Saturday, June 23, 2007

Spiritual Communion

1. Anyone who sincerely loves Jesus Christ will not be satisfied with receiving Him daily in the Blessed Eucharist. Often during the day he will feel the need of uniting himself again to the divine Spouse in an act of love. This is what is known as spiritual Communion. It is a natural and spontaneous act for a true lover of Jesus.

I am the vine, yon are the branches, Jesus has told us. He who abides in nie, and I in him, he bears much fruit ... as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. (Cf. John 15:4) Since the supernatural life flows into our souls from Jesus, we must maintain our union with Him even when He is not sacramentally present. It is true that the divine grace remains in us as long as we do not fall into mortal sin, but it grows weaker under the influence of worldly attractions and temptations. It is necessary to revive the grace that is in us when we feel that it is waning. For this purpose Spiritual Communion is very useful, for it is an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (Summa Theologiae, III, q. 8, a.1 ad 3) and an outpouring of live in which we beseech Jesus to come and take complete possession of our hearts. This practice was recommended by the Council of Trent (Session XIII, c. 8) and was frequently used by the Saints in order to keep alive the fire of divine charity in their souls and to guard themselves against the onslaughts of the world, the flesh, and the devil. If we act in the same manner, Jesus will always be within us and we shall always be in Jesus. If God lives in us, who can harm use? If God is for us, who is against us? (Rom. 8:31)

2. Jesus not only desires to come to us, but He desires to remain continually present in us with His love and grace. If anyone love me, he will keep my word, He tells us, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him. (John 14:23) It is enough for us to love Him and to be ready to keep His commandments. Such an act of sincere and effective love for Jesus will cause Him to enter and to remain in our hearts even after the sacramental species has been consumed. This is Spiritual Communion, which consists mainly in the yearning for Jesus. I have come to cast fire upon the earth, and what will I but that it be kindled? (Luke 12:49)

3. St. Thomas calls the Eucharist "the Sacrament of love." (Opusc. 38:25) When love is ardent and sincere it longs for constant contact with the beloved. Spiritual Communion can be made in a single instant, for it requires only an act of faith and an act of love. Jesus, come into my heart, for I have need of You. I love You, my Jesus; keep me close to You always.

Ejaculation: 0 Jesus, I cling to You with all my heart.