Spiritual Communion: A message from Bishop Brian

This icon hangs on the wall of my Oratory, behind the altar and near the Tabernacle. The Icon is of St John Vianney, Patron Saint of priests who work in parishes. Every morning I stand before it and pray for the priests of our diocese.

St John Vianney was an exemplary shepherd. He won so many souls to God that the devil directly confronted him……and lost. St John emphasised the importance of the Sacraments but also recognised that people cannot always receive them. Therefore, St John encouraged spiritual communion: “If we are deprived of Sacramental Communion, let us replace it, as far as we can, by spiritual communion, which we can make every moment; for we ought to have always a burning desire to receive the good God.” To make a spiritual communion you simply express your love and need of Jesus and invite him into your soul. It is certainly painful for us not to be able to pray before the Blessed Sacrament just now, but St John’s wisdom guides us: “When we cannot go to the church, let us turn towards the tabernacle; no wall cannot separate us from the good God.”

Other saints who encouraged spiritual communion include St Thomas Aquinas, St Teresa of Avila, St Alphonsus Liguori, St Jose Maria Escriva and St Padre Pio.

We have been using the prayer of St Alphonsus during our daily live streamed masses at 10am.

Prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Holy Sacrament of the altar.

I love you above all things and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my soul

so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever.