In this time of health emergency in which Masses with the participation of the faithful are suspended in Italy and other countries, the Pope calls for spiritual Communion. During the morning celebration at Casa Santa Marta, he often recites the prayer of Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.
Not being able to receive the Eucharist does not mean not being able to welcome Jesus within one’s heart. In the history of the Church, there is an ancient praxis, confirmed in particular by the Council of Trent, which Pope Francis recalled several times during this pandemic time. It is a spiritual communion, that is, with a prayer one expresses the ardent desire since it is not possible to receive sacramental communion, to welcome Jesus Christ at least spiritually. Inviting to Spiritual Communion, Pope Francis often recites this prayer of Saint Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori during Masses in Santa Marta:
“My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, come at least spiritually into my heart. As you have already come, I embrace you and with all my being unite myself with you; never let me be separated from you.”
“In this pandemic situation, in which we find ourselves living more or less isolated, – the Pope said at the Angelus of March 15th – we are invited to rediscover and deepen the value of communion that unites all members of the Church. United to Christ we are never alone, but we form one Body, of which He is the Head. It is a union that is nourished by prayer, and also by spiritual communion in the Eucharist, a practice very much recommended when it is not possible to receive the Sacrament”.
by Amedeo Lomonaco – Città del Vaticano – see full text (in Italian) on the page www.vaticannews.va