The Catholic Church distinguishes two ways in which the Body of Christ is received by the faithful. Saint Thomas Aquinas dedicated an article to this topic (Summa theologiae III, q. 80, a. 1). Moreover, the Council of Trent also treated this subject (Session 13, Chapter 8).
Thomas Aquinas taught that there are two way to receive the Eucharist: spiritually and sacramentally. However, the Council Fathers of Trent teach three ways: spiritually alone, sacramentally alone, or spiritually and sacramentally. As you can see, there is no difference here between Saint Thomas and the Council, but only a further distinction. Here are the words of the Council of Trent:
Now as to the use of this holy sacrament, our Fathers have rightly and wisely distinguished three ways of receiving it. For they have taught that some receive it 1) sacramentally only, to wit sinners: 2) others spiritually only, those to wit who eating in desire that heavenly bread which is set before them, are, by a lively faith which worketh by charity, made sensible of the fruit and usefulness thereof: whereas 3) the third (class) receive it both sacramentally and spiritually, and these are they who so prove and prepare themselves beforehand, as to approach to this divine table clothed with the wedding garment.
So then, if a person is in mortal sin and receives the Eucharist, he receives it only sacramentally but receives no grace, but rather condemnation. Now a person in a state of grace who eagerly seeks union with Christ and makes an act of the will (i.e. an Act of Spiritual Communion), this person does receive the grace and presence of Christ. No then, the best way is to combine both the sacramental reception with the earnest desire of a spiritual communion. This is what spiritual authors call "making a good communion," which requires preparation (sacramental confession or at least an act of contrition) and an openness to receiving the Divine Savior into a the palace of one's heart.
The Council of Trent also gives further advice on how we ought to receive this holy mystery:
Now as to the reception of the sacrament, it was always the custom in the Church of God, that laymen should receive the communion from priests; but that priests when celebrating should communicate themselves; which custom, as coming down from an apostolical tradition, ought with justice and reason to be retained. And finally this holy Synod with true fatherly affection admonishes, exhorts, begs, and beseeches, through the bowels of the mercy of our God, that all and each of those who bear the Christian name would now at length agree and be of one mind in this sign of unity, in this bond of charity, in this symbol of concord; and that mindful of the so great majesty, and the so exceeding love of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His own beloved soul as the price of our salvation, and gave us His own flesh to eat, they would believe and venerate these sacred mysteries of His body and blood with such constancy and firmness of faith, with such devotion of soul, with such piety and worship as to be able frequently to receive that supersubstantial bread, and that it may be to them truly the life of the soul, and the perpetual health of their mind; that being invigorated by the strength thereof, they may, after the journeying of this miserable pilgrimage, be able to arrive at their heavenly country, there to eat, without any veil, that same bread of angels which they now eat under the sacred veils.
Truly beautiful. When I read such things, I realize how truly unworthy I am to be made a partaker of this great mystery. If the world only knew that God who is Love is present on our altars, would not every last person prepare himself and come kneeling before the throne of grace?
Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded by our sins, have mercy on us.
Father Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican writes:
One day a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism, "Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end."
The secret that makes this prayer so effective is that the Rosary is both prayer and meditation. It is addressed to the Father, to the Blessed Virgin, and to the Holy Trinity, and is a meditation centered on Christ.
In addition to the above:
Please enunciate each word of the Rosary clearly and distinctly. Do not trample on the heels of the words of anyone with your words. Do not speak over the leader if you are following or the respondent if you are leading the Rosary. Remember that they also are having a conversation with Mary Our Mother and it is not polite to speak when someone else is speaking.
In the case of the public Rosary there are only two people speaking: the
Leader and the respondents. Each is speaking to the Blessed Mother and
listening carefully to her response within their hearts as they meditate on
the scene before them in their consideration of the mystery being spoken of and interpreted and translated into their lives.
Spread this powerful prayer of exorcism, the Rosary, which contains the Our Father, the Perfect Prayer, prayed five times in the recitation of each set of the Rosary's Mysteries, backed up by the powerful prayers of Our Mother who prays with us as we pray 53 Hail Mary's.
The Eternal Father described to a group of us, through a Visionary Friend of mine, what happens when we pray the Rosary, saying, "When you pray Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now....., the Blessed Mother comes instantly to your side to pray with you. And she does not come alone. She brings angels with her. And not just one or two for she is the Queen of Angels, so choirs of angels come with her. And she and Jesus are joined at the heart and cannot be separated so she brings Jesus with her. And Jesus cannot be separated from the Trinity so He brings the Father and the Holy Spirit with Him. And where the Holy Trinity is, all of creation is, and you are surrounded by such beauty and light as you cannot imagine in this life.
Your Mother comes as Our Lady of Grace with her hands outstretched. Rays of light emit from her hands piercing your body, healing you and filling you with graces. This is your inheritance which was poured out from the heart of Jesus on the Cross, when the centurion pierced His Heart with the spear, into the only pure vessel ready to receive such graces at that time, Your Mother.
Now as you pray the Rosary, or even just recite one Hail Mary, you
receive your portion of these graces.
He also said at this time, "Anyone who goes to Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan." Is it any wonder that anyone who prays the Rosary from the heart is so blessed and protected and powerful in their prayers for others?
Wichita's historic St. Anthony Catholic Church, 2nd and Ohio streets (two blocks east of Old town) will host it's 2nd annual open house on Sunday November 20th from 1 to 5 p.m. Invocation will be at 1:05 p.m. in the St. Clare Sunshine Room under the church south side.
An afternoon of music is provided by Trevor Stewart, Chapman Stick virtuoso. Refreshments will be served. The event is fee and open to the public and a tour of the restored 1905 Church Interior will be at 3 p.m.
Artists include: Lynda Beck, Diane Thomas Lincoln, Michael Pointer, Jennifer Walterscheid, Susan deWit and Raphael Robles.