The Eucharistic miracles -which tend to be gory- suggest that the Eucharist is a corpse. Also the two-fold form: body and blood, suggest this. However, Eucharistic adoration and many other forms of devotions to the Eucharist suggest the real presence is that of Jesus in his resurrected body. How do you conform these two.

  • Related: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/35679/…
    – user900
    Dec 19, 2015 at 16:14
  • Your opening sentence holds an error in the meanings of words. You use the term "corpse" which is incorrect. The term used is "corpus" in Latin and "body" in English which is different in meaning from "corpse" (dead body) in English. Since the belief of Catholics is that Jesus was only dead for a very brief period of time (from the time he died on the cross to when he arose in the tomb, rolled away the stone, and walked off) there is no basis for assuming that a dead body is present in the Eucharistic rite. I recommend correcting your question. Feb 4, 2016 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


The answer to the O.P.'s question is rather straightforward: the body that is adored in the Eucharist is Jesus’ resurrected body.

As the Church solemnly defined in the Council of Trent (which simply formalized what the Church has believed from the beginning),

Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation (Council of Trent, Council of Trent, Session 13, Ch. 4, Denzinger-Schönmetzer [DS] 1642, quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] no. 1376.).

However, we are not to understand that the Eucharist under the species of bread is exclusively Christ’s body, nor that the species of wine is exclusively Christ’s blood. Rather,

Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ (CCC 1377; see also the Council of Trent, DS 1641).

In other words, the whole substance of Jesus is present—his human nature (including his body) as well as his Divine Nature. Christ, of course, only has one body, which is now a resurrected body. Therefore, it is Christ’s resurrected body—not a corpse—that Catholics (as well as Orthodox and other Christians from an apostolic Church) adore in the Eucharist.

Regarding Eucharistic miracles, I will also observe that, much as such miracles are helpful for the Faith, the ones that are actually converted into human flesh actually no longer have the Real Presence. As the Catechism says,

The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist (no. 1377).

Since the appearance (species) of bread or wine is now gone, so too is the Eucharistic presence.

(This idea is masterfully expressed in the Eucharistic hymn Lauda Sion Salvatorem, attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas:

Sub diversis speciebus,
Signis tantum, et non rebus,
Latent res eximiæ.

Caro cibus, sanguis potus:
Manet tamen Christus totus,
Sub utraque specie.

A sumente non concisus,
Non confractus, non divisus:
Integer accipitur.

Sumit unus, sumunt mille:
Quantum isti, tantum ille:
Nec sumptus consumitur.

Under diverse appearances,
which are merely signs, not the reality,
lies that most remarkable reality.

The Flesh is food, the Blood is drink.
Nevertheless, Christ in his entirety is present,
under both appearances.

By the receiver, he is not torn asunder,
nor is he broken, nor is he divided.
He is received whole.

Let one person receive him; let a thousand receive him:
the one receives him just as much as the thousand do.
He is not depleted by being received.

I opted for a literation translation, which falls a bit flat poetically, but captures the meaning of the original.)

  • Thanks for a literal translation. Some poetic translations of sequences seem to lose too much of the meaning. Dec 21, 2015 at 3:26

When the Catholic Priest performs the Consecration, those elements, which were formally bread and wine, become the body and blood of Christ In the state that he currently resides.

Taken from The Sacraments: A Dogmatic Treaty Volume II

Note, however, that the concrete manner in which our Lord becomes present in the Eucharist depends entirely on the condition of His Body at the moment of consecration. The sacred Body may be in one of three states: the state of mortality, that of death, and the transfigured state in which it arose from the grave. When Christ consecrated at the Last Supper, He became truly and entirely present in the sacred species, but His Body was there only as a body capable of dying, and His Blood as blood capable of being shed. In case the Apostles had celebrated the Eucharist during the triduum mortis, during which time Christ’s Body rested in the tomb, there would have been present in the Sacred Host only the bloodless, inanimate Body of Christ, and in the Chalice only the Blood separated from His Body and absorbed by the earth as it was shed,—both the Body and the Blood, however, remaining hypostatically united to His Divinity, while His Soul, which sojourned in Limbo, would have remained entirely excluded from the Eucharistic presence. Since the Resurrection Christ is present in the Eucharist in the same manner in which He sitteth at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, i. e., as one glorified, who “dieth no more.” In the light of these considerations the totality of the Real Presence may be explained as follows. The Divinity as such, being substantially omnipresent, cannot be made present by virtue of the words of consecration. Hence these words must effect a real presence of Christ’s Humanity, that is to say, primarily of His Body (Flesh and Blood), for it would be absurd to convert the species into His bodyless Soul for the purpose of bodily consumption. Only the Flesh and Blood of Christ can be consumed under the appearances of bread and wine. But by reason of a natural concomitance there becomes simultaneously present with the Body all that which is physically inseparable from it, i. e., the Soul, the Humanity, and, by virtue of the Hypostatic Union, also the Divinity, in a word—Christ whole and entire.

From the standpoint then of everyone who receives Christ in sacramental form, they receive his Glorified and raised body blood soul and divinity.


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