Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Prayer After Receiving Holy Communion

Strengthen , O Lord, the hands which have been stretched out to receive your holy things, that they may daily bring forth fruit to your glory.
Grant that the ears which have heard your songs may be closed to the voices of clamor and dispute;
That the eyes which have seen your bright love may also behold your blessed hope;
That the tongues which have uttered your praise may speak the truth;
That the feet which have trodden your courts may walk in the regions of light;
That the souls and bodies which have fed upon your living Body and Blood may be restored to newness of life. Amen
And some thoughts:

This prayer comes either from the ecumenical community at Taize, France or an Anglican source. It clearly reveals that there are communities who believe in the presence of the Risen Christ in the Eucharist who have their own fervent insights to share. 

The hands which have been stretched out. There are some people still frenzied that Holy Communion may be received in the hand. The world is on the brink; we must get past this. The second piece of that first line is what matters, and I'd suggest we might consider this to be the most important bit: that our hands would daily bring forth fruit to God's glory. I mean, what's it all about if we're taking Holy Communion (however we receive it) and we're not bringing about "fruit to God's glory." The world awaits! And what's God's glory? Saint Augustine says it's a human being fully alive!

That our ears would be closed to the voices of clamor and dispute. What contentious times we're living in: vulgar, mean-spirited, looking for a fight, raging, argumentative, threatening. 

That our feet would walk in regions of light. What's that? That we'd walk in an awareness of God's up close and personal presence. When we forget this, we leave ourselves vulnerable to every kind of human foolishness and error - especially the error of resentment, life-draining anxieties and even hate. 

And that having received the living Body and Blood of Christ we'd be restored to newness of life. A living Christ brings us to life. We don't receive the Eucharist to make us feel good - we receive the Eucharist to make us alive: in mercy-kindness, justice, awareness, self-knowledge, compassion, understanding and love. 


  1. I pray for the hands that bless the hosts and wine and turn then into the Body and Blood of Christ. That these men will be good shepherds and help us to feel more alive in our faith. Pray for awakened hearts and minds in them that they may stir our passion and lead our inner selves closer to God.

  2. O this is a good prayer you've offered here: "feel more alive in our faith," "awakened hearts and minds," "stir our passions," "Lead our inner selves". I'm afraid we're just skimming the surface, maintaining externals, mandating one-minded morality and not supporting our deepest inner lives (our unconscious lives). And this support for the unconscious life is an imperative in a Western culture that is exhausted and faded.

  3. I remember that you led us in prayer after receiving Communion. But this is not the prayer you used. It was a nice way to pray after receiving the Body of Christ and kept our minds from wandering too far from the importance of the moment. It used to hold me captive just a bit longer before we left Mass and went on with our day.

  4. Yes, that prayer is the Anima Christi: Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me.... I think "hold me captive" is a good way to express the prayer's allure.

  5. It's all we can ask for, to feel the newness of life every time we receive the Eucharist. To experience life to the fullest.

  6. Pope Francis says; "The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak." Wonderful! Thank you for this post.

  7. We must allow ourselves to be open to God's illuminated path. I find it hard to keep my feet in the light sometimes, but with the right guidance and direction, I can follow with steadier steps. You point us towards Jesus Father Stephen. For this I am grateful. God must be pleased.

  8. "Do everything you can to get Christ into your life, there is everything to take him away." And to do that with a light and happy heart.

  9. There is always a reason to rejoice… not so much because of how your circumstances are going, but because of what God is doing. Rejoicing is the result of being in God’s presence, no matter what the circumstances are.For a minute forget what the economists or politicians are doing. Forget what the devil or celebrities are doing. What is God doing right now, and how can you rejoice in it? These thoughts will help you to feel alive in Christ.