Do you Still Believe in the Real Presence?

What is there more exalted on this earth? God Himself gives Himself as food; the Creator submits Himself to creatures; the Bread of Angels is given to men! But what exactly is the Holy Eucharist?

Newsroom (07/01/2022 11:00 PM, Gaudium Press“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (Jn 6:53). With these words, Our Lord presents the importance of the sacrament of the Eucharist.

However, St. Paul states: “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11:27).

Thus, in view of the dignity of this sacrament, it is not enough just to receive it, it is necessary to have the soul in a good disposition. Now, since no one receives well what he does not know, let us learn a little more about this sacrament, which is the most admirable and excellent of all.

What is the Eucharist?

The catechism states: “The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, a work made present by the liturgical action.”[1]

It is the heart and summit of the life of the Church, because in it Christ associates his Church and all its members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, offered to the Father once for all on the Cross; through this sacrifice, he pours out the graces of salvation on his body, which is the Church.”[2]

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Are Eucharist, Mass and Communion the same thing?

So rich is the sacrament of the Eucharist that even its names stand out in quantity. In fact, it is also called Holy Mass, Lord’s Supper, Breaking of the Bread, Holy Sacrifice, Communion, Viaticum, etc… But each of these names highlights a specific aspect of this Most Holy Sacrament.

Thus, while Eucharist highlights the aspect of thanksgiving to God; the name Holy Mass refers to the sending forth of the faithful that is done at the conclusion of the celebration; and the name Communion expresses that it is through this sacrament that we become partakers of the Body and Blood of Christ, and are therefore in communion with Him.[3]

What is the difference between participating in the Eucharist and receiving Communion?

Everyone who attends Holy Mass participates in the Eucharist. The Holy Church requires that this participation is made on Sundays and high feast days. However, the most perfect participation is that in which the faithful, properly prepared, receive communion after the celebrant. The Church requires that communion be received at least once a year, if possible at Easter time. However, it strongly recommends that they receive Holy Eucharist on Sundays and guard feast days, or even more often, even every day.[4] 

How many times can one receive Holy Communion?

Every day, and even twice a day. However, the second communion must obligatorily be made within the Holy Mass; except in the case of viaticum, when the sick person is in grave risk of life. [5]

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What does it mean to be prepared to receive the Eucharist?

To receive Holy Communion one must be baptized, and not be in a state of grave sin. One must abstain, for at least one hour before Holy Communion, from any food or drink, except water or medicine. And to prepare oneself by a bodily attitude (gestures and attire) that reflect the greatness of what is to be celebrated. [6]

What is Communion?

It is the adoration rendered to Our Lord present within us, in which, besides adoring Him, we ask forgiveness for our faults, give thanks for the benefits received, and implore the graces we most need.

The effects of Communion[7]

Just as material food fortifies, and is an indispensable condition for the life of our body, so too Holy Communion is a pledge and guarantee of spiritual life. How?

In the first place, it unites us more completely to Our Lord, because it makes us have Him present in our soul. O sublime mystery! The Creator is received by the creature; the Lord submits to the slave, God gives Himself as food to man!

And if this were not enough, communion also erases venial sins and preserves one from mortal sins.

It assures unity with the Holy Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ. And it gives us, towards others, a virtuous charity.

Receiving it in this life, we possess the pledge of the future one.

We can only affirm with Saint Augustine: “O sacramentum pietatis! O signum unitatis! O vinculum caritatis! – O sacrament of piety, O sign of unity, O bond of charity!“[8]

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O most holy Eucharist, O most holy Sacrament!

By Thiago Resende
Compiled by Camille Mittermeier


[1] CCC 1409.
[2] CCC 1407.
[3] Cf. CCC 1328 – 1332.
[4] CCC 1389.
[5] Cf. CCL 917, 921.
[6] Cf. CCL. 912 – 923. & CEC. 1387.
[7] Cf. CCC 1391 – 1402.
[8] CCC 1398.


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