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


I entreat Thee also,
O Lord, by this most holy mystery of Thy Body and Blood,
wherewith we are daily fed, and cleansed,
and sanctified in Thy Church,
and are made partakers of the one Supreme Divinity,
grant unto me Thy holy virtues,
that filled therewith I may with a good conscience draw near unto Thy holy Altar,
so that these heavenly mysteries may be made unto me salvation and life;
for Thou hast said with Thy holy and blessed lips:
The Bread which I will give is My Flesh,
for the life of the world.
I am the living Bread which came down from heaven.
If any man eat of this Bread,
he shall live for ever.
O most sweet Bread,
heal the palate of my heart,
that I may taste the sweetness of Thy love.
Heal it of all infirmities,
that I may find sweetness in nothing out of Thee.
O most pure Bread,
having all delight and all savour,
which ever refreshest us,
and never failest,
let my heart feed on Thee,
and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savour.
The Angels feed on Thee fully;
let pilgrim man feed on Thee after his measure, so that,
refreshed by this nourishment,
he may not faint by the way.
Holy Bread! Living Bread! Pure Bread!
Who didst come down from heaven,
and who givest life to the world,
enter into my heart
and cleanse me from all impurity of flesh and spirit.
Come into my soul;
heal and cleanse me within and without;
be the protection and continual health of my soul and body.
Drive far from me all foes that lie in wait:
let them flee afar off at the presence of Thy power;
that, strengthened by Thee without and within,
I may by a straight way arrive at Thy kingdom,
where, not as now in mysteries,
but face to face,
we shall behold Thee;
when Thou shalt have delivered up the kingdom to God Thy Father,
and shalt be God All in all.
Then shalt Thou satisfy me with Thyself by a wondrous fullness,
so that I shall never hunger nor thirst any more for ever.
Who with the same God the Father,
and the Holy Ghost,
ever livest and reignest world without end.

Amen.



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