Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How To Receive Jesus In Holy Communion

Do our minds ever wander when we line up for Communion? Mine does. Well then, being that it is the Year of the Eucharist, ought I not to put all my energies into meditating on my betrothal to the Lord? Instead of wondering what I need to get from the grocery or whether I should clean out the refrigerator, I must direct my thoughts and my whole being to the entire Eucharistic celebration.

Here are ways that we can enter into Communion with the Lord and receive Him wholeheartedly.

First, we must be in a state of grace in order to receive Communion fruitfully. Frequent Confession is a neccesity to attain this state.

Seond, we must follow the rule of fasting one hour before Communion.

Third, if possible we should strive to be in Church a few minutes before the Mass, in order that we may make a short meditation and prepare our souls for Holy Mass. The following prayer before Communion may be said only before Mass:

You desire, Lover of my soul, to come to me. Your delights are to be with me, cold, inhospitable , as I am. Come then; Lord Jesus, and in satisfying Your own desire, enkindle mine. (Catholic Prayer Book)
Fourth, we should actively participate in each part of the liturgy, joining in the prayer responses and singing of hymns and following proper posture during Mass. The use of the missal will help us to be more attentive to the Readings and to better understand the priest's homily. Naturally at times, when the homily may be unattractive to our ears, let us ask Our Lady for help so as not to allow our minds to drift away.

Fifth, we should be appropriately disposed in manner and attire. Our gestures and clothing say a lot about how we enter into Communion with Jesus. If we are to be living witnesses of our faith, approriate Sunday dress is to be expected. In this age, the latest fashion almost forces people especially the youth to come immodestly dressed but this should not be an excuse. Modesty in dress is a must! (check out Modesty By Design)

Sixth, when we prepare to meet Jesus at the altar, our disposition must be that of a bride marching down the aisle to meet our beloved bridegroom. With hands clasped together, head slightly bowed in veiled humility, let us whisper to Jesus how unworthy we are to receive Him and tell Him how much we love Him. The following prayers may be said:

Lord, I believe that I will receive Your Body and Blood because You have said it and Your Word is True. I am not worthy to receive You under my roof but only say the Word and I shall be healed. Jesus I love You with all my heart, all my mind and all my strength. Never let me be parted from Thee. Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner.

Seventh, when we return to our place, let us immediately enter into sacred silence and consecrate ourselves to Jesus saying the following prayer:

Lord Jesus, You gave yourself to me in Holy Communion. And now I give myself to You. I give You my body so it may be pure and chaste. I give You my soul so it may be free from sin. I give You my heart so it may love You always. I give You every breath that I shall breath especially my last. I give You myself in life and in death. Amen.

Eighth, let us offer a prayer of thanksgiving and offer our Communion for the Pope's intentions, for our loved ones both living and deceased and for those who need our prayers. The following prayers may be said after Communion:

I give You thanks, holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, that You have vouchsafed to feed me, a sinner, Your unworthy servant, for no merits of my own but only through the goodness of Your great mercy, with the precious body and blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I ask that this Holy Communion may not add to my guilt for punishment but become a saving intercession for pardon. May it serve as an armor of faith and a shield of good will. May it drive out my evil inclinatins; dispel all wicked desires and fleshly temptations; increase my charity, patience, humility, obedience and all my virtues. May it be a firm defense against the plots of all my enemies both seen and unseen; a perfect quieting of all movements to sin, both in my flesh and spirit; a strong attachment to You, the only and true God, and a happy ending of my life. I beg of You to deign to bring me, a sinner, to that ineffable feast where You, with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, are to Your holy ones true light, full satisfaction, everlasting joy, consummate pleasure, and perfect happiness. Amen. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Last but not least, if possible, continue a silent meditation for fifteen minutes after Mass so as to listen to the Lord speak to us in our hearts.

The Holy Father stresses the necessity of Communion to survive our journey of faith. It is as vital as the air we breath. Let us ask Mary, Mother of the Eucharist to teach us to love the Eucharist more and more and help us, that we may be made worthy to receive her Son in Holy Communion.


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