When you cannot actually receive Holy Communion, you can make a prayer of Spiritual Communion: you can express the longing that is in you to be united completely with Christ. We can say a prayer of Spiritual Communion, such as this one by St. Alphonsus, founder of the Redemptorists: it’s in his ‘Visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament’:
My Jesus, I believe that You art present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire You in my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though You were already there, I embrace You and unite myself wholly to You; permit not that I should ever be separated from You. Amen.
AS GAEILGE: ‘A Íosa, mo Thiarna, creidim go bhfuilir i láthair go fíor san Naomh Shacraimint. Gráim Thú os cionn chuile nidh faoin spéir, agus is mian liom go mbeifeá agam istigh i m’anam. Cé nach féidir liom Thú a ghlacadh anois go sacraimintiúil, ar a laighead tar chugam go spioradálta isteach i mo chroí. Fáiltím romhat amhail is go bhfuilir ann cheanna féin. Agus aontaím mé féin leat go h-iomlán. Ná lig dom go brách a bheith scartha Uait.
There is a beautiful song on YouTube, ‘There is a longing in my heart, O Lord…’. Listen to it here, and watch the words on screen.
A song that many young people love, ‘All of me loves all of you’ by John Legend, is his own composition to his bride for his wedding day, some few years ago. So many of the words can speak of the Eucharist, as well – words of self-giving, and of mutual love. I often use it with young people, after Holy Communion. ‘I give my all to you, you give your all to me…’ ’All of me loves all of you, all of you loves all of me.’ John Legend produced and played the lead part in ‘Jesus Christ, Superstar’, the show, about two years ago.
Wherever you are, and however you are, you can always walk in the presence of the Lord Jesus. He is the Vine, and we are the Branches… and we are all ‘one person in Christ’! He is within. At any time of day or night, you can go into the room of your heart, close the door, and be with your heavenly Father in that place. God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves.
Séamus Devitt C.Ss.R.