KNOW AND LOVE YOUR CATHOLIC FAITH:
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST (2): Compendium nos. 283-294
- What is the meaning of transubstantiation?
- Does the breaking of the bread divide Christ?
- How long does the presence of Christ last in the Eucharist?
- What kind of worship is due to the sacrament of the Eucharist?
- Why is the Holy Eucharist the paschal banquet?
- What is the meaning of the altar?
- When does the Church oblige her members to participate at Holy Mass?
- When must one receive Holy Communion?
- What is required to receive Holy Communion?
- What are the fruits of Holy Communion?
- When is it possible to give Holy Communion to other Christians?
- Why is the Eucharist a “pledge of future glory”?
Transubstantiation means the change of the whole substance of bread into the substance of the Body of Christ and of the whole substance of wine into the substance of his Blood.
- This change is brought about in the eucharistic prayer through the efficacy of the word of Christ and by the action of the Holy Spirit. However, the outward characteristics of bread and wine, that is the “eucharistic species”, remain unaltered.
The breaking of the bread does not divide Christ. He is present whole and entire in each of the eucharistic species and in each of their parts.
The presence of Christ continues in the Eucharist as long as the eucharistic species subsist.
The worship due to the sacrament of the Eucharist, whether during the celebration of the Mass or outside it, is the worship of latria, that is, the adoration given to God alone.
- The Church guards with the greatest care Hosts that have been consecrated. She brings them to the sick and to other persons who find it impossible to participate at Mass. She also presents them for the solemn adoration of the faithful and she bears them in processions. The Church encourages the faithful to make frequent visits to adore the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle.
The Holy Eucharist is the paschal banquet in as much as Christ sacramentally makes present his Passover and gives us his Body and Blood, offered as food and drink, uniting us to himself and to one another in his sacrifice.
The altar is the symbol of Christ himself who is present both as sacrificial victim (the altar of the sacrifice) and as food from heaven which is given to us (the table of the Lord).
The Church obliges the faithful to participate at Holy Mass every Sunday and on holy days of obligation. She recommends participation at Holy Mass on other days as well.
The Church recommends that the faithful, if they have the required dispositions, receive Holy Communion whenever they participate at Holy Mass. However, the Church obliges them to receive Holy Communion at least once a year during the Easter season.
To receive Holy Communion one must be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church and be in the state of grace, that is, not conscious of being in mortal sin.
- Anyone who is conscious of having committed a grave sin must first receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before going to Communion.
- Also important for those receiving Holy Communion are a spirit of recollection and prayer, observance of the fast prescribed by the Church, and an appropriate disposition of the body (gestures and dress) as a sign of respect for Christ.
Holy Communion increases our union with Christ and with his Church.
- It preserves and renews the life of grace received at Baptism and Confirmation and makes us grow in love for our neighbor.
- It strengthens us in charity, wipes away venial sins and preserves us from mortal sin in the future.
Catholic ministers may give Holy Communion licitly to members of the Oriental Churches which are not in full communion with the Catholic Church whenever they ask for it of their own will and possess the required dispositions. Catholic ministers may licitly give Holy Communion to members of other ecclesial communities only if, in grave necessity, they ask for it of their own will, possess the required dispositions, and give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding the sacrament.
The Eucharist is a pledge of future glory because it fills us with every grace and heavenly blessing.
- It fortifies us for our pilgrimage in this life and makes us long for eternal life.
- It unites us already to Christ seated at the right hand of the Father, to the Church in heaven and to the Blessed Virgin and all the saints.
- In the Eucharist, we “break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death and the food that makes us live forever in Jesus Christ.” (Saint Ignatius of Antioch)
SEE AS WELL: KNOW AND LOVE YOUR CATHOLIC FAITH: THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST (1) in
Stay updated: subscribe by email for free TO OUR NEW WEBSITE www.catholicsstrivingforholiness.org (PUT YOUR EMAIL IN THE SUBSCRIBE WIDGET).
We are also in www.fb.com/Catholicsstrivingforholiness. Kindly help more people in their Christian life by liking our page and inviting your family, friends and relatives to do so as well. Thanks in advance and God bless you and your loved ones! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo