What is spiritual communion?
St. Thomas Aquinas described spiritual communion 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.”
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.].
The Basic Elements of an Act of Spiritual Communion
- Make an act of faith. The key here is to express to the Lord your faith in his merciful love and his real presence in the Eucharist. …
- Make an act of love. O Lord God, I love you above all things. …
- Express your desire to receive him.
- Invite Jesus to come into your heart spiritually.
No particular prayer or formulary is required, though there are acts of spiritual communion in Catholic prayer books to help focus a proper intention. Below is a traditional prayer of spiritual communion attributed to St. Alphonsus Liguori:
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.
Resources for those not able to attend Mass
Daily Readings in English and Spanish from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Prayers, readings for Mass, and additional spiritual readings are available at:
Magnificat publication, a spiritual guide that includes daily Mass: https://us.magnificat.net/free
“Give Us This Day” a digital file of their periodical, which includes daily Mass texts. Visit GUTD.net and select “Digital” in the upper right of the screen.
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin
Prayer offered by His Holiness, Pope Francis, during the Wednesday audience held on 11 March 2020
Link to a prayer in English and Spanish in America Magazine: