Holy Communion

O my soul, Do you know Who it is Who is coming to you today?

If your local grocery store were giving out $1,000 per day – would you make it a point to be there to receive it? Of course you would! Well, every day, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we have the opportunity to receive much more than $1,000. We can receive God Himself - THE greatest GIFT we could ever receive! ...and we – blessed as we are – can receive this gift every day of our lives– if we are properly disposed and if we choose to do so.

Holy Communion is the greatest union we can have with God here on earth. It is the moment when we receive Jesus – truly Present in the Holy Eucharist – into our very bodies.   It is the moment when two become one – the great consummation of each soul with the Soul of Christ, the Eternal Bridegroom. In that precious moment, we are more united to Him than sugar is when it is dissolved into a hot cup of coffee. This is the greatest moment of our day!

The Union between God and man
in Holy Communion
is the one thing that terrifies hell.

~ Pope Benedict XVI

So how can I make the most of each Holy Communion I receive?

There are 3 parts to consider:

1) Proper Preparation

2) The Moment of Reception

3) Time of Thanksgiving



Firstly, to receive Holy Communion worthily – one must be in the state of grace. Meaning, one must be free from mortal sin through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Church requires It’s members to use the Sacrament of Confession at least once per year. However, it is highly recommended to use this gift of cleansing ONCE per month. Can you imagine only taking a shower once per year? Your body would be filthy! Well similarly, the longer we wait to confess our sins the “filthier” our souls become. The more often we go to Confession, the more often we “shower” our souls. Washed in the Blood of Christ – we can approach the Sacred Banquet worthily.

Now, if you had a date with a very special someone – wouldn’t you find yourself thinking about it before it actually occurred? Perhaps you would plan what to wear and what things you would want to talk about. Mostly - your heart would begin to burn with desire for the meeting. You would await it with joyful expectation. So it is with Holy Communion.
You have a very special date with a VERY Special Person. Let this knowledge flood your heart as you prepare to go to Mass. Let your heart burn with desire to encounter Him - long for Him. This is a beautiful preparation for Holy Communion.

Get to Mass early! We all know that LIFE has endless distractions. We are surrounded by noise and it is difficult to quiet the mind for prayer. Arriving early for Mass allows us to better prepare our spirits, minds, bodies, and hearts for the coming of the King. If your obligations prevent you from arriving early – at least drive in silence. Silence is the language of God – and the more we enter into it the easier it is to hear His Voice and recognize His Presence when He comes.



A priest once told us that before each Mass he would remind himself, “celebrate this Mass as if it were the First Mass, the Only Mass, and the Last Mass of your life.”

Let us apply this principle even to the reception of Holy Communion. Receive Holy Communion as if it were the First Holy Communion, the Only Holy Communion, and the Last Holy Communion of your life. If it were the First, Only, and Last – how would I receive?

What is the best way to receive? The Universal Law of the Church (meaning the way the Church teaches is ‘best’ or preferred) is to receive Jesus on your tongue. There are many reasons for this.

Firstly, there is danger, when receiving Holy Communion in the hand, of dropping Sacred Particles (which stick to the hand) onto the ground. We believe in Faith – that the Sacred Host IS truly Jesus. Well, we also believe that EVERY Particle of the Sacred Host is also truly Jesus. So, when a Sacred Particle is dropped to the ground – Jesus is dropped to the ground.

(Experiment done with host NOT consecrated).

Secondly, our actions affect our beliefs and also proclaim our beliefs. What kinds of foods do we ordinarily receive in our hands? Unimportant foods – right? like popcorn, potato chips, snacks etc. So, when we receive this EXTRAORDINARY Food in our hands – our body is saying, “this too is ‘unimportant.’” And this action can subconsciously affect our belief in the True Presence. Let's proclaim with our bodies that this Food is different.. is Sacred and allow ourselves to be fed, as little children ("unless you become like little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of God") allowing the Priest (who is In Persona Christi) to place Jesus on our tongues. 

There are many other reasons to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. To read more about them – Rethinking Communion in the Hand.

How else can I show with my body the amazing reality of what is taking place?

“The greatness and nobility of man,
as well as the highest expression of his love for his Creator,
consists in kneeling before God. Let us come as children before God and
receive Holy Communion on our knees and on our tongue.”
~ Cardinal Sarah – Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship


It is the 'norm' of the Universal Church to receive Holy Communion while kneeling. In the United States, the Bishops requested the 'norm' that the Faithful stand when receiving Holy Communion. The Church approved this request with the following directive:

Congregatio de Culto Divino et Discipline Sacramentorum
Rome,  February, 2003

"... while this Congregation gave the recognitio to the norm desired by the Bishops' Conference of your country that people stand for Holy Communion, this was done on the condition that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds. Indeed, the faithful should not be imposed upon nor accused of disobedience and of acting illicitly when they kneel to receive Holy Communion."



As soon as you have received Holy Communion - rejoice! Jesus Christ is truly, really, substantially, physically present within you. His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity are ONE with yours... You are a living Tabernacle and the angels surround you in adoration of God and admiration of YOU. Not even the angels get this great privilege of Holy Communion.

Jesus told St. Faustina:

"When I come to a human heart in Holy Communion,
My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul.
But souls do not even pay attention to Me;
they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things.
Oh, how sad I am that souls do not recognize Love!
They treat Me as a dead object" 

Jesus remains within us after Holy Communion only as long as the accidents remain - i.e. until our bodies breakdown the accidents of the Host - which is usually only about 10-15 minutes. If you only had 10-15 minutes to speak with your best friend each day - would you use it "thinking of others things?" And yet, so often, this is what we do after Holy Communion!

Jesus is waiting... He is waiting for our love.. He is thirsting for our love... He is aching to give us all the graces we need.. all we have to do is pay attention to Him.. for those 10-15 precious moments.

And if we desire it.. He will stay for even longer! He told Blessed Dina Belanger that He would remain as long as she continued to think of Him. Imagine that!

If you can - stay when Mass is over.. stay as long as you can and speak to Him, dwelling physically within. Tell Him everything!  Most importantly, tell Him that you love Him. He knows it all already - but He greatly desires to hear it from you.

Then take the time to listen. He will speak to your heart.. He will tell you of His Love.  He just wants to BE with you... so, take the time to BE with Him...

"When you have received Him, stir up your heart to do Him homage; speak to Him about your spiritual life, gazing upon Him in your soul where He is present for your happiness; welcome Him as warmly as possible, and behave outwardly in such a way that your actions may give proof to all of His Presence."
--St. Francis de Sales

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St. Peter Julian Eymard

Live on the divine Eucharist, like the Hebrews did on the Manna. Your soul can be entirely dedicated to the divine Eucharist and very holy in the midst of your work and contacts with the world.

St. Therese

Our Lord does not come down from heaven every day to lie in a golden ciborium. He comes to find another heaven which is infinitely dearer to him – the heaven of our souls, created in his image, the living temples of the adorable Trinity.

St. Maximilian Kolbe

You come to me and unite Yourself intimately to me under the form of nourishment. Your Blood now runs in mine, Your Soul, Incarnate God, compenetrates mine, giving courage and support. What miracles! Who would have ever imagined such!

St. John Vianney

There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.

St. Josemaria Escriva

When you approach the tabernacle remember that he has been waiting for you for twenty centuries.

St. Faustina

All the good that is in me is due to Holy Communion.  I owe everything to it.  I feel this holy fire has transformed me completely.