O God, who in a wonderful Sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy Passion: grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of thy Body and Blood; that we may ever know within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption; who livest and reignest with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
A reading from Nicholas Love, Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ
When he had washed his disciples’ feet, and was again up with them where he before sat at the Supper, as it is said, as for an end of the sacrifices of the Old Law and beginning of the New Testament, making himself our Sacrifice, he took bread in his holy hands and lifted up his eyes to his Father, God almighty, and blessed the bread and said the words of consecration there over, by virtue of the which words, bread was turned into his Body, and then he gave it to his disciples and said, ‘Take and eat for truly this is my Body that shall be taken and given for you’. And after in the same manner, taking the chalice with wine said, ‘Take and drink all hereof, for this is my Blood that shall be outpoured for you and for many in remission of sins’. And afterwards he gave them power of that consecration and made priests of them all and said, ‘This do ye as often as ye take it in commemoration and mind of me’.
Take now good heed here, thou Christian man, but specially thou priest, how devoutly, how diligently and truly, the Lord Jesus Christ first made this precious Sacrament and after with his blessed hands ministered it, and communicated that blessed – and his beloved – company. And on the other side, take heed with what devout wonder they first saw him make that wonderful and excellent Sacrament, and after with what dread and reverence they took it and received it of him. Truly at this time they left all their natural human reason, and only rested in true belief to all that he said and did, believing without any doubt that he was God and could not err. And so must thou do that would feel and have the virtue and the spiritual sweetness of this blessed Sacrament.
This is that sweet and precious Memorial that in sovereign manner makes man’s soul worthy and pleasing to God, as often as it is duly received, either by true and devout meditation of his Passion or else, and that more especially, in sacramental eating thereof. Wherefore with reason this excellent gift of love should kindle man’s soul and inflame it all wholly into the Giver thereof, our Lord Jesus Christ. For there is nothing that he might give or leave to us that is more dear, more sweet, more profitable, than himself. For without any doubt he that we receive in the Sacrament of the altar is himself God’s Son, Jesus, that took flesh and blood and was born of the Virgin Mary and that suffered death on the Cross for us, and rose the third day from death to life and after went up into heaven and sits on the Father’s right side, and that shall come in the day of doom and judge all mankind. In whose power is both life and death, that made both heaven and hell and that only may save us or damn us forever without end.
And so he that is himself God and man is contained in that little Host that thou seest in form of bread, and every day is offered up to the Father of heaven for our spiritual health, and everlasting salvation.