Getting to the Why Behind the What

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Exploring the fruits of Holy Communion with teens


As Catholics we believe in the Real Presence — the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus present to us in the Eucharist. This is rightly called a mystery and — as such — can be a hard sell to our teens. For many, in a secular culture that has flipped so many things on its head, experience now informs truth and not the other way around. If youths’ experience of the Real Presence carries no discernable impact, then how do we impress upon them the truth of the Real Presence?

Sometimes the why of things is more important than the what. Helping your teens understand why the Eucharist is so vital will give them something to hold on to as the Holy Spirit guides them to make sense of what it truly is.

Below is a condensed list of what the Catechism calls the fruits of Holy Communion — the why of the Eucharist. Ask your teens to guess what each why is, using the clues listed. For fun, break into teams and make it a race. After they’ve shared their guesses, go through the Catechism to flesh out each one.

Why #1
Holy Communion deepens our union with Christ. (CCC, 1391–1392)

1. See John 6:56-57.
2. “You come to me and unite yourself intimately to me under the form of nourishment. Your Blood now runs in mine, your soul, Incarnate God, penetrates every part of mine, giving courage and support. What miracles! Who would have ever imagined such!” (St. Maximilian Kolbe)
3. “The guest of our soul knows our misery; he comes to find an empty tent within us — that is all he asks.” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux)

Why #2
Holy Communion separates us from sin. (CCC, 1393–1395)

1. “Receive Communion often. There you have the sole remedy, if you want to be cured.” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux)
2. “The Blessed Sacrament is indeed the stimulus for us all … to forsake all worldly ambitions.” (St. Damien of Molokai)
3. “The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love which conquers death … pure Gift of Love for the reconciliation of all humanity.” (St. John Paul II)
4. “This food contains in itself all the power of the Redemption wrought by Christ.” (St. John Paul II)

Why #3
Holy Communion unites us. (CCC, 1396–1398)

1. See 1 Corinthians 10:16-17.
2. “If you are the body of Christ, then it is your mystery which is laid on the table of the Lord and which you receive.” (St. Augustine)
3. “In experiencing this Eucharist, let us adore and thank the Lord for this greatest of gifts: the living memorial of his love that makes us one body and leads to unity.” (Pope Francis)



Becky Groth is a writer for ODB Films.

This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, November/December 2020


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