Make a spiritual communion when Mass isn’t available

| Susan Klemond | March 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

Although the threat of coronavirus is preventing many Catholics from attending Mass, they still can receive graces of the Eucharist by making a spiritual communion at home.

A spiritual communion is a desire to receive the Holy Eucharist at a time when a person can’t actually receive the body and blood of Christ. St. Thomas Aquinas defined a spiritual communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received him.”

A spiritual communion can be a formal, informal or even nonverbal prayer, that expresses a person’s hunger for the Eucharist, desire to be united to the eucharistic life of Christ and profound love for the sacrament.

It’s not clear exactly when the spiritual communion originated but it is part of Church doctrine. Many saints have written about it over the last 400 years.

By making a spiritual communion, Catholics are making a prayer of petition for the effects of sacramental Communion, even though they can’t receive the sacrament.

St. Alphonsus recommended this well-known Act of Spiritual Communion:

My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

Other saints on spiritual communion: 

St. Catherine of Siena imagined Christ holding two chalices: ‘In this golden chalice I put your sacramental communions. In this silver chalice I put your Spiritual Communions. Both chalices are quite pleasing to me.”

St. John Vianney: “If we are deprived of Sacramental Communion, let us replace it, as far as we can, by Spiritual Communion, which we can make every moment; for we ought to have always a burning desire to receive the good God. Communion is to the soul like blowing a fire that is beginning to go out, but that has still plenty of hot embers; we blow, and the fire burns again…. When we cannot go to the church, let us turn towards the tabernacle; no wall can shut us out from the good God.”

St. Jose Maria Escriva: “Do not neglect to say, “Jesus, I love you”, and make one Spiritual Communion, at least, each day, in atonement for all the profanations and sacrileges he suffers because he wants to be with us.”

St. Leonard of Port Maurice: “If you practice the holy exercise of Spiritual Communion several times each day, within a month you will see your heart completely changed.”

St. Teresa of Jesus: “When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a Spiritual Communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed

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