Noah, a good man (Gen 6:9), is said to have worked a hundred years to build the ark, so that he and a few others might be saved (I Pet 3:20.). How, then, can I in one short hour prepare myself to receive with reverence the Creator of the world? Moses, Your great servant and especial friend, constructed an Ark of imperishable wood (Exod 25:10), and covered it with purest gold, in order to house the Tablets of the Law:and how shall I, a corruptible creature, dare so lightly to receive You, the Maker of the Law and Giver of life? Solomon, wisest of Israel's kings (I Kings 5:7), spent seven years in building a splendid Temple in praise of Your name. For eight days he kept the Feast of its Dedication, and offered a thousand peace-offerings. To the sound of trumpets, he solemnly and joyfully bore the Ark of the Covenant to its appointed resting-place. How, then, shall I, unworthiest and poorest of men, welcome You into my house (Luke 7:6), when I can hardly spend half an hour devoutly? If only I could spend even half an hour as I ought!

O my God, how earnestly did all these strive to please You! And how little, alas, can I do! How short is the time that I employ in preparing myself for Communion! Seldom am I entirely recollected, and very seldom free from all distraction. Yet in Your saving presence, O God, no unbecoming thought should enter my mind, for it is not an Angel, but the Lord of Angels who comes to be my guest.

The Imitation of Christ
Thomas a Kempis