For various reasons we may be prevented from receiving the Eucharist at Mass. We may have broken the one hour fast, be in a state of mortal sin, or we could even be homebound, unable to leave our home to attend Mass.
In these cases the Church encourages us to make an act of “spiritual communion,” where we unite ourselves to God through prayer. It is a beautiful way to express to God our desire to be united with him when we are unable to complete that union in the reception of Holy Communion.
Countless saints incorporated this type of prayer into their daily lives, not being satisfied with receiving Jesus in the Eucharist once a week or even once a day. Making an act of spiritual communion for them was an essential part of life and drew them closer to God on a daily basis.
St. Josemaria Escriva encouraged everyone to make a spiritual communion as often as they could, “What a source of grace there is in spiritual communion! Practice it frequently and you’ll have greater presence of God and closer union with him in all your actions.”
Padre Pio also had a habit of making a spiritual communion throughout the day outside of the celebration of Mass. He desired to be always united with Jesus Christ in everything he did.
Below is a traditional prayer of spiritual communion that many saints have prayed over the years. It can be prayed if you find yourself at Mass unable to receive the Eucharist, or even in the midst of your daily work, lifting up your thoughts to God.
The ultimate goal of our lives should be communion with God and an act of spiritual communion can help a person draw closer to that goal.
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment 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.