Sacramental Effects of Eucharist


We can jot down some of the sacramental effects of the Holy Eucharist as follows: –

            1)  Unification with Christ

The principal effect of the Eucharist is an intrinsic union of the recipient with Christ cf. Jn 6:56; Christian Faith 1511; for the more exact determination of this union the scholastic theologians made a distinction between -transient union (which takes place in the sacramental partaking, and which ceases on the dissolution of the species) -and the permanent spiritual union in love and in grace. From the unity of the faithful with Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body, there will be also the unity among themselves. “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” 1 Cor 10:17. In the words Pope John Paul II, “Therefore in Eucharistic Communion we receive Christ, Christ Himself; and our union with Him, which is a gift and grace for each individual….” (On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist…no.4) CCC says “Holy Communion augments our union with Christ….” (1391).

            2) Gives us Supernatural Life

The Eucharist, as food for the soul, preserves and increases sanctifying grace. St. Thomas says “…. Eucharist is the richest source of grace….” Tour of Summa p.384. The Council of Florence teaches about the Eucharist and supernatural life (Christian Faith 1511); CCC 1392). “Those who feed on Christ in the Eucharist need not wait until the hereafter to receive eternal life: they already possess it on earth, as the first-fruits of a future fullness which will embrace man in his totality” (EE 18).

            3) Separates us from Sin

The Council of Trent declared that the Eucharist is “a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sin” Christian Faith 1515; CCC. no 1393; Pope John Paul II “…. close link between the Sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Eucharist…It is not only that penance leads to the Eucharist, but that the Eucharist also leads to Penance….” (On the Mystery….no 7; cf. EE 24).

            4) Pledge of Heavenly Bliss and Future Resurrection

The Eucharist is a pledge of heavenly bliss and of the future resurrection of the body. The COT taught cf. Christian Faith 1515. Jesus himself said “He who eats…. has everlasting life…. I will raise him on the last day” Jn 6:55f.  Ignatius of Antioch calls the Eucharist “a means of help towards immortality” and it is something by means of which one does not die, but lives for ever in Christ”. “Here below, the Eucharist represents their pledge, and in a certain way, their anticipation: Veni, Domine Iesu!’” (EE 62).

            5) The Eucharist Commits us to The Poor

The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognise Christ in the poorest, his brethren:

You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognise your brother, … You dishonour this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal… God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful.236 “CCC 1397.

“The Church’s charitable institutions, especially Caritas, carry out at various levels the important work of assisting the needy, especially the poorest. Inspired by the Eucharist, the sacrament of charity, they become a concrete expression of that charity; they are to be praised and encouraged for their commitment to solidarity in our world” (Sacramentum Caritatis 90).

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