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76. The Real Presence

1. In the Holy Eucharist, Christ is present whole and entire(body, blood, soul, and Godhead or divinity) under the appearancesor accidentals of bread and wine. The words of consecration (whichconstitute the form of the sacrament of Holy Eucharist)bring the living Christ, God and man, truly present. The words,"This is my body," bring Christ's body truly present.This is Christ's living body; therefore, it has itsblood, its soul, and the Godhead which assumed this body. Thewords, "This is my blood," bring Christ's blood trulypresent. This is Christ's living blood; therefore itis in its body, with the soul, and the divinity or Godhead whichassumed this blood. Thus, the whole Christ is present under theappearances of bread, and the whole Christ is present under theappearances of wine, and the whole Christ is present under bothappearances together. For, if two things are really united,wherever one is the other must be. And Christ's completehumanity (in its elements of body, blood, and soul) is reallyunited with his divinity. Thus, by the power of this sacrament, thebody of Christ is presentat the words, "This is mybody," and, by the necessity of concomitance, theblood of Christ is present also, as is the soul, and the divinity.And the blood of Christ is present at the words, "This is myblood," and, by the necessity of concomitance, the body ofChrist is present also, as is the soul, and the divinity.

2. Therefore, the whole Christ, God and man, is containedunder each species-that is, each set of appearances,namely, the appearances of bread, and the appearances of wine.

3. And the whole Christ is present under every part orquantity of each species. As a loaf of bread is bread, anda slice of bread is bread, and a crumb of bread isbread, so, the Eucharistic species, in whatever quantity,is Christ. There is a difference, however, in the fact that Christis not diminished as the bread is diminished when the loaf is takenand a slice is left, or when a slice is taken away and only a crumbis left. Christ is not made smaller as the species becomes smaller,but is whole and entire (entirely unaffected by any externaldimensions) in any tangible quantity of the consecratedmatter (that is, bread and wine).

4. The whole dimensive quantity of Christ's body ispresent in every particle of the Eucharistic species (every crumb,every drop), but Christ's body has not its external extensionor dimensions. Nor is Christ's body measured, and"sized," according to the amounts and measurements of thespecies of bread and wine. The dimensions of the species areaccidentals of the species; they do not become the dimensions ofChrist. But the dimensions of Christ are present after the mannerin which the substance of Christ is present, that is, complete ineach particle, as bread is complete bread in each loaf, and slice,and crumb. The size of the sacred host is not the size of Christ;nor is Christ present in miniature, or as cramped under a quantityof the species; he is present whole and entire, and in fullstature, but that stature is not externally measured ordimensioned.

5. Christ's body is not in this sacrament as a body isin a place. For a body in a place is there according toits external dimensions, and these make the body commensurate withthe dimensions of the place it occupies. But Christ's body isnot present in the Eucharist according to external dimensions. Hisbody is present quantitatively, not in the manner of theexternal accidentals of measurement and dimension, but according tothe manner of substance, which is complete in any quantity, largeor small, that exists.

6. Our Lord is not present in a movable way inthe Holy Eucharist. Only a body that is located (that is,is in a place according to external dimensions), can be moved fromplace to place. Hence, when theEucharistic species is moved,Christ is not moved. If the sacred host be dropped, Christ does notfall down. If the sacred host be moved from right to left, fromleft to right, or raised or lowered, Christ himself is not thusmoved about. Christ is not subject to local movement, even thoughthe sacramental species are so subject.

7. The body of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, as theHoly Eucharist is lovingly called, cannot be seen by any eye, eventhe eye of a glorified body. The glorified eye sees Christ in hisown proper species, as he is in heaven since the day of Ascension.No eye can see Christ as he is present in the Holy Eucharist.Christ is seen there by the mind, the intellect, illumined byfaith. The glorified intellect (in heaven) sees allsupernatural things in its view of the beatific vision of God.

8. When, by an apparition, flesh or blood is seen in thesacred host, this is not the actual flesh and blood of Christ. Theactual flesh and blood of Christ is present, but invisible. Theapparition is an apparition, not a reality. The blood that is seento flow from a consecrated host (as a miraculous manifestation) isnot Christ's own blood, which is never shed again after thePassion. Such a manifestation is a fearsome reminder to theobservers to be aware of the real blood of Christ presentin the host invisibly.

"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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