A meditation by Sister Mary Angela at the Forward in Faith National Assembly
‘Holy God, holy mighty, holy immortal; have mercy on us.’ You are everywhere present and you fill all things, deigning to be revealed to us in this most holy and blessed Sacrament. Each day, on countless altars, your self-sacrifice is re-enacted; your body and blood freely and generously given for our salvation, even as it was throughout your Passion, especially when you mounted the wood of the Cross. Such love is overwhelming for one as weak as I, who fails so often to live our founder’s maxim of ‘love first, love midst, love last.’ But your love is unchanging and constantly enfolds and sustains even me—in spite of my perversity, wrong turns and frequent falls. Help me open my heart fully to receive your love and light in the deepest recesses so that I see, repent and am washed clean by you, the living water, as you whisper ‘come to the Father.’ Our God who said: ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people… I, even I, am he that blotteth out your transgressions for my own sake.’ Thus it is possible to say ‘I will go forth in the strength of the Lord God’—the strength given by this body that is meat indeed, the blood that is drink indeed, so that whatever I do in word or deed is done in the name of the Lord Jesus, with thanksgiving. St Bonaventure says: ‘Thou that didst make the glory of the heavens and the beauty of the earth; Thou that didst form every tree and flower; Thou that didst stretch out the curtains of the clouds and the pavement of the grass, Architect of all things, couldst thou not have built an house for me, thy sinful and unprofitable servant, far beyond all my deserts, far beyond all my hopes? Most surely, O Lord, thou couldst. But this did not satisfy thy Love. Thou wouldst have me live, not in any work of thine, but in Thee Thyself. In Thee, to Whom, but for Thy loving-kindness, I could not venture to look up, in Thee to dwell. Is this after the manner of men, O Lord God? And that Thou should take up Thine abode in me, in a cottage so mean, so unworthy at its best for a monarch, and besides that, so defiled, so polluted, so stained by a thousand corruptions! But since Thou wilt have it so, come to me, O most loving Lord! Since Thou vouchsafest to enter my poor, mean, little dwelling, help me to welcome Thee as Thou wouldst be welcomed there! Help me to remove every scrap of leaven from the abode, before the Paschal Lamb takes up His sojourn in it! Bestow on me Thyself the purity wherewith Thou wouldst be welcomed, the holiness wherewith Thou wouldst be detained! Send Thy messengers to prepare the way before Thee; those sweet messengers, Faith, Hope and Love. They know how I should prepare for Thee; they know how I should receive Thee. Come then to me, for I am Thine! Come to me, for Thy vows are upon me! Come to me for Thou hast promised to dwell with me! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!’
Dear Lord—give me such grace that ‘each day I may place myself on the paten with the Host, to be taken up, blessed, broken and given, to be eaten up by everyone with whom I come in contact.’ Amen.
Sister Mary Angela is a sister of the Society of Saint Margaret. The final prayer is taken from Dom Cuthbert Marmion.