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The Priest makes a last Prayer, before giving you his blessing; pray with him:

Eternal thanks be to thee, Placeat tibi, sancta TriniO adorable Trinity, for the tas, obsequium servitutis mercy thou hast showed to me, meæ, quod oculis tuæ main permitting me to assist at jestatis indignus obtuli, tibi this divine Sacrifice. Pardon sit acceptabile, mihique, et me the negligence and cold- omnibus, pro quibus illud ness wherewith I have re- obtuli, sit, te miserante, ceived so great a favour, and propitiabile. Per Christum deign to confirm the Blessing, Dominum nostrum. Amen. which thy Minister is about to give me in thy Name.

The Priest raises his hand, and thus blesses you: May the Almighty God, Benedicat vos omnipotens Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Deus, Pater, et Filius, et bless you !

Spiritus Sauctus. B. Amen.

B. Amen. He then concludes the Mass, by reading the first fourteen verses of the Gospel according to St. John, which tell us of the eternity of the Word, and of the mercy which led him to take upon himself our flesh, and to dwell among us. Pray that you may be of the number of those, who, now that he has come unto his own, receive him, and are made the sons of God. . The Lord be with you.

Ñ. Dominus vobiscum. B. And with thy spirit. Bd. Et cum spiritu tuo.

THE LAST GOSPEL. The beginning of the Holy Initium sancti Evangelii Gospel according to John. secundum Joannem. Ch. I.

Cap. I. In the beginning was the In principio erat Verbum, Word, and the Word was with et Verbum erat apud Deum, God, and the Word was God. et Deus erat Verbum. Hoc The same was in the begin- erat in principio apud ning with God. All things Deum. Omnia per ipsum were made by him, and with- facta sunt; et sine ipso factum est nihil. Quod factum out him was made nothing est, in ipso vita erat, et vita that was made. In him was erat lux hominum: et lux in life, and the life was the light tenebris lucet, et tenebræ of men ; and the light shineth eam non comprehenderunt. in the darkness, and the darkFuit homo missus a Deo, cui ness did not comprehend it. nomen erat Joannes. Hic There was a man sent from venit in testimonium, ut tes- God, whose name was John. timonium perhiberet de lu- This man came for a witness, mine, ut omnes crederent to give testimony of the light, per illum. Non erat ille that all men might believe lux, sed ut testimonium per- through him. He was not the hiberet de lumine. Erat lux light, but was to give testivera, quæ illuminat omnem mony of the light. That was hominem venientem in hunc the true light which enlightmundum. In mundo erat, et eneth every man that cometh mundus per ipsum factus into this world. He was in est, et mundus eum non cog- the world, and the world was novit. In propria venit, et made by him, and the world sui eum

non receperunt. knew him not. He came unto Quotquot autem receperunt his own, and his own received eum, dedit eis potestatem him not. But as many as filios Dei fieri, his, qui cre- received him, to them he gave dunt in nomine ejus : qui power to be made the sons of non ex sanguinibus, neque God; to them that believe in ex voluntate carnis, neque his name, who are born, not ex voluntate viri, sed ex Deo of blood, nor of the will of the nati sunt. ET VERBUM flesh, nor of the will of man, CARO FACTUM EST, et habi- but of God.

AND THE tavit in nobis : et vidimus WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and gloriam ejus, gloriam quasi dwelt among us; and we saw Unigeniti a Patre, plenum his glory, as it were the glory gratiæ et veritatis.

of the Only-Begotten of the

Father, full of grace and truth. R. Deo gratias.

B. Thanks be to God.

CHAPTER THE SIXTH.

ON HOLY COMMUNION

DURING PASSIONTIDE AND HOLY WEEK.

The Holy Mass is the true Sacrifice, of which the sacrifices of the Old Law were but figures. This Sacrifice was expected by mankind for four thousand years. It was during the present season that it was first offered up. It is now mysteriously renewed, each day, upon our Christian Altars.

No greater glory can be given to God than the celebration of this Sacrifice, wherein God himself is the Victim ; at the same time, nothing can be more advantageous to man than the partaking of this divine Victim,—the becoming himself this Victim, the incorporating it with himself by Holy Communion, whereby is realised that wonderful promise of our Redeemer: He that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, abideth in me, and I in him.

Now, it is by the immolation of our Redeemer on the Cross, that the Flesh of this Lamb of God has become truly our food, and his Blood truly our drink. By the mysteries of his Incarnation and Birth, we had him as our Brother; his Passion and Death have made him, both our Saviour, and our Food. Thus was realised that figurative sacrifice, which God prescribed to his people through Moses, and in which the victim, after being immolated, was to be eaten by the priest who offered it, and by the person in whose name it was offered.

3

1 St. John, vi. 57.

2 Ibid. 55.

3 Ibid.

St. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, speaks thus : As often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the Death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore, there is a close relation between Holy Communion and our Saviour's Passion; and it is on this account that we are going to celebrate, during this present Season, the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the sacrifice of the Lamb, our Redeemer. The two anniversaries come close to each other. If Jesus has desired with so ardent a desire to eat this last Pasch with his Disciples, it is because he had something infinitely grander to give them than he had given them the two preceding years : then, he gave them to eat of the flesh of the figurative lamb; but now, in this, the last Pasch, he is going to give them a pledge of pardon and immortality, by making them partake of the very substance of the true Lamb, whose Blood imparts remission of sin and opens the gate of heaven. He immolates himself on the Table of the Last Supper before men immolate him on Calvary; and this wondrous anticipation of his Sacrifice, in which he gives such a rich proof of his love and his power, is founded on the real Sacrifice of the morrow, which is to cost him every drop of his Blood.

In approaching, therefore, the Holy Table, during this Season of the Passion, the Faithful must be absorbed in the remembrance of the Lamb that was sacrificed for us: they must keep this great truth uppermost in their hearts,—that the divine Food which nourishes their souls, was prepared on Calvary; and that, although this Lamb is now living and impassable, yet it was by his Death on the Cross that he became our Food. The Sinner, reconciled to his offended God, must receive the Body of Jesus with sentiments of hearty contrition, and reproach

1 1. Cor. xi. 26.

2 St. Luke, xxii. 15.

himself in all the bitterness of his soul, for having shed that precious Blood by his multiplied sins. The Just man must make his Communion, and humble himself with the thought, that he, too, has had too great a share in causing suffering to the innocent Lamb; and that if he now have reason to believe himself to be in the state of grace, he owes it to the Blood of the Victim who is about to be given to him for the increase of his spiritual life.

We will here give, as in our other Volumes, Acts which may serve as a preparation for Holy Communion during these two weeks. There are souls that feel the want of some such assistance as this; and, for the same reason, we will add a form of Thanksgiving for after Communion.

BEFORE COMMUNION.

ACT OF FAITH.

The signal grace which thou, O my God, hast granted to me, that I should know the wounds of my soul, has revealed to me the greatness of my misery. I have been taught how deep was the darkness that covered me, and how much I needed thy Divine Light. But, whilst the torch of Faith has thus shown me the abyss of my own poor nature, it has also taught me how wonderful are the works, which thy love of thy ungrateful creature has made thee undertake, in order that thou mightest raise him up and save him. It was for me thou didst assume my human nature, and wast born at Bethlehem ; it is for me that thou fastest forty days in the Desert ; it is for me that thou art soon to shed thy Blood on the Cross. Thou commandest me to believe these miracles of thy love. I do believe them, O my God, humbly and gratefully. I also believe, and with an equally lively Faith, that in a few moments, thou art to give thyself to me in this ineffable Mystery of Holy Communion. Thou sayest to me: This is my Bodythis is my Blood :-thy word is enough; in spite of my unworthiness seeming to forbid the possibility of such Communion, I believe, I consent, I bow me dowu before thine infinite Truth. Oh! can there be Communion between the God of all holiness and a Sinner such as I lAnd yet, thou assurest me, that thou art verily coming to

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