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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:”
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,
4, 6, 28: PL 16, 446; cf.
231 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1638.
232 St. Fulgentius of Ruspe,
28, 16-19: CCL 19A, 813-814.