To prepare better for Holy Communion, a soul should be disposed on two main points: it should be detached from creatures, and it should have a great desire to advance in divine love.
1. First, a soul should detach itself from all things and drive everything from its heart which is not God. “Whoever has bathed,” says the Lord, “has no need except to have his feet washed” (John 13:10). This signifies, as St Bernard explains, that in order to receive this sacrament with great fruit we should not only be cleansed from mortal sins, but our feet should also be washed, that is freed from earthly affections.
St Gertrude asked our Lord what preparation he required of her for Holy Communion and he replied, “I only ask that you come to me empty of yourself to receive me.”
2. It is most meritorious in Holy Communion to have a great desire to receive Jesus Christ and his holy love. In this sacred banquet only those who are famishing receive their fill. The blessed Virgin Mary had already said this: “He has filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 1:53).
–St Alphonsus Liguori ‘The Holy Eucharist’
Mass downtown at the Cathedral today provided a blessing regarding communion. Two young girls received their first communion together. I found it moving to notice that the extensive families supporting and celebrating with the girls seemed unfamiliar with each other, yet the two girls possessed a special bond. I felt they practiced together. Called to stand aside the priest as he prepared to serve the congregation, prepared to be the first to receive, one girl called out to the other before advancing upon the sanctuary. The two joined hands smiling with delight before ascending steps. The priest spoke in his homily about the sanctity of receiving the body of Christ for the first time, the significance of advancement for a child within the Catholic Church. What a pleasure to witness two beautiful girls so excited to receive their first communion. A true wonder for the entire familes gathered to witness two loved young ones advancing with, through, and in Christ.
I thank You, Jesus, my Divine Redeemer, for coming upon the earth for our sake, and for instituting the adorable Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in order to remain with us until the end of the world.
I thank You for hiding beneath the Eucharistic species Your infinite majesty and beauty, which Your Angels delight to behold, so that I might have courage to approach the throne of Your Mercy.
I thank You, most loving Jesus, for having made Your- self my food, and for uniting me to Yourself with so much love in this wonderful Sacrament that I may live in You.