Feedback. (sounding board).
That the Body, Blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ is really, truly, positively, absolutely present at the consecration.
Sister Mary David Hecker Plaucheville, La.
What they thought a child could understand: an overly literal explanation that wasn't even true to the prevailing theology of the day.
Name withheld Napa, Calif.
That it existed only in the Eucharist.
Earl C. Beck Snellville, Ga.
"Transubstantiation." Not sure I really understood it, but certainly accepted it because that's what the sisters said was real.
Jackie Hooke Antioch, Calif.
In Catholic school, a confused understanding, defying all physical evidence, about actually eating flesh and drinking blood.
George Moscona Belen, N.M.
That Jesus became present in the bread and wine, and that he was seen in the lowest and most despised of people in our society.
Alvin Kimble New York, N. Y.
That it was the Body and Blood of Christ in the forms of bread and wine. Of course, we weren't allowed to drink from the cup or even touch the host.
Kim Eidson Escondido, Calif.
That by being good, going to Confession, and fasting three hours before Mass, I made a crib of roses inside myself to welcome baby Jesus. I was told not to chew the host since I did not want to bite Jesus.
Marcia Hutjens Green Bay, Wis.
That during the consecration God came crashing down on the altar.
William Seiler Fairfax, Va.
Q: How has your understanding of the Real Presence changed over the years?
Not at all. The foundation for my belief was laid all those years ago.
Eileen M. Costea Orlando, Fla.
I now understand it more as a process rather than a "zapping."
Robert H. Irwin Berkeley, Calif.
I still believe in the Real Presence, but I try not to confine it only to the Eucharist.
Father Jose M. Leon Union City, Calif.
Childhood feelings of mystery and fear have been replaced with comfort and reverence.
Name withheld Weirton, W. Va.
My belief and understanding has gone from head knowledge to heart knowledge.
Mary Papke Woodstock, Ill.
What I learned about the Real Presence has not "fleshed out" for me due to haphazard liturgies and New Age intrusions into worship.
Name withheld Chicago, Ill.
Christ's presence is spiritual, not physical.
James C. Molsberry Palo Alto, Calif.
For a time I questioned its importance. I now believe it is central to my faith. If we really understood what we were receiving, it would knock us back on our heels.
Name withheld Calabash, N.C.
In receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, I become, in a real sense, Jesus to all whom I meet.
John M. Bina Cleveland, Ohio
I still believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, but explanations like transubstantiation leave me cold. Forget the 13th-century ideas. Jesus is there--period.
Lucy Fuchs Brandon, Fla.
Q: Where else have you found the Real Presence, other than in the bread and wine at Mass?
In the people, especially those who try so hard to overcome spiritual problems.
Msgr. John Doogan Shoreline, Wash.
In children, music, and nature.
Mary E. Melling Jackson, Mich.
Nowhere. Christ is present in nature, in the parish gathered, in the poor--but not in the same sense.
Norbert Oswald Melbourne, Fla.
In contemplative prayer.
Sandy Ginn Baltimore, Md.
In the shunned, in the sick and dying, in prisoners on death row--in short, in my neighbor, whoever she or he may be.
John and Mercedes Craughwell Topeka, Kan.
Q: How can the church or parishes Catholics understand what it teaches about the Real Presence?
Have eucharistic ministers who dress and act with dignity, respect, and solemnity.
Ray D'Angelo Columbus, Ohio
Renew practices like eucharistic devotion, benediction, and adoration.
Name withheld South Bend, Ind.
Point out the Real Presence in folks we know.
Jolenta Masterson Sequim, Wash.
Avoid outdated theological language and find experiential ways of talking about it instead.
Father Mike Boutin Stoughton, Mass.
Use bread with texture and flavor. Use wine with depth and character. Engage the imagination through the senses.
P.J. Kampf Cleveland, Ohio
Please do not "adore" the host without proper explanation, prayer, and guidance about the strength and grace that one receives from living Eucharist.
Sarita Penka Omaha, Neb.
Disciplined catechesis is the only way. We have to make people learn--that's what worked for us.
Ted Rosean Wilmette, Ill.
To help my students understand the Real Presence in the Eucharist, I use the "plug analogy": receiving Eucharist is like plugging into the power that created the universe. Imagine what that power can do in and through them if they are open to it.
Mary Sue Babb Santa Cruz, Calif.
Our goal should be not just to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, but also to become his Body and Blood for our world.
Father James Tiegs Omaha, Neb.
There's an assumption that real means physical. The spiritual is just as real. Teaching this might help resolve people's doubts.
Ann Freiburg, O.S.F. Lombard, Ill.
If there's a falling off of belief in the Real Presence, it will not be halted by putting up railings, making tabernacles bigger and more centrally located, and making vigil lights more prominent. Heavy-handed measures won't make people believe more in the Real Presence.
Barbara H. Brown Louisville, Ky.
We need to learn that it's not about Jesus being present, but us being really present in the world that makes a difference.
Richard Szafranski Saginaw, Mich.
RELATED ARTICLE: And the survey says ...
1. I believe that ... 86% The bread and wine in Mass actually become the Body and Blood of Christ. 2% The bread and wine are symbols, but Jesus is not really present 12% Other. 2. To me, the term Real Presence also refers to Christ's presence in ... 76% The congregation gathered at Mass. 75% The Word of God proclaimed at Mass. 65% Our neighbors, especially the poor and suffering. 64% The presiding priest at Mass. 21% Only in the eucharistic bread and wine. 14% Other. 3. My own experience supports the surveys that say there's a crisis about lack of belief in the Real Presence. agree 47% disagree 33% other 20% 4. The main reason people do not believe in the Real Presence is ... 66% Lack or poor quality religious education programs. 34% Other. 14% The informal tone of the liturgy. 14% The elimination of requirements like fasting or Confession. 11% Emphasis on community meal over sacrifice. 5. The church needs to put more emphasis on reaffirming the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. agree 67% disagree 15% other 18% 6. How significant is the Real Presence to you in living out your faith? 76% Extremely significant 14% Moderately significant 4% Somewhat significant 4% Not significant at all 2% Other
These results are based on survey responses from 347 U.S. CATHOLIC readers and Web site visitors.
Join the conversation--online.
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|Title Annotation:||Catholics respond to questions regarding the presence of Christ in the Eucharist|
|Article Type:||Statistical Data Included|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2002|
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