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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. When speaking of the Divine Presence of Jesus in the Consecrated Host or in the Sacred Tabernacle, should we refer to Him as the "Real Presence" or the "True Presence?" Is there a difference between the two?

A. 1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that we should refer to the Presence of Jesus in the Consecrated Host at the "Real Presence."

"The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present." [Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1374]

When speaking of Jesus' "True Presence," it is to reflect that something that is accurate, but it is not an expression of the whole truth. For example, Jesus is truly present in the priest when he administers the Sacraments, be it when hearing your Confession or celebrating the Holy Mass. It is true that Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist, but this truth does not explain how the Lord is present. It is also true the Jesus dwells in those who are in a state of grace and it is also true that He is present in the Holy Scriptures. But all these statements fall short of expressing the whole truth.

In the Holy Eucharist the Presence of Jesus is not only true, but it is Real. The fullness of Jesus is present physically, over and above His being spiritually and Divinely present.

For this reason, the term "Real Presence" must be used when referring to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It is important to express the unique truth about the manner of the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

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