ST. THOMAS AQUINAS taught that we can “spiritually eat” with our desire for the Eucharist and receive its graces when we are unable to receive physically. In the past months, the pandemic has led to the revival of the practice of spiritual communion — the act of asking and desiring Jesus to enter our soul as if we were receiving Him sacramentally at Mass…. As public Masses are gradually being offered again, it’s tempting to pack away this devotion until the next crisis.
But spiritual communion can also be made on days when one physically attends Mass and receives communion. Rather than a mere substitute for receiving the Eucharist, spiritual communion intensifies our hunger for the sacrament and renders its actual reception more fruitful.
Having experienced the powerful effects of this practice, St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila) advised: “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.”
Spiritual communion is not just for times of pandemic or other extraordinary circumstances. Spiritual communion is for all times.
Quang D. Tran, SJ, Don’t abandon Spiritual Communion if you are back at Mass
Excerpted from Aleteia.com, August 12, 2020. With permission.