SPIRITUAL EXERCISES FOR EVERY DAY IN THE WEEK, FOR THOSE WHO COMMUNICATE OFTEN: SUNDAY + CONSIDER JESUS CHRIST AS KING
Communion of the Apostles
Consider Jefus Chrift as a King; and in the Morning form the Resolution of making him that Day reign in thy Heart.
Divine Monarch come and reign in my Heart.
THOU art this day come to me, O adorable sovereign! to ascertain thy conquest of my heart, and there to reign with absolute authority. Oh! how happy do I think myself to be under thy government? Put on therefore thy armour, (Ps. 44.5.) bend thy bow, march prosperously against thy foes who have hitherto been in possession of this heart; and having expelled them, established therein for ever thy empire.
O king of nations, and object of all their desires! I groan under a most oppressive yoke, becaufe, alas! other (If. 26. 13.) Lords beside thee have hitherto had dominion over me ; but come and break my bands, and fet me at liberty.
Cheer up my foul; this day the Saviour of the world will begin to reign over us. We shall live no longer in slavish subjection to fin and fatan, but under the mild government of our amiable redeemer. Ah! when shall I possess this gracious sovereign? when shall I have the happiness of seeing him reign in my heart ?
If thou had, O my soul! a just idea of the inestimable favour done thee this day by the king of glory, in giving himself to thee, together with his kingdom and all his riches; if thou understood the gift of God, how great a value wouldst thou not set upon it? with what care and diligence, 'would it thou not drive to dispose thyself for it? Make me sendible, O Jesus I beseech thee, of the greatness of this favour, and prepare my foul for receiving it.
Behold thy king cometh towards thee, O my soul! go forth to meet him by the ardour of thy desires, and a holy eagerness and impatience; and prepare for him a throne worthy of him in thy heart.
Come, O adorable sovereign, come: and reign in my heart. May thy kingdom come. Everything there longs for, and sighs after thy coming; everything is eager for the establishment of thy kingdom; come, thou shalt be the the Lord and master, thou shalt reign there with absolute power.
But wilt thou not, my foul, bring some offering to thy king, when thou prcfenteft thyfelf before him? Thou must, as the wise men, offer him prefents on thy going to adore him, if thou art desirous to meet with a favourable reception. The prefents he most delights in are acts of humility, charity, obedience, mortification, patience and the duties of thy state done in his spirit and for the love of him. Canst thou then say with truth, as the spouse, I consecrate all my actions to the king; I confecrate all I do to my beloved sovereign, to dispose myself thereby to receive him worthily. Here Is the royal feast which this great monarch gives to all his subjects, to display the glory and opulence of his empire; prepare thy self to taste of its delights, and in order to this renounce all insipid earthly pleasures.
Hast thou sufficiently considered, O my foul ! who it is that comes to thee this day. Hast thou seriously reflected that it is the sovereign monarch of the universe who governs with absolute power in heaven, on earth, and in hell. His power is not confined to a small territory in a corner of the world, or to one particular nation ; but he is the king of the whole creation, and of every nation in the world. worlds He is not a temporary king, a king for a limited (pace of time; he is the king of all (1Tim. 1.17.) ages, and of whose kingdom (Luke 1. 33.) there (hall be .no end. He is not a king indebted to his people for his glory and power ; being all glorious of himself, he borrows nothing from creatures. He is not a king whose reign is liable to troubles and revolutions, for uninterrupted peace and tranquillity always flourish in it. Heisaking, in fine, who gives his subjects whatsoever dignity or perfection they poflefs ; being infinitely holy, infinitely wife, infinitely juft, infinitely powerful, infinitely rich, infinitely munificent, infinitely beautiful, infinitely amiable, infinitely happy, in short, infinitely perfect in all and every kind of perfection. What a happiness it is for thee, O my soul! that so great a king Should condescend to honour thee this day with his visit? One favourable look, a single word or mark of esteem from a king of the. earth would transport thee with joy; how great then ought to be thy comfort this day, to receive a visit from the King of kings.
But why do I say a visit? his views are much more extensive: he comes to bestow himself upon thee to be equally thy king and thy kingdom. Thy king, because he is desirous to reign in thee; and thy kingdom, becausehe would have thee reign in him, and with him, and enter into a participation of all his excellences, his riches and his glory.
See to what a degree he has carried his love for thee! Though thou art entirely unprofitable to him, and though he be entirely rich, infinitely powerful, and infinitely happy in himself, yet he was willing to purchase that petty kingdom of thy heart at the expense of his life and blood. He was torn with scourges, crowned with thorns, besmeared with spittle, bruised with blows, and lastly fattened to the cross on which he died with pain and ignominy to rescue thee out of the hands of thy enemies and establish his kingdom within thee.
Reflect at the fame time on the excess of thy ingratitude towards him. For though thou didst cost him so much, and though thy entire happiness confifts in having him for thy sovereign, thou hast, notwithstanding, so far forgotten thyself, as shamefully to expel him thy heart, and to deliver up his kingdom to his mod cruel enemies. Is it possible to carry ingratitude and perfidiousness to greater lengths? Be confounded, and beg pardon for so great an injury.
Ah! pardon my perfidiousness and rebellion, O august sovereign ! pardon them I beseech thee. Oh! how hearty is my forrow, how afflicted my foul on this account ? Oh! how do I detest my wretched behaviour? my heart is pierced with grief for it. I promise thee, O my king and my God! by the assistance of thy grace, never to relapse into the like, traitorous practices, though I were to suffer a thousand deaths I will for the future be as loyal and faithful to thee, as I have been hitherto rebellious. I will be as zealous in promoting thy interest, as I have been unhappy in derogating from thy glory. Forget then, I pray thee, the trespasses I have committed against: thee; I firmly hope for it from thy clemency and companion.
I come this day, O divine monarch! to make reparation for the injustice I have done thee by delivering up thy kingdom into the hands of thy enemies. I come to, replace it in thine, and to beg of thee to make thyself matter of it, and to secure to thyself the possession of it for ever. In compliance with, and in perfect fubmiflion to the will of thy Father who has established thee King of all nations, I choose thee this day for my king : thou watt fo already by inheritance and conquest, thou shalt be fo for the future by election. Come then, my amiable sovereign, come and reign in me, and protect me against all my enemies.
O king of all the hearts of men and angels ! I fee plainly that notwithstanding thy immense wealth, thou dost defire the possession of my heart . Thou haft concealed thyself under the appearances of bread, with no other view than to enter there, and make thyself matter of it. Come then and reign in it, it is entirely devoted to thee ; it pants only after thee, and from this moment it confederates to thee all its love and all its affections.
Be opened, ye gates of my heart 1 be open- ed, ye gates of iron, which have been so long shut against the divine Jefus, and let the king of glory enter. Yes, come in, O my Saviour ! come in, all is open for thee, there is nothing to obstruct thy entrance : every thing in in me owns thee for its sovereign, and figbs af- ter the establishment of thy kingdom within my foul. I here give up to thee the keys of my liberty. I surrender unto thee all the power which thou haft given me over my foul and body, over all their faculties, and over everything elfe I possess ; all is thine, and it is my desire that henceforward every thing within me may be entirely subject to thee, and that no- thing may be done in me but conformably to thy orders and commandments.
If I cannot give thee a reception suitable to thy dignity, Odivine monarch! I will receive thee at least with the deepest sentiments I possibly can of love, reverence, joy, adoration, humility, forrow for my fins and defire of being possessed by thee. I offer to thee to supply what is deficient in my homages, all the acclamations, all the honour, and all the respect with which the angels and blefled spirits received thee into heaven on the day of thy triumphant (Apoc. 3. a 1.) ascension, and all the glory and magnificence with which thou waft received by thy Father, and placed at his right- band on a throne equal to his own. Come then, once more, O my king! come : l bum with the desire of seeing thee reign within me; come and take pofieffion of a kingdom which belongs to thee by fo many claims of just right. Come and compel thy enemies to keep at a greater distance from it than ever. Come and display thy glory in it; come and by thy presence bless it with peace, plenty, and happiness! Yes, my beloved sovereign, my divine monarch, my king! I am thine, and thine indeed, without the least reserve.
Thou art then within me, O King of glory! My king and my God. Yes it is my king and my God ; I acknowledge and adore thee as fuch. What an excess of good nets muft it be in thee, thus graciously to humble thy incomprehensible greatness to the lowliness of my condition? Ye heavens, ftars, elements, and creatures of heaven and earth, bless this great king. Ye angels and faints of the Lord Specially, fing to hint a new fong, for the new and incomparable favour lie has just now conferred upon me. And do thou, O my soul! bless him . May all my members, and all my powers cry. out with holy David, blessed be bis glorious name for ever and with the apostle. Unto the king eternal, immortal, and invisible, be honour and glory given for ever and ever. Amen.
But since thou art within me, divine monarch,,feat tbyfelf, I beseech thee, inthemidft of my heart, and make it thy throne. Thy throne is a throne of light and fire, a throne of justice and sanctity, illuminate -my heart therefore with tby light, inflame it with the fire of thy love, clothe it with thy justice and sanctity. sanctity, that it may be a habitation worthy of thee.
Abide forever in my heart, O amiable sovereign! may nothing ever obstruct thy reigning there with absolute authority. All rule and empire is thine; riches and glory belong to thee ; thou pofiefieft a fovereign and abfolute power over all things: Strength and authority are in thy hands. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power, and the glory; and thine is the kingdom, and thou art exalted as head above all.
All ye powers of my foul and body, come and adore your king upon his new throne. Come my understanding and my will, my memory and all my senses, come and pay him homage and adoration. Come, let us adore and fall down before him. May everything in me adore thee, O august sovereign! may everything own thee for its king, and submit with the most profound veneration to thy power, authority and dominion.
Rule then upon this thy new throne in the midst of thy enemies, O divine monarch ! Thou art there beset with a multitude of passions, vices, wicked inclinations that are within me, and stand up in opposition to thy divine laws : but do thou rule notwithstanding in the midst of them all ; triumph over them by thy power ; raife for thyself trophies upon their ruins ; confound the devices, defeat the efforts of all thy adverfaries j drive them out of all their strong holds and rule in their stead. Reign in my mind, in my memory, in my appetite, in iii all my (enies : reign, in fliort, throughout my whole being.
Behold, O my king! to what a wretched, condition thy enemies have reduced this little kingdom. They have plundered, burnt, and lacked everything. Nothing more is feen but the melancholy remains of the ravages and desolations they have committed. Repair, I beseech thee, the damages they have cauled in it; send into it powerful succours for its defence: make opulence and plenty to reign in it; display there thy glory and thy magnificence, and prevent thy enemies evermore becoming masters of it.
Proclaim, O sovereign king 1 thy laws in this thy little kingdom, engrave them fo deep in my heart, that the impression may never be effaced ; write them in characters that cannot be effaced j caufe them to be observed by all my powers with an inviolable exactness. Thy laws are the dictates of love, meekness, patience, humility, obedience and mortification; make me therefore practice all these virtues; fill my foul with thy love ; establish thy peace, in it; make it humble, meek, patient, obedient and mortified.
Thou justly requirest of me, O divine monarch 1 fidelity and tribute, I promise thee both. I will for the future be inviolably faithful to thee; I will never hearken to any proposal contrary to thy service, though my refusal were to cost me my life a thousand times over. I will never engage in any enterprise which displeases thee, now much so ever solicited, or even compelled thereto. All my thoughts, desires and and actions shall be a. kind of tribute that I will pay thee; for it is my firm purpose that every thing of this kind shall be wholly thine, and shall tend to no other end, shall have nothing else in view than to promote thy glory In a more particular manner 1 consecrate unto thee whatever I am to do this day.
The only request I have to make, O my! gracious sovereign! is, that thou wouldst always reign in me, and never leave this little kingdom to my own management, nor abandon it to my enemies. I will have no other king to reign in my heart but thee, because it is thou atone that I love, reverence and adore. Rule in me at all times ; give ever thy orders, and make thyself always obeyed. Thy kingdom has no bounds; let it therefore extend to everything I am possessed of, to my whole being, and to all the powers and faculties both of my foul and body. Thy kingdom is everlasting; suffer not the tyranny of passion, nor the usurped empire of sin to destroy it in me* Thy kingdom is infinitely perfect; may therefore its glory, its riches, and its magnificence fhine forth in me by means of. the eminent !l virtues thou shalt enable me to practice.
Oh! the happiness of having my Jesus for my sovereign Lord, and of seeing myself subjected to his power, and governed by his amiable laws. I prefer obedience to him to the empire of the universe. By his reigning over me, he makes me a sharer in his kingdom, power and wealth; or rather, he himself becomes; my kingdom, my crown, my power; my wealth and my treasure. What an accumulation of glory and happiness is this for me! Preserve as the most precious of treasures, O my soul! the possession of this admirable kingdom which thy Jesus this day tonfigns over to thee. And thou, my Jefus! secure to thyself the possession of the little kingdom, which I this day reign into thy hands. The proofs thou hast given me of thy love, by feeding me with thy body and blood, encourage me to hope for this favour from thee.
Thou art possessed, O great king! of other kingdoms besides this of mine which I have this day made over to thee. The church is thy kingdom j all the nations of the earth (Pf. 2. 2.) are. thy kingdom, though the greater part do not acknowledge thee for their king; every foul in particular is also thy kingdom, though but few of them render thee the fubmiffion they owe thee. I recommend unto thee all these kingdoms, the catholic church especially, beseeching.thee to preserve and defend her, aid to maintain in her a flri observance of thy laws. I recommend unto thee so many nations that are strangers to thy holy name ; l beg of thee to enlighten them with the light of thy gofpel, and bring them over to thee. I recommend unto thee, so many fouls now upon the earth, which do not render thee the honour which they owe thee: convert them, I beseech thee, that they may serve and obey thee. As to thy part, my soul, let nothing make thee forget to ferve and honour thy king. On this day, in particular, let it be thy only study to honour, in the best manner thou art able, thy adorable sovereign, faying with the apostle: To the king immortal, eternal (1 Tim. 1. 17.) be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Blessed be thou for evermore, O sovereign King of heaven! for thy goodness in visiting me this day, and giving thyself to me to be my king. May all the creatures in heaven and earth join in thanksgiving to thee for fo great a benefit.
Reign, I beseech thee O my king ! in my .heart, and in all my faculties and powers. Do not suffer fin to bear any sway there after thou haft taken polfefijon of it.
Triumph, O my sovereign Lord ! in this thy new kingdom ; beat down all thy enemies under thy feet, that they may serve thee as a footstool for mounting thy throne : may every thing yield and submit to thee: The Lord reigneth, let the people tremble , he who. is seated on. the cherubims reigneth in my heart, let the earthquake for fear; let the universe respect his presence, and let no creature presume to oppose his laws.
Remember, O Jesus! thy little kingdom which thou hast conquered and acquired the price of thy blood defend it against thy enemies, and cause justice and sancity to flourish in it.
Seek, O my soul! the kingdom of thy Jesus. It is not the kingdom of this world, but of the other: it consists not in the sweets of the present life, in eating, drinking and diversions; but in peace, justice and sanctity. To i leek his kingdomis to feck his glory; feek then! his glory here, if thou desirest to be admitted into his eternal kingdom hereafter
Thou haft this day promised. fealty, O my soul! to thy king; and wilt thou evermore: presume to turn traitor and surrender his kingdom to his mortal enemies? Oh ! beware of- fuch bafe treachery; be faithful to thy promise, fight manfully in his cause and call him to thy. affiftance that he may protect thee.
"Devotions to Jesus Christ: in the most holy sacrament of the altar: Containing Pious Exercises For Honouring This Divine Mystery, And Approaching It Worthily: composed in French by the Rev. Father Dominick Morel, Of The Order Of ST. Benedict"