“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15
In the writings of the saints, there is unanimous agreement that the Holy Eucharist is the greatest gift of God to mankind—for it is nothing less than Jesus Christ himself. We are united body and soul to Jesus in the Eucharist, and by receiving it, we become “partakers of the Divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). This thought should stagger our minds and fill us with the greatest joy.
But despite the tremendous power of the Eucharist, far too many of us don’t appreciate this gift as we should. We receive Jesus casually or carelessly, barely understanding the great mystery we are participating in. This shouldn’t be. Remember, the sacraments aren’t magic. Mother Church teaches us that Eucharist has power in our life in proportion to how well we receive it, so preparing our hearts to receive Christ well is of the greatest importance.
One time-honored way to grow in our appreciation for this holiest of Sacraments is to offer prayers of thanksgiving after each holy communion. Doing so reminds us of the tremendous gift the Eucharist really is—a gift so great that even angels are envious of it. To get you started, here are 5 powerful prayers to pray after Mass. Chose one or find one of your own—but most of all, give thanks for the great gift of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist!
1. Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas
Lord, Father all-powerful, and ever-living God, I thank Thee, for even though I am a sinner, Thy unprofitable servant, not because of my worth, but in the kindness of Thy mercy, Thou hast fed me with the precious Body and Blood of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this holy communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions. May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in power to do good. May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. May it unite me more closely to Thee, the one true God and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with Thee. And I pray that Thou willest lead me, a sinner to the banquet where Thou with Thy Son and Holy Spirit, art true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to Thy saints. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
2. Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
We give Thee thanks, O most merciful Lord and Redeemer of our souls, for this day Thou hast made us worthy by means of these immortal and heavenly mysteries. Direct our way; keep us in fear of Thee; guard our lives; and make our steps firm through the prayers and intercessions of the glorious and holy Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary. Be exalted above the heavens, O God, and above all the earth, Thy glory, now and forever and ever. Amen.
3. Domine Iesu Christe
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who according to the will of the Father, with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, hast by Thy death given life unto the world, deliver me by Thy most sacred Body, which, I, unworthy, have presumed to receive, from all my iniquities and from every evil, and make me ever to hold fast to Thy commandments and suffer me never to be separated from Thee. Amen.
5. Anima Christi
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 Thy wounds, hide me.
Separated from Thee let me never be.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
At the hour of death, call me.
To come to Thee, bid me,
That I may praise Thee in the company
Of Thy Saints, for all eternity.
5. Prayer to the Virgin Mary
O Mary, most holy Virgin and Mother, behold, I have received thy most beloved Son, Jesus Christ, whom thou concievedst in thy spotless womb, bore, nursed, and held with thy sweet embraces. Behold Him at whose sight thou willst rejoice and be filled with every delight. With love I humbly return Him and offer Him to thee, to hold once more, to love with all thy heart, and to offer to the Holy Trinity as our supreme act of worship for thy honor and glory and for my good and the good of all the world. Therefore I ask thee, most loving Mother, to ask God for forgiveness of all my sins, abundant graces to help me serve Him more faithfully, and for that final grace that I may praise Him with thee for ever and ever. Amen.The Catholic Gentleman.