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Daily Catholic Question

When does Jesus become present?

Over the centuries East and West have argued when, precisely, the body and blood of Christ become present in the Eucharist.

According to Johannes Emminghaus in The Eucharist, a practical question was at the base of the discussion—"What is to be done if, for some reason (for example, the sudden death of the celebrant), the Canon is broken off? When could the bread and wine simply be removed? From what point on is it consecrated?"

The Western Church asserted the Body and Blood are present at the completion of the words of consecration. The Eastern Church supported the view that the real presence takes place through the epiclesis (the prayer for the sending or coming of the Spirit to sanctify the gifts of bread and wine).

According to Richard McBrien in his Encyclopedia of Catholicism, ecumenical theologians avoid attempts to locate a moment of consecration at either the epiclesis or words of institution. They prefer, he says, to consider the entire prayer over the gifts, and not one of its isolated moments, as the consecratory prayer.

Emminghaus observes that the Church has never made a dogmatic pronouncement on the point.

Ludwig Ott, however, in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma it as certain that the form of the Eucharist consists of Christ's words of institution uttered at the consecration. And Ott cites the Council of Trent as teaching, according to the standing belief of the Church, "'immediately after the consecration,' that is, after the uttering of the words of institution, the true body and the true blood of the Lord are present."

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 4/23/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 4/25/2013


Scholastica: Twins often share the same interests and ideas with an equal intensity. Therefore, it is no surprise that Scholastica and her twin brother, Benedict (July 11), established religious communities within a few miles from each other. 
<p>Born in 480 of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were brought up together until he left central Italy for Rome to continue his studies. </p><p>Little is known of Scholastica’s early life. She founded a religious community for women near Monte Cassino at Plombariola, five miles from where her brother governed a monastery. </p><p>The twins visited each other once a year in a farmhouse because Scholastica was not permitted inside the monastery. They spent these times discussing spiritual matters. </p><p>According to the <i>Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great</i>, the brother and sister spent their last day together in prayer and conversation. Scholastica sensed her death was close at hand and she begged Benedict to stay with her until the next day. </p><p>He refused her request because he did not want to spend a night outside the monastery, thus breaking his own Rule. Scholastica asked God to let her brother remain and a severe thunderstorm broke out, preventing Benedict and his monks from returning to the abbey. </p><p>Benedict cried out, “God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?” Scholastica replied, “I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked it of God and he granted it.” </p><p>Brother and sister parted the next morning after their long discussion. Three days later, Benedict was praying in his monastery and saw the soul of his sister rising heavenward in the form of a white dove. Benedict then announced the death of his sister to the monks and later buried her in the tomb he had prepared for himself.</p> American Catholic Blog In all the sacraments, Christ gives to us the transforming power of his love, which we call “grace.” But in the Eucharist, and only in the Eucharist, Jesus gives us even more. He gives us his entire self—Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Of course, the proper response to a gift of this magnitude is gratitude.

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