ATTENDING MASS ONLINE AND RECEIVING JESUS IN SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
Due to the current pandemic, many dioceses throughout the world have issued circulars to their parishes dispensing the faithful from the obligation of participating in Mass and restricting prayers, sacraments in Churches following their Government directives.
Many Churches are now broadcasting online Masses and the faithful are urged to receive Spiritual communion. St. Alphonsus Liguori in the 18th century composed this beautiful prayer:
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.
St. Thomas Aquinas once defined a Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament [in Communion at Mass] and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.”
It is an important part of Church teaching that the consecrated bread (in the form of wafers we call hosts) becomes what is known as the Blessed Sacrament, referred to in St. Alphonsus’s prayer above.
You can make a Spiritual Communion such as this one below during Mass, or before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, or anywhere else where the Spirit moves you.
Oh Jesus, I turn toward the holy tabernacle where You live hidden for love of me. I love you, O my God. I cannot receive you in Holy Communion. Come, nevertheless, and visit me with Your grace. Come spiritually into my heart. Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like unto Your own. Amen.
‘Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.’
This last sentence is drawn from Matthew’s Gospel (Matt 8:6), in which a Roman Centurion expressed his deep faith in our Lord’s healing powers (in this case to cure his servant rather than his soul). Jesus was quite moved by the soldier’s faith, and healed his servant at once.
Christ might not answer us quite so instantaneously, but rest assured, He can and will respond to anyone who comes to Him in love and humility for His Divine assistance. After all, didn’t he say in the Sermon on the Mount, concerning the power of prayer, “Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find” (Matt 7:7)?
Indeed, our Lord loves each of us so much that he gives us great opportunities to be with Him on a daily basis. If the Pope came to your parish, you’d probably have to elbow your way through crowds of people to catch a glimpse of him.
And yet, think of it! You can have your own private “audience” with Christ at Mass in Holy Communion or in Spiritual Communion in front of the Blessed Sacrament! Countless Saints and theologians throughout the centuries have extolled the virtues and great spiritual benefits we can receive from this time spent with our Lord.
Remember, however, that you can “turn toward the holy tabernacle” and receive Jesus in your heart from anywhere you might happen to be, at any time, day or night!
You just need to approach Him with sincerity, humility and a desire to follow in His footsteps in acts of faith and charity.
St. Jean-Marie Vianney, a French priest famous for converting countless souls to Christ in his parish of Ars in the 19th century, once said “when we feel the love of God growing cold, let us instantly make a Spiritual Communion. When we cannot go to the church, let us turn towards the tabernacle; no wall can shut us out from the good God.” We can indeed be grateful for that! (Adapted from Catholicprayers.com)
LIVE AND SAVED ONLINE MASSES AT THE FOLLOWING WEB-ADDRESS
Carmelite Monastery, Margao Goa India
CCR TV Goa: English, Konkani Goa India
Divine Retreat Centre Goodness TV, Potta Kerala India
Pope Francis at Santa Marta: Italian
English text then Italian video:
EWTN: usually one day later
St. Mary's Church Dubai
https://saintmarysdubai.org/live (Live stream at fixed times)
Catholic TV Boston USA
St. Peter's Bandra Bombay
IC Church Borivali (W) Bombay
St. Jude Church, Malad (E) Bombay
St. Michael's Mahim Bombay
National Catholic Broadcasting Council from Loretto Abbey in Toronto, Ontario
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore: subtitles
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Brisbane