is far from God wholly His.

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, thou canst make me a Saint; I hope for this grace from thee!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Thirtieth Visit

Why hidest Thou Thy face? [Job. xiii. 24] Job feared when he saw that God hid His face: but to know that Jesus Christ veils His majesty in the Most Blessed Sacrament should not inspire us with fear, but rather with greater love and confidence; since it is precisely to increase our confidence, and with greater evidence to manifest His love, that He remains on our altars concealed under the appearance of bread. Novarious says "that whilst God hides His face in this Sacrament, He discloses his love." And who would ever dare approach Him with confidence, and lay bare before Him his affections and desires, did this King of Heaven appear on our Altars in the splendor of His glory?

Ah, my Jesus! what loving invention was this of the Most Blessed Sacrament, to hide Thyself under the appearance of bread, in order to make Thyself loved and that Thou mightest be found on earth by all who desire Thee! The prophet was right in saying that men should speak and raise their voices throughout the world, in order to make known to all men to what an excess the inventions of the love of our good God go for us: Make His works known among the people. [Isa. xii. 4] O most loving Heart of my Jesus, worthy to possess the hearts of all creatures,-----Heart all and ever full of flames of most pure love! O consuming fire, consume me all, and give me a new life of love and grace! Unite me to Thyself in such a way that I may never more be separated from Thee. O Heart open to be the refuge of souls, receive me! O Heart, which on the Cross was so agonized for the sins of the world, give me true sorrow for my sins! I know that in this Sacrament Thou preservest the same sentiments of love for me which Thou hadst for me when dying on Calvary; and therefore Thou hast an ardent desire to unite me wholly to Thyself. And is it possible that I should any longer resist yielding up my entire self to Thy love and to Thy desire? Ah, by Thy merits, my beloved Jesus, be pleased Thyself to wound me, to bind me, to force me, to unite me in all things to Thy Heart. I am now determined by Thy grace to give Thee all the pleasure that I possibly can, by trampling under foot all human respect, inclinations, repugnances, all my tastes and conveniences, which may prevent me from entirely pleasing Thee. Do Thou, my Lord, so help me, that I may execute this determination in such a way, that henceforward all my works, opinions, and affections, may be all in conformity with Thy good pleasure, O love of God, do Thou drive all other loves from my heart! O Mary, my hope, thou art all-powerful with God, obtain me the grace to be a faithful servant of the pure love of Jesus until death. Amen, amen. So I hope: so may it be in time and in eternity!

Ejaculatory prayer. Who shall separate me from the love of Christ! [Rom. viii. 35]

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

St. Bernard affirms, that the love of Mary towards us cannot be greater or more powerful than it is; hence by her affection she is always abundant in her compassion for us, and by her power she is plentiful in the relief she affords us: "The most powerful and compassionate charity of the Mother of God abounds in tender compassion, and in kind relief: she is equally rich in both." [In Assumpt. s. 4]

So that, my most pure Queen, thou art rich in power, and rich in compassion; thou art able to save, and desirest to save all, I therefore beseech thee, now and always, in the words of the devout Blosius, saying: "O Lady! protect me in my combats, and confirm me when I am wavering." [Par. an. p. 2. c. 4] O most holy Mary, in this great battle in which I am now engaged with Hell, do thou always help me; but when thou seest me wavering and likely to fall, O my Lady! do thou then extend thy hand with greater promptitude, and sustain me with greater vigor. O God! how many temptations have I still to overcome before my death! Mary, my hope, my refuge, my strength, do thou protect me, and never allow me to lose the grace of God. And on my part I resolve always and instantly to have recourse to thee in all temptations, saying:

Ejaculatory prayer. Help me, Mary! Mary, help me!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Thirty First Visit

Oh, how beautiful a sight was it to behold our sweet Redeemer on that day when, fatigued by His journey, He sat down, all engaging and loving, beside the well to await the Samaritan woman, that He might convert and save her! Jesus, therefore, sat thus on the well. [John, iv. 6] It is precisely thus that this same Lord seems sweetly to dwell with us all the day long, having come down from Heaven upon our Altars as upon so many fountains of graces. where He awaits and invites souls to keep Him company, at least for a while, that He may thus draw them to His perfect love. From every Altar on which Jesus remains in the Most Holy Sacrament He seems to speak and address all, saying: O men! why do you fly My Presence? Why do you not come and draw near to Me, Who love you so much, and Who remain thus annihilated for your sake? Why do you fear? I am not now come on earth to judge; but I have hid myself in this Sacrament of love only to do good, and to save all who have recourse to Me: I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. [John, xii. 47]

Let us, then, understand, that as Jesus Christ in Heaven is always living to make intercession for us, [Heb. vii. 25] so in the Sacrament of the Altar He is continually, both night and day, exercising the compassionate office of our Advocate; offering Himself as a victim for us to the Eternal Father, thus to obtain for us His mercies and innumerable graces. Therefore the devout Thomas à Kempis says, that we ought to approach and converse with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament without the fear of chastisement, and unrestrained, as to a beloved friend, "as one who loves speaks to his beloved, as a friend to a friend."

Since, then, Thou thus givest me permission, let me, O my hidden King and Lord, now open my heart to Thee with confidence, and say: O my Jesus! O enamoured of souls, I well know the injustice that men do Thee. Thou lovest them, and art not beloved by them; Thou doest good, and receivest contempt; Thou desirest to make them hear Thy voice, and they give Thee no ear; Thou offerest them Thy graces, and they refuse them. Ah, my Jesus! and is it true that I also at one time joined these ungrateful creatures in thus displeasing Thee? O God, it is but too true? But I am determined to amend, and to endeavor during the time that I still have to live, to make up for the displeasure which I have caused Thee, by doing all that I possibly can to please Thee and to give Thee pleasure. Tell me, Lord, what Thou askest of me, I will execute all without any reserve: make it known to me by the means of holy obedience, and I hope to do it. My God, I now resolutely promise Thee that I will never, from this day forward, omit anything which I know to be, rather than another, pleasing to Thee, even were I thereby to lose all-----parents, friends, esteem, health, and even life. Let all perish, provided Thou art pleased. Happy is that loss, when all is lost and sacrificed to satisfy Thy heart, O God of my soul! I love Thee, O sovereign good, worthy of love above every other good; and in loving Thee I unite my poor heart to all the hearts with which the seraphim love Thee; I unite it to the heart of Mary, to the Heart of Jesus. I love Thee with my entire self; Thee alone will I love, and Thee alone will I always love.

Ejaculatory prayer. My God, my God! I am Thine, and Thou art mine!

Spiritual Communion.

VISIT TO MARY.

Blessed Amadeus says that our most blessed Queen, Mary, is always in the Divine presence, acting as our advocate, and interposing with God by her prayers, which are most powerful: "The most blessed Virgin stands before the face of her Creator, interceding with her most powerful prayers for us. For," he adds, " she well sees our miseries and our dangers, and the most clement and sweet Lady compassionates and succors us with a mother's love." [De Laud. B. V. hom. 5]

Thou, my advocate and my most loving Mother, thou even now seest the miseries of my soul; thou seest my dangers, and prayest for me. Pray, pray, and cease not to pray, until thou seest me saved and thanking thee in Heaven. The devout Blosius tells me that thou, O most sweet Mary, art, after Jesus, the certain salvation of those who are thy faithful servants. [Par. an. p. 2, c. 4] Ah! this grace I now ask thee: grant me the happy lot of being thy faithful servant until death; that after death I may go to bless thee in Heaven, where I shall be certain never more, as long as God is God, to leave thy sacred feet.

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, my Mother, grant that I may be ever thine!

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day, – I, who am the most miserable of all. I worship thee, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces which thou hast hitherto granted me; and especially I thank thee for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise always to serve thee, and to do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place all my hopes in thee, and I confide my salvation to thy care; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, do thou deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask the true love of Jesus Christ; through thee I hope to die a good death. My Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me always, but especially at the last moment of my life; leave me not until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.

Return to Directory:
Return to Main Page:
Free Website Translator