As many of us are confined to our homes with the recent coronavirus pandemic, the question of how to stay connected to faith has emerged. One way to continue our faith practice is through a Holy Hour/adoration at home. Now a Holy Hour without the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is admittedly strange. However, it does not mean that prayer, faith and adoration is not possible.
A spiritual communion with Jesus is a viable option as it involves the desire to receive Our Lord when we are not physically able to receive him. How does a spiritual communion work? It begins with a prayer that demonstrates the desire to receive Jesus. One traditional prayer is as follows:
I believe that you
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things,
and I desire to receive you into 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.
What else can be done while at home? It is important to keep Scripture as a part of our prayer lives. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website (www.USCCB.org) posts the daily readings for Mass. These readings can be used for personal prayer, reflection and lectio divina. These readings also help keep us connected to the universal Church and the celebrations of Lent and saints’ feast days. Families can read these selections from Scripture out loud and discuss what inspires and speaks to them.
There are also many apps available (Laudate, Divine Office, IBreviary) that offer reflections on Scripture and offer guides for prayer, reflection and devotional prayers. Speaking of devotional prayers, there are a number of prayers that can bind a family together. The Rosary is an excellent prayer that be shared among family members with different people taking turns. The mysteries of the Rosary offer us a way to unite our sufferings and daily activities with the life of Our Lord. Families can also make the Stations of the Cross a part of their Lenten practice and allow the mysteries of the Lord to be a guide for reflection.
Finally, families can make intercession and intercessory prayer a part of their devotions. Intercessory prayer allows us to remember our loved ones and those who are most in need of prayer and intercession. We can pray by name for people or use more general prayers to guide us. It is incredibly important, in these days in which we are separated from so many people, to remember those in need before Our Lord.
May God continue to bless and guide us in these most difficult days, and may our absence from the sacraments fuel our desire for deeper communion with Jesus Christ our Lord.