A Disturbing Lack of Belief in the Real Presence

I would like to share with you some excerpts from an editorial in the September 1-7 issue of the Our Sunday Visitor newspaper regarding belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I found it to be very disturbing in light of the truth about the central Mystery of our Catholic Faith.

The editorial states that “In early August the Pew Research Center released the results of a survey that caused quite a commotion in the Catholic community. It said, in short, that more than two -thirds (69%) of those who self-identify as Catholic say they do not believe in transubstantiation, the ‘source and summit’ of the Faith that holds that the bread and wine used during the Eucharistic sacrifice miraculously becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Rather, these same self-identifying Catholics posit that the bread and wine are only ‘symbols’ used to commemorate the Last Supper.”

“Over the centuries, Eucharistic controversies have been the cause of schism, war and great divisions. But it’s this reality that has remained at the heart of the Catholic Faith for more than 2,000 years. That’s why it’s even more surprising to find that 43% of that 69% not only don’t believe in the Real Presence, but they don’t actually know the Church claims it as one of its most foundational teachings.”

“Looking back at the numbers, we find that almost one- third, or 31%, of self-identifying Catholics say they believe that the bread and wine used at Mass actually becomes the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord. But do our actions reflect these claims? Do we witness to the world, and to our fellow Catholics, that we really believe what we say we believe? While faith formation classes are essential tools for transmitting the Faith, the reverent actions of believers can be just as effective., if not more so, as tools of catechesis, especially when it comes to witnessing to the Church’s ‘most precious treasure.”

“Do we genuflect reverently every time we pass the Tabernacle? Do we make time to attend Eucharistic adoration or sit before Christ in the Tabernacle? Do we bow before receiving Holy Communion? Do we wear clothes to Mass that express our true belief that we are in the presence of God? Do we raise our voices in loud objection when we hear stories of the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament? Do we refrain from receiving Christ in the Eucharist when we are not in a state of grace, remembering that receiving Communion is a gift, not a right? If we truly believe what we say we believe, our actions should reflect this belief.”

I ask everyone to take some time to reflect on the words above as this is very disturbing news. We have in our midst the most precious and greatest gift the world has ever received. How do you see it?

- Fr. Dennis, September 22, 2019