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Real Presence (letter)
The May AD2000 cited figures for belief in the Eucharist being truly the Body and Blood of Christ. Only 46 per cent of 15-17-year-old mass attenders accepted this doctrine - 54 per cent did not.
Worse was the figure of only 81 per cent (19 per cent not believing) for those who should have received a sound catechesis and hence should have known better. The 15-17-year- olds may not have known any better due to faulty catechesis.
These figures seem to go hand in hand with lack of reverence and a suitable thanksgiving after Holy Communion which is so prevalent these days. The Real Presence is treated as if a piece of "blessed bread" was merely involved.
For those who really believe that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ, Pope Pius XII's encyclical Mediator Dei provides a reminder that a suitable thanksgiving should be made after Mass:
"When the Mass, which is subject to special rules of the liturgy, is over, the person who has received Holy Communion is not thereby freed from his duty of thanksgiving; rather, it is most becoming that, when the Mass is finished, the person who has received the Eucharist should recollect himself, and in intimate union with The Divine Master hold loving and fruitful converse with Him.
"Hence they have departed from the straight way of truth, who, adhering to the letter rather than the sense, assert and teach that when Mass has ended no such thanksgiving should be added, not only because the Mass is itself a thanksgiving, but also because this pertains to a private and personal act of piety and not to the good of the community."
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 7 (August 2005), p. 16
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