Bread of Life

 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (john 6: 50)
The miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded. Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church—with the whole community of Catholics around the world…and in heaven.


Why does the Catholic Church believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist?
The Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist—body, blood, soul and divinity. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because Jesus tells us this is true in the Bible:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” - John 6:48-56
Furthermore, the early Church Fathers either imply or directly state that the bread and wine offered in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, the doctrine of the Real Presence that Catholics believe today was believed by the earliest Christians 2,000 years ago!

This miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain they are retained.--JOHN xx. 23.
INTRODUCTION. The words of the text were spoken by our Lord on the evening of the day of the Resurrection. The risen Saviour, appearing to the Apostolic group as they were gathered together behind closed doors, conferred upon them the wondrous power of forgiving and retaining sins. He gave them the faculty, not only to forgive, but also to retain sins, thereby showing that this power was to be exercised with discrimination, dependent upon the dispositions of the sinner. Accordingly the minister of Christ in the Sacrament of Penance is not allowed to give absolution, unless he judges there is contrition on the part of the penitent; and were he to absolve a sinner who had no sorrow for his sins, the absolution would be null and void. Let us meditate, therefore, today on contrition for sins, a most necessary condition for pardon.

I. The meaning of contrition: 1. Contrition is a sorrow and detestation of past sin, with a purpose of sinning no more. 2. Contrition includes two elements: (a) sorrow for the past; (b) a firm resolution of amendment for the future. Hence contrition requires forgiveness of injuries and the purpose of reparation and restitution, as far as necessary and possible, and of the avoidance of the occasions of sin. 3. Contrition is either perfect or imperfect (attrition) according as our sorrow springs from love of God; or from fear of punishment, hatred of sin, or other supernatural motive short of God's love. If one's dispositions are such that he would continue to sin except for the fear of punishment, his contrition is not sufficient for pardon.

II. The qualities of contrition: 1. Contrition must be interior, i.e., it must come from the heart. 2. It must be supernatural, i.e., its motive must spring from something suggested by faith, such as love of God, loss of heaven, and the like; it must not be a merely natural sorrow based on fear of temporal loss or punishment. 3. It must be universal, extending at least to all mortal sins. If only venial sins are confessed, sorrow must be had at least for one of them. 4. Contrition must be sovereign, i.e., the penitent, aside altogether from his sensible feelings, must realize that sin, as being against God, is the greatest of all evils.

III. The importance and efficacy of contrition: 1. An act of perfect contrition obtains pardon for sins at once, even before they are confessed, because it proceeds from love of God, which cannot co-exist with sin. 2. Perfect contrition, however, when there is question of mortal sins, must include the intention of confession, since Christ instituted the Sacrament of Penance as the sole means of forgiving grievous sins committed after Baptism.

EXHORTATION, 1. Make frequent examinations of conscience and acts of contrition, especially before going to sleep. 2. Frequently reflect on the motives of sorrow for sin. 3. Make a sincere act of contrition before going to confession, and remember that true contrition always requires a firm purpose of amendment.

Confession Index


Anonymous said...

O, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because of your just punishment, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

a39greenway said...


Sorrow for sin arising from perfect love. In perfect contrition the sinner detests sin more than any other evil, because it offends God, who is supremely good and deserving of all human love. Its motive is founded on God's own personal goodness and not merely his goodness to the sinner or to humanity.

This motive, not the intensity of the act and less still the feelings experienced, is what essentially constitutes perfect sorrow. A perfect love of God, which motivates perfect contrition, does not necessarily exclude attachment to venial sin.

Venial sin conflicts with a high degree of perfect love of God, but not with the substance of that love. Moreover, in the act of perfect contrition other motives can coexist with the perfect love required.

There can be fear or gratitude, or even lesser motives such as self-respect and self-interest, along with the dominant reason for sorrow, which is love for God. Perfect contrition removes the guilt and eternal punishment due to grave sin, even before sacramental absolution.

However, a Catholic is obliged to confess his or her grave sins at the earliest opportunity and may not, in norma circumstances, receive Communion before he or she has been absolved by a priest in the sacrament of penance.