One of the most under publicized practices of the Catholic Faith is that of Spiritual Communion. Simply put, this is the practice of desiring to receive Holy Communion in a spiritual manner. St. Thomas Aquinas defined spiritual communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.” Spiritual Communion prolongs the fruits of our previous communion and prepares us for the next. For many Catholics, it is only possible to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist on Sundays. Even though many parishes have daily Masses, work schedules often make it impossible to attend. A spiritual communion can be made any time of the day or night, as many times as one wishes.
St. Jean-Marie Vianney once said “when we feel the love of God growing cold, 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.”
When making a spiritual communion, you can choose to use a formal prayer or your own words. The important thing is that you truly have a desire to receive Our Lord. If you are at a loss for words, try the following prayer composed by St. Alphonsus Ligouri:
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.