The Reminder to Pray in Thanksgiving of the Eucharist
The Solemnity of Corpus Christi is this coming weekend and the 1st Communions are rolling. This last weekend I went to Mass at a near by parish, not knowing that the first communicants would be there, and the priest did something at the end of Mass that really stood out to me.
He came down from the altar and asked the children to say thank you to Jesus for giving us His body and blood, and sharing that with us in the Eucharist. Father then went on to instruct them to say a prayer of thanksgiving with him for Jesus' sacrifice. This small gesture actually made a big impact on me because I do not remember being taught to pray after communion, or after Mass.
It wasn't until the beginning of college that I became cognizant of the need to pray after Mass when I noticed other people doing that. I remember initially thinking, why are they all praying after Mass when we just spent the entirety of Mass in prayer? Then I realized in a more personal way that it is important to give thanks and praise to God for receiving Him within the intimacy of our hearts and minds. And it is equally important to take a moment to just rest in the reality that we have been physically united with Christ.
Prayer Is at the Heart of Liturgy and Liturgical Living
Over the years I have collected a few go-to prayers either in preparation of receiving communion or after. Some of these I say by myself, others I say every Mass with my husband. I mention that because I think it should be said that we cannot have a prayer life with our family if we don't have one on our own. At the center of liturgical living and building Catholic tradition in the home is a prayer life rooted in the faith. Liturgy is the divine worship of the Church, so to live liturgically is to extend the liturgy into your day to day life. The heart of worship is our offering and prayers of thanksgiving and praise to God!
Personal Prayer Builds Family Prayer
It took many years to cultivate that for myself, and with all honesty, I used to think that having a prayer life didn't really matter all that much. I felt I knew God by learning about Him in school, I experienced him with other Catholics, and I was very involved in the life of the Church. Essentially, even writing that list I see, that I was making a lot of excuses for myself. I didn't realize that what I was lacking was a personal, intimate relationship with Christ.
Me + Jesus
I share that because I couldn't give to others what I didn't have. And when I got married, I realized that the prayer life between us would be lacking, if I didn't have one first. That's not to say that the two can't develop simultaneously, personal prayer and marital prayer, but they both have to exist!
My Personal Favs
So, in honor of Corpus Christ, the solemnity that focuses our attention on the source and summit of our faith, I want to spotlight the prayers that helped build my relationship with Christ during Communion.
Prayers Before Communion
O my God, help me to make a good Communion. Mary, my mother, pray to Jesus for me. All you holy Angels and saints, pray for me. My dear Angel Guardian, lead me to the altar of God.
A Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas After Communion
I thank You, Lord, Almighty Father, Everlasting God, for having been pleased, through no merit of mine, but of Your great mercy alone, to feed me, a sinner, and Your unworthy servant, with the precious Body and Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this Holy Communion may not be for my judgment and condemnation, but for my pardon and salvation. Let this Holy Communion be to me an armor of faith and a shield of good will, a cleansing of all vices, and a rooting out of all evil desires. May it increase love and patience, humility and obedience, and all virtues. May it be a firm defense against the evil designs of all my visible and invisible enemies, a perfect quieting of all the desires of soul and body. May this Holy Communion bring about a perfect union with You, the one true God, and at last enable me to reach eternal bliss when You will call me. I pray that You bring me, a sinner, to the indescribable Feast where You, with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, are to Your saints true light, full blessedness, everlasting joy, and perfect happiness. Through the same Christ our Lord.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever.
Meditation of St. Therese
O how sweet it is, the first kiss of Jesus to my soul. Yes, it is a kiss of love. I feel I am loved, and I too say: “I love Thee, I give myself to Thee forever!”
Jesus asks nothing of me, demands no sacrifice. Already for a long time past, He and I have watched and understood each other. This day our meeting is no longer a simple look but a fusion. No longer are we two. I have disappeared as the drop of water which loses itself in the depths of the ocean.
Jesus alone remains: The Master, the King.
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary
O most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of gentleness and mercy, I, a miserable and unworthy sinner, fly to thy protection with every sentiment of humility and love; and I implore of thy loving kindness that thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to be near me, and all who throughout the whole Church are to receive the Body and Blood of thy Son this day, even as thou wert near thy sweetest Son as He hung bleeding on the Cross. Aided by thy gracious help, may we worthily approach this august Sacrament.
Everyone has their go-to prayers, I'm sure you do too, leave a comment and share your favorites.
See You in the Eucharist!
His Girl Sunday