I left off here with my last Imitation of Christ meditation. I was starting book four AN INVITATION TO HOLY COMMUNION. Which is perfect timing since we are going to try and get back to daily mass this Lent. For those of you who want to learn more about the Eucharist I suggest this book THE SEVEN SECRETS OF THE EUCHARIST. It is a small book filled with tons of great insights on the "new awareness that the Eucharist is not just about receiving Communion; it's about transforming your daily life."
The First Chapter
The Great Reverence With Which We Should Receive Christ (part one)
THESE are all Your words, O Christ, eternal Truth, though they were not all spoken at one time nor written together in one place. And because they are Yours and true, I must accept them all with faith and gratitude. They are Yours and You have spoken them; they are mine also because You have spoken them for my salvation. Gladly I accept them from Your lips that they may be the more deeply impressed in my heart.
Words of such tenderness, so full of sweetness and love, encourage me; but my sins frighten me and an unclean conscience thunders at me when approaching such great mysteries as these. The sweetness of Your words invites me, but the multitude of my vices oppresses me.
You command me to approach You confidently if I wish to have part with You, and to receive the food of immortality if I desire to obtain life and glory everlasting.
“Come to me,” You say, “all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” Matt. 11:28.
Oh, how sweet and kind to the ear of the sinner is the word by which You, my Lord God, invite the poor and needy to receive Your most holy Body! Who am I, Lord, that I should presume to approach You? Behold, the heaven of heavens cannot contain You, and yet You say: “Come, all of you, to Me.”
I have never felt closer to Christ than when I am in union with Him in the Eucharist on a daily basis. Due to different states in life (hmmm, having 12 kids comes to mind), I can't always be at daily mass. I see a huge change in our family and kids when we make the sacrifice to get to daily mass. When we don't get there I try to do a small spiritual communion during the day as much as possible. Usually it goes like this, "LORD, I AM NOT WORTHY TO RECEIVE YOU, BUT ONLY SAY THE WORD AND I WILL BE HEALED." Here is a nice one:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.