“Perhaps you may be saying, ‘I see something else; how can you assure me that I am receiving the body of Christ?’ It but remains for us to prove it. And how many are the examples we might use! … Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ.” — St. Ambrose of Milan

A 2019 poll of US Catholics made headlines when it revealed just 31 percent of Catholics believe that “during Catholic Mass the bread and wine actually be- come the body and blood of Jesus.” The Eucharist is no mere symbol of Christ. The Eucharist is Jesus, plain and simple. Pope Paul VI taught that Christ is present in his Church in many ways: in the assembled people, in the Scriptures that are read, in the priest who offers the Mass. Explaining the Real Presence in the Eucharist, he said, “This presence is called ‘real’ not to exclude the idea that the others are ‘real’ too, but rather to indicate presence par excellence, because it is substantial and through it Christ becomes present whole and entire, God and man.” Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist is totally unique. St. Thomas Aquinas says, the Eucharist is “the perfection of the spiritual life and in a sense the goal of all the sacraments.”


Lord Jesus, I believe that the Eucharist is not a symbol, but truly your flesh and your blood. Give me the strength to center my spiritual life on spending time in prayer before you, truly present, in every tabernacle, in every Catholic church, throughout the world. Amen.


O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

-Collect for the Feast of Corpus Christi, composed by St. Thomas Aquinas