Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the bread of life and the one true vine.
I believe that you are truly present
in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.
I seek you.
I worship and adore you.
Since I cannot receive you
in the eucharistic bread and wine,
I pray that you will come into my heart and soul,
that I may be united to you,
by your all-powerful and ever-present Holy Spirit.
Let me receive you, and be nourished by you.
Become for me the manna in my wilderness,
the bread of angels
for my very human journey through time,
a foretaste of the heavenly banquet,
and solace in the hour of my death.
I pray all this, trusting that you yourself are
our Life, our Peace, and our everlasting Joy.
Like many Christians around the globe, I found my parish doors closed this Sunday, owing to COVID-19. Like many, I had to find other ways to seek to live this day as the Day of the Lord, to encounter Him ever more deeply, to pray in communion with the whole Church, and to let myself be sustained by the One Who is the Bread of Life.
My parish offered one live-streamed Mass this Sunday morning, and as I sought to engage the moment of eucharistic communion (by the priest alone), with an act of “spiritual communion” on my part, it occurred to me to seek out, after Mass, some prayers for spiritual communion. There are several online, I discovered, but most of them did not resonate with my ways of praying. There are also some wonderful, mostly traditional prayers to be found in Eamon Duffy’s The Heart in Pilgrimage: A Prayerbook for Catholic Christians (London/New York: Bloomsbury, 2014). After trying several of them on (so to speak), I decided to draft a prayer myself. I offer it here for all who will have to seek to encounter the eucharistic Christ in digital bread and wine alone, in the weeks to come.
For those of you who know their traditional Catholic prayer practices, you will see that I tried to follow the main elements recommended for spiritual communion, namely, an act of faith, an act of love and adoration, and the expression of a desire to receive the Lord.