A week or so ago, read somewhere that legendary cautionary tale Richard Dawkins incredulously asked the Catholics in a crowd if they really believed that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ.
This is a very good question. On the one hand, the answer, based on some cursory evidence, is: not really. Because it can be fairly asked that if I, for example, truly believe that the Creator of the Universe is physically present in several tabernacles within a couple miles of where I am at the moment, how could I be sitting here, working away like the world is not on fire? How could I treat my fellow man, who may very well have received Our God this very day, with anything less than humble reverence and awe?
If we were better people – if I were a better person – maybe we *would* spend hours a day in awed contemplation and worship before the Eucharist. Indeed, some of the very best people do. However, as fallen and weak people, we do nonetheless take furtive shots at acting as we claim to believe. For example, we do spend time in awed contemplation and worship:
And we build the most beautiful buildings in the world in which Our Lord might dwell:
We compose and sing the most beautiful music for the Lord present in the Eucharist:
And we further honor Our Lord in the Eucharist by creating the most beautiful art in the history of mankind:
And these are just samples – there are thousands of of beautiful churches, thousands of beautiful works of art and music, and hundreds of millions of people attending the Eucharist each week. Not to mention the really important evidence – that our lives are changed, that many of us are working each day to do the will of God as best we can within our various callings.
So, on the whole, I think the evidence is that, yes, Richard, we do really believe.