Reinforce real presence - Catholic Courier

Reinforce real presence

To the editor:

For the past several years, many of our good priests and deacons have preached a new interpretation of the multiplication of the loaves: No miracle occurred, but Jesus simply moved the people to empty their pockets, sharing their food. While clearly incorrect (Matt 16:5-10), this fosters doubt among the faithful. A 1994 survey of Rochester Catholics found that only 40 percent believed in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. How many fewer today? What of the young?

Lanciano, Italy, is the site of the Church’s greatest and oldest Eucharistic miracle. It is still intact today. I have seen it. It occurred around 700 AD, when the faith of the Church was weak. Even priests were tested with severe doubts. The miracle was a gift to a priest particularly afflicted. Then, one morning at Mass (according to information at ) "What he beheld as he consecrated the bread and wine caused his hands to shake, indeed his whole body. He stood for a long time with his back to the people, and then slowly turned around to them. Weeping with joy, he said; ‘O fortunate witnesses to whom the Blessed God, to confound my disbelief, has wished to reveal Himself in this Most Blessed Sacrament and to render Himself visible to our eyes. Come, brethren, and marvel at our God so close to us. Behold the Flesh and Blood of our most beloved Christ.’"

I impute no motives to these preachers, many of whom I know and love dearly. Perhaps they feel that the essence of the Christian message is mere human society. Perhaps they have been wounded in their selfless service of the Church and find themselves losing touch with the divine, with Christ’s Signs and Wonders. Perhaps it is time we faithful served our priests — with acts of gratitude, encouragement, and love.

David J. Valone


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