There was a time when people used to prepare for Holy Communion, not only by a longer, stricter fast, but by prayer before Mass, and of course, confession. Likewise, many people remained after Mass to make a prolonged thanksgiving after Communion. People approached to receive with great reverence, something noticeably lacking in most churches today. If the solemnity of receiving Holy Communion was restored, I doubt just anyone would approach without deep recollection of what is taking place, and who it is they are receiving. Despite the increase in adoration chapels, I'm not sure Eucharistic piety and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament is widely understood.
CONDITIONS OF A GOOD COMMUNION
The conditions of a good communion are indicated in the decree (December 20, 1905) by which Pope Pius X exhorted all the faithful to frequent Communion. This decree recalls first of all this principle: "The sacraments of the New Law, while acting ex opere operato, nevertheless produce a greater effect by reason of the more perfect dispositions of those who receive them. . . . Care must be taken, therefore, that an attentive preparation precede Holy Communion and that a suitable thanksgiving follow it, taking into consideration the faculties and condition of each person."
"If thou didst know the gift of God!" John 4: 10
Formerly to show the necessity of thanksgiving, people were told how St. Philip Neri had two altar boys, carrying lighted candles, accompany a lady who left the church immediately after the end of the Mass during which she had received Holy Communion. How many times this well deserved lesson was told, and how often it bore fruit! But nowadays people have acquired the habit of treating almost everybody, superiors as well as equals and inferiors, and even our Lord Himself, with easy familiarity. If this abuse continues, there will be, as someone has said, many Communions and few real communicants. If zealous souls do not set to work to stop this habit of unconcern, it will go on increasing, gradually destroying all spirit of mortification and of true and solid piety. And yet Christ Himself is ever the same, and our duty of gratitude toward Him has not changed. - Garrigou Lagrange