What is the "Real Presence of Christ" that Catholics talk about?

By Paul Dion, STL

Here is the Burning Question of the Week: When Catholics talk about the Real Presence of Christ, what are they talking about? How many other forms of Christ's presence in our midst can you think of?

Catholics among you should be able to answer the first one without difficulty. With a little thought and some prayer you should be able to answer the second question and come up with two or three other forms of presence.

Those of you who are not Catholic may have a little trouble with this one.

Try your thoughts out on it. If you don't come up with anything, hit the Bible first and then Google and wait for the response to see how the Catholics did.

We would like to hear your thoughts. Share them with our readers from all over the world so that they too may be encouraged to look into their hearts and reflect upon our burning question of the week.

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  1. Anonymous2:07 PM

    As Catholics we believe that during communion we receive not just ceremonial bread and wine but the real body and blood of Christ as he had promised us during the Last Supper. We truly believe the Eucharist in the tabernacle by the side of the altar contains the real presence of Jesus and that is why we address it with sincere reverence.

  2. Anonymous6:43 PM

    Thank you for your current burning question. Mathew 18:20 states "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Jesus Christ is, Omnipresent!

    Christ has the ability, as does His Father, to be everywhere at once.

    It's true, I am not yet a Catholic, but to me it would seem, that if God is, within each of us, then if each of us, allows Christ to manifest Himself through us, then Christ is, truly, everywhere we are, and His presence is throughout the universe, if we believe, as we should, that He created the universe.

    So in conclusion, I feel Christ's presence, is, everywhere, from rain drops to sunlight and everything in between.

  3. Anonymous6:43 PM

    Well... the first thought is Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament in all the Catholic churches in the entire world. In the Bread and Cup of the Eucharist... And in us, as we become the hands and feet of Christ to heal, love, care for and help one another... But also, "Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I also". In every single person, He is there in every heart, waiting for the person to 'open the door', the soft whisper of His call... In nature, the beauty of the oceans, lakes, rivers, mountains, animals, fish, birds, sky, stars, sun, In short, the universe, created by the Creator and Father of us all.

  4. Anonymous6:47 PM


    Both of you are right.

    God, in His creative power is present throughout the world. Christ being the second person of the Trinity, is also present in all of creation through His creative power.

    Catholics generally use “Real Presence” to signify the sacramental presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and very specifically in the Sacred Bread which has served as the food of the Sacrifice of the Mass.

    This does not mean that Catholics do not believe in the presence of God “…where two or three are gathered in my name…” as quoted above. We certainly do believe in that, but we rarely use “real presence” to designate that belief. We use different words that mean the same thing, but we carefully shy away from using the technical term, “Real Presence.”

    Notice my careful wording at the beginning of the comment. I said that we believe in the presence of God in everything through His creative power.

    This power is the source of all being and it is the sustenance of all being. This divine power is an awe inspiring presence that shouts out God’s presence to us all.

    It is God really present in the world, but we do not say that it is the “Real Presence.” We reserve that for the mystery of the Divine Presence under the form of Bread and Wine as a result of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

    Finally, we are also careful in our acceptance of God’s presence in all creation in that we avoid saying that by that very presence everything is divine. That would be polytheism, or nearly so and we are very careful to avoid any explicit or indirect belief or opinion about that form of belief.

    Thank you for participating in the forum of the Burning Question of the week.