But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy ...
Our Lady of Walsingham, whose feast day is today, is closely linked to the Ordinariates established by Benedict XVI to allow Anglicans to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church while retaining much of their heritage and traditions. It is fitting today to consider a prayer from their liturgy.
This beautiful prayer is known as the Prayer of Humble Access, and is voiced by the congregation prior to the distribution of Communion. It is a magnificent aid to prepare the heart to receive Jesus in the Sacrament:
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his Blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.