Eucharist question

Maybe this should be in apologetics, if so hopefully some Mod might see their way to moving it. Otherwise… My question is this. What is the difference between the actual Blessed Sacrament and Spiritual Communion? As I understand it, one would take Spiritual Communion when they’re unable to actually take the Eucharist for whatever reason, most likely due to not having gone to confession before hand.

Why is it okay for a person to ask Jesus to come to them in their heart if they have sins on their conscience, but not to take the sacrament? Doesn’t Jesus come to you spiritually in the sacrament as well? I mean, you don’t recieve bread into your soul, do you? Accidents aside, despite where Jesus goes, the host goes into your stomache and eventually out. I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but in anticipation of my first communion in a few months, I want to make sure that I’m not taking the Lord sacrilegiously. And advice or answers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :slight_smile:

Spiritual Communion doesn’t carry the same graces as the Blessed Sacraments. Sacraments are outward (physical) signs of inward grace. If you do not receive the outward sign, you don’t get the inward grace. Spiritual Communion is just your spirit communing with Christ, desiring to become one with Him. It may have some of the effects of actual Communion, but never all of it.

Wishing to be with the Lord is a good thing, regardless of your spiritual state. Spiritual communion is just that - desiring to be close to Him.

Congratulations on your upcoming first confession and first communion. Welcome to the Church!


An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all
things and I desire Thee in my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. As though thou wert already there, I embrace
Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee; permit not that I should ever be separated from
Thee (St. Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori).

never permit me to offend thee again. grant that i may love thee always, and then do with me what thou will.


Once reason is that the Eucharist is literally, physically Christ. When we pray for spiritual communion, we are praying for something on a different level than that of the Eucharist. Recieving Christ physically in a state of mortal sin is different than seeking spiritual communion with Christ while in a state of mortal sin.

No, not ‘physically’.

‘Really’ - yes. ‘Sacramentally’ - yes. ‘Physically’ - no.

"Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinty! " Physically YES

Physically yes! Just because the bread looks, feels, and tastes like bread does not mean that it is not physically Christ.

Depends on how you define the world “physical”. If it means of and relating to the makeup and interactions of the natural world, then not physically. Metaphysically, yes, but the host retains the same physical and chemical properties of the bread.

Could you give the relevant quote from the Catechism, please?

I don’t mean a teaching that says it is the Body and Blood, but a citation that says it is physically so, as opposed to real or sacramental.

Could it be said then that Spiritual Communion is akin to prayer in the way that we interact with the Lord?

Any success finding that quotation in the Catechism?

If my understanding of transsubstantiation is correct, the bread and wine actually becomes the body and blood of Christ. That would make it ‘physically’ yes, wouldn’t it?

No, because the ‘accidents’ of the bread and wine, those things that make it physically present, - the weight, the smell, the taste, the appearance, the space it takes up - aren’t changed by consecration. Only the ‘substance’ is - hence the term transubstantiation.

If the bread and wine became physically the Body and Blood, we would taste and smell them as physical flesh and blood. In other words, we would be chewing on bones, muscles and so on, which we plainly aren’t.

Search for Real Presence in the Catechism or any Encyclical - you will find that the authors never use the term ‘physical’ to describe the Real Presence, always sacramental or mysterious or similar.

If the Presence were physical, for one thing, the Apostles would not have been able to receive Jesus at the Last Supper when He was physically sitting at the end of the table. And each reception of Him would mean there was less of Him - clearly unthinkable.

Here’s a thing to ponder about the body and blood of Christ.

After the resurrection and Chirst is in His Glorified Body, He was able to pass through walls and enter the locked room of the Apostles. He also disappeared into thin air to the disciples at the Road to Emmaus. And yet Thomas was able to hold Him and actually touch Him. He asked for something to eat with the Apostles and He ate with them. The Glorified Body is amazing that its not held to the physical laws of our world. So why is Christ’s actual flesh and blood cannot come appearing as bread and wine? He made it so that we will not revile in it, and at the same time we may think of it as something else other than cannibalism.

Found in the CCC
"1374 The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend."201 In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."202 “This presence is called ‘real’ - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.”

1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:

It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.
And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:

Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed. . . . Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature."

I have been a Catholic since I was a child but with this and other things i have been reading and hearing i am saddened to know i was missing something so great for so long and that there are still people who still go to Mass and still don’t see Christ at the altar and in Communion.

Glory to God in the HIghest


Jesus said " It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing" John 7:63

Our 5 senses are weak and cannot sense the presence of Jesus in Communion… hence our flesh profits nothing.

You are not being disrespectful. When you consume the sacrament of the Lord’s body and blood it does not eventually go out. The matter is dissolved in your digestive tract and absorbed into your blood. You are what you eat. We receive the entire Jesus, body, blood soul and divinity.

Peter forbade the eating or drinking of the blood of animals. The Jews were also forbidden to consume this, because the “life is in the blood”. Jesus said unless you eat my body and drink my blood you have no life in you. Is life physical? Whose life then is in you if you drink His blood?

All people are sinful. You can ask Him to come into your heart as a sinner. That is like crying out to be saved. We recognize our neediness. Peter initially fell down and told Jesus to depart from him, because He was a sinful man. We recognize we are not worthy of God. Peter later betrayed Jesus. Later yet, Peter gave up his life for Jesus.

The business of making an act of spiritual communion is probably a modern invention. It is similarly motivated as the practice of people who can not receive coming up to receive a “special blessing” from the priest or lay person giving out communion, which is forbidden. You don’t need a “special blessing” from a priest or a lay person when you are in the presence of Christ who is blessing you. The motive is to try to not have people feel left out, a kind thing to do, but confusing.

The Church teaches that receiving Communion forgives sins, venial sins. Mortal or deadly sins are forgiven when we are contrite, but the Church asks people to confess these. We know when we are in serious sin and need help with the struggle. We need to get certain things off our consciences. Sometimes if I have a bad cold I might go to the doctor. Or, I might first try to get some over the counter cold remedy hoping the cold does not turn to pneumonia. If I have a heart attack I call the ambulance immediately. We can get over some spiritual ills on our own and others we need the help of the Church, our fellow Christians. We can’t get this help unless they know we have a problem. If we hide the problem we can’t get the help.

You may find the book or the audio about The Eucharist, (including spiritual communion) to be very useful, and will deeply enrich your reception of your First Holy Communion, (and every one after that too!) It’s called: Seven Secrets of the Eucharist, by Vinny Flynn.
It’s great!
God Bless.

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