Wednesday, December 5, 2012

HWP: Prayer of Saint Ambrose Before Mass

A few weeks back I sought your input about the possible addition of weekly 'Half-Way Prayers' to my regular Sunday posts here on the blog (check out my reasons HERE). After unanimous positive feedback, the time has come to make it a reality... so, without further delay, I present to you: Half-Way Prayers!

The Second Vatican Council speaks of the Liturgy as "the source and summit of the Christian life" and as such it must hold a place of primacy in our thoughts and prayers. For that reason, I want to begin this series of Half-Way Prayers with those focusing on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Traditionally, there are two different prayers for the Mass - Prayers of Preparation (before Mass) and Prayers of Thanksgiving (after Mass). My thought was to use Christmas as the centerpiece for these prayers by posting Prayers of Preparation as we prepare for the Lord's coming at Christmas and Prayers of Thanksgiving during the Christmas season. Enjoy!

Prayer of Saint Ambrose before Mass

I draw near, loving Lord Jesus Christ, to the table of Your most delightful banquet in fear and trembling, a sinner, presuming not upon my own merits, but trusting rather in Your goodness and mercy. I have a heart and body defiled by my many offenses, a mind and tongue over which I have kept no good watch.
Therefore, O loving God, O awesome Majesty, I turn in my misery, caught in snares, to You the fountain of mercy, hastening to You for healing, flying to You for protection; and while I do not look forward to having You as Judge, I long to have You as Savior.
To You, O Lord, I display my wounds, to You I uncover my shame. I am aware of my many and great sins, for which I fear, but I hope in Your mercies, which are without number.
Look upon me, then, with eyes of mercy, Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King, God and Man, crucified for mankind. Listen to me, as I place my hope in You, have pity on me, full of miseries and sins, You, who will never cease to let the fountain of compassion flow.
Hail, O Saving Victim, offered for me and for the whole human race on the wood of the Cross. Hail, O noble and precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of Jesus Christ, my crucified Lord, and washing away the sins of all the world.
Remember, Lord, Your creature, whom You redeemed by Your Blood. I am repentant of my sins, I desire to put right what I have done. Take from me, therefore, most merciful Father, all my iniquities and sins, so that purified in mind and body, I may worthily taste the Holy of Holies. 
And grant that this sacred foretaste of Your Body and Blood which I, though unworthy, intend to receive, may be the remission of my sins, the perfect cleansing of my faults, the banishment of shameful thoughts and the rebirth of right sentiments; and may it encourage a wholesome and effective performance of deeds pleasing to You and be a most firm defense of body and soul against the snares of my enemies. Amen.

Taken from the Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition