To stimulate yourself to a love for God with this superheavenly sacrament,
you will turn yourself in thought to his love for you.
From the evening before, begin thinking on this point:
how this great and omnipotent Lord,
not content with having created you in his image and likeness
), not content with having sent his only-begotten son on earth
to suffer thirty-three years for your iniquities,
to bear the harshest travails and the shameful death on the cross in order
to redeem you, should desire even to leave him for your food and for your
benefit in the most holy sacrament of the altar.
Consider well, beloved daughter, the incomprehensible superiorities of this love:
they make it singular and most perfect in all its parts:
- First. For if we examine time, our God has loved us perpetually
and without any pre-existing reason. As he is eternal in his divinity,
even more eternal is the love with which, before all ages, his mind settled
on giving us his beloved Son in this marvelous manner.
For this reason, rejoicing from internal joy, you can say to yourself:
“In that abyss of eternity did the most high God
esteem and love my smallness, that he thought of me, and with sentiments
of indescribable love he longed to give me his own beloved Son as food?”
- Second. All other loves, no matter how great,
have some limit which they cannot go beyond.
It is our Lord’s love alone that is beyond measure.
Desiring therefore to fully satisfy himself,
he gave his own beloved Son, equal to him in infinite majesty,
of the same substance and nature.
On this account, the love is worth as much as the gift,
and the gift is worth as much as the love.
They are each so great that no intellect can imagine something greater.
- Third. God has not been compelled to love us from any necessity,
nor by any force, but only by his own intrinsic and natural goodness and
such incomprehensible affection towards us.
- Fourth. No work nor merit on our part could come cause
that immense Lord to show such an excessive love to our meanness,
but only through his liberality alone has he given himself completely to us,
his most unworthy creatures.
- Fifth. If you should turn with your thoughts to the purity of this love,
you will see that no self-interest is mixed in with it,
as it is with worldly love. Indeed, our Lord has no need of our goods,
being himself quite happy and glorious in himself even without us.
It is for this reason that he has poured out his ineffable goodness and charity,
not for his own benefit, but for ours.
Thinking well on this, you will say to yourself, “How is it possible
that a creature so vile should touch the heart of a Lord so sublime?
My God, in the light of your burning charity I see well
that you have only one design capable of making clear to me
the purity of your love for me, so that you might give yourself to me completely
as food, for no other reason than to transform me completly into you.
And you do this not because you need me, but because, living in me and I in you,
I might through a loving union become you,
and from the baseness of of my earthly heart you might make with you just one divine heart.”
Full of joyous marvel, and seeing yourself so esteemed and loved by God,
and knowing that that he, with his omnipotent love, neither intends nor desires
anything else for you than to draw all your love to himself, you should
distance from yourself first all creatures and then even yourself, as you
are yourself a creature. Offer yourself to your Lord as a holocaust:
from this moment on, let only his divine love and good will move your intellect
and your memory. Let them alone rule your senses.
Seeing then that nothing else can produce in you such divine effects
as when you seek them worthily in the most holy sacrament of the altar,
open your heart to the Lord for this purpose. Use the following ejaculatory
prayers and loving aspirations:
- O superheavenly food! When will that hour sound in which I sacrifice myself
completely to you with no other fire than love? When, when, o uncreated Love?
- O living bread! When will I live in you alone, through you and with you?
When, O my life, O my beautiful, merry, eternal life?
- O heavenly manna! When, unsatisfied with any other earthly food,
will I long only for you, and feed only on you? When will that be,
O my sweetness? When, my one and only good?
- O my loving and omnipotent Lord, liberate by now this miserable heart
from every attachment and from every vicious passion. Decorate it with
your holy virtues, and of that pure intention to make everything so that
it can only please you. In this way will I come to open my heart to you.
I will invite you in and I will do sweet violence to you that you might enter.
For this reason you, O Lord, will find no resistance to effecting within me
those consequences that you have always desired.
In such loving affections you can carry on throughout the evening and the morning
to prepare yourself for communion.
As you draw near to the time for communion, think then on what you are about to receive:
the beloved Son of God, of incomprehensible majesty, before whom the heavens
and all powers tremble! The Holy of holies, the spotless mirror and
incomprehensible purity, before whom no creature is clean.
He who as a worm despised by the people (see
desired out of love for your to be refused, trampled, derided, spat upon,
and crucified by the world’s malice and iniquity.
I say again that you are about to receive God, in whose hands
are the life and the death of all the universe,
that to the contrary you in yourself are nothing, and that by your sin and your malice
you have made yourself inferior to every irrational creature,
no matter how vile or unclean. You deserve to be mocked and derided
by all the demons of hell. And I say that instead of having gratitude
for such immense and uncountable benefits, in your whims and desires you have
despised such a great, high, loving Lord, and you have offended his precious blood.
I say that with all that, in his perpetual charity and in his unchangeable goodness,
he calls you to his divine table, and all the same he compels you to go
with warnings of death. Nor does he close the door of his pity to you,
nor even does he turn his divine shoulders to you, even though by nature you are
unclean, lame, unhealthy, blind, possessed,
This alone does the Lord desire from you.
- First: that you should ache at having offended him.
- Second: that you should hate sin above everything else, be that sin heavy or light.
- Third: that you should offer and abandon everything to his will and to
obedience to him, with your affection always and with your deeds on their performance.
- Fourth: that you should then hope and have a firm faith that he will
pardon you, he will cleanse you, and he will guard you from all your enemies.
Comforted by this ineffable love of God, you will then draw near to receive
communion with a holy and loving fear, saying, “Lord, I am not worthy
to receive you on account of the many, many times that I have offended you deeply,
nor have I yet wept as I should at this offense against you.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, because I am not in fact cleansed from
affections to venial sins. Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, because I have
not yet given myself sincerely to your love, to your will, and to obedience to you.
O my love, my all-powerful and infinitely good Lord, in virtue of your goodness
and of your word, make me worthy to receive you with this faith.”
Having then received communion, close yourself quickly within the recesses of your heart,
and forgetful of any created thing, reason with your Lord in this or some
similar manner: “O king most high of heaven! Who is it that has brought
you into me, who am miserable, poor, blind, and naked?”
He will reply,
And you, answering, will say, “O uncreated
Love! O sweet Love! What do you want from me?”
He will tell you:
“Nothing but love. I want no other fire to burn on the altar of your
heart, in your sacrifices and in all your works than the fire of my love.
Consuming every other love and all your will, let it raise to me a sweet aroma.
It is this that I have asked and that I always ask, because I long to be
completely yours, and that you be completely mine. This will not happen as long
as you delay in abandoning yourself to me in the way I delight, as long as you
remain attached to self-love, to your own opinion and to your own will and
reputation. I ask you to hate yourself, so as to give me your love; I ask for
your heart, that it might unite itself with mine: for this reason was it
opened up on the cross (see
19⋅33-34). I ask for your complete self, so that I might be completely
yours. You see that I am of incomparable price and nevertheless I value myself at
your price out of my own goodness. And so, my beloved soul, purchase me
by giving yourself to me. I desire from you, my sweet, beloved daughter,
that you desire nothing, that you think nothing, that you intend nothing,
that you see nothing, outside of me and my will, just as I in you should want,
think, intend, and see everything, so that your nothing, absorbed in the abyss
of my infinity, might be converted into it. Thus will you be fully happy and
blessed in me, and I will be completely content in you.”
Finally, you will offer the Father his beloved Son in thanksgiving, and then
for your needs, for the needs of all the Church, for your family’s needs,
for the needs of those to whom you are obliged, and for the souls in purgatory.
You will make this offering in memory and in union with that which he made
of himself when, hanging bloodily from the cross, he offered himself to the Father.
And in this way you can also offer him all the sacrifices, that are made in that
day in the holy Roman Church.
“unclean, lame, unhealthy,
blind, possessed, and adulterous”:
I have translated this a little
loosely. It literally states, “leprous, lame, dropsical, blind,
possessed, and you have given yourself to many fornicators.”
Even then, “possessed” seems a bit weak for indemoniata