I never understood this until becoming a Catholic. But now, I am beginning to feel a sense of Christ's presence in a way I never have before.
It isn't that I haven't felt his presence before. Jesus has been an almost constant companion since before my baptism 10 years ago. I have felt the Holy Spirit in many churches, many venues, many situations.
But this is something completely different. I suspect it all hinges on the Eucharist, but I am not really sure about that. What I have been feeling for the last couple of days is a kind of quiet conviction that Christ in the Church is living out the incarnation in an extraordinary way. It is a deeply trinitarian reality that Jesus is alive in the world through his Church.
From the outside of the faith, it would be hard, if not impossible, to perceive this. Go to a normal Mass and you might find a bunch of lukewarm Christians going through the motions. There are scandals and brokenness, corruption and power. From the outside, it doesn't seem possible that Christ is truly inhabiting the Catholic Church. But I am more and more convinced that Christ is in the world through His Church... and that in this broken mess, he is present in a very real way. A unique way.
There is no real explanation for why I have come to believe this. I haven't read about it in a book. It isn't being preached at Mass. It is just a sense that there is present, in the Church, the second person of the Trinity, living and breathing, present. Really Present. The body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord.