Spiritual Communion

What happens when we cannot receive Jesus sacramentally? The tradition tells us to make a “spiritual communion,” joining our whole selves—prayers, works, joys, and sufferings—to his sacrificial presence in the Eucharist—even when that sacrament is not before us to receive.

In his last encyclical as Pope, St. John Paul II explained that the practice of spiritual communion has “happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life. Saint Teresa of Jesus wrote: ‘When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you’” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 34).

Prayer for Spiritual Communion

My Jesus,

I believe that You
are present in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire You with all my heart.
Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally,
I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already in my heart
and unite myself to You completely.
Please do not let me ever be separated from You.


Jesús mío,
creo firmemente
que estás en el Santísimo Sacramento del altar,
Te amo sobre todas las cosas
y deseo tenerte en mi alma.
Ya que ahora no puedo recibirte sacramentalmente,
ven por lo menos espiritualmente a mi corazón;
como si ya hubieses venido,
te abrazo y me uno todo a ti:
no permitas que jamás me aparte de ti.

(traditionally attributed to St. Alphonsus Liguori)
St. Josemaria Escriva encouraged everyone to make a spiritual communion as often as they could, “What a source of grace there is in spiritual communion! Practice it frequently and you’ll have greater presence of God and closer union with him in all your actions.” What a blessing and consolation for us all in these difficult days.