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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

Introduction to the Eucharist

"Let us devote ourselves entirely to knowing God. The more we know Him, the more we want to know Him. Since love is generally measured by knowledge, the deeper and more extensive the knowledge, the greater will be the love. And if our love is great, we will love Him equally in pain and consolation." - Brother Lawrence

From the book "Practice of the Presence of God", translated by Salvatore Sciruba, OCD
ICS Publications, 2131 Lincoln Rd NE, Washington, DC  20002

The Eucharist as Sacrifice - Sacrament

"As Sacrifice, Christ pours down his blessings of mercy on the whole human race every time that Mass is offered."

"This is My Body" "This is My Blood"

The Eucharist as Communion - Sacrament

"As Communion, he feeds our souls with his love, so that we might love him in return."

"Souls that eat My flesh possess God, the Author of life and of life eternal." "...offer the Divine pay the debt of souls..."

The Eucharist as Presence - Sacrament

"As Presence, Christ confers grace on a sinful world just because he is in the tabernacle."

Adoration of Jesus in the Monstrance Adoration of Jesus in the Tabernacle


O my child, son of the Cross and of my Heart: your father and mother may fail you, but I will never abandon you!

Even at my death I did not leave my children orphans, for day and night they can find me on their altars.

With the tenderness and gentleness of a thousand mothers, the Last Supper came to sweeten the bitterness of Calvary; for I knew that in the Holy Eucharist you would always have with you a father and a mother, and would never be alone while on earth...

And, therefore, although my Passion caused me excessive sufferings, yet I found consolation and relief in the thought that I was to leave myself to you in the Holy Eucharist.

I wished, my beloved child, that my body, which was crushed under the burden of the cross, and my blood, which was shed for all mankind, should be, within the Sacrament, your consolation and joy.

I wished it... my dearly beloved child. In those supreme moments of indescribable anguish, the thought that you would be happy in the possession of the Holy Eucharist increased my strength during My passion, and lessened My fear. And that is why the Institution of this Holy Sacrament immediately preceded My greatest sufferings.

It could not be otherwise, my dearly beloved child, than that the thought of always living by your side would lessen and alleviate My sufferings.

It was this thought that caused me to sing the song of thanksgiving with joy as I walked with my Apostles to the Garden of Olives. And during the painful moments of my Passion, I had continually before my mind those sweet hopes which had been with me during the Last Supper.

When my body was being scourged cruelly... and when my blood was pouring on the ground, I rejoiced, my dearly beloved son. I rejoiced at being ground like wheat in the mill and pressed like grapes in the winepress, thus making myself the bread and the wine to nourish you at the Eucharistic banquet.

Before death had taken me away from men, I had disposed and arranged to multiply my life upon their altars.

Do you not see then my child, that even in dying I have not left you as an orphan; for every day and at every moment of the day, from one end of the world to the other, these words of my Priests rise to Heaven: "This is My Body. This is My Blood"; and I rejoice at being a constant victim for love of you.

O Jesus, O my beloved Jesus! O Jesus hidden here beneath these Sacramental veils! Grant that at every moment of my life I may return gratitude and love to you for your great love for me!

O Mary, my Mother, our Lady of the Eucharist! Help me to offer thanks to Jesus, and always to prepare myself perfectly to receive Him with a love like yours. Amen.

From the book "Before the Altar", by Concepcion Cabrera de Armida
Permission received by Fr. Gustavo Garcia-Siller M.Sp.S  (Missionaires of the Holy Spirit)

Introduction to the Eucharist

  * The Eucharist as the Living Christ - Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J.
Let us focus on two features of this mystery: first reflecting upon the Eucharist as Reality and secondly as Presence. What is this Reality to which the Church strongly directs our attention?…This Reality is God present in a different special way. The essence of what we believe here is that God is present as man. The Eucharist began with the Incarnation, in the womb of Mary. Except for her there would be no Jesus and without Him there is no reality to speak of, in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is unqualifyingly Jesus Christ!

  * The Sacrifice Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist - Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J.
The purpose of our present meditation is to explain how the Mass is the sacrifice sacrament of the Eucharist. Again, we will draw on the church’s teaching on the Mass, especially focusing on definitions from the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. We will also examine Pope Pius XII’s teachings on the Mass, upon which the Second Vatican Council built its base document on Eucharist liturgy.

  * The Sacred Heart is the Holy Eucharist - Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J.
"Our focus will be on what we mean when we say the Sacred Heart is the Holy Eucharist. Then, we shall discuss why this is so and how we can put Sacred Heart devotion into practice."

  * Living in the Presence of God - Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J.
(From a retreat given to the Handmaids of the Precious Blood).
"There is no single subject in spiritual literature that is more highly recommended or insisted upon as more indispensable than the spirit of recollection or living in God's presence...The important thing is, how do we grow or develop in this living in God's presence?"

  * Understanding the Eucharist - The Greatest Need in the Church Today - Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J.
"The most important duty we have in life as believing Catholics is to understand what we believe. Not to understand what we are supposed to believe is to invite the evil spirit to rob us of the faith we once possessed."

  * Eucharist as Presence-Sacrament - Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J.
"The Mass and Holy Communion derive all their meaning from the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament"

  * The Holy Eucharist is the Whole Christ - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
When the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century defined the meaning of the Eucharist, it declared that "the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole Christ, is truly, really and substantially contained in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist."

  * The Holy Eucharist Defines Our Catholic Identity - Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte
"It is the Eucharist that defines us, it is the Holy Eucharist that makes us Catholic, it is devotion to the Holy Eucharist that puts us in the right relationship with God."

  * Eucharistic Devotion and the Real Presence - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"If there is one mystery of our Faith that is being widely challenged today it is the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Pope John Paul II is deeply concerned about this weakening of belief in the cardinal truth of Catholic Christianity."

  * Faith in the Life of a Priest - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
(From a retreat given to the Handmaids of the Precious Blood)
"What is Faith? Why is Faith important in the life of a Christian? How is Faith imperative in the life of a Catholic priest? We can give summary attention to the first two questions and concentrate on the third; yet I do not think that, given the state of things in the Church today, we should glide over either the meaning of faith or its importance in the life of every Catholic Christian."

  * The Eucharist and Chastity - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
To understand how indispensable the Eucharist is to the practice of Christian chastity is to understand the meaning of Christianity. When Christ told us, "Without me, you can do nothing," He meant this to be taken literally. Without the constant help of His grace to enlighten our darkened minds and strengthen our weak wills, all the moral precepts of the New Testament are so much pious rhetoric or religious jargon.

  * The Next Century - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. (Catholic.Net)

  * The Code of Canon Law - John Paul II
Apostolic Constitution for the Pomulgation of the New Code of Canon Law, Sacrae Disciplinae Leges.

  * How to be a Loyal Catholic Today? - Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J.
"Nowadays there are so many people who call themselves Catholic but really are not. There are books published and periodicals; there are conferences given, and symposiums held; there are religious programs and celebrations sponsored, and all professedly Catholic. But so many of these are Catholic only in name and not in reality."

  * The Real Presence: Christ's Body - Carol Breslin
When Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became man he assumed our human nature by taking on the flesh of Mary. He became man for four reasons: 1) to save us by reconciling us with God; 2) that we might know God’s love; 3) to be our model of holiness; and 4) that we may be partakers of the divine nature. "He himself declared that the reason of His advent among men was this, that He might bring them the assured fullness of a more than merely human life."

Answers on the Eucharist

  * Our Supernatural Knowledge of God - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"No one, and the word is no one, will reach heaven from his or her own natural rational knowledge of God. Only the supernatural knowledge otherwise known as divine faith is adequate as the foundation for salvation."

  * Our Love of God - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"The purpose of knowing God is to love Him. And the better we know Him the more we can love Him...this fundamental mandate of Sacred Scripture, of our duty, mind you, no option here, duty, of our duty to Love God, we must immediately point out the world of difference between the two Testaments on the same commandments."

  * Eucharistic Theology - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"One of the surprises of the church's teachings since the Second Vatican Council is its strong emphasis on devotion to the Real Presence. Worship of the Holy Eucharist, not only during Mass or when receiving Holy Communion but as reserved on the altar, has been part of Catholic life and practice since the earliest centuries."

  * Contemporary Spirituality - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
(From a retreat given to the Handmaids of the Precious Blood)
"There is an obvious risk in talking about contemporary spirituality. The suspicion may be raised that the spiritual life has different forms in different ages, and that perhaps even the essence of sanctity changes with the times. It may also suggest that Christian perfection somehow depends on being up-to-date, which in more biblical language would mean conformity to the world and the world's models of greatness. It may even intimate that unless a person has first learned the art of being (what is now a "sacred word") "relevant", that person cannot be holy."

  * Achieving Peace of Mind - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"Interior peace is of two kinds: one in the heart or will and the other in the mind or intellect. They are closely connected but they are not the same."

  * We Take Jesus Christ At His Word - Fr. Robert Goedert, O.P.

  * Modern Misconceptions about the Eucharist - Rev. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap. (EWTN)

  * A Pastoral Letter on Reverence for the Eucharist - Bishop John R. Keating (EWTN)

"Those who behold the Sacrament of the Eucharist, consecrated by the priest, but see only the appearances of bread and wine and do not—with the grace of the Holy Spirit—believe that it is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, condemn themselves, because they do not believe the testimony of the Lord himself who says: ‘This is my Body and Blood of the new covenant’ and who promises ‘He who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life’ (John 6:56). And just as he showed himself to his holy Apostles in the form of man, in like manner he allows himself to be seen in the consecrated bread. Despite the fact that with the eyes of the body they saw only the flesh—but by contemplating it with the eyes of faith believed nonetheless that he was God—so we, too, seeing the bread and wine with the eyes of the body, believe that the most holy Body and Blood are present, alive and true, in the Eucharist. In this way, the Lord is always present in the midst of his faithful, as he himself promised, saying: ‘Behold, I am with you until the end of the world’" (Matthew 28:20).  -- St. Francis of Assisi


*  Other Related Articles on the Eucharist

Photos of the Holy Father are ©Grzegorz Galazka and
used with permission of Inside the Vatican magazine, 1-800-789-9494.

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