The Catholic Church teaches infallibly that the Eucharist is a sacrifice that is necessary to consume to attain salvation, as an airplane is necessary to cross great distances.

Gospel of St. John 6:53-56

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.

The Didache (AD 70)

"Assemble on the Lord’s day, and break bread and offer the Eucharist; but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one. Anyone who has a difference with his fellow is not to take part with you until he has been reconciled, so as to avoid any profanation of your sacrifice [Matt. 5:23–24]. For this is the offering of which the Lord has said, ‘Everywhere and always bring me a sacrifice that is undefiled, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is the wonder of nations’ [Mal. 1:11, 14]" (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).

St. Justin Martyr (AD 155)

"God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [minor prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: ‘I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord, and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles . . . [Mal. 1:10–11]. He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us [Christians] who in every place offer sacrifices to him, that is, the bread of the Eucharist and also the cup of the Eucharist" (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 41 [A.D. 155]).

We know that God sees this sacrifice as perfect, but as to the one giving/consuming the sacrifice it is another matter. Does God always give us all the ordinary graces that come with its consumption regardless of our dispositions(state of grace presupposed)?

The Question in it's formality:

Assuming that we are in a state of grace, can the Eucharist be more or less beneficial to us based on our dispositions?

Scenario Examples:

((1)) Two men, in a state of grace, consume the Eucharist. But the first man has a sundays-only-catholic attitude while the second man is on fire for God, both of them believe in the real presence but neither of them worship Jesus in the Eucharist. Do they receive equal blessings of God?

((2)) Two women, in a state of grace, consume the Eucharist. But the first woman regards the Eucharist as merely a symbolic act, while the second woman recognizes and worships Christ in the Eucharist. Do they receive equal blessings of God?

PS: Yes the Eucharist takes away all venial sins regardless of dispositions provided we are in a state of grace, but that is just taking away, I am speaking of what it can potentially give based on our dispositions. The extras if you want.

  • 1
    Has the Church ever actually said the Eucharist is as necessary to salvation as an airplane is to long distance travel? If so, it suggests that the Eucharist is merely convenient rather than essential. Ships travel long distances, and there is the Trans-Siberian railway. If one wished to visit the moon, for whatever reason, an airplane would be unsuitable.
    – davidlol
    Aug 10, 2018 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


The sacrament in itself is sufficient for giving grace, but the dispositions of the recipient can hinder the action of the sacramental grace.

Discussing whether one can receive the Eucharist daily, St. Thomas Aquinas writes (Summa Theologica III q. 80 a. 10 co.):

There are two things to be considered regarding the use of this sacrament.

  1. The first is on the part of the sacrament itself, the virtue of which gives health to men; and consequently it is profitable to receive it daily so as to receive its fruits daily. Hence Ambrose says (De Sacram. iv): "If, whenever Christ's blood is shed, it is shed for the forgiveness of sins, I who sin often, should receive it often: I need a frequent remedy."

  2. The second thing to be considered is on the part of the recipient, who is required to approach this sacrament with great reverence and devotion. Consequently, if anyone finds that he has these dispositions every day, he will do well to receive it daily. Hence, Augustine after saying, "Receive daily, that it may profit thee daily," adds: "So live, as to deserve to receive it daily." But because many persons are lacking in this devotion, on account of the many drawbacks both spiritual and corporal from which they suffer, it is not expedient for all to approach this sacrament every day; but they should do so as often as they find themselves properly disposed. Hence it is said in De Eccles. Dogmat. liii: "I neither praise nor blame daily reception of the Eucharist."

The "woman [who] regards the Eucharist as merely a symbolic act" of your second scenario disbelieves in transubstantiation and is thus a heretic; she thus receives "unworthily, [and] shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord" (1 Cor. 11:27).

  • 1
    @geremiah To be consistent in your answer, you need to affirm that the two men are also heretics who are also bound for hell per your religion. Neither the one woman (as you mention) nor the two men understand the Catholic position like the one woman who worships the bread/wine as Christ.
    – SLM
    Aug 10, 2018 at 3:48
  • Worshipping Jesus in the Eucharist isn't an obligation from what I know. The obligation is to worship Jesus, not necessarily in the Eucharist, both men know the dogma and believe it. In the case of the women, the first woman has materialized heresy but has not formalized it. Aug 10, 2018 at 13:37
  • Real presence is also not the same doctrine as transubstantiation. Again as pointed out in this answer, the one woman WORSHIPS the created bread/wine as Christ. The other woman does not. The two men do not. To be consistent, the answer should condemn all three to hell.
    – SLM
    Aug 10, 2018 at 13:45

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