A somewhat advanced question on transubstantiation.
According to the teaching of the Church and of St. Thomas Aquinas, in transubstantiation, the substance of bread and wine becomes the substance of the body of Christ, while the accidents of bread and wine remain “without a subject.” In other words, the body of Christ does not take on the accidents of bread and wine, but the accidents in some completely miraculous way remain without any substance to inhere to.
Now we relate to things by their accidents. When I want to pick up a pencil, I know the pencil is there because I can see its accidents. When I lift the pencil, the accidents remain inhering to its substance, and so I am certain that I am in fact holding the pencil.
Therefore, how is it that we relate to the Eucharist? After the consecration, the priest picks up the host by grabbing for the accidents of bread and wine. Yet they are not inhering in the substance of the body of Christ, so how does he pick up the body of Christ? When he elevates the host, the accidents of bread are not inhering in the substance of Christ’s body, so how is it that he knows where the substance of Christ’s body really is? All he can see are accidents which are not connected to the substance of the body.
Peace and God bless