THE prayers for several needs and for several sorts of
people which we offer at the Holy Communion are not to be thought of as
preliminary to the sacrifice. We do not first pray for our fellow
men as though that were one thing, and then consecrate the body of Christ
as though that were another thing. The prayers come right into the
sacrament; for the sacrament is the Son of God dying for us, and when he
dies, he has all mankind in his heart. The intercessions we make
are just so many attempts on our part to share the intentions of Christ's
heart, and so to be at one with him in his sacrifice. If we bear
this truth in mind, we shall desire to come often to the altar. For
we shall wish often to put our intercessions into the riven heart of Christ,
as a child might put a written request into the cracked image of a saint.
Only that it is not our writing we put there, but our praying mind, to
be surrounded, inspired and appropriated by the prayers of Christ.