by Apostoli_Viae


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Catholic Disbelief in the Eucharist

What are the root issues as to why a recent poll reveals that most Catholics don't believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?

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  • Lindsey Fankhauser

    Lindsey Fankhauser

    Powerful Truth. It is sad to see how far we’ve come. I experienced a weakening in my faith when I used to attend a certain Parish, and a great strengthening in faith after moving to a more reverent Parish. It was like night and day. My first Mass at the second Parish brought me to tears and convinced me I needed to move there. I hadn’t realized how much I had been suffering or how much I was starving. The Mass is so powerful and central to our relationship with God and our interior growth. It is incredible to think how much more we can receive from Mass when it is truly faithful and reverent, and we participate with great attention and love. How much more... how much more... ❤️ Brings to mind a past comment from Dan: “One of the prayers in the Apostoli Viae prayer book is the Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament. We recommend our members pray it after receiving communion using this intention: ‘Offered in thanksgiving for the gift of receiving the Lord in the Eucharist, and for reparation for offenses against the Blessed Sacrament, the restoration of reverence and faithful liturgy and teaching, and deep faith in the real presence of our Lord in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.’ This is the way we will see a restoration of reverence 1) by reverent participation, 2) teaching, and 3) prayer.”
  • Darlene Gilbeau

    Darlene Gilbeau

    It is shocking to hear. This is the second time this week that I have had it brought to my attention. What first comes to mind is the small amount of people actually going to confession when most everyone receives communion at mass. So if we have lost sight of why we have these sacraments, and what they are about, it seems to me that the Real Presence of Jesus would be far from one’s mind and heart. I do not understand why the priests do not speak up about this. Maybe the time has come. Parishes need to have Adoration on a regular basis again. Sitting before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament can heal this problem and assume st us in becoming holy. It has come to my mind to ask our pastor if we can have Adoration in our parish. This could help each soul one on one, before the Presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament to become aware again, and it can renew the Church.
  • Dan Burke

    Dan Burke

    @Lamont - Authentic conversion overcomes all - that is what happened to you because of your suffering. I believe this is why his answers don't connect with you directly. So yes, anyone who has experienced authentic conversion will just be grateful to be in the presence of the Lord. That said, when there is a culture of irreverence, as with most Novus Ordo Masses, the irreverence communicates unbelief and this impacts others. Similarly - architecture speaks - it tells us lies or truth. When the tabernacle is hidden, it says, "Jesus is not all that important." When the tabernacle is front and center, and not the priest, it says, "Jesus is all." With respect to the last supper, they were reclining and having a passover meal. This has no bearing on how the Church lives out the Eucharist. Otherwise we would then argue that everyone sits on the floor in a circle around the altar. Ad Orientem is an orientation toward Jesus - the priest leads us to Jesus. This certainly was the focus of the Last Supper - Jesus... now, how do we do that in Liturgy. False innovations after the Counsel have corrupted this important directionality of the Mass... Anyway, just a few thoughts.
  • Diana von Glahn

    Diana von Glahn

    @Lamont--I get what you mean about wearing jeans to Mass and being grateful for being there. For many years, I felt this way. To be honest, I wore whatever I felt comfortable in, not because I couldn't afford or didn't have nicer clothes, but because I was overweight and didn't feel comfortable wearing nicer clothes. (Also, when you're overweight, it's harder to find nice clothes that look good on you.) I don't remember getting nasty looks, but I didn't care. I argued that I was there, and that was better than nothing (which is partially true). Today, I celebrate Mass at a Latin Mass parish, where I wear dresses and a veil. I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't hard to change my ways. But when I started attending this Mass--which is very close to my home--everyone else looked so nice, I felt weird wearing jeans or workout clothes (my usual outfit). There is something to be said for fitting in (contrariwise, I feel weird wearing a dress and veil at a Novus Ordo Mass, which is sad, but I'm trying to get over that!). Also, if we were honest, neither of us would wear jeans if we went to the opera or to meet the President of the United States or the Queen of England! (Unless we had nothing else to wear, but I'm gonna guess that's not true for either of us.) We'd try to look our best! So, since as Catholics, we believe that Jesus Christ is present--Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity--in the Eucharist, why not dress as nicely as we can for Him?! Anyway, one of the things I love about my parish is that there is a note in the bulletin about dressing appropriately for Mass. We're not going to the beach. We're not going clubbing. We're not going to work out. We're not going to work in the coal mine (the original use for jeans). We're going to spend time to worship and honor God. So we should dress appropriately. That said, another thing it says right after the reminder to dress appropriately is that NO ONE except the priest should say anything to someone who is not dressed appropriately. And I think that's where so many of us fail. We all criticize one another so much, it's hurtful. And while it is entirely appropriate for the priest to correct us when we aren't doing what we should to honor God, it's not always appropriate--or charitably done--when we do it to one another. So I'm sorry you got the looks. But the looks don't take away from the fact that we should do our best to honor God, in every way possible. And while for some of us, it takes a while to shed the jeans and put on the fancy clothes, it is an effort well made, and one that is worth making for the God who gave us everything, including the jeans we wear whenever we can. :)
  • Pascal Chimezie

    Pascal Chimezie

    I think there are whole lot of issues that need to be looked into as to why most Catholics don't believe in the 'Real Presence' of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Our catechism classes and those who teach them need to be examined. Catechism classes are meant to catechize converts or new believers on the foundational truths about our faith. Why is it then that those who passed through these classes are not catechized, nor show any appreciable growth in faith? Catechism classes for the reception of sacraments are not supposed to be rushed. But these days, it appears, in a few months or even weeks, a set of those to receive either baptism, confirmation, Holy Eucharist, or Holy Matrimony, is ready. In some places, as I learnt, some intending recipient of these sacraments hardly attend classes. They just collect letters from the priest asking catechism teachers to allow them receive the sacrament. If this is true, then it is very scandalous! The reason we have catechism classes is for those who wish to become members of the Church and subscribe to its core tenets will have the opportunity to learn and understand what the Church stands for and teaches. When we recite the Creed and say, 'We believe' we profess those fundamental truths about the Most Blessed Trinity in One God. Any cursory approach towards catechism will only produce generation of members utterly ignorant of why they believe. One thing we have come to discover also is that the Church appears not to have a properly structured next level catechises that continues to teach those who had undergone the 'primary' initiation classes of baptism, confirmation, Holy Eucharist, and matrimony. When one is completes these classes which are not enough, but serve as introductory level, there are no further classes for deepening of faith. Instead, people are left to wander and drift into societies and groups to discuss, in most cases, mundane issues. I don't know whether anybody has noticed, most societies and groups in the Church these days, except few ones, are too administrative and bureaucratic in nature than spiritual. This is where a person like me will eternally be grateful to the founders of Avila institute for filling in the gap of spiritual growth and deepening of faith to some of us. Faith seeks understanding. It is not opposed to reason. Believe in the 'real presence' of Jesus Christ in the Holy Communion has always been a "hard teaching." Those the message was first preached to by Christ himself found it difficult to believe (John 6:41-60). It has not been made any easier in our day, not by some of our unserious attitudes. The attitude of some priests towards Holy Mass does not help matters. Some priests rush Masses, and say liturgical and Eucharistic prayers devoid of any solemnity. In my country, Nigeria, we largely receive the Holy Communion in our mouth. We hardly receive on hand. When people receive the Consecrated Host on hand, the tendency to see the Host as mere 'symbol' of the Body and Blood of Christ will be there. Some priests even introduce some elements of racism into how the Communion is dispensed. Such unwholesome attitude shows that even the priest who engages in this does not really believe in the true presence of Christ, or have an idea of what he dispenses. I think the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and Divine Worship, or whatever name it is called, at the Vatican, need to take this latest Pew Research study serious, analyze it properly, and come out with new measures as to strengthen Catholic belief in the 'Real Presence' of Jesus Christ in the Holy Communion. Parishes should avoid all forms of abuse and distortion of catechism processes and/or the officiation of the Holy Mass.
  • Mary Jean Ingebredtsen

    Mary Jean Ingebredtsen

    I truly believe that when they changed the 3 parts of the Mass to 2 parts things began to change. The reverence for the Consecration seemed to get sidelined. That was the high point of the Mass as I was taught to believe growing up in the 50's and early 60's beside of course receiving Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. When I looked up at that alter and saw the alter boys lift up the vestment of the priest and him lifting up the host-I knew that Christ was present and could believe in the mystery of what was happening. Since they eliminated that part of the Mass that most important part seems to be lost and we go right into the celebration of the Eucharist-without proper understanding and appreciation of the Consecration. There have been so many other abuses but losing our reverence for the Consecration is right up there, I think with why so few Catholics believe in the True Presence my own children sadly included.
  • Lindsey Fankhauser

    Lindsey Fankhauser

    Wow... these are beautiful responses. What great love I see you all have for Our Lord. 🙏 Just some thoughts... There are clearly many things that can impact our faith in the Real Presence, but it seems to me that central to our faith—and that includes the faith of the Priest, the Catechist, the Parishioner standing next to us, Parents, Family, everyone—each one of us needs to SEE Jesus truly loved and honored at Mass, and we have need to lift up our HEARTS in worship of His True Presence. There is a profound spiritual reality going on when we are at Mass and it needs to be visibly supported. In faith, we believe what we do not see, and reverence says, “yes! The Lord, Our God is real! God is here!” It’s edifying for all and it supports the reality. Yes, we need to nourish our faith with mental prayer, formation, fellowship, serving, etc. but where we are “spirituality nourished” and our faith life built up the “most” in our lives, all goes to the time we spend laying our hearts before Our Lord at Mass. It fortifies our prayer life and our spiritual life for the week. Truly, the worship of God at Mass is our greatest privilege on earth. Our Priests, Catechists, Parishioners, Parents, Family — they pass on the faith they receive, and what great fruit they’d pass on if they were well nourished at a reverent Mass. Adoration is important but I often find myself before Our Lord, hungering to receive Him, and I recognize how much my soul needs Mass and Communion, much more than just Adoration.
  • Noel Phillips

    Noel Phillips

    Amen to this video! I am a convert and so I received no instruction on how to properly receive the host. Recently, I've started only to receive on the tongue out of reverence for the Lord. It is sad that it is a challenge to do this, but I find some of the Eucharistic ministers really uncomfortable distributing on the tongue. I had the opportunity to attend the EF of the Mass and Receiving the Lord kneeling at the altar rail was a powerful experience. I hope someday our architecture will make this practice the norm once again.
  • Kate Lessman

    Kate Lessman

    To know that there is so little belief in the Real Presence, all you have to do is watch the people in the line for Communion. If you did not know better you would think they were going up to receive candy. There is no reverence shown. Maybe one out twenty will bow before reception.
  • Walford Badley

    Walford Badley

    Because this reality can only be grasped through faith, I believe the root issue is that people have stopped growing in faith and see the world only through the eyes of science and politics (exactly how “the world” defines reality).

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