Spiritual Communion

It seems like a small thing, but this story stirred something in me, and gave me hope:

More than a million young Catholics learned the hard way about a venerable Catholic tradition: “spiritual Communion” or the “Communion of desire.”

After a wild storm Aug. 20 at World Youth Day in Madrid left six people injured — including two with broken legs — Spanish police collapsed the tents where most of the unconsecrated hosts for the next morning’s Mass were being kept.

Without the hosts in the tents, organizers had 5,000 ciboriums holding 200 hosts each; they were consecrated by the pope at Mass Aug. 21 and distributed to pilgrims in the section closest to the altar.

Distributing Communion to just 100,000 people wasn’t a decision anyone took lightly, and apparently there were long discussions with World Youth Day organizers and Vatican officials trying to find a solution. In the end, it just wasn’t possible logistically to locate another 1.5 million hosts.

A couple of hours before the Mass, organizers announced that most of the people present would not be able to receive; they asked the pilgrims to offer up that sacrifice for the pope’s intentions and told them they could receive Communion later in the day at any church in Madrid.

The decision to cancel Communion for most Mass participants was reached “with the greatest pain,” Yago de la Cierva, director of World Youth Day Madrid, told reporters Aug. 21.

Whenever there is a huge crowd for a Mass, whether in St. Peter’s Square or at a World Youth Day, there always are some people unable to get to the Communion distribution point in time to receive. But in Madrid, de la Cierva said, “almost everyone” was among those not receiving.

Obviously, receiving Communion is the way to participate most fully in the Mass, but it’s not always possible for everyone to receive at every Mass, nor do many Catholics in the world even have regular access to Mass.

The idea of “spiritual Communion” — inviting Jesus into one’s heart and soul when receiving the actual sacrament isn’t possible — is part of Catholic tradition.

You can read the rest here.

I can’t rightly say why this makes me hopeful, but it does.
It almost feels like a “training day” — a necessary lesson to impart, for those times in our not-too-distant future when the church is smaller, and persecuted, and Holy Communion is not always available to us. It just makes me feel like, yeah…the Holy Spirit is seeing to things.

Others will likely disagree.

Related:
How Benedict Has Influenced WYD
10 Amazing Young Catholics
Genies in Bottles; Toothpaste in Tubes
Where the Mass comes from

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Virago

    I DO agree; while the purpose of Holy Mass is full relationship with Our Lord we do need to strengthen our faith and worship muscles to be able to access and focus on that part of us that wants to stay in relationship.

    Catholics in previous centuries knew how much of a privilege receiving and consuming the Body of Christ. We have had the benefit of easy access and so i think we take that ritual, that foundation of our Faith for granted. I feel one way to be more observant of this special gift is to put more effort in preparing to receive the Host; many people I know eat, drink and then take the Body of Christ with little regard for what is actually happening.

    And you are so right; out future may be very different for us; we should spend some effort in engaging in Spiritual Communion. It is one discipline that could be a powerful addition to our arsenal.

    Thank you
    V

  • Greta

    “for those times in our not-too-distant future when the church is smaller, and persecuted, and Holy Communion is not always available to us”

    I fear that we are fast approaching these times in America and it makes me sad. The state religion of atheism is on the march supported by the ACLU and other left leaning groups. Their great lie on the “separation of church and state” was their entry salvo and they have not stopped since. Biden having no issue with a state forcing abortions, limiting parents to one child, looking the other way as girl babies are killed, and everything else with the one child program is a good example. I would bet he would say he is personally opposed, but that the state has the right and religion should have no part in the decision as he does with abortion.

    Catholics who do not speak out or worse, who support the party of death led by people like Biden, Pelosi, and Obama are helping in this march each day.

    On the other side of the coin, I have huge issues with each mass seeing almost everyone go up to get their host like someone is passing out free cheese samples at the store. We have lost our belief that this IS the body and blood of our Lord and that before we are to recieve it we are to be in the state of grace. I wish that once a month or more that the sermon at every mass would touch on this simple fact. I have a very good friend who does not believe in the sacrament of reconciliation and has not gone in decades who goes up each mass for communion. We have talked about this and he actually says that the requirements for that sacrament were changed in vatican II and he no longer has to go once a year to be in the state of grace. I hate to think of the grave sin happening at every mass around the world in this manner.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    A ver good lesson, Anchoress.

  • Matthew

    Excellent column. I am ambivalent about the emphasis on recieving Communion as the “way to participate most fully”.
    I am NOT downplaying the importance of Communion but I DO think their is a tendency to downplay the value of the Sacred Liturgy. I teach high school and regularly have students express surprise when I tell them that they are NOT obligated to receive Communion every time they are at Mass and further that even if they, for some reason, cannot receive Communion they still have an obligation to worship God by attending the Holy Sacrifice. I am not certain how to balance things out but I do strongly feel that we have under-valued the being present at and participating in the Liturgy even if we cannot receive Holy Communion.

  • kenneth

    This started off as an interesting piece about spiritual communion, something not even many practicing Catholics are aware of. It also held a pearl of wisdom about the idea of offering up one’s disappointment. Then it sank with the allusion to a cheesy persecution narrative which says Catholics are in imminent danger of being driven underground.

    This breathless prediction is based on what? The fact that conservative Christians don’t get their way in politics a full 100% of the time? The fact that our government doesn’t defer to them in all matters? You’re still, collectively as all Christians, more than 78% of the population with enormous media networks, absolute control of our country’s majority political party and yet you’re in danger of extinction? If this is what you call persecution, all I can say is that Christians of old were made of stouter stuff. You wouldn’t have lasted 12 hours in Nero’s Rome or Cromwell’s England or the Soviet Union.

    What’s most amazing to me is the disconnect between your insight and your actions. On the one hand, you acknowledge the likelihood that you will, one day, face life as an unpopular minority, or razor thin majority. At the very same time, many of you work to undermine and destroy the legal and cultural mechanisms which protect minority faiths from persection (ie separation of church and state). The message, at least from many of the culture warfare types, is one of triumphalism. Whoever has the demographic upper hand should be able to define the culture and legal system to their exclusive advantage and rub it in the faces of anyone who doesn’t like it. If you know for a fact you’re going to be near the bottom of that hill one day, what’s the wisdom in perpetuating such a no-quarter philosophy?

    The idea that church/state separation is some new PC thing cooked up by socialists is especially amusing. It was invented entirely by Christians several hundred years ago. Christians who had living memory of the slaughter which resulted from mixing religion and political power.

    Catholicism would not be what it is in America today if not for church and state separation. It would have been strangled in its cradle, and that’s a fact. The original colonies were almost exclusively protestant. They licenensed who could and could not preach, took your tax money to support the official church and that was that. In one of the colonies, Virginia I think, it was a capital offense for a Jesuit to even set foot in the jurisdiction.

    Before fanning people’s hysteria and fears for their basic freedoms, talk to some Christians who are facing REAL persecution in the world, and then take a deep breath. If Joe Biden and the ACLU truly starts hauling you away in the dark of night, I promise to stash a few of you, and all the communion hosts you can carry, in my attic!

    [Kenneth, all your jolly dismissal aside, you don't actually know what I am talking about. My church is in danger of schism and oppression, and that is what I am centrally speaking about; the matter will not fundamentally be one of government oppression. We'll be doing it to ourselves, first. Individual ideologies may -- probably will -- be part of what foments that schism, but I'm talking primarily of something that is fundamentally spirit-and-church related. The rest of it will simply be fallout.

    I am quite happy with our "separation of church and state," as it has existed in the past, but even you must admit that our past is not our present. You say Catholicism would not be what it is without that separation, and I agree. I will go further and say that America would not be what it is without that separation; it was Catholics (sisters, primarily) who helped found the sort of medical institutions/administrations that were copied and expanded upon to make our public healthcare so effective. It was Catholics (mainly sisters) who helped form ideas in education development that were adapted in other forms for public education.

    But, as I say, the past is not the present. Right now, we DO see (even you must admit) an encroaching BY THE STATE upon Catholic hospitals and schools (and adoption agencies and more). The church is being told -- flimsy "conscience exceptions" that even 'liberal' Catholics acknowledge will protect very little, aside -- to conform to the state's ideas, or be punished. I'm all for separation of church and state, when it means "the state shall establish no religion" (I DO believe that's what the constitution says, right?) not when it means "the state shall, by infringing upon your religion, establish it's secularism upon your church" which does seem to be where things are headed. If you're going to talk about these separations, it would be helpful if we could not distort the meaning of the constitution or pretend that a line in a letter by Thomas Jefferson is actually part of that constitution, which document does not even use the phrase. The constitution guarantees us "freedom of religion." Not "freedom of worship" which is an entirely different thing, but "freedom of religion." When the state tells a religion what it must or must not do (in terms of schools and hospitals providing access to birth control or abortion, or adoption agencies permitting single-parent or homosexual adoption) then it is not the church interfering with the state, it is the state interfering with the church and directly giving newly-defined birth control and homosexual "rights" precedence over the founding and fundamental right to practice religion without interference of the state. And since you are a champion of "separation of church and state" I am sure you agree that the state ought not be inserting itself into church concerns at these levels. All that said, though, my first concerns are to the threatened schisms within my church. -admin]

  • Dominican

    I suspect that we may see large Papal Masses like this in the future where there is not a huge distribution of Holy Communion. I have participated in large papal masses and it’s something that is a cause of concern. There is, just because of the sheer numbers and temporary set-up, too many opportunities for irreverence and sacrilege. I can’t give you the citation but I have read recently that this is also a concern of the Holy Father.

    We can make Spiritual Communions throughout the day!

  • http://www.patheos.com Amy

    ( I personally believe Jesus would have multiplied the consecrated hosts and everyone who needed to receive would have received. Too many doubting Thomas’s in the Church.)

    With that said, Spiritual Communion is not emphasized
    or brought to the attention of millions of Catholics. A few priests I know of do stress the importance of spiritual communion, especially if one is not in the state of grace or for other reasons, cannot receive. Another priest I know of would comment on how he sees everyone coming to receive the Holy Eucharist but how few ever come to Confession. “You must all be holy, or Saints,” he would exclaim.

    Perhaps one way to spread the word is to address these and any other issues of importance to our local Bishops for they have the authority to speak to their priests. Pray for our Bishops, our priests, and especially for our Holy Father.

    And trust in Jesus. McD’s may serve billions but Jesus holds the record on fast food! :)

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    Kenneth’s points are well taken. Real persecution happens in China and the Middle East, and we are far from that.

    As per the point about a smaller Church, that’s simply not a stance I can take seriously. All Christians, including the self-styled orthodox Catholics, are held to the same commission (Matthew 28:16-20), and if the church in any aspect is shrinking, it would not be in alignment with the expressed will of Christ. A shrinking Church, if it were to evidence itself, would cease to be apostolic, by definition.

    And spiritual communion? Please. It’s not something a megaliturgy priest ever has to worry about, is it?

    This was an instance of the WYD organizers making a howling error. Housing altar bread in a tent? I could fit a million boxed hosts in my church’s sacristy: four walls and a roof, people.

  • jcd

    Now, why did God allow a storm so that those at WYD could only receive a spiritual communion? I think it is very clear.And not the ideas that I have read here.

    [God has imprisoned all human beings in their own disobedience only to show mercy to them all.

    33 How rich and deep are the wisdom and the knowledge of God! We cannot reach to the root of his decisions or his ways.

    34 Who has ever known the mind of the Lord? Who has ever been his adviser?

    35 Who has given anything to him, so that his presents come only as a debt returned?

    36 Everything there is comes from him and is caused by him and exists for him. To him be glory for ever! Amen.]

  • jcd

    Did they realise this when the doors of the Ark were shut and they continued to laugh at Noah before the flood came?

  • jcd

    Liberals.Progressives.Souls are going to hell.
    WYD Street Party and Stations of the Cross:
    http://traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/f051ht_StationsWYD.htm

  • Adrienne

    I agree with you 110% if not more Anchoress…The holy spirit is working over time…Okay that’s human speak, but for lack of better words, it’s apparent that something ‘s going on…Something way above us…Something we must be prepared for and the holy spirit is doing just that; preparing the saints…This is a beautiful example of it…I sense that the batte – the spiritual battle – is pushing into the terrestrial realm…We are about to see the fight that’s been waged for our very souls come out into the open…right here on the planet…Stay strong all you Saints…You know who your Father is and what He promises…Don’t loose the hope and faith…No matter what’s happening before our eyes…Remembe most of it’s illusion…All glory be to God…Thank so much Jesus…Oh bless you Lord!…God bless Anchoress…

  • Stefanie

    This year, in RCIA, I introduced a Litany of Spiritual Communion that I picked up via Jen at Conversion Diary. Her reason for offering the litany was that young moms with newborns often aren’t able to be in the Communion line when a baby wants to be nursed. It was frustrating for her. So she found this litany and it eased her frustration and bought our Lord’s Gift-of-Himself into greater focus.

    I saw this as a teaching opportunity for the RCIA folks. Three Sundays a month year-round, they attend attend the opening liturgy and scripture readings of Mass then are ‘kindly dismissed’ to another room where I lead them in discussion and application of those readings.
    As the months go by, the RCIA people so long for the Eucharist and yet are unable to receive until their preparation is complete. Many weep at ‘having to wait’; their longing is so great.
    The Litany of Spiritual Communion has proven to be a precious aid for their hunger.
    Of course, nothing compares with physically receiving our Lord, but when unable to do so…there are ways to ‘offer up’ that longing to Him.
    In the future, I will make sure we pray the litany once a month on Sundays!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Todd, and your point is. . . ???

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    jcd, someone needs a hug, I think. . .

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Kenneth, when people start scolding Christians who talk about persecution, quite frankly, I start getting nervous.

    If the whole thing really is so silly, why get angry? If it is foolish, the Christians will figure it out on their own, eventually, right?

    If it isn’t all foolish. . . why do you want them to stop worrying about it?

    (The fact is, Christian persecution is on the rise in the Middle East, Africa, China, etc.)

  • kenneth

    Here’s why I get upset, Rhinestone. The term “persecution” has been defined so far down that it now includes any of life’s usual disappointments. It mocks the ordeals of those who experience REAL persecution. It becomes like crying wolf once too often and numbs us to the reality of the real thing.

    Second, I just don’t have much respect for people and groups whose identity is created primarily by cultivating a permanent sense of victimhood. It’s a pathetic posture for any grown person to adopt, and it also creates conditions which are extraordinarily dangerous and toxic to any civil society. When you tell people day in and day out that their routine setbacks in fact foreshadow a real and imminent existential threat, you appeal to fear and anger and suffocate whatever capacity they had for compassion, empathy or reason.

    Take a look at the viciousness of our politics and culture these days. When is the last time you heard anyone at the national level have a reasoned policy disagreement without losing all perspective? Everything is cast in terms of an evil “them” whose every move is part of a machination to destroy “us” and our way of life. When you have people in hysterical fear of their very existence, all obligations to decency are off.

    Catholics need look no farther than their own community to see this dynamic. Look at the Corapi business or any of the other topics which lead to the closing of comments for days or weeks on this and similar forums. You had your own kind turning viciously on each other because simple disagreement made you one of “them” and thus evil. Every violent and ugly extremist movement in history was nurtured by a sense of victimhood. Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Islamic terrorism, the Norway killer. In every last instance, aggressors justified their actions with a narrative in which they were the people of virtue fighting for their very existence, and thus anything was justified. To a man, they truly believed they were the victims acting in self defense.

    The frustrations cited by conservatives in this forum – gay marriage and adoption and the abortion debate, simply do not rise to the level of an existential threat to Catholics. Continuing to spin them that way is reckless and irresponsible, at best.

  • kenneth

    To avoid writing too long of a screed, let’s consider exactly how the disappointing (for conservatives) developments do NOT rate as real persecution. The state’s refusal to allow anti-gay discrimination in adoption by Catholic adoption agencies is probably the thing most commonly cited as evidence of systemic persecution of the faith these days.

    It’s called “persecution” because Christian conservatives somehow got the idea in their heads that the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion is absolute. In their minds, it did, or should have, granted absolute immunity from any law that conflicted with their beliefs. More than that, they’re insisting that they have the right to get paid as a government contractor for refusing to obey the law.

    That’s a truly astounding read of constitutional law and one that is unsupported by any case law or anything ever written by any of our founders. Nowhere was it ever written or suggested that Congress shall make no law which ever interferes with anything someone considers to be a religious activity. Freedom of religion has been very broadly construed, as it should be, but it is not an absolute right. If it were, any law could be rendered void simply by stating it was against your religious beliefs. None of the Bill of Rights is absolute or independent of other considerations. If they were, I would have the right to own a machinegun and board an airliner with it.

    The other notion, that government is “forcing” Catholic institutions to provide abortion, is likewise hogwash, and sits on even shakier factual ground. The only instance I have found which even touches on that issue involved a hospital which ended its church affiliation after the decision to perform an emergency abortion. The hospital administration felt their standards of care trumped the bishop’s rules, the bishop, of course thought not, and they parted ways. No government forcing anything whatsoever, and certainly no move toward forcing the provision of elective abortions.

    There are potential conflicts between state and religion in instances where Catholic hospitals have made themselves the only game in town. No reasonable person would argue that they have to open an abortion mill. On the other hand, their ability to enforce their doctrine in emergency situations arguably ends where it starts to jeopardize the life or dignity of the general public.

    As I say, all of these things are no doubt frustrating to conservative Catholics and other Christians, but as evidence for systemic governmental oppression, they are VERY thin gruel.

  • Mila

    Leaving aside the idea of persecution, which I see has been a sore point in this thread, why would anyone object to a Spiritual Communion? We’re no longer used to it because, come communion time, everyone gets up like programmed machines to go and receive. And lest anyone think I’m trying to appear judgmental, I will admit that I am one of those who gets up like a robot. And it scares me because I realize that most of the time I’m not really prepared to receive my Lord and God, and that my thanksgiving afterwards leaves a lot to be desired.

    If we truly believe our Lord is present in the Eucharist, then we should long for Him, desire Him. We should wish to unite ourselves with Him as often as possible. And that is what a Spiritual Communion does. It serves to remind us that Jesus is there in the tabernacle because He wants to be with us. Shouldn’t we at least wish the same?

    I had not heard of the Litany of Spiritual Communion that Stefanie mentions, but I think it’s a wonderful idea. Wish that we all would long for Jesus as her RCIA participants do.

  • Greta

    Kenneth, the founders were very worried about the state infringing on any religious belief because they knew without protection from the government, the states would never ratify the constututional document. They had to add the amendments and once again, before freedom of speech or freedom of the press was freedom of religion FROM government. Everything written about the country at the time of founding stated that the form of government being created depended on the strong religious beliefs of the people. The example of the state suddenly deciding that gravely disordered gay behavior is normal and protected shows the wisdom of their intent. According to the first amendment, the state should have no right to infringe on religious beliefs in any way. You say the right is not absolute, but I would challenge that based on the text of the amendment. The confession to a priest cannot be violated and has been protected even if the safety of society is involved. Most would argue that this would also protect Catholic adoption agencies from being forced by the state to provide kids to people that believe are living gravely disordered lives. Their religious background and long held and taught beliefs should be protection for them just as during war, conscientious objector exemptions are made to stay out of the military. You could not come up with some new supposed religious belief, but would have to show that you were a member of a religion that had a history of these beliefs. We benefit nothing in shutting down religious services and they should be given an exemption. The same is true of birth control and abortion in Catholic hospitals.

    Turning the first amendment upside down with the big “seapartion of Church and State lie is thus the beginning of an attempt by the left to force a state religion of atheism on the country. The use of the 13-14-15th amendments to solve the problems democrats were creating for blacks after the civil war as a basis for protection of gay behavior choices is just another example of the big lies of the left. This is easily proven by the fact that the courts ruled that women who tried to vote using the 14th amendment were denied as not applying to them, only the freed black slaves. They had to get their own amendment which took another 50 years for the right to vote. But now, judges find these new rights which they believe now apply to not only people, but to behaviors. However, the lie begins to fall apart when people do not include those who want the same rights as gays who are involved in incest or poligamy or taken to the extreme, beastiality. The gay supporters want to dismiss this argument, but legally, they know that once they have gay marriage based on this legal precident, that there is nothing to stop any form of behavior choice from equality. In a recent meeting, the liberals aimed at ending “minor-attracted individuals” (pedophiles) to try and make that somehow OK to have perverts going after kids. http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=1413686 So one might expect some government to be forcing Catholic adoption agencies from blocking handing over kids to pedophiles based on their legal rights found in the 14th amendment.

    And for those who say this will never happen, please pull your head out of its current location and look around at the changes of the last 40 years. The war of the left to end any form of religion or morality is being waged in every possible way and unless the relious of this country unite and end the liberal progessive onslaught against our country, we will end up the most depraved place on the earth. Anchoress saying we are facing persecution has to go no further than the big lie of separation.

  • kenneth

    So that’s what it boils down to: You see only two possibilities. One, an absolutist interpretation of freedom of religion, (but only for Christians), in which historical Catholic prerogatives are given a status above and beyond the rule of law itself OR…..an aggressively atheist regime run by and for zoophiles and pedophiles. No wonder you guys are feeling paranoid these days.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Kenneth, no one here was even talking about curtailing religious freedom for other religions—where do you get that?

    In fact, an aggressively atheist regime would probably be as intolerant of Jews (a favorite scapegoat throughout the ages), buddhists, Hindus and any other religious group. Because when the state becomes God, no other gods shall be allowed before it. Look at Soviet Russia.

    As for that “rule of law” thing—well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? The laws are being changed so that Christian institutions (such as the hospitals and adoption agencies the Anchoress talks about in her response to your earlier post) either have to close down, or jettison their religion and become another secular institution. If they resist, they’re breaking the law, and will be subject to its punishments. This isn’t persecution, oh, no indeedy! We’re just trying to make those bad Catholics/Christians/whoever obey the law! And be tolerant! And behave! And obey the state!

    We’re not backing you Catholics into some kind of corner, we’re just—backing you into a corner!

    (Okay, sarc.)

    If the 20th Century has taught us anything, it’s that an out of control big government can become very bad, very quickly. And Jews, Christians, artists and anyone else it sees as resisting will be treated very harshly by it.

    And as for being paranoid, you’re the one who chose to become offended over the Anchoress’ remark about Christian persecution, instead of focusing on all the other things she said about spiritual communion.

  • kenneth

    I’m curious to see where you think we’re going to get an “aggressively atheist regime.” There are exactly zero avowed atheists in the current Congress according to the latest survey there. One, if you count Pete Stark, who had claimed atheist beliefs (albeit as a Unitarian) some years ago. Protestants, Catholics and Jews make up well over 90% of the membership, with Mormons and a smattering of various minor Christian denominations filling in virtually all the rest.

    With non-believers making up 16% of the general public these days, atheists are in fact vastly under-represented in Congress. How a tiny and totally unrepresented minority is oppressing you as an “aggressive regime” is a very curious piece of mathematical estimation, to say the least. On the other hand, if you define anyone who doesn’t support virtual theocracy as an “atheist”, the paradigm works reasonably well.

    [It's a specious argument. One needn't be an "avowed atheist" in order to suppress the church. One need only to use the same dishonest corkscrew logic of Mario Cuomo and Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi, or even our commenter Cathy: "I am a believer, but I believe that faith is private; I cannot impose my views on others; praying should be kept to church and home..." -- all while imposing their political views everywhere they can. And it's a dishonest bit of tomfoolery, b/c these same folk -- were the issue slavery, rather than abortion -- would not be hesitating to (quite rightly) impose their views on others, and they'd be using scripture to do it, just as Nancy Pelosi went to Jesus and St. Joseph to impose Obamacare. Dissolution of churches, more often than not, begin from within, and are hastened by political expediency. -admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Kenneth, The Anchoress, in her #5 post, and Greta, in her #20 post, go over the reasons Christians—Catholics in particular, here—are nervous about current anti-Christian trends, and the threat of persecution; does it really all have to be rehashed, over and over again?

    And if such persecution does come about, it won’t matter how many, or how few, atheists there are in congress. The slippery slope is slippery indeed, and if something becomes the law of the land, I seriously doubt many in congress will stand up against it, whatever their religious affiliation. (And those who do will be denounced as “Fundamentalists.”)

    And if you, yourself, really believed it all to be nonsense, I think your reaction would be laughter, not rage. And as for too many people claiming the “victim” mantle—yes, that’s a sad aspect of our modern society, but I don’t think Christians are not the only, or the worst, offenders in this regard.

    As for spiritual communion, I think it is a wonderful thing. It’s too bad it’s fallen into disuse, currently—could that be because the Sacrament of Confession has been diminished in some churches? I’ve always believed Communion/confession are two sacraments that are closely linked. Whatever the reason, spiritual communion would be a wonderful practice to reinstate on a regular basis! I’m Orthodox myself, but I will attempt it.

    [Slight correction, I would not characterize myself as "nervous" about any of this, not the church becoming smaller via schism or the eventual oppression of -- specifically -- the church of Rome. I believe everything is happening as it should, all to God's purpose and to his eventual glory. And I know it makes people mad when I say that that, because they seem to infer that I am too detached or complacent. I'm neither. I just believe that sometimes things must happen, even if they are unjust, wrong and destructive, in order for other things to happen. It is a belief I have derived from scripture, and also -- more insistently -- from contemplating the crucifix, every day. The wiles of Heaven are so much more than anything we're perceiving here on earth. -admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Like the rosary, praying the hours, fasting adoration of the host, I think spiritual communion could be a very valuable spiritual tool.

    (Speaking of fasting, that would be another good thing to bring back too—I know the Anchoress has spoken of it, in the past.)