Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
With COVID-19, we have been emphasizing the usefulness of making a spiritual communion if you can’t attend Mass. The prayer we have been using for our YouTube/Facebook Masses is from Saint Alphonsus Liguori:
1) My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
[We are expressing belief in Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist. This is an act of Faith.]
2) I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
[We are expressing love for him in the Eucharist. This is an act of Love.]
3) Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
[We are inviting him to come into our heart spiritually, since we cannot receive him physically and spiritually in the Eucharist.]
4) I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
[We are expressing our desire always to be with Him. This is full of Hope.]
Various Saints encouraged the practice of spiritual communion at least daily, if not many times in a day. They say Saint Francis de Sales made a spiritual communion every 15 minutes. Saint Padre Pio talked about a great force drawing him to be united to the Blessed Sacrament every morning. Saint John Vianney compared spiritual communion to blowing on coals and embers to make them flame again. Saint Jose Maria Escrivá advised making one spiritual communion a day, after an act of love, as a way of making reparation for all the sacrileges against Jesus.
Pope Saint John Paul II wrote in an encyclical on the Eucharist:
In the Eucharist, “Unlike any other sacrament, the mystery [of communion] is so perfect that it brings us to the heights of every good thing: Here is the ultimate goal of every human desire, because here we attain God, and God joins himself to us in the most perfect union.” Precisely for this reason it is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was the origin of the practice of “spiritual communion,” which has happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life.”
Bottom line (from what I underlined in the last paragraph), saints understand God as the one who fulfills our greatest desire. Furthermore, they understand that in Holy Communion God most intimately joins himself to us in Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is Jesus – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. So, it makes sense for believers to bring their whole life to move in a sort of “spiritual orbit” around the Blessed Sacrament, even when they are not actually present at church. Spiritual Communion is a way regularly to allow ourselves to be pulled back into the gravitational force of the Eucharist – the Source and Summit of our life.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,