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.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


by Matthew Lee Anderson

That from T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets, his “answer” to the problems he raised in The Wasteland. Or at least I think it is.

I didn’t understand The Wasteland the first time I read it, and my comprehension hasn’t improved much since.

Few lines capture the central neurosis of our age better. Our relationship to reality is not an un-compromised one. It is tarnished, marked by sin, and the refusal to bear responsibility for our actions in it.

At the end of C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, Lewis wakes in a fit of horror because he has seen a glimpse of the reality beneath the shadows, the fixed eternal that is the accumulation of a million choices distended through time, and he cannot bear the sight.

God, we hear in those pages, is the Fact to whom the universe answers, and the Fact on which all other facts depend. It is a point worth contemplating.

My own generation, the “millenials,” love to talk about being “authentic.” And well we should, for whatever else happens, we cannot fail in honesty or veracity to that which we are—in Christ.

But as Eliot reminds us, authenticity isn’t easy. Rather, it is the most difficult thing of all. Acknowledging the reality of who we are is the sort of enterprise that will inevitably fail unless aided by grace.

The moment we claim to “know ourselves” is precisely the moment when we are most prone to self-deception, especially if that knowledge is not mediated to us by the Word of God.
Our age is one of deep confusion about the nature and authority of reality, and one of endless amusements to help us avoid it.

We are, to return to Eliot, “distracted from distraction by distraction,” working tirelessly to avoid God, our neighbors, and ourselves.

No generation has been able to bear reality - ours is simply the first that has been able to construct a virtual alternative that is more to our liking.

But avoiding the truth is a fool’s game, for the Fact that we avoid is one named Love.

Truth and grace have met in the person of Jesus Christ, the Beloved Disciple tells us, and inasmuch as we are in Him we will see them both in equal measure.

In Him we can bear all the reality he gives to us, for He gives it to us according to our measure.

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