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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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COMMUNION, SPIRITUAL

The conscious desire to receive Holy Communion, which should precede the actual reception of the sacrament. Spiritual Communion, made in acts of faith and love during the day, is highly recommended by the Church. According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the faithful who "receive the Eucharist in spirit" are "those who, inflamed with a lively faith that works in charity, partake in wish and desire of the celestial Bread offered to them, receive from it, if not the entire, at least very great benefits" (On the Eucharist).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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