What happens after Holy Communion?

I read how Eastern Orthodox believe that Our Lord becomes united to us in such a way that if a person has Communion and has something like an open cut, and they bleed, they would basically be bleeding out the Precious Blood too. What is the Catholic position on that? In which way is Christ united to us? I’m Catholic so I’m looking for the Catholic understanding, but I’m having difficulty figuring out the theology. Thanks!

Maybe I should clarify that not all Orthodox seem to think so

My understanding:

  1. The Christ actualizes His Sacrifice for You individually. When You consume the Communion, the Christ dies for Your sins, beginning to live a new life in You.

  2. You also sacrifice Yourself to God, together with Christ. You become one with Christ and His sacrifice in the eyes of the Father, so that the Father becomes well pleased by You, as He is pleased with the Son.

  3. At the moment of a worthy taking of Communion, Your mind is exactly the way God wants it to be: giving up everything in return for the promise of salvation.

  4. You become free from venial sins. It does not mean the punishment in Purgatory is cleansed (it remains) nor that all inclinations to sin and harmful habits are gone. It means that You are assured that You are on the right way and will not be led astray by anyone, unless You choose to by Your free will.

  5. You receive additional sanctifying grace, to help You get closer to God. But the extent of this depends on how devoutly You participate in the Eucharist.

  6. You become one with the entire Church. All the merits You might have earned become the merits of the entire Church and, vice versa, the graces merited by other members of the Church become accessible to You.

  7. Taking Communion is a good and meritorious work, so that You earn additional merits by performing it. But this depends on the extent of Your piety in doing it.

  8. More controversially, but I still believe that, even if You commit a grave sin and fall away from God, the more have You taken Communion in the past, the better are Your chances to repent and return back to the Grace.

Presumably this means that menstruating women can’t receive?

A priest once said that once the Host has dissolved within the body, the Eucharistic presence ceases.

GEddie is correct. So, the actual time that you have the Real Presence in you is going to be around 8-15 minutes. If you get cut, it will just be your blood; however, try not to cough or sneeze because Eucharistic Particles could be present.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Yes in many Orthodox countries women would not receive at certain times due to this. Maybe there’s another reason too like propriety. It seems there is no rule about this in the Catholic Church today but the early Church did have canons against women receiving then. But St Gregory seems to have not forbidden it. I wonder how the Church would view those old canons today? They’re not binding or are they?? I’m Eastern Catholic.

Also… Do you mean that during those first 15 min that’s a valid concern about bleeding, or that its not a concern ever? I am aware that the Sacramental presence of Our Lord stays as long as the species are there but while they are there, is it bad if a person is bleeding? They seem pretty strict with this in the East… I wonder what the Church would say and if there’s a difference, why that is…




I was told that when we take communion we “partake in the divine nature”…thats beautiful!

What 1ke said.

Let’s say you received the Eucharist and then got cut. Any bled blood would have no appearance of bread or wine and would not be the Eucharist.

It’s so mysterious to me how Our Lord unites Himself with us in Holy Communion!

I understand how only the Host would be the physical presence of Christ. Of course our human natures don’t physically change to God in substance…

He’s somehow mystically united to us though. I don’t understand in what way :confused: though of course I’m sure it happens and it’s very real… but I don’t understand the details! :stuck_out_tongue:

So if He is mystically united with us, it is ok if a person is bleeding after Communion, given that type of sacramental union? it seems to me distinct than a spiritual indwelling like how Jesus is in us all the time in grace.

I don’t know why the Orthodox just seem to emphasize this, but we do not, so I wonder if there’s a difference in theology

Already answered. If you are having scrupulous or compulsive thoughts about this, talk to your pastor. It is not spiritually healthy to continue to have anxiety over this.

The answer has already been given-- that is NOT how Jesus is present in the Eucharist and there is no problem if you were to cut yourself after or already have a cut or wound when you receive the Eucharist.

Reception does not change our blood into the blood of Christ any more than it changes our body into His body. Once the Host is deconstituted in our mouth, it is no longer the Blessed Sacrament. That however does not change the spiritual manifestations mentioned above.

If the priest were to dissolve a Host that has fallen to the floor in a cup of water, it ceases to be the Blessed Sacrament. Of course, the water would be disposed of in a sacrarium.

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