The Importance of Making a Spiritual Communion
Author: Garrett Johnson | Source: catholic-link
"Spiritual Communion is very profitable; therefore do not omit it, for by it the Lord learns how much you love Him" (St. Teresa).
Spiritual communion is a great way to cultivate our love for Christ in the Eucharist for those times when we can’t make it to Daily Mass for a variety of reasons (no priest, something unexpected, weather, job, sickness, etc.).
It is important to note that a spiritual communion can never replace your obligation to attend Mass on Sundays though.
It doesn’t matter when or where you are, as long as you practice the devotion with “renewed faith, reverence, humility and in complete trust in the goodness of the Divine Redeemer” and are “united to Him in the spirit of the most ardent charity,” as Pope Pius XII says in his encyclical Mediator Dei (The Sacred Liturgy).
Marge Fenelon, in an article in the NC Register, shares a four-step method from Redemptorist Father Jim White. He proposes the following:
The Act of Spiritual Communion
1. Make an act of faith
The key here is to express to the Lord: our faith in his merciful love and his real presence in the Eucharist. You can come up with your own prayer or use a more traditional version. For example (USCCB):
Oh my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons,Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. In this faith I intend to live and die. Amen.
2. Make an act of love
O Lord God, I love you above all things and I love my neighbor for your sake because you are the highest, infinite and perfect good, worthy of all my love. In this love I intend to live and die. Amen.
3. Express our desire to receive Him
4. Invite Jesus to come into our hearts spiritually
With a humble and contrite heart, we ask the Lord to come to us just as He would if we were able to receive the sacrament.
“This puts us in the state of mind of being in union with Jesus,” Father White explained. “It’s very simple, it only takes a moment, and we can do it during our work, our studies or anything else we may be doing.”
We find each one of these steps summed up nicely in a beautiful act of Spiritual Communion by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
“My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things and I desire Thee in my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though thou wert already there, I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee; permit not that I should ever be separated from Thee” (St. Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori).
When to make it? As often as possible!
(It is also recommended that you make three spiritual communions during Mass: at the beginning, at the consecration, and at the end). If the four step method above seems too “busy,” simply express your desire to receive Jesus in your heart. Here are few more prayers that are simpler and briefer:
Summary: Four Steps for Spiritual Communion
1. Make an act of faith: come up with your own prayer or use a traditional one to express the Lord our faith in his real presence in Eucharist.
2. Make an act of love: say a prayer that expresses your love and gratitude to the Lord. Thank Him for his infinite love as well.
3. Express your desire to receive Him: as you are not able to physically receive the Lord, express your desire to receive Him in your heart.
4. Invite Jesus to come into your heart: with a humble and contrite heart we ask the Lord to come to us just as He would if we were able to receive the sacramen.