Fr. Rene Butler
Catholics are sometimes disturbed by the claim that in receiving the Body of Christ they can be called cannibals. The reasoning goes: Catholics (and Orthodox, by the way) take literally the words of Jesus, “This is my body,” and “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you,” so they must be cannibals when they take Communion.
Such reasoning is based on the failure to understand the sacraments. Jesus is present in all the sacraments. This sacramental presence is real, and not merely symbolic; but it is likewise not merely materialistic.