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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Monday, July 3, 2017

Spiritual Communion...

Spiritual Communion...
According to the declaration of the Council of Trent, 13th session, 3d chapter, we can communicate in three ways:

1. Sacramentally only ; 2. spiritually only; 3. sacramentally and spiritually at once.
Those persons receive sacramentally only whose souls are stained with mortal sin, and who consequently receive unworthily. These indeed receive the sacrament, and with it, instead of a blessing, a curse.

Those persons receive the Blessed Sacrament spiritually only who are animated with a burning desire to receive sacramentally, and who are filled with such a living faith that, according to the words of the Apostle, they feed in spirit on the heavenly bread, by virtue of their longings.

Those persons receive both sacramentally and spiritually who, in compliance with St. Paul's injunction, have proved themselves carefully and closely, and then, arrayed in a wedding garment of grace, approach the sacrament with the required conditions.

Thus spiritual Communion consists of a burning desire to receive Jesus in the sacrament, and of a loving union with Him, as if He had been actually received sacramentally.

This pious practice has been most emphatically commended by all spiritual teachers, and by the Council of Trent; for it is a means most conducive to the perfecting of the soul, and brings manifold blessings and consolations, inasmuch as it contains graces and benefits almost similar to those received in sacramental Communion.

Hence devout souls often communicate by this method. St. Agatha of the Cross did it two hundred times a day. Let us make a spiritual Communion at least once a day, either during a visit to the Blessed Sacrament or during the hearing of Mass.



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Sayings of the Saints on Spiritual Communion

"Spiritual Communion is very profitable; therefore do not omit it, for by it the Lord learns how much you love Him" (St. Teresa).

"I advise every one who desires to grow in love for Jesus to communicate in this spiritual manner at least once a day, during a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or at Mass. And it is better yet if it be done three times at Mass, first at the beginning, secondly at the middle, and lastly at the end of Mass. This devotion is far more salutary than many suppose, while at the same time it is very easy of practice" (St. Alphonsus).

"In order to receive Christ in the sacramental Communion profitably and properly, it is very useful that we often make a spiritual Communion (Peter Faber).

"O my Lord, what a delightful way this is to communicate, without giving my father-confessor any trouble, or depending on any one save Thyself, Who dost draw near to the solitude of my soul and speakest to my heart" (Angela of the Cross).


The Value of Spiritual Communion

Jesus once appeared to the venerable Paula Marrsca and showed her two precious vases, one of gold, the other of silver; and He said to her: "In the golden vessel I keep sacramental Communion, and in the silver vessel spiritual Communion."

To the blessed Jane of the Cross our divine Saviour once said: "As often as you make a spiritual Communion I send you a grace which is in a measure similar to the grace which I grant you in sacramental Communion."


Mode of Spiritual Communion
from St. Leonard of Port Maurice

In order to make a good spiritual Communion, be recollected, make an act of true contrition, and then awaken within you those sentiments of love and confidence which you are accustomed to have at your sacramertal Communion. Join to all that a heartfelt longing to receive Jesus Christ. Who is hidden under the sacramental forms and appearances. To heighten still further your devotion, imagine that the Blessed Virgin or your guardian angel is presenting to you the sacred Host. Repeat the words: "Come, my Jesus. Thou love and life of my soul, come into my poor heart; come and quiet my longings, come and sanctify me; yes, come, O sweet Jesus, come and abide with me forever."

Then be silent, and see within yourself your merciful God, the same as if you had actually received Him in the Blessed Sacrament; adore Him, thank Him, awaken within you all those sacred aspirations which you are in the habit of awaking at your regular Communion.


St. Juliana Falconieri

This saint had reached the age of seventy years; virtuous as she had ever been, she was tried by deep afflictions. She was prostrated with an incurable weakness of the stomach. At last she could not retain a particle of food--was totally deprived of the consolation of receiving the ever-blessed body of her Lord, which she could not receive even as Holy viaticum. This privation caused her inexpressible grief, and so great was her mourning and weeping that it seemed as if she must die of sorrow. At last she begged a her father-confessor in the most humble terms to bring the Blessed Sacrament near her. He promised to comply with her request. When he appeared carrying the Blessed Sacrament, she prostrated herself in the form of a cross before her Lord, and adored Him. Her countenance became bright like an angel's. Then she begged for permission to touch the Blessed Sacrament with her lips, but this could not be permitted. Then she begged the priest to lay a veil on her longing, burning breast, and to place the Blessed Sacrament on it, that she might at least receive her Jesus in a spiritual Communion. This wish was complied with, when, lo! hardly had the sacred Host touched her fervent breast than it disappeared suddenly, and could be found no more. A moment afterwards St. Juliana departed this life, with a smile on her features.


Practical Application

If there is anything for which man should be thankful to God, it is certainly for the institution of the Blessed Sacrament; but we are thankful only when we make right use of this sacred mystery, as was the intention of Christ that we should do. It exists for the purpose of being to us a sacrament, a food, and a sacrifice.

As a sacrament we should regularly visit it and adore it on the feasts established in its honor, at Benediction, on Holy Thursday, during the Forty Hours' Devotion, on Corpus Christi. Although with our bodily eyes we see but the forms and appearances, faith and the words of Eternal Truth teach us that Jesus Christ Himself, both as man and God, is concealed under those forms and appearances. Though human reason may pretend to be ashamed of this mystery, our heart revels in holy joy and pure love, because it feels the presence of God.

As a sacrifice you should be present at it often, if possible daily, and there contribute to the sacrifice all that you have. It is, indeed, the same sacrifice that was once offered on the cross of Calvary to the eternal Father, with this difference: that there it was a blood-sacrifice, while here it is offered in an unbloody manner. Place yourself in spirit for a moment under the cross of the dying Saviour. What solemn feelings pervade your soul as you see your Lord and God bleeding and dying for your sake! The same sentiments should animate you when at holy Mass; for there too is Christ, Who every day offers Himself up to the eternal Father for our sins.

As celestial food you should receive the Blessed Sacrament often, and with due preparation; for it is, in truth, the nourishment of your soul and your safest pledge for eternal happiness. How much labor, effort, and care a man will undergo for his temporal success! How he longs for money, property, and honors! Oh, that you had a similar longing, a similar fondness, for your Saviour in the Blessed Sacrament! What more could God do to show you how tenderly He loves you, how earnestly He desires your happiness? How then will you excuse yourself, if you slight the love of your God by neglecting fequent Communion, and thus fail to secure grace--fail to secure your eternal salvation? Oh, do not slight Jesus Christ in your lifetime, that he may strengthen you in your death-hour, and deal gently with you on your judgment-day.



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Soul of Christ, sanctify me.

Body of Christ, save me.

Blood of Christ, inebriate me.

Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

O good Jesus, hear me.

Hide me within Thy wounds.

Never Permit me to be separated from Thee.

From the malignant enemy, defend me.

At the hour of my death, call me.

And bid me come to Thee,

That with Thy Saints,

I may praise thee, for everlasting ages.

Amen.



*Indulgence of 300 days

Act of Contrition: O my God, I am heartly sorry for having offended Thee; and I detest all of my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.


Spiritual Communion:
My Saviour and my God! I am not worthy to appear before Thee, for I am a poor sinner; yet I approach Thee with confidence in Thy goodness and mercy, for Thou hast said: "Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will refresh you." Thou wilt not despise a contrite and humble heart. I am truly sorry for my sins, because by them I have offended Thee, Who art infinitely good. Whatever may have been my foolish transgressions in the past, I love Thee now above all things, and with all my heart. I have a great desire, a vehement longing, O divine Spouse of my soul, to receive Thee in Holy Communion, and since I cannot now receive Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, I beseech Thee to come to me spiritually and to refresh my soul with Thy sweetness.

Come, my Lord, my God, and my All! Come to me, and let me never again be separated from Thee by sin. Teach me Thy blessed ways; help me with Thy grace to practice meekness, humility, charity, and all the virtues of Thy Sacred Heart. Receive me, as one who wishes to follow Thee, and let me live and labor and suffer and pray in union with Thee, for the glory of God, for the accomplishment of the heavenly Father's will, and for the salvation of souls. Jesus! I give Thee my heart with all its affections, my soul with all its powers, and my body with all its senses. My divine Master, help me with Thy grace, that I may be ever mindful of Thy presence, and that I may be faithful to the end in Thy services. Bless me in life and in death, that I may praise Thee forever in heaven. Amen.


Omnia ad majorem Dei Gloriam!
All for the greater glory of God!




Prayer Before the Crucifix



Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus,

I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight,

and with the most fervent desire of my soul

I pray and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart

lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity,

with true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment,

while with deep affection and grief of soul,

I ponder within myself, and mentally contemplate Thy five Most Precious Wounds,

having before my eyes that which David, the Prophet, spoke of Thee, my Jesus:

"They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

*The faithful who recite this prayer devoutly before an image of Jesus Christ Crucified, may gain: an Indulgence of 10 years.