In these times when now the majority of dioceses have suspended Mass — during Lent, and through Easter, even in Rome — there is the opportunity for deep personal connection to God. In affliction is opportunity; with God, the opportunity for joy even in trials of great uncertainty. That connection can be attained in acts of love, along with reading the Bible, reciting novenas, uttering spontaneous supplications (from the heart), and making a “spiritual Communion.”
It is a rare chance, with the world quieting around us, for the deepest prayers of our lives.
As church doors close, there are ways to improvise.
Below, what an innovative parish is doing in Maryland (perhaps pass it on to your pastor).
From the parish instruction:
- Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on a holy altar in front of the red junior high wing door nearest the main parking lot at 7:00 p.m.
- Please remain in your car.
- Parking lot cones will be up to aid you in driving through.
- Be aware. If it is crowded, only stay for a few minutes and then exit.
- No bathrooms available at all during this time.
- Benediction at 8:45 p.m.
As for Making a Spiritual Communion, these resources:
From the National Catholic Register:
“A spiritual communion is different from an actual or sacramental communion, in which we receive the Real Presence in the consecrated Host and Precious Blood. A spiritual communion is a devotion that we can initiate on our own, either inside or outside of holy Mass. We can make a spiritual communion at any time and in any place, as long as we approach the devotion with “renewed faith, reverence, humility and in complete trust in the goodness of the divine Redeemer” and are “united to him in the spirit of the most ardent charity,” according to Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mediator Dei (The Sacred Liturgy). In spiritual communion, we embrace Our Lord as if we had actually received him in the Eucharist.
“Spiritual communion gives us a greater awareness of God’s overall presence in our lives and increases our faith in the Real Presence. So, the more we spiritually communicate, the more united we become with Christ. The Church recommends making spiritual communions as often as possible, even if we’re able to participate in Mass that day. It also is advisable to make at least three spiritual communions during Mass: at the beginning, at the consecration and at the end.”
Send Your Angel to Holy Mass
O, holy angel at my side,
go to the church for me.
Kneel in my place at holy Mass,
where I desire to be.
At Offertory in my stead,
take all I am and own,
and place it as a sacrifice
upon the altar throne.
At holy consecration’s bell,
adore with seraph’s love,
my Jesus, hidden in the Host,
come down from heaven above.
And when the priest Communion takes,
O, bring my Lord to me,
that his sweet heart may rest on mine,
and I his temple be.
Then pray for those I dearly love,
and those who cause me grief,
Jesus’ love may cleanse all hearts
and suffering souls relieve.
Pray that this sacrifice divine,
may mankind’s sin’s efface,
then bring me Jesus’ blessing home,
the pledge of every grace. Amen.
— Author unknown
From the U.S. Bishops:
Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe
that you are one God in three divine Persons,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I believe that your divine Son became man
and died for our sins and that he will come
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe these and all the truths
which the Holy Catholic Church teaches
because you have revealed them
who are eternal truth and wisdom,
who can neither deceive nor be deceived.
In this faith I intend to live and die.
Act of Hope
O Lord God,
I hope by your grace for the pardon
of all my sins
and after life here to gain eternal happiness
because you have promised it
who are infinitely powerful, faithful, kind,
In this hope I intend to live and die.
Act of Love
O Lord God, I love you above all things
and I love my neighbor for your sake
because you are the highest, infinite and perfect
good, worthy of all my love.
In this love I intend to live and die.
From Our Sunday Visitor: An Act of the Whole Church
“Because all the baptized are incorporated into Christ’s body, every time Christ is offered to the Father in the Eucharist, the entire Church mystically is present and offered to the Father, “whole and entire” as the Catechism characterizes it (No. 1368). This means that, despite the current lack of public gatherings, we know that the celebration of the Mass continues. Our priests will be celebrating Mass without us, but offering the eucharistic sacrifice for our good.
“All members of the Church — the members of Christ’s own body — are united with him in each and every Mass. As such, we are all together offered to the Father in sacrifice, as the Catechism relates:
“’In the Eucharist, the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering’” (No. 1368).
“St. Thomas Aquinas defined Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.”
“The basis of this practice was explained by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia:
In the Eucharist, “unlike any other sacrament, the mystery [of communion] is so perfect that it brings us to the heights of every good thing: Here is the ultimate goal of every human desire, because here we attain God and God joins himself to us in the most perfect union.” Precisely for this reason it is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was the origin of the practice of “spiritual communion,” which has happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life. St. Teresa of Jesus wrote: “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” [The Way of Perfection, Ch. 35.].
“Thus, the passionate desire for God, whom the saints have seen as the Sole Satisfier, and who in the Eucharist is the “summit and source of the Christian life”, is at the root of this practice. The experience of St. Padre Pio illustrates the compelling desire felt by the saints in the face of the drawing and attracting power of God’s love: “My heart feels as if it were being drawn by a superior force each morning just before uniting with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. I have such a thirst and hunger before receiving Him that it’s a wonder I don’t die of anxiety. I was hardly able to reach the Divine Prisoner in order to celebrate Mass. When Mass ended I remained with Jesus to render Him thanks. My thirst and hunger do not diminish after I have received Him in the Blessed Sacrament, but rather, increase steadily. Oh, how sweet was the conversation I held with Paradise this morning. The heart of Jesus and my own, if you will pardon the expression, fused. They were no longer two hearts beating but only one. My heart disappeared as if it were a drop in the ocean.”
From Catholic Prayers.com:
“Do you feel too busy to make time for our Lord? An Act of Spiritual Communion can help. No matter what your day is like, Jesus can help make it better, or at least more bearable, if you ask him for His help and guidance in prayers such as this one, composed by St. Alphonsus Liguori in the 18th century:
“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.”
From Catholic Link:
“The key here is to express to the Lord: our faith in his merciful love and his real presence in the Eucharist. You can come up with your own prayer or use a more traditional version.”
[Return to www.spiritdaily.com]
[resources: Lenten Books]