By Kathy Berken
An amazing thing happened to me one morning years ago while at Mass. I was watching people come forward for Communion. “Body of Christ. Amen. Body of Christ. Amen.” I heard a mantra of faith forming and saw a river of believers gathering. I witnessed transubstantiation in real time. Right then and there, I experienced the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
But, you argue, doesn’t the bread and wine change into the body and blood of Christ at the consecration? Yes, the Council of Trent in 1551 explicitly wrote it into our Catholic doctrine. But it doesn’t end there.
Theologian Bernard Cooke was right when he said that the grace of the Eucharist is in community participation. “The sacramentally effective action of the Eucharist begins as soon as people start coming together to share this action — and not only when the ordained appears on the scene” (Sacraments and Sacramentality 98-99).
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