The Baltimore Catechism says that spiritual communion “is an earnest desire to receive Communion in reality, by which desire we make all preparations and thanksgivings that we would make” if we were about to receive Jesus sacramentally in the Eucharist. It is an invitation to Our Lord to dwell within our souls spiritually, even when we can’t receive Him in Holy Communion.
The soul which makes a spiritual communion is blessed with abundant graces. Spiritual communion cannot replace sacramental Communion, but it greatly enriches the soul and fosters constant desire for Our Lord in the Eucharist.
Jesus Himself, speaking to St. Catherine of Siena, told her that He placed her sacramental Communions in a gold chalice, and her spiritual communions in a silver chalice. “Both chalices are quite pleasing to me,” Our Lord said.
While there is no official prayer for making a spiritual communion, St. Alphonsus Liguori’s beautiful prayer is a favorite:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now 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. Amen.
The method, however, is universal: we prepare for a spiritual communion the way we would prepare to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
Humbly and reverently, we mentally place ourselves before Our Lord in the tabernacle. With an attitude of contrition for our sins and a desire to receive Jesus, we invite Him into our souls with a prayer. Afterward—just as we would after sacramental Communion—we give thanks for the communion and praise Our Lord.
Do you want to learn about spiritual communion in greater depth? Do you want to know what the saints say about it? The Handy Little Guide to Spiritual Communion is the perfect way to enrich your understanding. Complete with the teachings of the saints and several beautiful prayers, this guide will deepen your appreciation for what spiritual communion really means for our souls. Available today from The Catholic Company!