Believing that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist is essential to the practice of our Catholic faith! (CCC 1324)
Why is it so hard for some to believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist?
After all, if Christ is the Creator of the vast universe in which we live and all that it contains, then what could possibly prevent him from making himself present to us under the form of something with which we are familiar, and are capable of experiencing with all of our senses?
St. Thomas Aquinas explains the mystery of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist in terms of what the Church refers to as transubstantiation. He tells us that everything that has substance, such as bread and wine, stands under what philosophers refer to as “accidents”,. The accidents give a substance its appearance, texture, taste, and smell.
UPON CONSECRATION OF THE BREAD AND WINE, CHRIST HIMSELF BECOMES, OR REPLACES, THE SUBSTANCE UNDER WHICH THE ACCIDENTS OF THE BREAD AND WINE STILL REMAIN. In other words, what we still perceive through all of our senses as bread and wine, has now supernaturally become transformed into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Listen to what St. John Chrysostom and St. Ambrose have to say about transubstantiation in the following references found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1375.
“It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.” (St. John Chrysostom, prod. Jud. 1:6: PG 49, 380.)
“Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed. . . . Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.” (St. Ambrose, De myst. 9, 50; 52: PL 16, 405-407.)
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