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Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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WHOLE CHRIST

Christ in the fullness of his human and divine natures present in the Holy Eucharist. This means that the same Christ numerically is now present in heaven and in the Blessed Sacrament. There is nothing objectively lacking in the Eucharist of what constitutes Christ. He is there entirely. The only deficiency is the subjective one on the part of the believer, who cannot perceive him with the senses or even reason to his presence, but can only assent on faith that what seems to be bread and wine is really Jesus Christ. Moreover, Christ is present in his entirety in every portion of either species after it is divided. He is also present in his entirety in every spot of either species before it is divided. This does not mean that Christ is present a hundred or a thousand times in a Host (or the chalice) before it is divided, nor that he somehow divides his presence on the thousands of altars of the Catholic world. It is one and the same Christ, wholly present wherever and equally present everywhere.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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