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Behavior after Receiving Holy Communion
After receiving communion we should make our thanksgiving, and proffer our petitions to almighty God, praying for the Pope, for the authorities, secular and ecclesiastical, for our relatives, friends, and benefactors, and for the holy souls in purgatory.
Our thanksgiving ought to last at least a quarter of an hour. Priests recite the Benedicite after Mass. To leave the church after communion without thanksgiving would be a very rude act; how ill-mannered would he be thought who, when invited to the table of one far above him in rank, did not so much as thank his host! To do so is to be like Judas who, after receiving communion, immediately went out. St. Philip Neri once sent two acolytes with burning tapers to accompany a person whom he observed thus hurrying from the church. We ought also to present our petitions to God after communion. Queen Esther pleaded with King Assuerus on behalf of the Jewish people after the banquet, for she knew this was the most favorable moment to make her request, and it was granted her (Esther vii.). There is no better time for us to hold converse with God than when He is present with us as our Guest. Our prayers have far more weight with God after communion than at any other time, because they are sanctified by the presence of Our Lord. We have not Him always with us (Mark xiv. 7). “How much those lose,” exclaims St. Alphonsus, “who neglect to implore graces after receiving holy communion!”
No food should be taken until at least a quarter of an hour after receiving communion, when the species of bread are consumed.
It is not well to indulge in worldly amusements on the day of communion, for by doing so we lose the graces we have received. We shall do better if we go to a church, and thus return the visit Our Lord has graciously vouchsafed to pay us.
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