Who Can Doubt The Real Presence?
On the evening of the last day of his October 1995 visit to the United States, Pope John Paul II was scheduled to greet the seminarians at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. It had been a very full day, beginning with Mass at the Oriole Park in Camden Yards, followed by a parade through the downtown streets, a visit to the Basilica of the Assumption, the first cathedral in the country, lunch at a local soup kitchen, run by the Catholic Charities, a prayer service at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in the north Baltimore area, and finally a quick stop at St. Mary's Seminary.
The schedule was tight so the plan was to simply greet the seminarians while they stood outside on the steps. But Pope John Paul II made his way through their ranks and into the building. His plan was first to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. When his wishes were made known, security personnel quickly flew into action ahead of the Pope. Their activities included a sweep of the building, paying close attention to the chapel where Pope John Paul II would be praying.
For this purpose, highly trained dogs were used to detect any persons who might be present. The dogs are trained to locate living people in collapsed buildings after earthquakes and other disasters. These intelligent and eager canines went through their rounds in the halls, offices and classrooms quickly, and were then sent into the chapel. They went up and down the aisles and past the pews, and finally into the side chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.
UPON REACHING THE TABERNACLE, THE DOGS SNIFFED AND WHINED AND POINTED, REFUSING TO LEAVE; THEY WERE CONVINCED THAT THEY DISCOVERED SOMEONE THERE AND FIRMLY REMAINED, THEIR ATTENTION RIVETED TO THE TABERNACLE, UNTIL CALLED OUT BY THE HANDLERS.
We Catholics know they were right; they found a REAL LIVING PERSON in the tabernacle!
Source: Fidelity Magazine.
In the Eucharist there is a special necessity for purity, which Jesus expressly emphasized at the Last Supper. When He began to wash the disciples feet, He certainly wanted to give them a lesson in humble service, because with that gesture He responded to the dispute that had risen among them as to who was the greatest (cf. Luke. 22:24). But while He enlightened them about the way of humility, inviting them by his example to set out courageously on this way, He further intended to make them understand that, for receiving Holy Communion, there was also purity of heart necessary which only He, the Savior, was able to give.
He then acknowledged this purity in the Twelve, except for one among them: "You are cleansed, though not all" (John. 13:10). The one who was preparing to betray Him could not participate in the banquet except with hypocritical sentiments. The evangelist tells us that, from the moment that Judas received the morsel given by Christ, "Satan entered his heart" (John. 13:27). In order to receive into oneself the grace of the Eucharistic food, certain dispositions of soul are required, in the absence of which the meal risks being changed into a betrayal.
St. Paul, witness of certain divisions that scandalously emerged during the Eucharistic banquet in Corinth, issued a warning intended for the reflection of not only those faithful but of many other Christians: "Whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord. A man should examine himself first: only then should he eat of the bread and drink the cup. He who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks a judgment on himself" (Cor. 11:27-29). Before receiving Holy Communion, the Christian is therefore called to examine himself to see if his disposition permit him to receive Communion worthily.
Source: Pope John Paul II, June 15, 1983.