Carolyn Liff shares how she grew closer to Jesus after the COVID-19 pandemic locked down her church and she could no longer receive Jesus in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Her discovery increased her joy with Jesus.
When I was at Mass in mid-March, the priest announced that that would be the last Mass, and I was stunned! I couldn’t believe that the Catholic Church was closing its doors. I just left Mass that day feeling such a sense of sadness and emptiness and almost grieving a loss.
The next day a friend sent a link to a newly available online Mass at Bishop Robert Barrons’ Chapel, and I listened to it joining in to the online Mass, which was a different experience, but I loved the reverence in the chapel. I loved hearing the readings. I loved the very meaningful sermon. I loved seeing the Consecration up close, that most precious and powerful moment in our Mass.
And then it was Communion time, and the Spiritual Communion Prayer came on the screen, and I looked at it and just felt that disappointment and that desire for Jesus, that I couldn’t receive him sacramentally. And as I said the prayer, I just felt really the presence of Jesus soothing my soul. I knew he was with me. I knew that he was desiring me more — way more — than I was desiring him.
Although I had read the Spiritual Communion Prayer before, I had never made a practice of saying it, and I guess I just always depended upon receiving Jesus sacramentally. But now that that was no longer possible, I just embraced that prayer, and the habit of saying that prayer spilled over from Mass into different parts of my day. I would just pause and usually just say my own personal version of the prayer, because I couldn’t remember the formal words, something like: “Oh dear Jesus, please come spiritually into my soul. I desire You, I adore You, I love You.” And I then would pause and I would just sit in this stillness, and I felt like I could just breathe in God’s graces.
There’s a section in Good News Ministries, in the index of prayers, that has a Spiritual Communion Prayer. I think the title is, “How to receive a Spiritual Communion when you can’t get to Mass“. I would encourage you to go into that site and pray that Spiritual Communion Prayer. If you’ve never made a habit of it, I would definitely recommend it as a habit.
I feel like Spiritual Communion has been my joy with Jesus during this pandemic. That Spiritual Communion Prayer is such a prayer of desire. It’s a prayer of trust, a prayer of dependence, a prayer of faith, of hope, of love, a prayer of longing. And I know that, if you say that prayer, Jesus will bless you richly as he has blessed me. Spiritual Communions are my joy with Jesus.