By Saint Ambrose
O gracious Lord Jesus Christ, though I, who am a sinner, in nowise presume on any merits of my own, and put all my trust in Thy goodness and mercy, yet do I fear and tremble in drawing near to the Table on which is spread Thy banquet of all delights. Many a sin has sullied me in body and in soul because I did not restrain my thoughts nor guard my lips: nevertheless it is to Thee, O God of majesty and love, that I turn in my extremity, for Thou art the fount of mercy; to Thee, as quickly as I may, I speed: for Thou alone canst heal me; I take refuge under Thy protection. I dare not face Thee as my judge, but I cleave to Thee as my saviour. Thy mercy is above all Thy works. Though I fear, because of my sins, yet I trust in Thee on account of Thy mercy. Turn, then, those pitiful eyes of Thine upon me, O Jesus Christ, our everlasting king and Lord, Who art God and man, and Who for man wast crucified. Have mercy upon me, full of misery and of sin though I be, upon me, whose only hope is in Thee, because of Thy loving-kindness. Hail! Thou saving victim, offered up for me and for all mankind upon the gibbet of the cross! Hail! thou glorious and most Precious Blood, that flowest from the wounds of Jesus Christ, my crucified Lord; to wash away the sins of all the world! Forget not, O Lord, that I am one of those whom Thou hast created, and with Thine own blood hast redeemed. I repent me of my sins: I will strive to amend my ways. O most merciful Father, put far from me all my iniquities and all my offences; so that, by Thee made whole in body and in soul, I may be accounted worthy to approach the Holy of holies. Grant, in fine, that the holy foretaste of Thy body and blood, which thou vouchsafest to me, a poor sinner, may be a pledge of the full remission of my sins and of the washing away for evermore of all my guilt. From my mind may it chase away every sinful thought: in my will may it foster all holy desires: may it spur me on to the doing of works well-pleasing to Thee; and may it be to me, of body and of soul, a very sure protection and defence against the craft of all my enemies.