Something like this is meant by the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The bread and the wine still remain bread and wine, but by combination with the spiritual act of Consecration they are invested with a peculiar spiritual virtue which is identified with the Body and Blood of Christ. "This," said our Lord, "is my Body ... and this is my Blood." Christ is spiritually present under the forms of bread and wine. The virtue of His Presence produces its results when the Sacrament is received by the communicant, but the Presence is still there whether received or not.
There is a good deal of mystery in this, isn't there? People have attempted to strip Christianity of its over-natural elements and reduce it to a purely logical system of living. They have abolished most of the New Testament, discarded our Lord's nativity and resurrection, dispensed with the Sacraments - in short, they have amended His "Do nothing of the sort." What they have left is a dull, unattractive residuum of rationalism.
God cannot be measured with the yardstick of the human mind. Human life consists of so much more than the human mind. Man is not merely an animated brain. He is also emotions, will, instincts, intuitions, and many other things. God cannot be kept out of any of them. Some of the most valuable factors in everyday living are entirely beyond the reach of straight logical analysis. Who ever dissected friendship? Yet we live by it every day. Who ever charted, diagrammed, or card-indexed love and courtesy and good-will? They cannot be even accurately defined, yet we all know what they are and we live with them daily. They are mysteries just as Sacraments are mysteries - just as God is the greatest mystery of all. Because the Christian faith is meant for the whole of a man, Christ made it colorful and interesting. Drain the mystery out of it, and religion becomes flat and tasteless.
Moreover, men and women refuse to submit to an existence gone stale. They will enliven it artificially with pomp and circumstance, spectacular theatrical productions, or the elaborate pageantry of innumerable fraternal orders and so make fictitious mystery. It is a natural human instinct, and any religion which overlooks it is not true to the kind of life which God has created. No one ever needs to apologize for the mystery that inheres in the Christian faith. It is there because Christ put it there. And He put it where it is because there is no other way by which God can be made real to the wistful souls of struggling humanity.
~ The Rt. Rev. Frank E. Wilson
taken from The Anglican Digest 56/1 (Spring A.D. 2014), pp. 29-30