Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Preparing to Commune with Jesus Christ

Other Christian rites have lengthy prayers immediately before Holy Communion, which center one's mind and heart on the sacred act about to take place, that is, our intimate union with the living person of Jesus Christ.  Roman Catholics, generally speaking, have become far too lax in their preparation for and meditation on the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Reflection on the following two prayers from the Anglican and Byzantine traditions will assist in awakening a sense of the sacred in us and cultivate amazement at the reality of the Eucharist. 

Jesus, the Son of God and Second Person of the Trinity, humbles Himself to enter into us under the form of bread and wine.  His Body and Blood are adored and received by the faithful, who are transformed by grace into living images of Jesus. 

Receiving Communion while in the state of mortal sin, without regular confession and firm purpose of amending one's sinful habits or actions contrary to the Church's teaching, without observing the fast (which includes chewing gum in the Communion line) - all these bring condemnation upon us for they mean we are receiving Christ unworthily. 

May we prepare ourselves well before every Mass we attend so that we may confidently access the treasury of grace with humility, professing that Christ is Lord and He is truly present in the Eucharist out of love for us poor sinners. 

These prayers can be memorized or written on a note card.  Then, we can say them as we approach the altar to receive the Lord.  Praying one of these prayers privately will enhance and deepen our communal recitation of the words "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.  Only say the word and I shall be healed."  We can then cultivate a serious devotion to the precise moment when we commune with the Lord in the Mass.

Prayers of Preparation before Holy Communion

 Prayer of Humble Access – Anglican-Catholic Rite

We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink His blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in Him, and He in us. Amen.

Prayer before Communion – Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom

I believe and confess, Lord, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. I also believe that this is truly Your pure Body and that this is truly Your precious Blood. Therefore, I pray to You, have mercy upon me, and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown. And make me worthy without condemnation to partake of Your pure Mysteries for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life.

How shall I, who am unworthy, enter into the splendor of Your saints? If I dare to enter into the bridal chamber, my clothing will accuse me, since it is not a wedding garment; and being bound up, I shall be cast out by the angels. In Your love, Lord, cleanse my soul and save me.

Loving Master, Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not these holy Gifts be to my condemnation because of my unworthiness, but for the cleansing and sanctification of soul and body and the pledge of the future life and kingdom. It is good for me to cling to God and to place in Him the hope of my salvation.

Receive me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not reveal Your mystery to Your adversaries. Nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to You: Lord, remember me in Your Kingdom.

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