Catholic Spiritual Communion

spiritual communion

If for any reason you cannot take Holy Communion, you can have a spiritual communion. Those times include: you can’t make Mass, or can’t take Communion because of an unconfessed mortal sin (for which you can ask for and receive God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance).

St. Thomas Aquinas once defined a Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament [in Communion at Mass] and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.”

Remember, you can still reach out to Jesus by making a Spiritual Communion in prayer. Say this prayer written by St. Alphonsus Liguori (18th Century):

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.

You can make a Spiritual Communion such as this one below during Mass, or before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, or anywhere else where the Spirit moves you.

Oh Jesus, I turn toward the holy tabernacle where You live hidden for love of me. I love you, O my God. I cannot receive you in Holy Communion. Come, nevertheless, and visit me with Your grace. Come spiritually into my heart. Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like unto Your own. Amen.

Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

This last sentence is drawn from Matthew’s Gospel (Matt 8:6), in which a Roman Centurion expressed his deep faith in our Lord’s healing powers (in this case to cure his servant rather than his soul). Jesus was quite moved by the soldier’s faith, and healed his servant at once.

Christ might not answer us quite so instantaneously, but rest assured, He can and will respond to anyone who comes to Him in love and humility for His Divine assistance. After all, didn’t he say in the Sermon on the Mount, concerning the power of prayer, “Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find.” (Matt 7:7)

St. Jean-Marie Vianney, a French priest famous for converting countless souls to Christ in his parish of Ars in the 19th century, 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.” We can indeed be grateful for that.


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