Why is there so much worship and so little real commitment to living out the Gospel? How can there be so much participation in the sacraments and so little growth and transformation in most of our lives? In this challenging book of practical theology, Regis Duffy tackles vital questions that are seldom asked, let alone answered. Basing his argument solidly on the New Testament and core Christian teaching, Duffy shows how ritual, sacrament, worship, and community have real meaning and worth only when they function as effective symbols of transformation and renewed commitment. What is often lacking is not God's presence, but our own. By relating individual sacraments (Initiation Eucharist, Penance) to studies of the life cycle and stages of faith, Real Presence presents a compelling vision of what genuine participation in the Christian community involves throughout our lives. Contents: - The Cutting Edge of Faith: Commitment - Unearned Gifts and Their Symbols - Conflict as Crossroads for the Christian - A Question of Presence - The People in the Water - Servants at Table - Fragmented Stories - The Future Community Now. Regis A. Duffy, OFM, (d: 2006) taught at the Washington Theological Union and at the University of Notre Dame. He was later Scholar in Residence at the Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University.