An Act of Spiritual Communion

An Act of Faith before Communion

My Lord Jesus Christ, I firmly believe that I am about to receive in Holy Communion, Your Body, Your Blood, Your Soul, Your Divinity.  I believe it because You have said it, and I am ready to give my life to maintain this truth.  Amen.

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The above simple, but beautiful prayer is one to be said before receiving our Lord in Holy Communion. However, unfortunately we are not always able to receive our Lord for various reasons.  In these instances Holy Mother Church teaches the efficacy of making a spiritual communion.  Spiritual communion, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, is “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.”


St. John Vianney states, “If we are deprived of Sacramental Communion, let us replace it, as far as we can, by spiritual communion, which we can make every moment; for we ought to have always a burning desire to receive the good God." He continues, saying, "Spiritual communion revives the soul as a bellows does the fire which is covered with ashes and about to die. When we feel the love of God growing cold, let us make hastily a spiritual communion!"


St. Leonard of Port-Maurice offers this advice for receiving spiritual communion: "In order to facilitate a practice of such great excellence, ponder what I have to say...  
[K]eeping composed externally and internally, excite in your heart an act of true contrition, and humbly striking your breast, in token that you acknowledge yourself unworthy of so great a grace, make all those acts of love, of self-surrender, of humility, and the rest, which you are accustomed to make when you communicate sacramentally, and then desire with a lively longing to receive your good Jesus, veiled in the sacrament for your benefit. And to kindle your devotion, imagine that most holy Mary, or some saint, your holy advocate, is holding forth to you the sacred particle; figure yourself receiving it, and then, embracing Jesus in your heart, reply to Him, over and over again, with interior words prompted by love: "Come, Jesus, my Beloved, come within this my poor heart; come and satiate my desires; come and sanctify my soul; come, most sweet Jesus, come!" This said, be still; contemplate your good God within you, and, as if you really had communicated, adore Him, thank Him, and perform all those interior acts to which you are accustomed after sacramental Communion.


With the words of the holy Saints resounding in our minds, may we remember to make use of this practice of spiritual communions, offering a spiritual communion especially if we are unable to receive our Lord at Mass, but also frequently throughout our day.  As our Lord told St. Mechtilde, "At your awakening, long for Me with all your heart. Draw Me to you by a sigh of love, and I will come, I will perform in you all your works, and I will suffer in you all your pains." 
Also St. Pio directed one of his spiritual daughters thus, “In the course of the day, when it is not permitted you to do otherwise, call on Jesus, even in the midst of all your occupations, with a resigned sigh of the soul and He will come and will remain always united with your soul by means of His grace and His holy love. Fly with your spirit before the tabernacle, when you cannot stand before it bodily, and there pour out the ardent longings of your soul and embrace the Beloved of souls, even more than if you had been permitted to receive Him sacramentally.” 

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Act of Spiritual Communion

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. Amen.
--St. Alphonsus Liguori