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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

If a person does not believe the host is the body and blood of Christ, does that change what happens when he receives it?

Question:

If a person does not believe the consecrated host becomes the true body and blood of Christ, does that make a difference in what happens when he receives it? If he were given a shot of morphine, his belief that it is not morphine would not change the effects on his body. It would seem the same thing happens with the host. The body and blood of Christ enters his body and gives him grace, no matter what he believes.

Answer:

Every one of the sacraments is a personal encounter with Jesus. Grace is a share in his life and in his love. He never forces his love on anyone. Certainly the reality of the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist does not depend on the state of soul of the communicant. He can receive the Eucharist as an act of sacrilege. But he cannot receive the grace of the sacrament without a proper attitude or disposition. It’s like going to the well without a bucket. The water is real. But without a bucket, he leaves without any water. Love is two ways. A person cannot enter into a love relationship without being willing to love.

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