"In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine".
- Is the Real Presence Biblical? Evangelicals and Fundamentalists frequently attack this doctrine as "unbiblical," but the Bible is forthright in declaring it (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16–17, 11:23–29; and, most forcefully, John 6:32–71).
- From the Church’s early days, the Fathers referred to Christ’s presence in the Eucharist... "Ignatius roundly declares that . . . [t]he bread is the flesh of Jesus, the cup his blood. Clearly he intends this realism to be taken strictly... Hippolytus speaks of ‘the body and the blood’ through which the Church is saved, and Tertullian regularly describes the bread as ‘the Lord’s body.’... Not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus (Justin Martyr).
- Catholics believe that the Body and Blood of Jesus is present in consecrated bread and wine. We do not say the Eucharist is like the body and blood of Jesus, but that it is the body and blood of Jesus. In the Gospels Jesus says, "This is my body" and "This is my blood."... The mystery of the Kingdom of God and the Eucharist is meant to be obvious. It is meant to reveal and not to obscure, although it cannot be reduced to human logic... The Eucharist is a concrete encounter of the community with Jesus and not just a spiritual thing between an individual and God. It is a flesh and blood relationship between the Divinity and Humanity... In the ancient Hebrew mentality, if an animal was sacrificed to God, the people did not think that the animal was killed to appease an angry God. Instead, they thought of blood as the presence of life. Sacrifice was not so much giving up their best lamb or the first and best part of their crop. Sacrifice meant communion of life... We receive life through that communion.
- There is no doubt that a body-and-blood relationship exists between a mother and her child... It's the same way in the eucharistic celebration. We have a body-and-blood relationship with God in Christ... Real reverence has to be for the person of Christ and for all people for whom he died—the two are inseparable. That is why people are called the Body of Christ... Granted, we must treat the consecrated elements with respect. Real reverence, however, includes how we treat one another preceding and following the Eucharist... It is simple: We must have reverence for one another... Christ is really present, too, in the people gathered to celebrate the Eucharist.
- Truly the Eucharist is a real, interpersonal encounter between God and the worshiping community precisely because Christ is body-and-blood present... He is always present in a body of the faithful gathered in his name (see Mt 18:20). He is present, too, in his Word, for it is he who speaks when the Scriptures are read in the Church.
- In the sacrifice of the Eucharist he is present both in the person of the minister, "the same now offering through the ministry of the priest who formerly offered himself on the cross," and above all under the species of the Eucharist. For in this sacrament Christ is present in a unique way, whole and entire, God and man, substantially and permanently.
- "True, real and substantial" are very abstract terms when applied to presence. In day-to-day life, we do not speak about people whom we love being "truly, really and substantially" present to us... Jesus is not simply present by being in the same building as we are or by being physically close to us but not caring about us... Rather, Jesus, in the Eucharist, wants to be and is deeply present to us in love and in compassion. Only when we begin to understand the Eucharist as a time when Jesus is not distant, but close; not aloof, but very intimate; not above us, but profoundly near us; not judging us, but compassionate toward us, will we truly be able to relate this teaching of the Church to our faith and devotion.