Q —What would be the best prayer after receiving Holy Communion?

A — What a beautiful question to ask! It could be answered, of course, in a variety of ways, for example: “Thank you, Jesus”; “I love you with all my heart and soul,” and other such prayerful sentiments. Various prayers also may be found in different Catholic prayer books. However, perhaps one could go a little further in prayerful response after receiving Holy Communion. One way would be prayerfully to read through the Gospel of St. John, chapter 6, in which we will find some of the following words: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty… I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh… Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” It is said that Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923), the Irish Benedictine, made this his prayer of thanksgiving every day after Mass.

Another way would be prayerfully to read the following extract from St. Augustine, Sermon 272: “You ought to know what you have received, what you are about to receive, what you ought to receive every day. That bread which you can see on the altar, sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That cup, or rather what the cup contains, sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ… If you receive them well, you are yourselves what you receive.” In these words of St. Augustine we may recognize that Holy Communion divinizes us, or we might say Trinifies us, that is, we are reached into the very heart of the Divine Triune Communion.