With the COVID-19 global pandemic sweeping across the world, and as our country, Nigeria records more cases, concerns are growing and frantic efforts are being made by government and religious leaders to curb the spread. One of such measures is the suspension of religious gatherings, which means churches will remain empty of worshippers for the time being.
This comes as a great source of concern and worry for devout Catholics who are feeling perturbed by the thought of missing Mass and reception of the Holy Eucharist for an indefinite period of time. To such brothers and sisters, I say, do not lose faith, but first try to stay alive and safe, for the dead cannot worship God (cf. Isaiah 38:18). In such extreme times as we are in now, the church has provided for us, the consolation of an Act of Spiritual Communion.
WHAT IS AND ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION?
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.”
The Spiritual Communion is a practice by which Catholics who, for reasons beyond them, are unable to receive Holy Communion at Mass at a particular time, unite themselves in faith with the Eucharistic Jesus. While it does not take the place of actually receiving the Eucharistic specie(s) sacramentally, it does unite the faith of the one making it with the whole church and brings the presence of Jesus closer to the person.
Also, for those times you can’t make Mass, or can’t take Communion because of an unconfessed mortal sin (for which you can ask for and receive God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance), you can still reach out to Him by making a Spiritual Communion in prayer!
WHERE AND WHEN CAN I MAKE AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION?
You can do this in a Church, a Chapel of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament or anywhere you find yourself. It can also be done at anytime.
HOW TO MAKE AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
Make the sign of the Cross
Do a brief examination of conscience and then pray the Confiteor (I confess to Almighty God…)
Read and meditate on the readings of Mass for the day.
Say the following prayer: 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.
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. Amen.
Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
5. Say a prayer of thanksgiving. You can use the prayer, “O Sacrament Most Holy…”
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The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is recited using the ordinary rosary beads of five decades. You can pray it following the simple steps below
1. Make the Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. Opening Prayers
expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the
ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life,
unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself
out upon us.
(Repeat three times) O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!
3. Our Father
Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy
will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily
bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass
against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
4. Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is
with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of
thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and
at the hour of our death, Amen.
5. The Apostles’ Creed
believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in
Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy
Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was
crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day
He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at
the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will come to
judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy
catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the
resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
6. On the large “Our Father” beads, say…
Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your
Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins
and those of the whole world.
7. On the 10 Small Beads of Each Decade
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
8. Repeat for the remaining decades
the “Eternal Father” (6) on the “Our Father” bead and then 10 “For the
sake of His sorrowful Passion” (7) on the following “Hail Mary” beads.
9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
10. Closing Prayer
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
NOTE: IF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE DOES NOT PERMIT YOU TO SAY THE FULL PRAYERS, YOU CAN USE THE SHORTER VERSION
Make the sign of the cross
Say the Opening Prayer
Say the “Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood…”
Say the “For the sake of his sorrowful passion…” (10x)
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The FAITH CLINIC page on fadasly.org is an interactive feature meant to dissect and discuss burning issues on Catholic faith and doctrines. It aims at addressing the “ailment” of ignorance suffered by some Catholics and non Catholics on matters of faith and morals, hence, the name, FAITH CLINIC.
The series shall feature posts on various topics, published fortnightly in short series, to aid easy reading and comprehension. Readers can also make contributions and ask questions on the featured topic in the comments section, which shall be answered; as much as possible, this is going to be an interactive session. And it is hoped that this will be of great help to my many readers as well as other people out there who have the burning desire to know. Always feel free to share “medications” coming from this CLINIC to all your social media platforms. The motto of this CLINIC shall be: The Truth shall set you free… (John 8:32)