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"He that eateth this bread shall live forever" (John vi. 59)
HOLY communion is receiving the body and blood of Christ in the Blessed
Sacrament. The clergy when saying Mass, except on Good Friday, receive
under both forms. When not celebrating Mass, they receive only the one
kind, the consecrated bread. In the early ages of the Church communion
was given to the people under both forms.
The faithful, however, could, if they wished, dispense with one form and
receive under the form of bread. This shows that the Church always
taught that Christ is entire both under the form of bread and under the
form of wine. At one time the faithful received under both forms; now
they receive under one form, the form of bread. It is merely a matter of
discipline, which the Church could change, if circumstances demanded it.
Whether you receive under one form or both, you receive whole and entire
the body and blood of Christ. This is clearly taught by St. Paul in the
11th chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, where he says:
"Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord
unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."
How could a person eating that bread unworthily be guilty of the body
and blood of the Lord, unless the body and blood of the Lord were there
under the form of bread?
Since Jesus Christ is whole and entire under the form of bread, as well
as under the form of wine, the practice of the Catholic Church of giving
holy communion under one form is reasonable.
Good Christians frequently receive their Lord and their God in holy
communion. He inspires them with feelings of love, gratitude, and
adoration. He reminds them to think frequently of their Creator--to give
Him their first thoughts in the morning and their last in the evening.
He gives them strength to restrain their guilty passions.
Holy Communion is the seed of immortality. "He that eateth this bread
shall live forever."
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