Thanksgiving After Communion
St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas is known today primarily for his theological works (most famously the Summa Theologica), but he also wrote extensive meditations on Scripture, as well as hymns and prayers. This beautiful prayer reminds us that, while we are unworthy to receive Communion, Christ has still given us the gift of Himself, and His Body and Blood strengthen us to live a Christian life.
Thanksgiving After Communion (St. Thomas Aquinas)
I give Thee thanks, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, that Thou hast vouchsafed, for no merit of my own, but of the mere condescension of Thy mercy, to satisfy me, a sinner and Thine unworthy servant, with the Precious Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. I implore Thee, let not this Holy Communion be to me an increase of guilt unto my punishment, but an availing plea unto pardon and forgiveness. Let it be to me the armor of faith and the shield of good will. Grant that it may work the extinction of my vices, the rooting out of concupiscence and lust, and the increase within me of charity and patience, of humility and obedience. Let it be my strong defense against the snares of all my enemies, visible and invisible; the stilling and the calm of all my impulses, carnal and spiritual; my indissoluble union with Thee the one and true God, and a blessed consummation at my last end. And I beseech thee that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring me, sinner as I am, to that ineffable banquet where Thou, with the Son and the Holy Ghost, art to Thy saints true and unfailing light, fullness and content, joy for evermore, gladness without alloy, consummate and everlasting bliss. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
An Explanation of St. Thomas Aquinas's Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion
In this prayer, Saint Thomas expresses his gratitude for the gift of the Eucharist. When we receive Holy Communion in a state of grace, God grants us additional graces (sacramental grace) that strengthen our faith and our desire to do what is right. Those graces help us to grow in virtue and to avoid sin, draw us closer to God in our daily lives, and prepare us for an eternity with Him.
Definitions of Words Used in the Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion
Vouchsafe: to grant something, especially to someone who doesn't deserve it on his own
Condescension: to reach out to someone lower than oneself—in this case, God reaching out to man
Availing: effective or successful
Concupiscence: desires, especially for things we shouldn't have
Carnal: of the flesh or body
Indissoluble: lasting forever
Consummation: making something whole and complete
Ineffable: to wonderful or overwhelming to be described
Without alloy: pure
Bliss: perfect happiness