The Spiritual Combat

Chapter 56:

Spiritual Communion

Although you cannot receive the Lord sacramentally more than once a day, all the same you can receive him spiritually, as I said earlier, every hour and every moment. No creature can impede this outside of our own negligence, or some other fault. At times, this communion can be more fruitful and dear to God than many other sacramental communions, on account of the defects of those who receive.

Therefore, however many times you dispose and prepare yourself for spiritual communion, you will find the beloved Son of God ready, who with his own hands feeds you spiritually with himself. To prepare yourself for this, turn your mind to him with this aim, and with a brief glance at your sorrowful failings, take sorrow in having offended him, and with all humility and faith ask him to deign to come into your poor soul with new grace, to heal and strengthen it against enemies.

Or, when you are about to do violence to yourself, and to mortify yourself in whatever appetite, or when you are about to perform some act of virtue, do everything with the aim of preparing your heart for the Lord who asks constantly for it. Turning yourself to him, call on him with the desire that he come with his grace to heal you and free you from your enemies, so that he alone might possess your heart. Or, remembering your previous sacramental communion, say with a burning heart, “When, O my Lord, will I receive you again? When, when?” If you wish to prepare yourself and to receive spiritually in the most convenient way, start from the evening before to direct all your mortifications, your virtuous acts, and every other good work to the goal of receiving your Lord spiritually.

Consider from early morning what goods and what happiness the soul feels when it receives worthily the most holy sacrament of the altar. (After all, in this sacrament are lost virtues reacquired, the soul returns to its original beauty, and all the fruits and merits of the same beloved Son of God are communicated to it.) Consider also how pleasing it is to God that we receive it and that we have the aforementioned goods. Focus on kindling within your heart a great desire to receive him in order to please him.

Having kindled this desire within yourself, turn to him saying, “Lord, on this day it is not granted to me to receive you spiritually. But, O uncreated goodness and power, after you have forgiven me every error and after you have healed me, grant that I might receive you spiritually in a worthy manner now, at each hour, and every day, by giving me new grace and strength against all my enemies, and especially against this foe, against whom I make war in order to please you.”
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