Dear People of St. Blase, All Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus,
For the Third and Fourth Sundays of Lent, we provided a prayer service via social media. Adhering to the stay-at-home order means being unable to do the same for the Fifth Sunday of Lent. It is imperative, for everyone’s health and safety, that we comply with that order. So, we will be attempting something a little different. We are preparing a “Facebook live” prayer on Sunday morning at 11:00. (So watch our Facebook page!) From three different locations we will bring together a prayerful reflection for this coming Sunday. This allows everyone to remain safely in their homes, while providing us with an opportunity to pray together in spirit as a community. Hopefully, technology will cooperate. I encourage to join us in song, prayer and reflection and invite others to do the same.
We are all, by no choice of our own, fasting from the Eucharist at this time. I join you in the heartfelt and disturbing absence of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. Archbishop Vigneron has reminded us of our Catholic practice of making a “spiritual reception” of Holy Communion. In his own words, “It has long been a Catholic understanding that when circumstances prevent one from receiving Holy Communion, it is possible to make an Act of Spiritual Communion which is a source of grace. Spiritual Communion means uniting one’s self in prayer with Christ’s sacrifice and worshipping him in his Body and Blood. The most common reason for making an Act of Spiritual Communion is when a person cannot attend Mass. Acts of Spiritual Communion increase our desire to receive sacramental Communion and help us avoid the sins that would make us unable to receive Holy Communion worthily.” So, to make a spiritual communion we enter into prayer mindful of meal, memorial and sacrifice of the mass, and open ourselves to receiving Christ in spirit.
A prayer for Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, Come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
In addition, I encourage you to embrace the presence of Christ who comes to us in the Sacred Scriptures, the Word of God. The same Holy Spirit, who transforms bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, also transforms us so that, as we pray and ponder the Word of God we encounter the risen Lord who is present to us. We ourselves are the Body of Christ. I urge you to continue being that body through reaching out to one another, by remembering the sick, first responders and those who are facing this pandemic with far less resources and far more vulnerabilities than are we. Lastly, as signs of spring are emerging, welcome the Lord of creation whose temple is the earth itself. In the midst of uncertainty and fear, observe and honor the presence of holiness which envelopes us and upholds us. Ours is truly a world of grace.
Fr. Randy Phillips