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Making A Spiritual Communion

A beautiful practice during a visit to the Blessed Sacrament is to make an act of spiritual communion. To make a spiritual communion is to express a desire to be deeply united with Christ when actual reception of the Blessed Sacrament is not possible. Some of the saints offered continual acts of this nature, so as to foster an intimate communion with Our Lord at every moment.


Saints And Spiritual Masters On The Act Of Spiritual Communion

St. Thomas Aquinas says that spiritual communion consists of “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.” He notes that a “complete spiritual communion can even take place when we are unable to receive sacramentally, because ‘the effect of a sacrament can be secured if it is received by desire.’ ”

Other saints and spiritual writers have spoken enthusiastically about this form of devotion. “When we feel the love of God growing cold,” recommends St. John Vianney, “let us instantly make a spiritual communion. When we cannot go to the church, let us turn towards the tabernacle; no wall can shut us out from the good God.”

“In this golden chalice I put your sacramental communions,” Our Lord said to St. Catherine of Siena. “In this silver chalice I put your spiritual communions. Both chalices are quite pleasing to Me.”

“When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass,” insisted St. Teresa of Ávila, “you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; for great is the love of Our Lord which is in this way infused into the soul. For when we prepare ourselves to receive Him, He never fails to give Himself to us in many modes which we comprehend not.”

Fr. John Hardon observes: “Spiritual communion, made in acts of faith and love during the day, is highly recommended by the Church. According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the faithful ‘who receive the Eucharist in spirit’ are ‘those who, inflamed with a lively faith that works in charity, partake in wish and desire of the celestial Bread offered to them, receive from it, if not the entire, at least very great benefits.’”

Prayers For Making A Spiritual Communion

There is no specific formula for making a spiritual communion. It may be expressed by a simple desire of the heart, or a short phrase such as “Lord Jesus, come!” But here are some suggested prayers.

❋❋❋

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the
Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot
now receive You sacramentally, come at least
spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You
were already there, and I unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

❋❋❋

Come, my dearest Jesus, come into this poor heart of mine;
come and satiate my desires, come and sanctify my soul;
come, my sweetest Jesus, come and remain with me always. Amen.

❋❋❋

My Savior and my God! I am not worthy to appear before Thee, for I am a poor sinner; yet I approach Thee with confidence in Thy goodness and mercy, for Thou hast said, “Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” Thou wilt not despise a contrite and humble heart. I am truly sorry for my sins, because by them I have offended Thee, who are infinitely good. Whatever may have been my foolish transgressions in the past, I love Thee now above all things, and with all my heart. I have a great desire, a vehement longing, O divine Spouse of my soul, to receive Thee in Holy Communion, and since I cannot now receive Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, I beseech Thee to come to me spiritually and to refresh my soul with Thy sweetness.

Come, my Lord, my God, and my All! Come to me, and let me never again be separated from Thee by sin. Teach me Thy blessed ways; help me with Thy grace to practice meekness, humility, charity, and all the virtues of Thy Sacred Heart. Receive me, as one who wishes to follow Thee, and let me live and labor and suffer and pray in union with Thee, for the glory of God, for the accomplishment of the heavenly Father’s will, and for the salvation of souls. Jesus, I give Thee my heart with all its affections, my soul with all its powers, and my body with all its senses. My divine Master, help me with Thy grace, that I may be ever mindful of Thy presence, and that I may be faithful to the end in Thy service. Bless me in life and in death, that I may praise Thee forever in heaven. Amen.

This article is taken from a chapter in Manual of Eucharistic Adoration by Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration which is available from TAN Books

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