Dr Wesley Ely, a medical academic, issues an impassioned call to Catholics to discover the practice known as spiritual Communion at a time when we can’t receive the Eucharist. In the Catholic Weekly (28.03.20) he refers to Lorenzo Scupoli’s book, ‘The Spiritual Combat.’ Scupoli wrote, “the most holy Sacrament, may be taken in two ways, namely, sacramentally and spiritually: in the former, it may be daily; in the latter, every hour and every moment. You must not then neglect to receive it very often in the second way.” For both types of Communion, I (Scupoli) prepare with a simple and sincere approach:
“God the Father, I am not worthy to receive Your Son, but you send Him to me anyway. Christ, I am not worthy to receive You, but please come to me anyway. Holy Spirit, I am not worthy to receive the Son, but you bring Him to me anyway. Mary, my heart is not prepared to receive your Son, so please be in my heart to receive Him with me, to keep me focused on the magnitude of this blessing in my life.”
Dr Wesley Ely asks us to take these times as an opportunity to learn something new in our Faith and to develop an age-old practice that can increase our power to love others and our Lord. He writes, ‘If done properly, this experience has the potential to make Sacramental Communion, once Masses resume, more fruitful than ever.’ The prayer he learned to receive Christ in Spiritual Communion is: “I wish, my Lord, to receive you with the purity, humility, and devotion with which your most holy Mother received you, with the spirit and fervour of the Saints.”
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.” In these troubled times when we cannot go to Mass the following prayer can help.
My Jesus, I believe that You are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I long for You in my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. As though You have already come, I embrace You and unite myself entirely to You;
never permit me to be separated from You.