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The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Delving Into The Great Mystery Of The Eucharist

February 18, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


Part 16

The Holy Eucharist is the greatest Mystery left to our faith by Our Divine Redeemer. Thus, to delve into it is something we do on our knees, as it were, spiritually speaking, since we are considering the Presence of a Divine Person under the appearances of bread and wine. We have His word that it is true, and we believe Him.
It happened in the Upper Room. When Christ said, “This is my Body. . . .This is my Blood,” what happened was that the substance of the bread and substance of the wine were changed into His Body and Blood. Of the bread and the wine, nothing remained but the accidents, that is, the size, shape, weight, color, taste, and all else that could be perceived by the senses. This mysterious change is called transubstantiation.
How is it done? We do not have the slightest idea even how to start to explain. How did God create out of nothing the billions of galaxies that compose the universe? What did He do to the lifeless matter of the Earth to create Life? What was the process whereby he made man a thinking animal?
When, by His infinite mercy, we contemplate His Eternal Beauty face to face in Heaven, we will have plenty of opportunity to ask Him. In the meantime, we take it on faith. Period.
So, the Church He endowed with infallibility teaches us that the entire Risen Christ is present both under the species of bread and under the species of wine, and also under each part of either species. It is Christ gloriously risen from the dead who is present.
When common bread or common wine is divided, each division remains true bread or true wine. Each division, therefore, contains the true substance of bread and wine. In the Blessed Eucharist, Christ is present instead of the material substances. Therefore, when the Blessed Eucharist is divided, Christ is present in His entirety in each part or division.
In plain English, Christ is present in every crumb of the consecrated Host and in every drop of the consecrated wine.
You may ask: How long does this Real Presence last? As long as the species remain unchanged after the consecration, the Real Presence continues. Bread when eaten is gradually changed in the process of digestion, and a moment comes when it is no longer bread. Hence, it is only for some minutes after Holy Communion that the Real Presence stays with us after we receive it.
We can and ought to adore Our Divine Lord in the Blessed Eucharist: “No one,” says St. Augustine, “eats this flesh without having first adored it.” The practice of this great devotion received its first definite impetus in the 12th century, after the condemnation of the heretic Berengarius.
The Blessed Sacrament is the living heart of our churches. His Presence makes our churches unique, and set apart from every other building. Reverence for His Presence is an inviolable duty of every Catholic.
Unfortunately, in our days of weakening faith, in many places talking in church is no longer restricted to the brief and the necessary. Prolonged conversation in church must be avoided, not only out of respect for the Real Presence in the tabernacle, but also out of respect to our fellow Catholics who want to remain in the pews to pray a little more, and who are impeded by our noisy chatter.
Imagine how rude it would be if you spent time talking to friends during a visit to an important person.
The Council of Trent directed bishops to “banish from churches . . . all worldly conduct, vain and profane conversations, wandering around, noise and clamor, so that the house of God may be seen to be, and may truly be called, a house of prayer.” Today, in many places, it has become a den of noisy chatters.
A reverent genuflection toward the tabernacle upon entering and leaving church indicates our adoration of our Lord and our God. We must never neglect to do it.
It will not be out of place here to relate an incident that happened to me in the Cathedral of Christ the King, in Johannesburg, South Africa. It happened over thirty years ago, but left in my memory an unforgettable impression.
As I was lining up to receive the Holy Eucharist at the 5:00 p.m. on a Saturday, a young lady, standing ahead of me in the line, received the Host but did not consume it, keeping it in between her hands, instead. The extraordinary minister of Holy Communion noticed it, and asked her to consume the Host right then and there. She sheepishly replied that she was going to consume it when she got back to her pew, but consumed it there as he had asked.
That incident piqued my curiosity: Had she tried to steal the Host? And if so, why? I just had to find out.
After Mass, I approached her with the age-old sentence that every man knows when he wants to start a conversation with a girl: “Haven’t we met before?”
She said that it was possible, and then I asked her if it was in California, she said, “Yes, it is possible, I have been to California.” Then I asked if it was in a private Mass, she replied again “possibly.” Then I asked if her name was Eve, and she smiled and said, “Yes, it is!” And she left the cathedral to speak to me at the side door.
Let me explain my questions: I mentioned California, because it was in Los Angeles where the Church of Satan in America was founded. When I mentioned “a private Mass,” I implied the sacrilegious “black mass” of the Satanists.
But when I asked if her name was “Eve,” and she cheerily said yes, it was because I had heard that in satanic worship all women are nicknamed Eve, since Eve was the first woman to have contact with the Devil, and we, her children, inherited his DNA, as it were, called original sin.
She openly admitted that she was stealing Hosts from the cathedral, and said that she did it every day. A priest friend of mine commented that “since the Church allowed Communion in the hand, it has become easy for the Satanists to steal consecrated Hosts.”

Rescuing The Slaves

In Rome, Fr. Aldo Buonaiuto runs a ministry to rescue young people from slavery to satanic cults. He said in an interview with ZENIT News Agency that one Host consecrated at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome may fetch up to 500 euros in the “black market” of Hosts.
This is a very powerful confirmation of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, coming from a most unsuspected source: The slaves of Satan believe it in, or rather, they know that it is true, and steal Hosts for their sacrilegious practices.
There are no records of their stealing communion from any Protestant church, simply because they know it is only bread, and Protestant ministers have no power to consecrate.
Just another reason for the Church to abolish Communion in the hand, once and for all.
Next article: Answering objections to the Real Presence.

+ + +

(Raymond de Souza, KM, is a Knight of the Sovereign and Military Order of Malta; a delegate for International Missions for Human Life International [HLI]; and an EWTN program host. Website: www.RaymonddeSouza.com.)

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