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THE MYSTERY OF THE EUCHARIST: Special Section commentary

By Cardinal Gerhard Müller, National Catholic Register, 10/26/19

The Catholic faith draws on the word of God. We know God and his truth not in the light of our own reason — created, finite and limited — but in the light of his Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). He has communicated it to us so that in Christ, the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14; Hebrews 1:1-3; Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:7), we may recognize the authority of God by placing all our trust in God alone. In view of the mystery of the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus Christ, we do not ask unbelievingly how it might be possible that we eat his flesh and drink his blood (John 6:22-59). As true disciples of Christ, we fully believe that he is really and truly present under the species of bread and wine.

We do not inquire into the possibility and conceivability of the Real Presence as a concept, but rather into its significance for our relationship with God and for our eternal salvation. The Real Presence is real because God wants it, regardless of whether we derive it from a human preconception or reject it. Through theological reason that follows faith, misunderstandings can also be cleared up.

With the great Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) we precisely distinguish between doubts on the one hand and on the other hand difficulties in accepting the secrets of the faith authoritatively presented to us by the Church, in the name of God (Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Chapter 5). Difficulties arise in every believer and persist until the end of one’s earthly pilgrimage. For the revealed truths are not evident. We must therefore reconcile them for ourselves, again and again, with the help of grace, of prayer, by following Christ, and with the help of theological reflection. Doubts, on the other hand, mean questioning the truth and veracity of God, and this does not befit us as his creatures and as sinners in need of forgiveness. ….