As parish events are postponed and bishops remove the requirement for Catholics to attend Sunday Mass, it’s natural for us to wonder about how our spiritual needs will be met in the weeks ahead.
That’s why it’s good to know that the answer to the question Will I be able to receive Holy Communion? is a resounding yes. That’s not to say that we will all be able to receive the Eucharist sacramentally in the Host or from the chalice, the way we have for most of our lives. But with two thousand years of sacred tradition comes the longstanding practice of making a Spiritual Communion.
As St. John Paul II observed in his last encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia:
“...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. Saint Teresa of Jesus wrote: “When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you”
(Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 34)
To make a spiritual communion:
This prayer from St. Alphonsus Ligouri may help you:
My Jesus, 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.