June 21st On a Spiritual Communion
Consider first, that next to the consecration, in which consist the very essence of the sacrifice of the altar – inasmuch as the body and blood of Christ are thereby exhibited, and presented to God for all the four ends of sacrifice – the principal part is the Communion. Now all the assistants ought to join with the priest in offering up by his hands, and by the hands of the invisible high priest, Christ Jesus, this most holy sacrifice for all those great ends; so it were to be wished that all would join with him in the Communion also – at least by making a spiritual communion as often as they hear Mass. This spiritual communion, when made with proper devotion, brings Jesus Christ into our souls in spirit, so that, though we do not receive verily and indeed his body and blood, we partake plentifully of his heavenly grace, and unite ourselves in spirit to him who is the foundation of all grace. O let us continually aspire after this union of grace and love.
Consider 2ndly, that in order to make this spiritual communion with fruit, we must be in the state of grace: Jesus Christ will not unite himself to a soul in which Satan dwells. Then we must invite our Lord into our inward house: 1. By a lively faith of his real presence on our altars, of what he is, of what he has done and suffered for the love of us, and what those treasures are which he carries about with him in this sacrament and which he desires to impart to us. 2. By an ardent desire, in the way of hunger and thirst after this life-giving food. 3. By a profound humility, in the acknowledgment of our great unworthiness to receive him sacramentally, and bewailing our manifold sins in his presence. And lastly, by inflamed affections of love, offering our whole selves to him, and pressing him to come and take full possession of our souls for time and eternity. Such devotion as this will not fail to bring him to us, and engage him to open his heavenly treasures in our favour.
Consider 3rdly, that a spiritual communion may be made with fruit to the soul, not only as often as we assist at the sacrifice of the altar, but also at any other hour we please, either of the day or night, and this by sighing after Jesus Christ, by inviting him into our souls, by offering our whole souls to him, by embracing him and loving him with all our power. For he loves all them that love him, he is quickly found by all that seek him, and gives himself to all that give themselves to him. O happy exchange! Give then thyself, my soul, at all times, to this thy true lover, to this thy sovereign and infinite good, and he will communicate himself to thee. This kind of communion is not tied to time or place, but will bring thy God to thee whenever thou pleasest, and what canst thou receive or desire either greater or better?
Conclude to make a spiritual communion every day of thy life, and even to repeat it often in the day, the oftener the better. This frequent repetition of acts of faith, love, and desire will unite thee to thy sovereign good, so that he will live in thee, and thou in him.