Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

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Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Theophilus » March 21st, 2010, 11:23 pm

(an Akathist for Holy Communion)

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Chosen Bridegroom of our hearts and souls, through Your incarnation and death on the cross You have betrothed all mankind to Yourself forever and have given us as a pledge of eternal life Your most pure Body and Blood. Lo! At Your call, I though unworthy, dare to approach Your divine Table, and struck by its majesty, I cry:

Jesus, God of my heart, come and unite me to Yourself forever!


You sent down Your Angel to the Prophet Isaiah with a live coal from the heavenly altar that his lips might be purified thereby, when, beholding You seated upon the throne, he was distressed over his impurity. And how shall I, who am defiled in body and soul, dare to approach to partake of Your divine Mysteries for communion except You Yourself purify me from on high? Wherefore, I cry out to You from the depths of my soul:

Jesus most good, touch also mine impure lips with the fire of Your grace;
Jesus, burn the thorns of my many transgressions;
Jesus, create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me.
Jesus, lead my poor soul out of the prison of the passions;
Jesus, destroy in me impure thoughts and evil lusts;
Jesus, guide my feeble steps to the path of Your commandments.
Jesus, God of my heart, come and unite me to Yourself forever.
It's later than you think!
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Re: Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Bev » March 21st, 2010, 11:37 pm

This prayer reminds of the lyrics of a song that is being played so often now on our Christian music station:

Empty Me

I've had just enough of the spotlight
When it burns bright
To see how it gets in the blood
And I've tasted my share
Of the sweet life
And the wild ride
And found a little is not quite enough

I know how i can stray
And how fast my heart could change

Empty me
Of the selfishness inside
Every vain ambition
And the poison of my pride
And any foolish thing my heart holds to
Lord empty me of me
So i can be
Filled with you

Ive seen just enough of the quick buys
Of the best lies
To know how prodigals can be drawn away

I know how I can stray
And how fast my heart could change
Empty me
Of the selfishness inside
Every vain ambition
And the poison of my pride
And any foolish thing my heart holds to
Lord empty me of me
So I can be
Filled with you

Cuz everything is a lesser thing
Compared to you
Compared to you
Cuz everything is a lesser thing
Compared to you
So I surrender all

Empty me
Of the selfishness inside
Every vain ambition
And the poison of my pride

Empty me
Of the selfishness inside
Every vain ambition
And the poison of my pride
And any foolish thing my heart holds to
Lord empty me of me
So I can be
Lord empty me of me
So I can be
Filled with you.
Filled with you
Empty me

****

I love this song. It says so much about emptying ourselves of all we are so that we can be filled with the Light of Christ. (It is my most spoken prayer these days.)
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Re: Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Theophilus » March 22nd, 2010, 9:53 pm

Thanks, Bev :)
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Re: Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Theophilus » March 22nd, 2010, 10:02 pm

Greatly desiring to eat a last Passover with Your disciples before Your Passion, that in the midst thereof You might give them the last and greatest pledge of Your love, You sent two of them to Jerusalem two days before You, that thus they might prepare it. Hence, learning how we, too, ought to prepare ourselves to eat of the divine Passover which is Your Body and Blood, I cry out to You in thanksgiving: Alleluia!


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"Loose thy sandles from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground," You did say unto Moses from out of the bush which burned yet was not consumed by Your unseen presence therein. The vessel which contains Your Body and Blood is greater and more holy indeed than the unburnt bush, but I am dust, unclean and sold under sin. Wherefore, with humility and faith I cry out to You: Jesus almighty, strip from me the old man and all his works. Jesus, slay within me the seed of corruption which makes its nest within me!

Jesus, break the bonds of sin whereby the enemy has bound me.
Jesus, grant me a humble heart and a broken spirit;
Jesus, drive far from me temptations and occasions for stumbling.
Jesus, establish me in faith and love for You.
Jesus, God of my heart, come and unite me to Yourself forever.
It's later than you think!
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Re: Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Theophilus » March 23rd, 2010, 10:36 am

"Our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. I am the Bread which cometh down from heaven which, if any man eat thereof, he shall live forever. And the Bread which I will give is My Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world," You said to the Jews that sought to see from You a sign from heaven like unto the manna of Moses, and hearing and beholding the fulfillment of the prophecy, we cry out with fear: Alleluia!


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Having risen from the supper, as the holy John relates, and girded Yourself with a towel, You washed the feet of the disciples, thereby teaching us that we ought not to approach Your divine Table in our sins unwashed by tears of repentance. Mindful of my great need for this mystical ablution and of the dearth of tears of my hardened heart, with Peter I cry to You:

Jesus all-good, wash not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.
Jesus, lay bare before me the abyss of my soul's corruption;
Jesus, open within me the floodgates of heartfelt contrition;
Jesus, bedew me with the drops of Your loving-kindness;
Jesus, wrap me about with the fear of the judgment and the eternal torments;
Jesus, awaken within me my sleeping conscience and strengthen its voice.
Jesus, God of my heart, come and unite me to Yourself forever.
It's later than you think!
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Re: Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Theophilus » March 24th, 2010, 3:53 pm

"Is this not Jesus, the Son of Joseph, Whose father and mother we know? How is it, then, that He says: I came down from heaven? How can He give His Flesh to eat?" said the Jews among themselves, on hearing Your glorious promise to give Yourself as food to the faithful, unable in the hardness of their hearts to believe with humility and cry out to You: Alleluia!


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"Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of man, and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you," You told the Jews that were slow to believe, and this saying was shown to be hard to accept even for some of Your disciples that were yet ignorant of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. But we, illumined with light of the Gospel and beholding Your divine glory with face unveiled, cry out to You with faith and love:

Jesus, Who can do everything through the greatness of Your power and dominion;
Jesus, Who creates and perfects more then we can understand and comprehend;
Jesus, Who once rained down manna from heaven as a sign of the present Mystery;
Jesus, Who poured forth water from a rock as a prefiguring thereof.
Jesus, Who sent a cloud of quail as food for the Jews, who were starving in the wilderness;
Jesus, Who before the very eyes of the doubting did satisfy five thousand men with five loaves of bread.
Jesus, God of my heart, come and unite me to Yourself forever.
It's later than you think!
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Re: Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Theophilus » March 25th, 2010, 11:24 am

While eating Your supper with Your disciples, taking bread, and blessing and breaking it, You gave it to them, saying: "Take, eat; this is My Body, which is broken for you for the remission of sins." And thereafter, having given them the Cup, You said: "Drink ye all of it: this is My Blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins." Hearkening to this divine and most sweet voice, with thanksgiving we cry: Alleluia!


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He who eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. He hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day, which is at the resurrection of life and blessedness. Wherefore, seeking to be vouchsafed this longed-for resurrection unto life, from the depths of my soul I cry to You:

Jesus, draw nigh unto one that seeks union with You:
Jesus, enter into my inmost parts, into all my members and bones.
Jesus, be a light unto my darkened mind;
Jesus, fill the abyss of my heart which the whole world cannot satisfy, with Yourself alone;
Jesus, speak through the voice of my conscience; Jesus, stir and guide my will.
Jesus, God of my heart, come and unite me to Yourself forever.
It's later than you think!
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Re: Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Theophilus » March 26th, 2010, 11:24 am

"Verily, verily, I say unto you that one of you shall betray Me," You said in anguish of spirit to the disciples at supper. And though they were innocent of any intention to betray You, each of them asked: "Lord is it I?" showing thereby the depth of their humility. But what can I say when I fall and betray You seven times a day? Yet keep me Yourself, that I may not fall away utterly, but cry to You thankfully: Alleluia!


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"As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit." Thus, working wonders You taught Your beloved disciples on the way to Gethsemane. Therefore, attending to this instruction, and knowing the weakness of my nature without Your grace, I earnestly cry:

Jesus, most heavenly Husbandman, plant me in Your life-bearing garden.
Jesus, true vine, graft me to Yourself like a wild branch;
Jesus, unwithering root, fill me with the sap of eternal life;
Jesus, Vanquisher of all mortality, clear away that which has been dried up within me by the heat of the passions.
Jesus, beautiful goodness, adorn me with the flowers of good thoughts and feelings;
Jesus, rich in mercy, enrich me with the fruits of true repentance and righteousness.
Jesus, God of my heart, come and unite me to Yourself forever.
It's later than you think!
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Re: Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Theophilus » March 27th, 2010, 10:43 am

To the disciple who at the supper leaned upon Your breast and asked: "Who is it that betrayeth Thee?" You answered: "He it is to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it." And, having dipped the bread, You gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to move him to repentance. But, being hardened by the spirit of malice, he had no desire to understand his Lord and Master's voice of love. May I be delivered by Your grace from such hard-heartedness, by crying to You: Alleluia!


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Taking pity on the weakness of our nature, which turns away from eating human flesh, You were well-pleased to bestow upon us Your all-pure Body and Blood not manifestly, but under the appearance of Bread and Wine, most wisely ordering the whole matter of our salvation in Your love for mankind, O Jesus, and accommodating Your most saving Mysteries to the weakness of our comprehension and senses. Marvelling at this condescension of Your wisdom to the weakness of our nature, I thankfully glorify You thus:

Jesus, Who in Thy wisdom and love for mankind arranges all things for our salvation;
Jesus, Who adapts Your most saving Mysteries to the weakness of our understanding and senses.
Jesus, Who for the assurance of the doubting has many times manifested Your very Body and Blood at the holy Table, instead of bread and wine.
Jesus, Who has shown to worthy ministers of the altar the Holy Spirit descending for the consecration of the Gifts;
Jesus, Who instead of unworthy ministers of the altar sends invisibly Your holy Angels for the celebration of the Divine Mysteries.
Jesus, Who through the manifestation of miracles at the holy Table, has converted to faith many of the impious.
Jesus, God of my heart, come and unite me to Yourself forever.
Last edited by Theophilus on April 1st, 2010, 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Akathist to Jesus, the Bread of Life

Postby Theophilus » March 28th, 2010, 3:53 pm

And after the sop - that is, after the traitor had eaten the bread You gave him - as the holy John relates, Satan entered into him. Oh, what a dreadful punishment for unbelief! Oh, how unhappy the lot of the traitor! What should have been for his salvation is turned into death and damnation for him. Bowing reverently before this judgment of Your righteousness, with fear and trembling I cry to You: Alleluia!


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"Do this in remembrance of Me," You said to Your disciples at the supper, giving them Your Body under the appearance of Bread, and Your Blood under the appearance of wine. For as often as we eat this bread, and drink this cup, we show forth Your death, according to the word of the holy Paul. And now, remembering Your Passion, with compunction I cry to You:

Jesus, Who for the salvation of the world gave Yourself over voluntarily into the hands of Your enemies;
Jesus, Who did not allow legions of angels to appear in Your defense;
Jesus, Who with a glance and with the crowing of a cock converted to repentance an unfaithful disciple;
Jesus, Who made no reply to Caiaphas and Pilate who questioned You foolishly.
Jesus, Who from the Cross asked the Father to forgive the sins of them that crucified You;
Jesus, Who in Your surpassing loving-kindness gave Your beloved disciple to Your Mother as a son.
Jesus, God of my heart, come and unite me to Yourself forever.
It's later than you think!
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