2. The Need to Retain an Overall View of the Teaching Contained in These Documents
In recent years then, certain aspects of the traditional teaching on this mystery have been the subject of deeper reflection throughout the Church and have been presented with new zeal for the greater spiritual benefit of the faithful. Undertakings and research in various fields, particularly the liturgical and biblical, have greatly assisted this process.
From the doctrine contained in these documents it is necessary to formulate practical norms which will show the Christian people how to act in regard to this sacrament so as to pursue that knowledge and holiness which the council has set before the Church.
It is important that the mystery of the Eucharist should shine out before the eyes of the faithful in its true light. It should be considered in all its different aspects, and the real relationships which, as the Church teaches, are known to exist between these various aspects of the mystery should be so understood by the faithful as to be reflected in their lives.
3. The Principal Points of Doctrine in These Documents
Among the doctrinal principles concerning the Eucharist formulated in these documents of the Church, the following should be noted as having a bearing upon the attitude of Christians toward this mystery, and, therefore, as falling within the scope of this instruction.
a) "The Son of God in the human nature which He united to Himself redeemed man and transformed him into a new creation by overcoming death through his own death and resurrection (cf. Gal. 6:15; II Cor. 5:17). For by giving His Spirit He mystically established as His body His brethren gathered from all nations. In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe; for through the sacraments they are joined in a mysterious yet real way to the Christ who suffered and is glorified." 9
Therefore "Our Saviour at the Last Supper on the night when He was betrayed instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood so that He might perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries till His coming. He thus entrusted to the Church, His beloved Spouse, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal meal in which Christ is eaten, the mind filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory given to us."10