The Sacraments of Christian Initiation:
Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist—lay the foundations of every Christian life.
“The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church
is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift.... We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called
because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own;
since it is given even to the guilty;
because sin is buried in the water;
for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed;
because it radiates light;
since it veils our shame;
because it washes; and
as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins."
(Mt 26:26-28; cf. Mk 14:22-24, Lk 22:17-20, 1 Cor 11:23-25)
Recalling these words of Jesus, the Catholic Church professes that, in the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest. Jesus said: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. . . . For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink" (Jn 6:51-55). The whole Christ is truly present, body, blood, soul, and divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine—the glorified Christ who rose from the dead after dying for our sins. This is what the Church means when she speaks of the "Real Presence" of Christ in the Eucharist. This presence of Christ in the Eucharist is called "real" not to exclude other types of his presence as if they could not be understood as real (cf. Catechism, no. 1374). The risen Christ is present to his Church in many ways, but most especially through the sacrament of his Body and Blood.
USCCB/Basic questions and answers
On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit,
a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost.
Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim “the mighty works of God,” and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age.
Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn.
–Catechism of the Catholic Church
For more information, or to speak with our Faith Formation Coordinators Jan Dunn or Michele Gonzales, please call (630) 553-6671.