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THE REAL PRESENCE The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist CHRIST IN THE EUCHARIST

Eucharist Introduction Real Presence Scripture Early Church Vatican II Testimonies Miracles Priesthood and Religious Life Mass and Liturgy Holy Communion Adoration Other Topics Resources Links

The Eucharist and Christ's Real Presence


The Holy Father Celebrates Mass The Holy Father Celebrates Mass
And as they were eating,
He took bread, and blessed, and broke it,
and gave it to them, and said,
'Take; this is my body.'

(Mark 14:22)
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks
he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.
And he said to them,
'This is my blood of the covenant,
which is poured out for many.'

(Mark 14:23-24)


The simplest way to express what Christ asks us to believe about the Real Presence is that the Eucharist is really He. The Real Presence is the real Jesus. We are to believe that the Eucharist began in the womb of the Virgin Mary; that the flesh which the Son of God received from His Mother at the Incarnation is the same flesh into which He changed bread at the Last Supper; that the blood He received from His Mother is the same blood into which He changed wine at the Last Supper. Had she not given Him His flesh and blood there could not be a Eucharist.

We are to believe that the Eucharist is Jesus Christ - simply, without qualification. It is God become man in the fullness of His divine nature, in the fullness of His human nature, in the fullness of His body and soul, in the fullness of everything that makes Jesus Jesus. He is in the Eucharist with His human mind and will united with the Divinity, with His hands and feet, His face and features, with His eyes and lips and ears and nostrils, with His affections and emotions and, with emphasis, with His living, pulsating, physical Sacred Heart. That is what our Catholic Faith demands of us that we believe. If we believe this, we are Catholic. If we do not, we are not, no matter what people may think we are.

Father John A. Hardon S.J.


The Real Presence

  * Pope Calls for Study of Eucharistic Mystery: Encourages Revisiting of Vatican II's "Sacrosanctum Concilium" - (Zenit)
"Benedict XVI is encouraging the faithful to revisit the Second Vatican Council constitution on the liturgy, so as to go deeper in the mystery of faith that is the Eucharist."

  * Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS of the Holy Father BENEDICT XVI to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on the Eucharist and Summit of the Church's Life and Mission - (Vatican)
1. The sacrament of charity (1), the Holy Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God's infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that “greater” love which led him to “lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). Jesus did indeed love them “to the end” (Jn 13:1). In those words the Evangelist introduces Christ's act of immense humility: before dying for us on the Cross, he tied a towel around himself and washed the feet of his disciples. In the same way, Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us “to the end,” even to offering us his body and his blood. What amazement must the Apostles have felt in witnessing what the Lord did and said during that Supper! What wonder must the eucharistic mystery also awaken in our own hearts!

  * Humanity must rediscover source of hope in the Eucharist, return to Eucharistic adoration, Pope says - (CNA)
“I thank the Lord because many parishes, alongside the devout celebration of Mass, are educating the faithful in Eucharistic adoration. And it is my hope that - also in view of the next International Eucharistic Congress - this practice will become ever more widespread.”

  * Pope Backs Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration - Particularly in Rome Diocese - (Zenit)
“Benedict XVI has supported an initiative to offer the possibility of perpetual Eucharistic adoration in churches of the Rome Diocese. The Pope expressed his enthusiasm for this initiative during his meeting March 2 with Roman parish priests, as reflected in his conversation with them…‘I only wish to thank God, that following the [Second Vatican] Council, after a period in which something of the meaning of Eucharistic adoration was lacking, this adoration has been reborn everywhere in the Church, as we saw and heard in the Synod on the Eucharist,’ Benedict XVI said.”

  * The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church Lineamenta - Synod of Bishops XI Ordinary General Assembly
Many reasons exist for calling the pastors together to treat a subject so decisive for the life and mission of the Church. By its nature, a synodal assembly is consultative. On this occasion the Holy Father is not calling the bishops to make recommendations on how to present doctrine but to consider the needs and pastoral implications of the Eucharist in celebration, worship, preaching, charity and various works in general.

  * Mane Nobiscum Domine - Pope John Paul II
Apostolic Letter of the Holy Father, John Paul II, to the bishops, clergy and faithful for the Year of the Eucharist.

  * Ecclesia De Eucaristia - Pope John Paul II
Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women in the Consecrated Life and all the Lay Faithful on the Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church. Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, April 17, 2003.

  * Perpetual Adoration, True Peace in the World - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Fr. Hardon explains with the utmost clarity and ease how to achieve true peace. And in doing so, he also tells us how we can come to know what the will of God is for each one of us. How many people have searched for the answer to these questions?

  * The Real Presence and Perpetual Adoration - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Fr. Hardon at his best as the Defender of the Real Presence.

  * The Real Presence - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"My purpose will be to defend the following thesis: that the Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ, who is in the Blessed Sacrament both as Reality and as Presence. He is in the Eucharist as Reality because the Eucharist is Jesus Christ. He is in the Eucharist as Presence because through the Eucharist He affects us and we are in contact with Him - depending on our faith and devotion to the Savior living really in our midst."

The Real Presence
  * Transubstantiation and Reason - John Young (Homiletic & Pastoral Review)
The average Catholic is vague concerning the nature of the Eucharistic presence of Christ, and one can sympathize with him, in view of the lack of clear teaching about the Most Blessed Sacrament. The basic objection to the Catholic doctrine of the real presence is not that it is against Scripture, but that it is against reason.

  * The Sacrament of Unity - Papal Homily at Italian Eucharistic Congress (Zenit)
Here we are faced with a further dimension of the Eucharist, which I would like to touch upon before concluding. The Christ whom we encounter in the sacrament is the same here in Bari, as in Rome, as in Europe, America, Africa, Asia, Oceania. He is the one and same Christ who is present in the Eucharistic bread everywhere on earth. This means that we can only encounter him together with all others. We can only receive him in unity.

  * The Eucharist: Foundation of the Christian Family - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"Without the Eucharist, there would not be a livable sacrament of matrimony or a stable Christian family….The Holy Eucharist is indispensable for living out the supernatural, and therefore humanly impossible, demands that Christ places on those who enter marriage in His name."

  * Imitating Christ in the Eucharist - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

  * The Eucharist and Sanctity - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

  * Multiculturalism, Science and the Eucharist - Rev. Dr. Patrick J. Dolan, PhD
This is a paper submitted for publication on the Eucharist--particularly as one might want to explain it to those who come from a scientific or technological background. It highlights a dimensional aspect of the Eucharist as a complimentary outlook for the scientific community. This article is not one to miss.

  * The Sacredness of Life and the Real Presence - (Bishop of Patterson, NJ - Arthur J. Serratelli)
"The Eucharist as meal; the Eucharist as Sacrifice; the Eucharist as eschatological anticipation: all these dimensions of the Eucharist come together in the Real Presence. Theodore of Mopsuestia (350-428 A.D.) gives witness to the consistent faith of the Church in the Real Presence. He says, "The Lord did not say: This is a symbol of my body, and this is a symbol of my blood, but rather: This is my body and my blood. He teaches us not to look to the nature of what lies before us and is perceived by the senses, because the giving of thanks and the words spoken over it have changed it into flesh and blood" ( Epistle to Magnus, 6)."

  * Families Draw Their Life from the Eucharist - Pope John Paul II (EWTN)

  * Pope Calls Church's Missionary Effort an "Urgency" - (ZENIT)
In his message for World Mission Sunday, John Paul II says that the Church's missionary commitment is an "urgency" that is inseparable from the Eucharist.

Eucharistic Adoration
  * Eucharist Seen at Heart of Missionary Endeavor - (ZENIT)
In his message for World Mission Sunday, John Paul II emphasizes that the Church can only carry out its missionary mandate in tandem with the Eucharist.

  * Eucharist - Seasons of Grace - Douglas Bushman, STL

  * The Eucharist and Its Effects on the Soul

  * The Real Presence and Sanctity - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

  * Easter and the Holy Eucharist - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
We do not usually associate Easter and the Holy Eucharist. But we should. Our faith tells us that God became man in order that, by His death on the Cross, He might redeem the world. But this same faith tells us that, when Christ died on Calvary, the Church came into existence. We may therefore say that we were delivered from sin by the Savior's death, and receive the blessings of His grace through the Mystical Body which came into being the moment Jesus expired on Good Friday.

  * How to Live in the Presence of God - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"The Savior is described by St. Luke as telling His followers to pray continually and never lose heart. Let us think seriously about what we are told. We need, that is we should, which means we are expected to, pray continually."

  * Imitating Jesus Christ, Incarnate God -Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"Since the dawn of Christianity, the divinity of Christ has been the single most frequently and strongly challenged mystery of our faith. We say that the Church is going through the most serious crisis of the twenty centuries of her history. At the center of this crisis is the widespread doubt and denial that Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, is the Son of the Living God. There is nothing else in our Catholic faith that needs to be more clearly understood and firmly believed than Christ's divinity." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

  * The Apostolic Character of the Holy Eucharist - Archbishop Raymond L. Burke (St. Louis Review Online)
"My fourth reflection upon Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 'On the Eucharist in Its Relationship to the Church,' centers on the third chapter of the encyclical letter, 'The Apostolicity of the Eucharist and of the Church.' In chapter two, Pope John Paul II presented the Holy Eucharist as the source of the strength and the growth of the Church. The relationship between the Church and the Holy Eucharist is, in fact, so intimate that the marks of the Church — one, holy, catholic and apostolic — also describe the Holy Eucharist. In chapter three, our late Holy Father devotes his attention to the apostolic character of the Holy Eucharist, because of its particular importance to our understanding the Holy Eucharist in our time (no. 26)."

  * The Holy Eucharist and the Growth of the Church - Archbishop Raymond L. Burke (St. Louis Review Online)
"Pope John Paul II reflects upon the Holy Eucharist as the source of the strength and the growth of the Church. Our Holy Father is inspired by the perennial teaching of the Church, expressed in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 'Lumen gentium,' of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The teaching of the council reminds us that the Church receives its strength and growth from the altar of Christ’s Sacrifice. Even as the individual members of the Body of Christ are strengthened and grow in holiness, most of all, by participation in the Holy Mass, so does the whole Body of Christ receive its life and development from the Eucharistic Sacrifice (no. 21a). The importance of the Holy Eucharist for the life of the Church, from her very beginnings, cannot be emphasized enough."

  * The Church and the Holy Eucharist - Archbishop Raymond L. Burke (St. Louis Review Online)
"In presenting the Church’s pastoral plan at the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium, our Holy Father Pope John Paul II reminded us strongly that it is not a question of some 'new program,' which we must invent, but rather 'the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition' of the Church. In short, the Church’s pastoral plan is Christ Himself dwelling with us through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our souls. The plan is our life in Christ or holiness of life through daily conversion. It is the 'larger and more demanding normal pastoral activity,' which helps each of us and the whole Church to meet the 'high standard of ordinary Christian living' (Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, 'At the Close of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000,' Jan. 6, 2001, nos. 29-31)."

  * Congregation for the Clergy - From the Vatican, 8 December 2007
"Explanatory note to help promote the practice of continuous Eucharistic adoration in dioceses (parishes, rectories, chapels, monasteries, convents, seminaries) for the benefit of priests and priestly vocations"…The Congregation for the Clergy expresses its gratitude in advance to those Ordinaries who will become promoters of this project, one that is certain to renew the spirituality of both the clergy and the People of God in their particular Churches.

  * Eucharist and Authentic Adoration - Philippine Bishop Calls for True Worship at Congress - (Zenit)
"Members of the Church should be on guard against making ecclesiastical customs and even Church figures a hindrance to true worship, said a bishop from the Philippines…Bishop Louis Tagle of Imus spoke Thursday at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, which is being held through Sunday in Quebec. He called for spiritual worship and authentic adoration in his address dedicated to the Eucharist as the life of Christ in our lives…'The Church […] must also constantly examine its fidelity to Jesus' sacrifice of obedience to God and compassion for the poor,' the bishop said. 'Ecclesiastical customs and persons, when naively and narrowly deified and glorified, might become hindrances to true worship and compassion.'"


"For every Christian generation, the Eucharist is indispensable food that sustains us as we cross the desert of this world, dried by ideological and economic systems that do not promote life, but repress it. A world in which the logic of power and possession dominates, instead of the logic of service and love; a world in which the culture of violence and death often triumphs. Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts and asks to come in not just for one day, but forever." -- Pope Benedict XVI

 

For more articles on the Eucharist written by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., visit the Hardon Archives.





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