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Catholic Dictionary




The manner of Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist. In its definition on the subject, the Council of Trent in 1551 declared that "in the sacrament of the most holy Holy Eucharist is contained truly, really, and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Denzinger 1636, 1640). Hence Christ is present truly or actually and not only symbolically. He is present really, that is objectively in the Eucharist and not only subjectively in the mind of the believer. And he is present substantially, that is with all that makes Christ Christ and not only spiritually in imparting blessings on those who recieve the sacrament. The one who is present is the whole Christ (totus Christus), with all the attributes of his divinity and all the physical parts and properties of his humanity. (Etym. Latin realis, of the thing itself; extramental + prae-esse, to be at hand, to be immediately efficacious.)