Describe the Presence of the Eucharist

Just wondering how any of you would describe His Presence (beyond the obvious visual appearance of a piece of bread displayed or in a tabernacle).

One sentiment I have is that such presence is difficult to describe. The Catechism, of course, calls it a “mystery.” One good paragraph reads:CCC#1402 In an ancient prayer the Church acclaims the mystery of the Eucharist: “O sacred banquet in which Christ is received as food, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of the life to come is given to us.”

The only way in which God can be with us. He is as close as he can be.

His presence is obvious to those with gentle souls - ‘Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God’

No evil force can take him away from us, and no one is denied access to him.

Without Jesus, there can be no presence. His presence simply contains the entire mystery of the Christian faith.

Only God could afford to be this humble.


Hmm… how would you describe any person’s presence, beyond their obvious visual appearance? Would that description of their presence be any different from a description of Christ’s, in the Eucharist, presuming that the description wasn’t addressing “obvious visual appearance”?

When the Host is Consecrated it gets my attention. I look and I look and I can’t stop looking and feeling something. like a whoooosh! Gods here! I feel the warmth of Gods presence fill the room and I feel something good. I can’t take my eyes off of Jesus… I feel better than I have since the last time this happened. All my cares I give to Jesus… and my thanks for all He has done for me… I know there is a priest there, but I don’t see the priest, I only see Jesus. I want to look at Jesus not the priest. I don’t like when the priest or a minister hands me Jesus so fast that I can’t even see Jesus to give Him honor… I want to savor the experience and say Slow down this is Jesus !! I pray to God and think about how things will be better, are better with God in me…

Words are inadequate…

Oh I love that God on the mountain! Heaven IS a place on earth!!

God’s spiritual presence can be powerfully felt but the Eucharist’s substantial presence seems to me at least to be even more tangible. Does that make any sense? I have never known of anything else like it!

Have any theologians compared and contrasted spiritual presence versus substantial presence?

I converted to the Catholic faith on Easter Vigil 2011. Before knowing of the Catholic faith I had felt–and I know one can never go by feelings–the spiritual presence of God at communion. When I became Catholic I felt the substantial presence of Jesus–Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. The two experiences were vastly different!

There is nothing like the Eucharist! How can one describe it? Does what I say make sense?

It sounds like the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is different than say the experience of say just looking up at a star-filled sky at night and getting lost in the belief that an all-mighty God created each and every aspect of the Universe.

If you were trying to help describe Christ’s Presence to young teens, what words would you use (other than instructing them to simply, “Go to Church and sit there and find out.”)?

Could we say that the crucifixion happened in the 3rd dimension (transcending time) and the mystical part (as in mystery) of it exists to us through the Eucharist at mass?

  • my apologies, I saw Interstellar this weekend. So this had me thinking about how the mass is not a new bloody sacrifice. And God exists outside of time. So the physicality of Jesus intersects with us in our plane of reality within the Eucharist.

Just a thought. I could be way off base on this. Just spitting this out there for conversation sake.

they beheld God, and ate and drank. (Exodus 24:11)

That’s how I would describe it.


Great post!

For me, i look at the Host and do find it hard to imagine that that is Jesus! I know it is, i know i shouldnt think it but i do pray that God will guide me to see Jesus in the Eucharist more and more

I don’t think you are alone in not feeling anything(if what I am assuming correctly reflects what you are conveying and that you are experiencing “belief” without “feeling” - which can be meritorious as Jesus implied to Thomas), but at the same time, it appears that others actually do “feel” something very profound and different than say when they are far away from the Presence of the Eucharist.

Wondering what words could convey what that “feeling” is (assuming that people who do feel something, feel it consistently the same way) in a simple easy-to-grasp manner that can be conveyed to young folks?

For example - when the two disciples had finished being in Jesus’ presence they said the following: “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?”.

When people experience a feeling from the Presence of the Eucharist do they experience a “burning in the heart” sensation? A “Whooooosh” feeling, perhaps (as Karen107 described)? Perhaps a “cool breeze” feeling in one’s chest? Maybe additional sensations like an overpowering calmness or something that draws us away from current concerns and the world of vanity momentarily?


I am unworthy of feeling anything when it come to the presence of the Eucharist.

Good point: I doubt anyone on earth is worthy of feeling something in the Presence of the Eucharist. And those that don’t may very well be receiving great merit for believing while only experiencing what they see with no feelings different from other similar peaceful places (like a library, a reading room, a quiet living room or a spa).

But that said - time and again many people do “feel” something unique in His Presence for it is so often referred to and mentioned throughout the ages.

For those that do “feel” something - what descriptors would help young teens understand it?

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