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Gen'l. Info. Regarding the Holy Eucharist (Cnt.)

Return to Sacraments Section

The Holy Eucharist (At Traditional Latin 'Tridentine' Mass)

The Holy Eucharist (Cont.)

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* Reasons for the institution of the Holy Eucharist by Christ:

"[Jesus Christ instituted the Blessed Eucharist to] be the perpetual Sacrifice of the New Law, and the spiritual nourishment of our soul." (Catechism of St. John Neumann)

"Jesus Christ instituted the Most Holy Eucharist for three principal reasons: (1) To be the Sacrifice of the New Law; (2) To be the food of our souls; (3) To be a perpetual memorial of His passion and death and a precious pledge both of His love for us and of eternal life." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist - 1) To unite us to Himself and to nourish our soul with His Body and Blood, 2) To increase sanctifying grace and all virtues in our soul, 3) To lessen our evil inclinations, 4) To be a pledge of everlasting life, 5) To fit our bodies for a glorious resurrection, and 6) To continue the sacrifice of the Cross in His Church." (Baltimore Catechism)

* The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God for four ends: "The Sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God for four ends: (1) To honor Him properly, and hence it is called Latreutical; (2) To thank Him for His favors, and hence it is called Eucharistical; (3) To appease Him, make Him due satisfaction for our sins, and to help the souls in Purgatory, and hence it is called Propitiatory; (4) To obtain all the graces necessary for us, and hence it is called Impetratory." (Catechism of St. Pius X) 

Note: These ends are commonly summed up as "adoration, thanksgiving, reparation, and petition."

* The fruits of the Mass apply to those who are present at the Mass (referred to as those who "assist at the Mass"), to the priest, to those whom the Mass is offered for (living or dead), and for the entire Church:

"The entire Church shares in the fruits of the Mass, but more particularly: (1) The priest and those who assist at Mass, the latter being united with the priest; (2) Those for whom the Mass is applied, both living and dead." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"The fruits of the Mass are distributed thus: The first benefit is bestowed on the priest who says the Mass; the second on the person for whom the Mass is said, or for the intention for which it is said; the third on those who are present at the Mass, and particularly on those who serve it, and the fourth on all the faithful who are in communion with the Church." (Baltimore Catechism)

"As Christ's Passion benefits all, for the forgiveness of sin and the attaining of grace and glory, whereas it produces no effect except in those who are united with Christ's Passion through faith and charity, so likewise this sacrifice, which is the memorial of our Lord's Passion, has no effect except in those who are united with this sacrament through faith and charity. Hence Augustine says to Renatus (De Anima et ejus origine i): 'Who may offer Christ's body except for them who are Christ's members?' Hence in the Canon of the Mass no prayer is made for them who are outside the pale of the Church. But it benefits them who are members, more or less, according to the measure of their devotion." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

* The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass benefits both the living and the dead (those in purgatory): 

"[S]uch is the efficacy of this Sacrifice that its benefits extend not only to the celebrant and communicant, but to all the faithful, whether living with us on earth, or already numbered with those who are dead in the Lord, but whose sins have not yet been fully expiated. For, according to the most authentic Apostolic tradition, it is not less available when offered for them, than when offered for the sins of the living, their punishments, satisfactions, calamities and difficulties of every sort." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"My children, you remember the story I have told you already of that holy priest who was praying for his friend; God had, it appears, made known to him that he was in Purgatory; it came into his mind that he could do nothing better than to offer the holy Sacrifice of the Mass for his soul. When he came to the moment of Consecration, he took the Host in his hands and said, 'O Holy and Eternal Father, let us make an exchange. Thou hast the soul of my friend who is in Purgatory, and I have the Body of Thy Son, Who is in my hands; well, do Thou deliver my friend, and I offer Thee Thy Son, with all the merits of His Death and Passion.' In fact, at the moment of the elevation, he saw the soul of his friend rising to Heaven, all radiant with glory. Well, my children, when we want to obtain anything from the good God, let us do the same; after Holy Communion, let us offer Him His well-beloved Son, with all the merits of His death and His Passion. He will not be able to refuse us anything." (Catechism of the Cure of Ars)

"...for the [living and the] dead are helped by the masses offered by the living" (St. Ephraem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church)

* The faithful can give an offering to apply the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to the living or the dead or for a special intention: 

"Can. 809 It is basic that Mass can be applied for the living and for the dead undergoing expiation by fire in purgatory, with due regard for the prescription of Canon 2262, § 2, n.2" (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 946 The Christian faithful who give an offering to apply the Mass for their intention contribute to the good of the Church and by that offering share its concern to support its ministers and works." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Mass may be offered for any end or intention that tends to the honor and glory of God, to the good of the Church or the welfare of man; but never for any object that is bad in itself, or in its aims; neither can it be offered publicly for persons who are not members of the true Church." (Baltimore Catechism)

"It is not simony, or the buying of a sacred thing, to offer the priest money for saying Mass for our intention, because the priest does not take the money for the Mass itself, but for the purpose of supplying the things necessary for Mass and for his own support." (Baltimore Catechism)

Note that it is a traditional practice to request 30 consecutive daily masses for a deceased person upon their death. These masses may be referred to as the "30 Masses of St. Gregory", Gregorian Masses, or a "Trental". These masses are offered to assist a particular soul, with the hope of obtaining its release from Purgatory. [For more information regarding Purgatory, try here (Purgatory Release Project)]. It is also a traditional practice to have a Mass said on the anniversary of a loved one's death.

* In addition to Mass offerings, one may attend Mass and spiritually offer up that Mass for God's glory and for one's own intentions. Remember that there is nothing more precious than can be offered to God than His own Son.

* It has been asserted that one Mass offered for a person who is living is more profitable than many Masses said for the person after their death.

* While the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass may be offered in honor of the Saints, it is not offered to them: 

"The Holy Mass is offered to God alone." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"Mass celebrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints is always a sacrifice offered to God alone; it is said to be celebrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints to thank God for the gifts He has given them, and through their intercession to obtain from Him more abundantly the graces of which we have need." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"Nor did (the Council of Trent) omit carefully to explain that to God alone is offered this Sacrifice [of the Mass]. For although the Church sometimes offers Masses in honor and in memory of the Saints, yet she teaches that the Sacrifice [of the Mass] is offered, not to them, but to God alone, who has crowned the Saints with immortal glory. Hence the priest never says: I offer Sacrifice to thee Peter, or to thee Paul; but, while he offers [the Eucharistic] Sacrifice to God alone, he renders Him thanks for the signal victory won by the blessed martyrs, and thus implores their patronage, that they, whose memory we celebrate on earth, may vouchsafe to intercede for us in heaven." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

* During the Mass, the priest acts 'In Persona Christi' (in the person of Christ) 

"It is not man who makes what is put before him the Body and Blood of Christ, but Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The priest standing there in the place of Christ says these words, but their power and grace are from God. This is my Body, he says, and these words transform what lies before him." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 4th century A.D.)

"Oh, how great is a priest! if he understood himself he would die... God obeys him; he speaks two words, and Our Lord comes down from Heaven at his voice, and shuts Himself up in a little Host... If we had faith, we should see God hidden in the priest like a light behind a glass, like wine mingled with water." (Catechism of the Cure of Ars)

Note: Click here for more information on priests & the priesthood

* A wicked priest - providing he has the proper matter, form and intention - may still validly consecrate: 

"What, however, has been already said of the other Sacraments, holds good also with regard to the Sacrament of the Eucharist; namely, that a Sacrament is validly administered even by the wicked, provided all the essentials have been duly observed. For we are to believe that all these depend not on the merit of the minister, but are operated by the virtue and power of Christ our Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"And in the Sacrifice we believe that a good priest does nothing more than this and a bad priest does nothing less; because it is not by the merit of the one consecrating that the Sacrifice is accomplished, but by the word of the Creator and by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Profession of Faith Prescribed for Durandus of Osca and Followers)

"Augustine (Paschasius) says (De Corpore et Sanguine Domini xii): 'Within the Catholic Church, in the mystery of the Lord's body and blood, nothing greater is done by a good priest, nothing less by an evil priest, because it is not by the merits of the consecrator that the sacrament is accomplished, but by the Creator's word, and by the power of the Holy Spirit'... the priest consecrates this sacrament not by his own power, but as the minister of Christ, in Whose person he consecrates this sacrament. But from the fact of being wicked he does not cease to be Christ's minister; because our Lord has good and wicked ministers or servants. Hence (Matthew 24:45) our Lord says: 'Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise servant?' and afterwards He adds: 'But if that evil servant shall say in his heart...'. And the Apostle (1 Corinthians 4:1) says: 'Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ'; and afterwards he adds: 'I am not conscious to myself of anything; yet am I not hereby justified.' He was therefore certain that he was Christ's minister; yet he was not certain that he was a just man. Consequently, a man can be Christ's minister even though he be not one of the just. And this belongs to Christ's excellence, Whom, as the true God, things both good and evil serve, since they are ordained by His providence for His glory. Hence it is evident that priests, even though they be not godly, but sinners, can consecrate the Eucharist." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

* Only validly ordained priests have the power to consecrate the bread and wine.

"Can. 802 Only priests have the power of offering the sacrifice of the Mass." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Christ gave His priests the power to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood when He said to the Apostles, 'Do this for a commemoration of Me'." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Anyone who believes and contends that he can perform the Sacrifice of the Eucharist without having first been ordained by a bishop...is a heretic." (Pope Innocent III)

"This change of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ continues to be made in the Church by Jesus Christ through the ministry of His priests." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The words 'do this in commemoration of me' mean: Do what I, Christ, am doing at My last supper, namely, changing the substance of bread and wine into the substance of My body and blood; and do it in remembrance of Me." (Baltimore Catechism)

Q. "To whom did Jesus Christ give the power to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as He offered it?" A. "To the apostles and to their lawful successors, the Catholic bishops and priests." (Catechism of St. John Neumann)

"The priests exercises this power of changing bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ through the words of consecration in the Mass, which are the words of Christ: 'This is My Body; This is My Blood.'" (Baltimore Catechism)

"There is one holy universal Church of the faithful outside which absolutely no one is saved, in which Jesus Christ Himself is both Priest and Victim, Whose Body and Blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the appearances of bread and wine, the bread and the wine being by divine power transubstantiated into His body and blood, so that for the perfecting of the mystery of unity we may receive of Him what He took from us. And no one may consecrate this sacrament except a priest who has been duly ordained according to the keys of the Church, which Jesus Christ Himself granted to the apostles and their successors." (Fourth Lateran Council)

"You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. Nor is it permitted without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate the agape; but whatever he approve, this too is pleasing to God, so that whatever is done will be secure and valid." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, c. 110 A.D.)

* It is sinful for heretical / schismatic / excommunicated / etc. priests to consecrate the Holy Eucharist and it is sinful for others to participate in their sin.

"As was said above, heretical, schismatical, excommunicate, or even sinful priests, although they have the power to consecrate the Eucharist, yet they do not make a proper use of it; on the contrary, they sin by using it. But whoever communicates with another who is in sin, becomes a sharer in his sin. Hence we read in John's Second Canonical Epistle (2 John 1:1) that 'He that saith unto him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked works.' Consequently, it is not lawful to receive Communion from them, or to assist at their mass. Still there is a difference among the above, because heretics, schismatics, and excommunicates, have been forbidden, by the Church's sentence, to perform the Eucharistic rite. And therefore whoever hears their mass or receives the sacraments from them, commits sin. But not all who are sinners are debarred by the Church's sentence from using this power: and so, although suspended by the Divine sentence, yet they are not suspended in regard to others by any ecclesiastical sentence: consequently, until the Church's sentence is pronounced, it is lawful to receive Communion at their hands, and to hear their mass. Hence on 1 Corinthians 5:11, 'with such a one not so much as to eat,' Augustine's gloss runs thus: 'In saying this he was unwilling for a man to be judged by his fellow man on arbitrary suspicion, or even by usurped extraordinary judgment, but rather by God's law, according to the Church's ordering, whether he confess of his own accord, or whether he be accused and convicted.'... By refusing to hear the masses of such priests, or to receive Communion from them, we are not shunning God's sacraments; on the contrary, by so doing we are giving them honor (hence a host consecrated by such priests is to be adored, and if it be reserved, it can be consumed by a lawful priest): but what we shun is the sin of the unworthy ministers... those who receive or minister unworthily, are deprived of the fruit... And therefore, those who belong to the unity of the Faith are not to receive the sacrament from their dispensing." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Augustine says (Contra epistolarum Parmeniani ii): 'Just as Baptism remains in them,' i.e. in heretics, schismatics, and those who are excommunicate, 'so do their orders remain intact.' Now, by the power of his ordination, a priest can consecrate the Eucharist. Therefore, it seems that heretics, schismatics, and those who are excommunicate, can consecrate the Eucharist, since their orders remain entire... Some have contended that heretics, schismatics, and the excommunicate, who are outside the pale of the Church, cannot perform this sacrament. But herein they are deceived, because, as Augustine says (Contra epistolarum Parmeniani ii), 'it is one thing to lack something utterly, and another to have it improperly'; and in like fashion, 'it is one thing not to bestow, and quite another to bestow, but not rightly.' Accordingly, such as, being within the Church, received the power of consecrating the Eucharist through being ordained to the priesthood, have such power rightly indeed; but they use it improperly if afterwards they be separated from the Church by heresy, schism, or excommunication. But such as are ordained while separated from the Church, have neither the power rightly, nor do they use it rightly. But that in both cases they have the power, is clear from what Augustine says (Contra epistolarum Parmeniani ii), that when they return to the unity of the Church, they are not re-ordained, but are received in their orders. And since the consecration of the Eucharist is an act which follows the power of order, such persons as are separated from the Church by heresy, schism, or excommunication, can indeed consecrate the Eucharist, which on being consecrated by them contains Christ's true body and blood; but they act wrongly, and sin by doing so; and in consequence they do not receive the fruit of the sacrifice, which is a spiritual sacrifice...if a priest severed from the unity of the Church celebrates mass, not having lost the power of order, he consecrates Christ's true body and blood; but because he is severed from the unity of the Church, his prayers have no efficacy." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

* Lay persons do not have the power of Holy Orders and are not to perform actions proper to priests.

"Can. 907 In the celebration of the Eucharist, deacons and lay persons are not permitted to say the prayers, especially the eucharistic prayer, nor to perform the actions which are proper to the celebrating priest." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"The fact, however, that the faithful participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice does not mean that they also are endowed with priestly power. It is very necessary that you make this quite clear to your flocks. For there are today, Venerable Brethren, those who, approximating to errors long since condemned teach that in the New Testament by the word 'priesthood' is meant only that [common] priesthood which applies to all who have been baptized; and hold that the command by which Christ gave power to His apostles at the Last Supper to do what He Himself had done, applies directly to the entire Christian [that is, Catholic] Church, and that thence, and thence only, arises the hierarchical priesthood. Hence they assert that the people are possessed of a true priestly power, while the priest only acts in virtue of an office committed to him by the community. Wherefore, they look on the Eucharistic Sacrifice as a 'concelebration,' in the literal meaning of that term, and consider it more fitting that priests should 'concelebrate' with the people present than that they should offer the [Eucharistic] Sacrifice privately when the people are absent. It is superfluous to explain how captious errors of this sort completely contradict the truths which we have just stated above, when treating of the place of the priest in the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. But we deem it necessary to recall that the priest acts for the people only because he represents Jesus Christ, who is Head of all His members and offers Himself in their stead. Hence, he goes to the altar as the minister of Christ, inferior to Christ but superior to the people. The people, on the other hand, since they in no sense represent the divine Redeemer and are not mediator between themselves and God, can in no way possess the sacerdotal power... The unbloody immolation at the words of consecration, when Christ is made present upon the altar in the state of a victim, is performed by the priest and by him alone, as the representative of Christ and not as the representative of the faithful." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

* Altar boys are to be male.

Canon 44: "That women are not to come near the altar." (Council of Laodicea, 4th century A.D.)

"Women are not, however, permitted to act as altar servers." (Inaestimabile Donum, Approved and Confirmed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II) [Note: Once again, calculated disobedience to the pope has resulted in the eventual, reluctant toleration of "female altar boys". Since this practice was always rejected by the Church and was only permitted as a result of disobedience, faithful & obedient Catholics continue to reject this practice which is so harmful to vocations and promotes a feminist agenda.]

"[T]o select carefully good and upright young boys from all classes of citizens who will come generously and spontaneously to serve at the altar with careful zeal and exactness. Parents of higher social standing and culture should greatly esteem this office for their [sons]. If these youths, under the watchful guidance of the priests, are properly trained and encouraged to fulfill the task committed to them punctually, reverently and constantly, then from their number will readily come fresh candidates for the priesthood." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.) 

Also See...

Proper Role & Behavior of Women (Priests & Vocations Reflections)

Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests

* In the Catholic Church alone can be found the lawful exercise of priestly orders and the licit celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Only in the Catholic Church is the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist licitly found. So-called 'Christian Churches' that don't preserve valid Holy Orders which can be traced back directly to the Apostles (e.g. Protestants, including Anglicans) cannot produce the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (even illicitly) since they have no power of orders.

* For a valid Sacrament to occur, all required elements are necessary (proper matter and form & validly ordained priest with the proper intention). Note that the words of Consecration must be pronounced by the priest - with the proper intention - for the validity of the Sacrament.

"There is no Sacrament [of the Mass] if any of these is missing: the proper matter, the form, including the intention, and the priestly ordination of the celebrant. If these things are present, the Sacrament is valid, no matter what else is lacking." (De Defectibus)

"Defects on the part of the form may arise if anything is missing from the complete wording required for the act of consecrating....the words of the Consecration...are the form of this Sacrament... If the priest were to shorten or change the form of the consecration of the Body and the Blood, so that in the change of wording the words did not mean the same thing, he would not be achieving a valid Sacrament. If, on the other hand, he were to add or take away anything which did not change the meaning, the Sacrament would be valid, but he would be committing a grave sin." (De Defectibus)

* Traditionally, there are three chief parts of the Mass: The Offertory, the Consecration, and Communion.

"[The chief parts of the Mass are:] The Offertory ("The priest offers to God the bread and wine that are afterwards consecrated."), the consecration ("By the words of consecration the priest changes the bread and wine into the true Body and into the true Blood of Jesus Christ"), and the Communion ("The priest consumes the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and gives Holy Communion to {the faithful, if applicable}")." (Catechism of St. John Neumann)

"The chief parts of the [Traditional] Mass are: (1) The Offertory, at which the priest offers to God the bread and wine to be changed at the Consecration; (2) The Consecration, at which the substance of the bread and wine are changed into the substance of Christ's body and blood; (3) The Communion, at which the priest receives into his own body the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of both bread and wine." (Baltimore Catechism)

* Traditionally, the Consecration is contained in the Canon of the Mass just before the elevation of the Host and Chalice.

"The part of the Mass in which the words of Consecration are found is called the Canon. This is the most solemn part of the Mass, and [traditionally] is rarely and but slightly changed in any Mass." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The Consecration in the Mass takes place immediately before the elevation of the Host and Chalice, which are raised above the head of the priest that the people may adore Our Lord who has just come to the altar at the words of Consecration" (Baltimore Catechism)

* During Mass, at the consecration, the bread and wine are entirely changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. The change is so complete that none of the substance of bread and wine remains, leaving only the appearance of bread and wine [that is, the 'accidents' - e.g. the appearance, smell, "the figure, the color, the taste, and whatever appears to the senses" (Baltimore Catechism)]. This miraculous change is called 'transubstantiation'. Although the transubstantiation is not perceptible to the eyes, it can be - and must be - perceptible "with the eyes of faith". 

"The Church calls the miraculous change [of bread and of wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ] which is daily wrought upon our altars transubstantiation." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"The bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecration in the Mass." (Baltimore Catechism)

"This change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of our Lord is called Transubstantiation." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who is Almighty God, gave this great power to the words of consecration." (Catechism of St. Pius X) [Note: To have this power, the words must be uttered by a validly ordained priest with the proper intention and matter.]

"The host before consecration is bread...After consecration the host is the true Body of our Lord Jesus Christ under the species of bread" (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"In the chalice before consecration there is wine with a few drops of water...After consecration there is in the chalice the true Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the species of wine." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"[H]owever repugnant it may appear to the senses,...none of the substance of the elements remains in the Sacrament." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The change of the bread into the Body and of the wine into the Blood of Jesus Christ is made in the very moment in which the priest pronounces the words of consecration during holy Mass." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"This change is effected by a power which is infinite, to which it belongs to operate in an instant." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[A]fter the consecration nothing remains under the sacramental species except the body and the blood of Christ... the substance of the bread or wine remains until the last instant of the consecration; but in the last instant of the consecration there is already present there the substance of the body or blood of Christ" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"After the Consecration, the good God is there as He is in Heaven. If man well understood this mystery, he would die of love. God spares us because of our weakness." (Catechism of the Cure of Ars)

"The Eucharist is a sacrament in which, by the marvelous conversion of the whole substance of bread into the Body of Jesus Christ, and that of wine into His precious Blood, is contained truly, really, and substantially, the Body, the Blood, the Soul and Divinity of the same Lord Jesus Christ, under the appearance of bread and wine as our spiritual food." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"The consecration is the renewal, by means of the priest, of the miracle wrought by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, of changing bread and wine into His adorable Body and Blood by saying: 'This is My Body: This is My Blood.'" (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"After the substance of the bread and wine had been changed into the substance of the body and blood of our Lord there [remains] only the appearances of bread and wine." (Baltimore Catechism)

"There is no deception in this sacrament; for the accidents which are discerned by the senses are truly present. But the intellect, whose proper object is substance as is said in De Anima iii, is preserved by faith from deception...faith is not contrary to the senses, but concerns things to which sense does not reach." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"We know that it is possible to change one substance into another, because (1) God changed water into blood during the plagues of Egypt; (2) Christ changed water into wine at the marriage of Cana; (3) Our own food is daily changed into the substance of our flesh and blood; and what God does gradually, He can also do instantly by an act of His will." (Baltimore Catechism) [Note: "These changes are not exactly the same as the changes that take place in the Holy Eucharist, for in these changes the appearance also is changed, but in the Holy Eucharist only the substance is changed while the appearance remains the same."]

"The whole substance of bread is converted into the whole substance of Christ's Body, the whole substance of wine into the whole substance of His Blood. This is not a transmutation or transformation; it is not catalogued under the ordinary physical processes, but is given the special name of transubstantiation." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Hence our predecessors in the faith, the Fathers of the General Councils of Lateran and of Florence, confirmed by solemn decrees the truth of this dogma [of Transubstantiation]. In the Council of Trent it was still more fully defined in these words: If any one shall say that in the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of the bread and wine remains, together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"It is evident to the senses that all the accidents of bread and wine remain after consecration. Such is the reasonable course of divine Providence, for it is abominable to eat human flesh and drink human blood. That is why Christ's Body and Blood are offered to us under the species of what we are accustomed to take, namely, bread and wine." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Just as in nature the bread by the eating and the wine and the water by the drinking are changed into the body and blood of the eater and drinker, and do not become a different body from the former one, so the bread of the altar and the wine and water are supernaturally changed by the invocation and presence of the Holy Spirit into the Body and Blood of Christ, and are not two but one and the same." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church, 8th century A.D.)

"After consecration the species of the bread and of the wine alone are left." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"The species of the bread and of the wine are the quantity and sensible qualities of the bread and of the wine, such as the form, the color, and the taste." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"Although the figure of the bread and wine be seen, still, after the Consecration, they are to be believed to be nothing else than the body and blood of Christ." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"Do not, therefore, regard the Bread and the Wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ. Even through the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but - be fully assured by the faith, not doubting that the Body and Blood of Christ have been vouchsafed to thee." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, c. 350 A.D.)

"When we say the Sacrament which contains the Body and Blood, we mean the Sacrament which is the Body and Blood, for after the Consecration there is no other substance present in the Eucharist." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The species of the bread and of the wine remain without their substance in a wonderful way by the power of God Almighty." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"[S]ince...the body and blood of our Lord are really and truly contained in the Sacrament, to the entire exclusion of the substance of the bread and wine, and since the accidents of bread and wine cannot inhere in the body and blood of Christ, it remains that, contrary to physical laws, they must subsist of themselves, inhering in no subject... [T]he substance of the bread and wine ceases to exist in the Eucharist." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"[T]he accidents which present themselves to the eyes or other senses exist in a wonderful and ineffable manner without a subject. All the accidents of bread and wine we can see, but they inhere in no substance, and exist independently of any; for the substance of the bread and wine is so changed into the body and blood of our Lord that they altogether cease to be the substance of bread and wine." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The doctrine [of Transubstantiation] thus defined is a natural inference from the words of Scripture. When instituting this Sacrament, our Lord Himself said: This is my body. The word this expresses the entire substance of the thing present; and therefore if the substance of the bread remained, our Lord could not have truly said: This is my body. In St. John Christ the Lord also says: The bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world. The bread which He promises to give, He here declares to be His flesh. A little after He adds: Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. And again: My flesh is [food] indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. Since, therefore, in terms so clear and so explicit, He calls His flesh bread and [food] indeed, and His blood drink indeed, He gives us sufficiently to understand that none of the substance of the bread and wine remains in the Sacrament." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"But since Christ, our Redeemer, has said that that is truly His own body which He offered under the species of bread [cf. Matt. 26:26ff.; Mark 14:22ff.; Luke 22:19 ff.; 1 Cor. 11:23 ff.], it has always been a matter of conviction in the Church of God, and now this holy Synod declares it again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine a conversion takes place of the whole substance of bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood. This conversion is appropriately and properly called transubstantiation by the Catholic Church [can. 2]." (Council of Trent, 1551 A.D.)

"This conversion, then, is so effected that the whole substance of the bread is changed by the power of God into the whole substance of the body of Christ, and the whole substance of the wine into the whole substance of His blood, and this, without any change in our Lord Himself. He is neither begotten, nor changed, not increased, but remains entire in His substance. This sublime mystery St. Ambrose thus declares: You see how efficacious are the words of Christ. If the word of the Lord Jesus is so powerful as to summon into existence that which did not exist, namely the world, how much more powerful is His word to change into something else that which already has existence? Many other ancient and most authoritative Fathers have written to the same effect... This admirable change, as the Council of Trent teaches, the Holy Catholic Church most appropriately expresses by the word transubstantiation. Since natural changes are rightly called transformations, because they involve a change of form; so likewise our predecessors in the faith wisely and appropriately introduced the term transubstantiation, in order to signify that in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the whole substance of one thing passes into the whole substance of another." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Some even say that the doctrine of transubstantiation, based on an antiquated philosophic notion of substance, should be so modified that the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist be reduced to a kind of symbolism, whereby the consecrated species would be merely efficacious signs of the spiritual presence of Christ and of His intimate union with the faithful members of His Mystical Body... These and like errors, it is clear, have crept in among certain of Our sons who are deceived by imprudent zeal for souls or by false science. To them We are compelled with grief to repeat once again truths already well known, and to point out with solicitude clear errors and dangers of error." (Pope Pius XII, "Humani Generis", 1950 A.D.)

"If any one saith that in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood - the species only of the bread and wine remaining - which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls transubstantiation; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

Note: Click here for 'Real Presence / Transubstantiation' Reflections

* The Holy Eucharist is not a mere type or a symbol:

"The bread and wine are not a type of the Body and Blood of Christ - perish the thought! - but the deified Body Itself of the Lord, since the Lord Himself has said, 'This is My Body'. He did not say a type of His body, but His Body; nor a type of His Blood, but His Blood" (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.)

"[In] the sacrament...Christ is contained verily, and not in figure only." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If any one denieth that in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist are contained truly, really, and substantially, the Body and Blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as a sign, or in a figure, or virtue; the him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Pastors should also adduce another passage from which it can be clearly seen that the true body and blood of our Lord are contained in the Eucharist. The Apostle, after having recorded the consecration of bread and wine by our Lord, and also the administration of Communion to the Apostles, adds: But let a man prove himself, and so eat of that bread and drink of the chalice; for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. If, as heretics continually repeat, the Sacrament presents nothing to our veneration but a memorial and sign of the Passion of Christ, why was there need to exhort the faithful, in language so energetic, to prove themselves? By the terrible word judgment, the Apostle shows how enormous is the guilt of those who receive unworthily and do not distinguish from common food the body of the Lord concealed in the Eucharist. In the same Epistle St. Paul had already developed this doctrine more fully, when he said: The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? and the bread which we break, is it not the participation of the body of the Lord ? Now these words signify the real substance of the body and blood of Christ the Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

* The Holy Eucharist contains Christ's true Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity:

"The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament which contains the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine." (Baltimore Catechism)

"[I]n the Eucharist there is truly the same Jesus Christ who is in heaven, and who was born on earth of the Blessed Virgin." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"Here the pastor should explain that in this Sacrament are contained not only the true body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire. He should point out that the word Christ designates the God-man, that is to say, one Person in whom are united the divine and human natures; that the Holy Eucharist, therefore, contains both, and whatever is included in the idea of both, the Divinity and humanity whole and entire, consisting of the soul, all the parts of the body and the blood,- all of which must be believed to be in this Sacrament. In heaven the whole humanity is united to the Divinity in one hypostasis, or Person; hence it would be impious, to suppose that the body of Christ, which is contained in the Sacrament, is separated from His Divinity." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"[S]ome things are contained in the Sacrament because they are united to those which are expressed in the form. For instance, the words This is my body, which comprise the form used to consecrate the bread, signify the body of the Lord, and hence the body itself of Christ the Lord is contained in the Eucharist by virtue of the Sacrament. Since, however, to Christ's body are united His blood, His soul, and His Divinity, all of these also must be found to coexist in the Sacrament; not, however, by virtue of the consecration, but by virtue of the union that subsists between them and His body. All these are said to be in the Eucharist by virtue of concomitance. Hence it is clear that Christ, whole and entire, is contained in the Sacrament; for when two things are actually united, where one is, the other must also be." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

* Each element - both the consecrated bread and the consecrated wine contains Christ whole and entire.

"Hence it also follows that Christ is so contained, whole and entire, under either species, that, as under the species of bread are contained not only the body, but also the blood and Christ entire; so in like manner, under the species of wine are truly contained not only the blood, but also the body and Christ entire. But although these are matters on which the faithful cannot entertain a doubt, it was nevertheless wisely ordained that two distinct consecrations should take place. First, because they represent in a more lively manner the Passion of our Lord, in which His blood was separated from His body; and hence in the form of consecration we commemorate the shedding of His blood. Secondly, since the Sacrament is to be used by us as the food and nourishment of our souls, it was most appropriate that it should be instituted as food and drink, two things which obviously constitute the complete sustenance of the (human) body." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

* The separate consecration of the bread and wine is representative of the Passion and death of Christ: "For the blood, separately consecrated, serves to place before the eyes of all, in a more forcible manner, the Passion of our Lord, His death, and the nature of His sufferings." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

* Although Christ is in the Holy Eucharist, He does not cease to be in heaven: "When Jesus Christ is in the host He does not cease to be in heaven, but is at one and the same time in heaven and in the Blessed Sacrament." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

* Although there are many hosts distributed throughout the world, each is whole and entire, yet there is only Body of Christ.

"There are not as many bodies of Christ as there are tabernacles in the world, or as there are Masses being said at the same time; but only one body of Christ, which is everywhere present whole and entire in the Holy Eucharist, as God is everywhere present, while He is but one God." (Baltimore Catechism)

"[S]ince the Sacrifice is offered everywhere, are there, then, a multiplicity of Christs? By no means! Christ is one everywhere. He is complete here, complete there, one Body. And just as he is one Body and not many though offered everywhere, so too there is one Sacrifice." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 403 A.D.)

"The second great miracle in the Holy Eucharist is the multiplication of the presence of Our Lord's body in so many places at the same time, while the body itself is not multiplied - for there is but one body of Christ." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Jesus Christ is present in all the consecrated hosts in the world by the Omnipotence of God, to whom nothing is impossible." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

* Although a host may be broken, the Body of Jesus is not broken: "When the host is broken, the Body of Jesus Christ is not broken, but only the species of the bread are broken." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

* Even the tiniest particle of the Eucharist contains Christ's Body, whole and entire.

"Yes, the same Jesus Christ is just as much in a particle of a host as in a whole host." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"Jesus Christ is present whole and entire in the smallest portion of the Holy Eucharist under the form of either bread or wine; for His body in the Eucharist is in a glorified state, and as it partakes of the character of a spiritual substance, it requires no definite size or shape." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Nor should it be forgotten that Christ, whole and entire, is contained not only under either species, but also in each particle of either species. Each, says St. Augustine, receives Christ the Lord, and He is entire in each portion. He is not diminished by being given to many, but gives Himself whole and entire to each." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Christ's Flesh is food, and His Blood is drink; yet is He whole under each Species. He is not cut by the receiver, nor broken, nor divided: He is taken whole. He is received by one, He is received by a thousand; the one receives as much as all; nor is He consumed, who is received. And when the Sacrament is broken, waver not, but remember that there is as much under each fragment as is hidden under the whole. Of the substance there is no division; it is but the sign that is broken; and He who is the Signified, is not thereby diminished, either as to state or stature." (Sequence)

"[O]ur Lord is not in the Sacrament as in a place. Place regards things only inasmuch as they have magnitude. Now we do not say that Christ is in the Sacrament inasmuch as He is great or small, terms which belong to quantity, but inasmuch as He is a substance. The substance of the bread is changed into the substance of Christ, not into magnitude or quantity; and substance, it will be acknowledged by all, is contained in a small as well as in a large space. The substance of air, for instance, and its entire nature must be present under a small as well as a large quantity, and likewise the entire nature of water must be present no less in a glass than in a river. Since, then, the body of our Lord succeeds to the substance of the bread, we must confess it to be in the Sacrament after the same manner as the substance of the bread was before consecration; whether the substance of the bread was present in greater or less quantity is a matter of entire indifference." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"If any one denieth that in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

* The Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist rests on Christ's own words and cannot be doubted. 

"Jesus said to them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.'" (Jn. 6:53-58) [Note: As Scripture makes clear, reception of the Holy Eucharist is one essential condition for salvation. To be saved, one must also live according to God's laws.]

"While they were eating, [Jesus] took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, 'Take it; this is my body.'" (Mk. 14:22)

"I believe that in the Eucharist Jesus Christ is truly present, because He Himself has said it, and holy Church teaches it." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the Body and Blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified Body of the Lord itself, for the Lord has said: This is My body, not, this is a figure of my body; and My blood, not, a figure of my blood." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church, 8th century A.D.)

"When our Lord says: This is my body, this is my blood, no person of sound mind can mistake His meaning, particularly since there is reference to Christ's human nature, the reality of which the Catholic faith permits no one to doubt. The admirable words of St. Hilary, a man not less eminent for piety than learning, are apt here: When our Lord himself declares, as our faith teaches us, that His flesh is food indeed, what room can remain for doubt concerning the real presence of His body and blood?" (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Q. "How do we show that Christ did change bread and wine into the substance of His body and blood?" A. "We show that Christ did change bread and wine into the substance of His body and blood: (1) From the words by which He promised the Holy Eucharist; (2) From the words by which He instituted the Holy Eucharist; (3) From the constant use of the Holy Eucharist in the Church since the time of the Apostles; (4) From the impossibility of denying the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, without likewise denying all that Christ has taught and done; for we have stronger proofs for the Holy Eucharist than for any other Christian truth." (Baltimore Catechism) 

* Those who don't accept the Holy Eucharist were the first ones to stop following Jesus, as it says in Scripture, in St. John 6:66: "As a result of this [Christ's Eucharistic teaching], many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him." Not only did Christ let them go, but he asked his disciples if they would also leave him: "Jesus then said to the Twelve, 'Do you also want to leave?'" (Jn. 6:67)

* The Bible also tells us that those who don't distinguish the Body and Blood are guilty of the Body and blood of the Lord. 

"Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:27-30)

As the saints explain, those who don't believe are condemned.

"Let no one be deceived: even the heavenly beings and the angels in their glory, and rulers visible and invisible, - even for these there will be judgment, if they do not believe in the Blood of Christ." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, c. 110 A.D.) 

"Therefore all those who saw the Lord Jesus according to [His] humanity and did not see and believe according to the Spirit and the Godhead that He is the true Son of God were condemned. And now in the same way, all those who see the sacrament [of the Holy Eucharist], which is sanctified by the words of the Lord upon the altar at the hands of the priest in the form of bread and wine, and who do not see and believe according to the Spirit and the Godhead that is truly the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, are condemned. [Such] is attested by the Most High Himself Who says: 'This is my Body and the Blood of my new testament...' and 'He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life' (cf. Jn. 6:55). Therefore it is the Spirit of the Lord, Who lives in His faithful, Who receives the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord. All others who do not share in this same Spirit and who presume to receive Him eat and drink judgment to themselves (Cf. 1 Cor. 11:29). Therefore, O sons of men, how long will you be hard of heart? Why do you not recognize the truth and believe in the Son of God? See, daily He humbles Himself as when He came from the royal throne into the womb of the Virgin; daily He comes to us in a humble form; daily He comes down from the bosom of the Father upon the altar in the hands of the priest. And as He appeared to the holy apostles in true flesh, so now He reveals Himself to us in the sacred bread. As they saw only his flesh by means of their bodily slight, yet believed Him to be God as they contemplated Him with the eyes of faith, so, as we see bread and wine with [our] bodily eyes, we too are to see and firmly believe them to be His most holy Body and Blood living and true. And in this way the Lord is always with His faithful, as He Himself says: Behold I am with you even to the end of the world (cf. Mt. 28:30)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

* Faithful to Christ, the truth of the Real Presence has always been believed by the Church.

"It is manifest that belief in the Real Presence of the body of Christ in the holy Sacrament of the Eucharist was so spread and taught throughout the universal Church and unanimously professed by all the faithful" (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"[T]he Fathers who flourished in the early ages of the Church and in each succeeding century, who are the most unexceptionable witnesses of her doctrine. All of these teach in the clearest terms and with the most entire unanimity the truth of this dogma [of the Real Presence]. To adduce the individual testimony of each Father would prove an endless task." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Whoever turns over the pages of the holy Fathers will easily perceive that on this doctrine (of transubstantiation) they have been at all times unanimous. St. Ambrose says: You say, perhaps, 'this bread is no other than what is used for common food.' True, before consecration it is bread; but no sooner are the words of consecration pronounced than from bread it becomes the flesh of Christ. To prove this position more clearly, he elucidates it by a variety of comparisons and examples. In another place, when explaining these words of the Psalmist, Whatsoever the Lord pleased he hath done in heaven and on earth, St. Ambrose says: Although the species of bread and wine are visible, yet we must believe that after consecration, the body and blood of Christ are alone there. Explaining the same doctrine almost in the same words, St. Hilary says that although externally it appear bread and wine, yet in reality it is the body and blood of the Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

In addition to the evangelists (the Gospel writers), numerous other early Catholic writers have indicated the truth of the Real Presence. The following is a small sampling of such passages:

"Take care, then to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: for there is one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of His Blood; one altar, as there is one bishop with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, c. 110 A.D.)

"We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration, and is thereby living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the flesh and blood of that incarnated Jesus." (St. Justin the Martyr, c. 148-161 A.D.)

"Before it be consecrated it is bread; but where the words of Christ come in, it is the Body of Christ. Finally, hear Him saying: 'All of you take and eat of this; for this is My Body.' And before the words of Christ the chalice is full of wine and water; but where the words of Christ have been operative it is made the Blood of Christ, which redeems the people." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 390 A.D.)

"The bread and wine of the Eucharist before the invocation of the holy and adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, while after the invocation the bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the wine the Blood of Christ." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, 4th century)

"That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.)

* With regard to the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, the faithful are admonished to have faith rather than question, keeping in mind that some mysteries surpass our understanding and that nothing is impossible with God. 

"According to the admonition so frequently repeated by the holy Fathers, the faithful are to be admonished against curious searching into the manner in which this change is effected. It defies the powers of conception; nor can we find any example of it in natural transmutations, or even in the very work of creation. That such a change takes place must be recognized by faith; how it takes place we must not curiously inquire. No less of caution should be observed by pastors in explaining the mysterious manner in which the body of our Lord is contained whole and entire under the least particle of the bread. Indeed, discussions of this kind should scarcely ever be entered upon. Should Christian charity, however, require a departure from this rule, the pastor should remember first of all to prepare and fortify his hearers by reminding them that no word shall be impossible with God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Nothing more becomes the piety of the faithful than, omitting all curious questionings, to revere and adore the majesty of this august Sacrament, and to recognize the wisdom of God in commanding that these holy mysteries should be administered under the species of bread and wine. For since it is most revolting to human nature to eat human flesh or drink human blood, therefore God in His infinite wisdom has established the administration of the body and blood of Christ under the forms of bread and wine, which are the ordinary and agreeable food of man. There are two further advantages: first, it prevents the calumnious reproaches of the unbeliever, from which the eating of our Lord under His visible form could not easily be defended; secondly, the receiving Him under a form in which He is impervious to the senses avails much for increasing our faith. For faith, as the well known saying of St. Gregory declares, has no merit in those things which fall under the proof of reason." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Truly the Eucharist is a mysterium fidei, a mystery which surpasses our understanding and can only be received in faith, as is often brought out in the catechesis of the Church Fathers regarding this divine sacrament: 'Do not see' - Saint Cyril of Jerusalem exhorts - 'in the bread and wine merely natural elements, because the Lord has expressly said that they are his body and his blood: faith assures you of this, though your senses suggest otherwise'." (Pope John Paul II)

"Does any unbeliever profess that the changing of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Lord is impossible? Then let him consider God's omnipotence. Admit that nature can transform one thing into another, then with greater reason should you admit that God's almighty power, which brings into existence the whole substance of things, can work, not as nature does, by changing forms in the same matter, but by changing one whole thing into another whole thing." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If, in the presence of this mystery, reason experiences its limits, the heart, enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, clearly sees the response that is demanded, and bows low in adoration and unbounded love." (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)

"Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, must firmly maintain that in objective reality, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the consecration, so that the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus from that moment on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine." (Pope Paul VI)

Ironically, this element of the Christian religion - which truly calls for faith - is one of the major points of disbelief for those in sects who fancy themselves 'saved by faith alone' and push for a 'personal relationship with Jesus'. Is it not fitting that those who deny the only true Church of Christ and claim that they are saved by "faith alone" are the ones who have no faith in the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and forgo the most personal relationship with Jesus that is possible? As indicated above, we see in the Gospel that Jesus Himself let those leave him who could not accept His doctrine concerning the Holy Eucharist.

"He is hidden from our eyes under the humility of his Sacrament, to try our faith" (St. John Vianney)

"It is difficult, impossible to imagine, I grant; - but how is it difficult to believe?" (Cardinal Newman)

"Let faith supply what the senses cannot give." (Hymn of the Blessed Sacrament)

"That Christ's true Body and Blood are present in this Sacrament can be perceived neither by sense nor by reason, but by faith alone, which rests on God's authority." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

* We should not doubt the truth of the Real Presence since the Lord our God has told us of it and nothing is impossible to God.

"The word of Christ could make out of nothing that which was not; can it then not change the things which are into that which they were not? For to give new natures to things is quite as wonderful as to change their natures." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"Believing and confessing, as they do, that the power of God is supreme over all things, they must also believe that His omnipotence can accomplish the great work which we admire and adore in the Sacrament of the Eucharist." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"He Himself, therefore, having declared and said of the Bread, 'This is My Body,' who will dare any longer to doubt? And when He Himself has affirmed and said, 'This is My Blood,' who can ever hesitate and say it is not His Blood?" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, c. 350 A.D.)

"As to the truth of the Flesh and Blood there is no room left for doubt. For both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and from our own faith, it is truly Flesh and truly Blood." (St. Hilary of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"St. Chrysostom, another witness of equal authority and gravity, professes and proclaims this mysterious truth in many passages, but particularly in his sixtieth homily, On Those Who Receive The Sacred Mysteries Unworthily; and also in his forty-fourth and forty-fifth homilies on St. John. Let us, he says, obey, not contradict God, although what He says may seem contrary to our reason and our sight. His words cannot deceive, our senses are easily deceived." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"It is clear, therefore, that the Virgin gave birth contrary to the order of nature. And this Body which we consecrate is from the Virgin; why do you seek the natural order here in the case of the Body of Christ, when the Lord Jesus Himself was born of the Virgin contrary to nature? It was certainly the true flesh of Christ which was crucified, which was buried; truly, therefore, the Sacrament is a sacrament of that flesh." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"Let us therefore in all respects put our faith in God and contradict Him in nothing, even if what is said seems to be contrary to our reasonings and to what we see. Let His word be of superior authority to reason and sight. This too be our practice in respect to the Sacrament, not looking only upon what is laid out before us, but by taking heed also of His words. For His word cannot deceive; but our senses are easily cheated. His word has never failed; our senses err most of the time. When the word says, 'This is my body', be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ did not give us something tangible, but even in His tangible things all is intellectual. So too with Baptism: the gifts is bestowed through what is a tangible thing, water; but what is accomplished is intellectually perceived: the rebirth and the renewal. If you were incorporeal He would have given you these incorporeal gifts naked; but since the soul is intertwined with the body, He hands over to you in tangible things that which is perceived intellectually. How many now say, 'I wish I could see His shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals.' Only look! You see Him! You touch Him! You eat Him!" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 370 A.D.)

* Although the power and glory of God are veiled in the Holy Eucharist, we may still attempt to 'prove' the Real Presence by various means:

"We prove the Real Presence - that is, that Our Lord is really and truly present in the Holy Eucharist - (1) By showing that it is possible to change one substance into another; (2) By showing that Christ did change the substance of bread and wine into the substance of His body and blood; (3) By showing that He gave this power also to His Apostles and to the priests of His Church." (Baltimore Catechism)

God has also provided proof of the Real Presence in the form of various Eucharistic miracles - e.g. healings, bleeding Eucharists, saints living on the Holy Eucharist alone for years, scientific evidence, etc. Even animals have recognized the Real Presence!

Continued on Next Page

Pg. 1 | Pg. 3 | Pg. 4

Did You Know? 

You can still attend the Traditional Latin Mass - the highly reverent "Mass of the Saints". It is NOT the same as the Mass said in most Catholic parishes today. 

The Mass celebrated in most Catholic parishes since the 1960's is called the "Novus Ordo" (New Order) Mass. It was concocted by men after the Second Vatican Council. There are numerous and significant differences between the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (The "Tridentine" Mass)Happily, the Traditional Latin Mass - in use for most of the life of the Church - is still validly said in Catholic parishes today. Contact your diocese for the nearest location of this incomparable Mass. 

If this Mass is not available in your parish, petition your pastor!

Click Here for More Information Regarding this Mass


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