Understanding the minimal about this miraculous sacrament requires some minimal analogous understanding of the Aristotelian-Thomist concepts of Substance and Accidents. It is not difficult. Accidents simply are all that we perceive by means of our five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Substance is the invisible form that our intellect abstracts from individual beings and thereby knows what any existing thing is. This is the natural order of things.
Thus: one aspect of the miracle, the one most commonly explained, is that the accidents of white-ness, the taste of bread, the feel, odor and possible sound -- all of these fail to tell us what the Substance really is after the words of consecration. It is not so much a case of the senses deceiving us, but more truly of their inability to report or witness to the Substantial form that has taken the place of the two substances of the bread and of the wine. For these two Substantial forms have merged or united, as in the Hypostatic Union of the two natures, - Human and Divine, in the one substantial form of the Divine Person of the Word of the Father and the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is the real miracle: that there precious, humble elements that are the sensible qualities we perceive in the Sacred Host and the Precious Blood, remain suspended, as it were, for they have no Substance in which to inhere. Their natural Substantial forms of the Bread and of the Wine, have disappeared in the One Substantial form of the Person of Jesus Christ - His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity union to nourish and fill our little souls with as much of Himself as we are capable of receiving. The real miracle is that these humble atomic elements, in their absolute obedience to the words of the priest as an Alter Christus, Our Lord Himself no longer obeys the Substantial form beneath them, for if they did, these same elements would literally explode with the Glory of the Immolated Glorification of this Eucharistic Miracle.
I am aware that some Eucharistic Miracles show the Body-Blood-Soul and Divinity in His physically immolated state, bloody and torn. This is true enough and sustains the faith of many. But a more realistic revelation would be one in which the elements rushed, as it were, to bury themselves in the Glorified Flesh of the Lamb of the Apocalypse, the Lamb eternally slain for our salvation. It is God's great condescension that forbids this. All of this tells us why and how it is that when we receive the Sacred Host, we also receive the Precious Blood - and when we are permitted to drink from the chalice, we also receive the Sacred Host. There can be no separation, because there is only one form. The two "matters" of bread and wine, have fused into the One Person of Our Divine Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who now comes to us in this immense condescension, under the appearances of bread and wine, for His Flesh is Food indeed, and His Blood is Drink, indeed!! (John 6:56).
The unity of the one form is stressed in the verses that follow: "He that eateth my Flesh and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father - so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. This is the Bread that came down from Heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this Bread, shall live forever. (John 6:55-59.), and other passages from the discourse after the Last Supper.) This is the real miracle: that the precious, humble elements that are the sensible qualities we perceive in the Sacred Host and the Precious Blood, remain suspended, as it were, for they have no Substance in which to inhere. This is a miracle that the theologians should contemplate and realize: that this miracle, perhaps alone of all recorded miracles, extends even to the atomic level. Let the Catholic scientist, with the greatest respect and reverence, search out the chemical formulas for the substance of sacramental Bread and Wine, and then behold, contemplate, in divine Catholic faith, the obedience of these elements in their physical structures, to remain in this sacrament, without any substance in which to inhere. So, there are two amazing aspects to this divine action of Transubstantiation:
Firstly, the change and fusion or fusion first, then changes of the natural substance underlying and sustaining the two substances of bread and wine, into the one Divine Substantial Form of the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. Since the Word is consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Ghost, when we receive Him in His Flesh, we also receive - according to our individual dispositions and capacities, the Divine Trinitarian God in His totality - Creator of all things - visible and invisible. All things presuppose Creation; the First Article of the Creed. Secondly, the second aspect of the Eucharistic Miracle, the one not most commonly acknowledged as the emphasis upon the accidents of the substance and the replacement or change of substance, is that of the elements themselves remaining natural instead of literally exploding into the eternal Glory of the slain Lamb of the Apocalypse. Thirdly, there is a third possible miracle involved in Transubstantiation. It is the possible and even very highly probable, (thank you Father Spitzer!), incidence of a physical vacuum, wherein the physical substance of the bread and wine, - present before the consecration, in the miracle - disappears into the One Divine Substance of the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the only vacuum in the universe, and it is present on our altars as a true miracle, because the physical substance of the Body of the Universe, as suggested elsewhere in these papers, consisting of the electro-magnetic spectrum universally diffused but localized in some spectacular places such as the earth's magnetic "lines of force" - this universal substance fills all of so-called space and thereby supplies the medium absolutely necessary for the motion of all physical objects, from the largest of the celestial objects down to the smallest nano-particle.
And even this very probable miracle, as part of the Eucharistic event requiring our divine Catholic faith, absolutely requires the actual omnipresence of God and His concurring providential governance and maintenance of all things in existence. So we can say absolutely, and with absolute certitude, that while there is no such thing as a physical vacuum, so also, there is no such thing as a spiritual vacuum. Simply, by absolute necessity, God is everywhere, by reason of His absolute necessity for the existence of any thing and of every thing.
To be continued with an analogy from literature.....