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It is easy for us to forget that all things come from God and everything we receive is the result of his immense love and mercy.
Unfortunately, this thoughtfulness can even affect us at Mass when we receive Holy Communion. All too often, we take the precious Host into our mouths but think nothing of it, distracted by those around us, and not realizing the great price Jesus paid for such a gift.
One way to foster a deeper sense of gratitude not only for the Eucharist, but also for everything in our lives, is to say a brief prayer after Mass (or simply after we return to our pew at Communion time). It reminds us of the many gifts God has given us and helps us to understand the great love God has for us and our need to respond to that gift.
Here are three ancient and beautiful prayers that can help us maintain a thankful heart, returning everything we have back to God.
Prayer of Offering
O Jesus, receive my poor offering. Jesus, you have given yourself to me, now let me give myself to you: give you my body that it may be chaste and pure, I give you my soul that it may be free from sin, I give you my heart that it may always love you, I give you every breath that I shall breathe and especially my last, I give you myself in life and in death that I may be yours for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, All I have and call my own.You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.
Prayer of St. Bonaventure
Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus, my inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love, and with true, calm and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with entire love and longing for Thee, may yearn for Thee and for thy courts, may long to be dissolved and to be with Thee.Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee, the Bread of Angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and super substantial bread, having all sweetness and savor and every delightful taste.May my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, Whom the angels desire to look upon, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor; may it ever thirst for Thee, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the fullness of the house of God; may it ever compass Thee, seek Thee, find Thee, run to Thee, come up to Thee, meditate on Thee, speak of Thee, and do all for the praise and glory of Thy name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with ease and affection, with perseverance to the end; and be Thou alone ever my hope, my entire confidence, my riches, my delight, my pleasure, my joy, my rest and tranquility, my peace, my sweetness, my food, my refreshment, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my portion, my possession, my treasure; in Whom may my mind and my heart be ever fixed and firm and rooted immovably. Amen.
2 Prayers for after Communion