…human action is a part of time, and when its hour has passed, the act is also a thing of the past. With Jesus it was different. He was man and God in one, and what he did was the result not only of his human will and temporal decision, but also of his divine and eternal will. Thus his action was not merely part of transitory time, but existed simultaneously in eternity. — Romano Guardini, The Lord
Msgr. Guardini is writing about the mysterium fidei – the unfathomable mystery of the Eucharist. What could I possibly add to all that has been said? The words of institution stand on their own, and cannot suffer interpretation or mental gymnastics that allow us to do anything else but take them as they are: literally. Here is no mere symbol or tidy metaphor. This is my body, this is my blood. Did those around him understand? Possibly no better than we do, and probably less than we do, as the Advocate had not yet descended. Even so, the mind fails in attempts to truly understand, and thus: the Paschal mystery. At most, we can listen, approach, and trust. This will suffice.
So many prayers and hymns have been written about the Eucharist - the Anima Christi, Pange Lingua. It’s the Canticle of Simeon, the Nunc Dimitis, that comes to my mind in those moments after receiving. My eyes have indeed seen him under the appearance of bread and wine, exactly according to his word:
Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace;
Because my eyes have seen Thy salvation,
Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples:
A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.