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352

Part Two

For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we

proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord’s

death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his

blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins,

I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my

sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy.

230

1394

As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucha-

rist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily

life; and this living charity

wipes away venial sins.

231

By giving

himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our

disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him:

Since Christ died for us out of love, when we celebrate the

memorial of his death at the moment of sacrifice we ask that

love may be granted to us by the coming of the Holy Spirit.

We humbly pray that in the strength of this love by which

Christ willed to die for us, we, by receiving the gift of the

Holy Spirit, may be able to consider the world as crucified

for us, and to be ourselves as crucified to the world. . . .

Having received the gift of love, let us die to sin and live for

God.

232

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By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist

preserves us from future mortal sins.

The more we share the life of

Christ and progress in his friendship, the more difficult it is to break

away from him by mortal sin. The Eucharist is not ordered to the

forgiveness of mortal sins—that is proper to the sacrament of

Reconciliation. The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those

who are in full communion with the Church.

1396

The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church.

Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ.

Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body—the

Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incor-

poration into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism

we have been called to form but one body.

233

The Eucharist fulfills

this call: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participa-

tion in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a

participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we

who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:”

234

If you are the body and members of Christ, then it is your

sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord; it is your

230 St. Ambrose,

De Sacr.

4, 6, 28: PL 16, 446; cf.

1 Cor

11:26.

231 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1638.

232 St. Fulgentius of Ruspe,

Contra Fab.

28, 16-19: CCL 19A, 813-814.

233 Cf.

1 Cor

12:13.

234

1 Cor

10:16-17.

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