Sunday, April 13, 2008

Prayer before Mass



O SUPREME High Priest and true Pontiff, Jesus Christ, who didst offer Thyself to God the Father as a pure and spotless Victim upon the Altar of the Cross for us miserable sinners, who didst give us Thy Flesh to eat and Thy Blood to drink, and who didst ordain that Mystery in the power of the Holy Spirit saying: "As often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me";

I ask Thee by this same Blood of Thine, the great price of our salvation, and by that wonderful and unspeakable love with which Thou dost love us so much so as to wash us from our sins in Thy Blood, as miserable and unworthy though we are: (teach me, Thy unworthy servant, whom among Thy other gifts, Thou hast deigned to call to the priestly office, not for my own merit but only out of the worthiness of Thy mercy;)

I beseech Thee teach me through Thy Holy Spirit to handle so great a Mystery with such great reverence and honor, with such fear and devotion, as are due and fitting. Through Thy grace make me always to believe and to understand, to conceive and to firmly hold, and to think and speak of this wondrous Mystery in such a way as it pleases Thee and benefits my own soul.

Let Thy good Spirit enter into my heart where He may silently resound and, without clamor of words, speak all truth. For Thy Mysteries are indeed exceedingly deep and covered with a sacred veil. On account of Thy great mercy grant me to assist at the Solemnity of the Mass with a clean heart and a pure mind.

Free my heart from all unclean, unholy, vain and hurtful thoughts. Defend me with a loving and faithful guard, the mighty protection of Thy blessed Angels, so the enemies of all good may go away ashamed. Through the virtue of this great Mystery and by the hand of Thy holy angel, drive away from me and from all Thy servants the stubborn spirit of pride and vain-glory, of impurity and uncleanness, of doubting and mistrust. May those who persecute us be confounded; may they perish those who make haste to destroy us.

~attributed to St. Ambrose

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