[quote="Angelsflight, post:5, topic:293317"]
What is spiritual communion? Pardon me for what may be a silly question, but I have been away from the church for a very long time, and i never heard of that...
It's not a silly question at all, I had no knowledge of it until not too long ago.
Spiritual Communion is when you desire to receive the Lord but you cannot - whatever the reason may be. You may not be able to attend Mass, or you may be in Mass but not have the proper disposition for partaking in the Communion - ex. knowledge of mortal sins not yet confessed.
St. Thomas Aquinas defines it in a wonderfully short yet effective statement:
(Spiritual Communion is) an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.
The blessed Pope John Paul II wrote about it in the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia (a wonderful and very instructive document, by the way):
Precisely for this reason it is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was the origin of the practice of "spiritual communion," which has happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life. St. Teresa of Jesus wrote: "When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you" [The Way of Perfection, Ch. 35.]
This is the prayer by St. Alphonsus Liguori:
My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
Here we pause and we rest in the Lord's presence, just as if we had received Him in Holy Mass.
As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you.
I hope you enjoy this prayer!