What is Spiritual Communion? How to make Spiritual Communion?

An excerpt from a beautiful article written by Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB (Subiaco Abbey) for the Arkansas Catholic regarding Spiritual Communion

In his encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia ,  Pope [St] John Paul II encouraged the practice of spiritual communion, “which has been a wonderful part of Catholic life for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life”(EdE, 1, April 17, 2003).

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI also encourages us to make spiritual communions when circumstances occur that prevent sacramental communion. “In such circumstances it is beneficial to cultivate a desire for full union with Christ through the practice of spiritual communion, praised by Pope [St] John Paul II and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 55).

What is spiritual communion? St. Thomas Aquinas described it as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the most holy sacrament and lovingly embrace him” at a time or in circumstances when we cannot receive him in sacramental Communion.

Spiritual Communion Prayer attributed to St. Alphonsus Liguori:

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire you with all my heart.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already in my heart
and unite myself to you completely.
Please do not let me ever by separated from you.

Arkansas Catholic May 17, 2008. Copyright Diocese of Little Rock.