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How to approach Holy Communion, according to ‘The Imitation of Christ’

Ania Freindorf | REPORTER
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Kempis provides a short guide on how to dispose oneself before receiving the Eucharist.

Ever since the 15th century countless souls have turned to a timeless spiritual classic entitled The Imitation of ChristIt was written by a German priest named Thomas à Kempis and offers spiritual wisdom that can be applied in any century.

The book proved to be a major influence in the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, as well as St. Therese of Lisieux.

Here are five quotes from the The Imitation of Christ on how to dispose oneself before receiving the Holy Eucharist.

Trusting in Your goodness and great mercy, O Lord, I come as one sick to the Healer, as one hungry and thirsty to the Fountain of life, as one in need to the King of heaven, a servant to his Lord, a creature to his Creator, a soul in desolation to my gentle Comforter.

I confess, therefore, my unworthiness. I acknowledge Your goodness. I praise Your mercy, and give thanks for Your immense love. For it is because of Yourself that You do it, not for any merit of mine; so that Your goodness may be better known to me, that greater love may be aroused and more perfect humility born in me. Since, then, this pleases You and You have so willed it, Your graciousness pleases me also. Oh, that my sinfulness may not stand in the way!

But on what shall I think in this Communion, this approach to my Lord, Whom I can never reverence as I ought, and yet Whom I desire devoutly to receive? What thought better, more helpful to me than to humble myself entirely in Your presence and exalt Your infinite goodness above myself? I praise You, my God, and extol You forever!

How admirable is Your work, O Lord! How great Your power! How infallible Your truth! For You spoke and all things were made, and this, which You commanded, was done. It is a wonderful thing, worthy of faith, overpowering human understanding, that You, O Lord, my God, true God and man, are contained whole and entire under the appearance of a little bread and wine, and without being consumed are eaten by him who receives You!

Therefore, you should prepare yourself for it by constantly renewing your heart and pondering deeply the great mystery of salvation. As often as you celebrate or hear Mass, it should seem as great, as new, as sweet to you as if on that very day Christ became man in the womb of the Virgin, or, hanging on the Cross, suffered and died for the salvation of man.

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