I answer, that the Christian Church is made up of faithful souls, and how can any of us say where the soul is, simply and really?
The soul indeed acts through the body, and perceives through the body; but where is it? Or what has it to do with place?
Or why should it be a thing incredible that the power of the Spirit should so visit the soul as to open upon it a Divine manifestation, which yet it perceives not, because its present perceptions are only through the body?
Who shall limit the power of the gracious Spirit of God? How know we, for instance, but that He makes Christ present with us, by making us present with Christ?
As the earth goes round the sun, yet the sun is said to move, so our souls, in fact, may be taken up to Christ, when He is said to come to us.
But no need to insist on one mode in which the mystery may be conceived, when ten thousand ways are possible with God, of which we know nothing.
Scripture says enough to show us that influences may be exerted upon the soul so marvellous, that we cannot decide whether the soul remains in the body or not, while subjected to them.
St. Paul, speaking of himself, says, “Whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth: … caught up to the third heaven.”
And he repeats his statement: “I knew such a man,” meaning himself, “whether in the body I cannot tell, or out of the body I cannot tell, God knoweth: how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
St. Paul was brought into Paradise, yet his body remained where it was; and whether his soul was separated from it, was a question which he could not decide.
How can we pretend to decide what the Holy Spirit may or may not do towards faithful souls now, and whether He does not manifest Christ to and in them, by bringing them to Christ?
Again; consider Satan’s power in showing our Lord all the kingdoms of the world “in a moment of time;” may not the Almighty Spirit much more do with us, what the evil one did with our Lord?
May He not in less than a moment bring our souls into God’s presence, while our bodies are on earth?
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890): Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. 6,Sermon 10. The Spiritual Presence of Christ in the Church.