This is great advice!
On this week’s episode of The Catholic Talk Show Ryan Scheel, Fr. Rich Pagano, and Ryan DellaCross discuss “Managing Faith And Fear During The Coronavirus Quarantine” with Fr. Michael Nix of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee.
In this episode, the guys discuss how Catholics can get the most out of their online-Mass experience. Many churches are closed due to COVID-19, so most cannot physically attend Mass or receive the sacraments.
Listen to the segment below:
1) Set all distractions aside
Turn everything off and participate in the Mass. Sit, stand, and kneel along as normal. “Our mind and heart follow where our body leads,” Fr. Nixon explained. “If my whole body prays as it does at every Mass, then it will be more efficacious for us as we enter in and make that spiritual communion.”
2) Set up a sacred space
Light candles, set up a crucifix, display statues or images of the saints and Our Lady, and dress up as if you would for Sunday Mass. These practices can help “draw you into the sacrifice of the Mass,” Scheel adds.
3) Make a Spiritual Communion
“This should be a more common practice for those who are unable to receive communion,” Fr. Nixon advised.
“It invites Jesus to be the center of your life. In the Eucharist, Jesus becomes the literal center of your whole person–you receive Jesus Christ–body, blood, soul, and divinity into your very body.
“In a spiritual communion you receive Him, in a sense, and more so, he receives you…It’s bringing your own will, mind, heart, and desire, and opening yourself up to receive that full outpouring of everything that flows from the Heart of Jesus.”
Fr. Pagano then adds the spiritual communion prayer:
“‘My God, my Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to possess you within my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you are already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you.'”
“Right now, this does not mean that we cannot grow in holiness,” he said. “In all reality, we can probably grow even more, hungering for the Eucharist and anticipating that wonderful reception when it comes.
“Fr. Michael [Nixon] made a really powerful point…I take things for granted as a priest when I celebrate Mass,” Fr. Pagano adds with tears welling up in his eyes. “Now, when I’m receiving the Eucharist and I can’t administer that to my faithful and to the people I love, as a priest, that is super hard.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori)
“It really speaks to me. This is the most important thing that we do as Catholics.”
4) Call on St. Clare of Assisi
“St. Pius XII identified St. Clare of Assisi as the patron saint of technological developments in communications. She had a profound experience leading up to her death when she was sick and impoverished in the flesh.
“She was alone in her cell aching inside because she was separated from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. She cried out to God and the spirit of Jesus Christ came upon her in mercy.
“That mercy of God consumed her and gave her a mystical vision of the Holy Mass projected on the wall of her cell. She was then able to listen to the hymns and be present in the sacrifice of the Mass. That filled her with so much grace and consolation. It’s really important to call on St. Clare’s intercession right now.”
St. Clare of Assisi, please pray for us!
[See also: Have You Heard of St. Corona? Here’s Her Story]