Let this Eucharist be unto me. . .

I am always so sobered by taking the Eucharist, or even the thought of taking it.  Most of the time, I am very aware of my unworthiness to partake in the blood and body of my Lord.  These words of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom stand out to me every time, “One is holy, one is Lord, Jesus Christ, to glory of God the Father, Amen.”  I remember reading in Great Lent Fr. Schmemann talking about how this statement should not condemn us and make us shrink back from the Eucharist. Instead, it  should remind us that because of Christ, we can approach in humility and repentance.  I know that I need this reminder often.  I know that I may not have a life worthy of the Eucharist, nor have lofty prayers to offer God, but I trust in His mercy as I approach the cup, with fear and humility.  I approach with the prayer of the thief on the cross, “remember me, O Lord, in Your Kingdom.”  My prayer, “As I open the gates of my lips and receive your body and blood, open unto me the gates of salvation.”

I read these prayers today also that I thought I would pass on.

Prayer Before Communion

“O Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof, but relying on Thy lovingkindness I draw near to Thine Altar: 

A sick man, to the Physician of life:  A blind man, to the Light of eternal brightness; Poor, to the Lord of heaven and earth; Naked, to the King of Glory; A sheep, to its Shepherd; A creature, to its Creator; Desolate, to the living Comforter; Miserable, to the Merciful; A Sinner, to the Giver of pardon; Ungodly, to the Justifier; Beseeching Your exuberant and infinite mercy that it may please Thee–

To heal my weakness, To enlighten my blindness, to enrich my poverty, To clothe my nakedness, To bring me back from wanderings, To consolve my desolation, To reconcile my guiltiness, To give pardon to the sinner,

forgiveness to the miserable, life to the lost, justification to the dead; so that I may be enabled to receive Thee, the Bread of Life, The King of kings, and Lord of lords. Amen.”

“Blessed are those who have eaten from the bread of love which is Jesus.  This is the wine that gladdens human hearts.  This is the wine which the lustful have drunk and they have become chaste, the sinners and they forgot the ways of unrighteousness, the drunkards and they became fasters, the rich and they became desirous of poverty, the poor and they became rich in hope, the sick and they became courageous, the fools and they became wise.”

-St. Issac the Syrian, Mystical Treatises, 7th century

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