Friday, 2 May 2014

Eucharistic Prayer

Eucharistic Prayer IV
We give you praise, Father most holy, for you are great and you have fashioned all your works in wisdom and in love.
My existence and my life here and now is part of a plan. I have a vocation, a purpose to fulfill. What name shall I give to it, how shall I describe it to another?
You formed man in your own image and entrusted the whole world to his care, so that in serving you alone, the Creator, he might have dominion over all creatures.
My Father created me, neither my existence, nor my time and place; nothing have I created, but everything has been placed under my care for a time. 
And when through disobedience he had lost your friendship, you did not abandon him to the domain of death.
Looking around I see all the pieces of that which I have broken - a prodigal child, should I not be punished?
For you came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find you.
The voice that my conscience heard, a voice never silent, that caused me to look back, regretting, longing, seeking.
Time and again you offered them covenants and through the prophets taught them to look forward to salvation.
Do I remember their names, those who were sent by my Father to find me; who said, "come home", and who taught me about forgiveness?
And you so loved the world, Father most holy, that in the fullness of time you sent your Only Begotten Son to be our Savior.
How was I to know that I had a Brother too, who loved me. He had a heart of courage that had no limits. He was sent to fight my battle for me
Made incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, he shared our human nature in all things but sin.
A man like us, in Mary's arms; needing everything, owning nothing, seeking but one thing, my heart. 
To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation, to prisoners, freedom, and to the sorrowful of heart, joy.
What joy filled my heart the day I heard the doors opening, the chains breaking and light filling the darkness that imprisoned me.
To accomplish your plan, he gave himself up to death, and, rising from the dead, he destroyed death and restored life.
Death set the price for my release, His life for mine, paid in full. Did Death think it could contain the Giver of life, Death, where is your sting?
And that we might live no longer for ourselves but for him who died and rose again for us, he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father, as the first fruits for those who believe, so that, bringing to perfection his work in the world, he might sanctify creation to the full.
Was it not enough that I should walk freely, in this good place, once again? No, for another birth, another life awaited me, new breath was breathed into my soul and I watch even now as I am being born, formed in an image I scarcely recognize; beauty beyond this world.
Therefore, O Lord, we pray: may this same Holy Spirit graciously sanctify these offerings, that they may become the Body and  Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the celebration of this great mystery, which he himself left us as an eternal covenant.
I look up and see the figure of the priest take the bread and wine I carried to this table but it is not he that I see. The hands that receive my offering are marked and I recognize the hands that broke my chains at such a price.
For when the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, Father most holy, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end:
The price was set, an hour had been appointed, the cosmic battle engaged. A new David stood alone with only a single weapon in hand - unconditional love.
and while they were at supper, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: take this, all of you, and eat of it,
for this is my body, which will be given up for you.
I, a mere spec in this endless creation, now hold in my hand its creator, my creator, my Savior, my God. My understanding is eclipsed as I gaze upon this bread, as I take into myself a mystery that embraces me.
In a similar way, taking the chalice filled with the fruit of the vine, he gave thanks, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:
take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.
Is there a remedy in all the world to compare with this, that when it passes one's lips they will live forever; a remedy for the disease of sin that infects the heart, bringing death to the soul. As I gaze into this chalice, I no longer see wine, I see life, the life blood that will coarse through my heart, healing the wounds of my sins; giving me life that shall never die.

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