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A PRAYER BEFORE MASS (SUNDAY)
(By Saint Ambrose)


O great High-Priest,
the true Pontiff, Jesus Christ,
who didst offer Thyself to God the Father
a pure and spotless Victim upon the Altar of the Cross
for us miserable sinners,
and didst give us Thy Flesh to eat and Thy Blood to drink,
and didst ordain this Mystery in the power of Thy Holy Spirit,
saying, "Do this for the commemoration of Me,"
I pray Thee, by the same Thy Blood,
the great price of our salvation;
I pray Thee, by that wonderful and unspeakable love
wherewith Thou deignedst so to love us,
miserable and unworthy,
as to wash us from our sins in Thine own Blood:
teach me, Thine unworthy servant,
by Thy Holy Spirit,
to approach so great a Mystery with that reverence and honour,
that devotion and fear,
which is due and fitting.
Make me, through Thy grace,
always so to believe and understand,
to conceive and firmly to hold,
to think and to speak,
of that exceeding Mystery,
as shall please Thee and be good for my soul.
Let Thy good Spirit enter my heart,
and there be heard without utterance,
and without the sound of words speak all truth.
For Thy Mysteries are exceeding deep,
and covered with a sacred veil.
For Thy great mercy’s sake,
grant me to approach Thy holy Mysteries with a clean heart and a pure mind.
Free my heart from all defiling and unholy,
from all vain and hurtful thoughts.
Fence me round about with the holy and faithful guard
and mighty protection of Thy blessed Angels,
that the enemies of all good may go away ashamed.
By the virtue of this mighty Mystery,
and by the hand of Thy holy Angel,
drive away from me and from all Thy servants
the hard spirit of pride and vainglory,
of envy and blasphemy,
of impurity and uncleanness,
of doubt and mistrust.
Let them be confounded that persecute us;
let them perish who are bent upon our ruin.

Amen.



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