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Pastor and Flock Become Catholics
National Catholic Register ^ | April 2001 | Judy Roberts

Posted on 02/16/2004 11:55:27 AM PST by NYer

DETROIT — When Detroit-born Alex Jones became a Pentecostal minister in 1972, there was little question among those who knew him that he was answering God’s call to preach.

Now, many of his friends and family have dismissed the 59-year-old pastor as an apostate for embracing the Catholic faith, closing the nondenominational church he organized in 1982, and taking part of his congregation with him.

At this year’s April 14 Easter Vigil, Jones, his wife, Donna, and 62 other former members of Detroit’s Maranatha Church, will be received into the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil at St. Suzanne’s Parish here.

For Jones, becoming a Catholic will mark the end of a journey that began with the planting of a seed by Catholic apologist and Register columnist Karl Keating. It also will mean the beginning of a new way of life.

Jones first heard Keating, the founder of Catholic Answers, at a debate on whether the origins of the Christian church were Protestant or Catholic. At the close, Keating asked, “If something took place, who would you want to believe, those who saw it or those who came thousands of years later and told what happened?”

“Good point,” Jones thought, and tucked it away. Five years later, while he was reading about the church fathers, Keating’s question resurfaced. Jones began a study of the Church’s beginnings, sharing his newfound knowledge with his congregation.

To illustrate what he was talking about, in the spring of 1998 he re-enacted an early worship service, never intending to alter his congregation’s worship style. “But once I discovered the foundational truths and saw that Christianity was not the same as I was preaching, some fine-tuning needed to take place.”

Soon, Maranatha Church’s Sunday service was looking more like a Catholic Mass with Pentecostal overtones. “We said all the prayers with all the rubrics of the Church, all the readings, the Eucharistic prayers. We did it all, and we did it with an African-American style.”

Not everyone liked the change, however, and the 200-member congregation began to dwindle.

Meanwhile, Jones contacted Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary and was referred to Steve Ray of Milan, Mich., whose conversion story is told in Crossing the Tiber.

“I set up a lunch with him right away and we pretty much had lunch every month after that,” said Ray. He introduced Jones to Dennis Walters, the catechist at Christ the King Parish in Ann Arbor, Mich. Walters began giving the Pentecostal pastor and his wife weekly instructions in March, 1999.

Crossroads

Eventually, Jones and his congregation arrived at a crossroads.

On June 4, the remaining adult members of Maranatha Church voted 39-19 to begin the process of becoming Catholic. In September, they began studies at St. Suzanne’s.

Maranatha closed for good in December. The congregation voted to give Jones severance pay and sell the building, a former Greek Orthodox church, to the First Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.

Father Dennis Duggan, St. Suzanne’s 53-year-old pastor, said the former Maranatha members and their pastor along with about 10 other candidates comprise the 750-member parish’s largest-ever convert class.

Unity and Diversity

Although not all parishioners at predominantly white St. Suzanne’s have received the group warmly, Father Duggan, who also is white, said he considers the newcomers a gift and an answer to prayer.

“What the Lord seems to have brought together in the two of us — Alex and myself — is two individuals who have a similar dream about diversity. Detroit is a particularly segregated kind of community, especially on Sunday morning, and here you’ve got two baptized believers who really believe we ought to be looking different.”

Father Duggan hopes eventually to bring Jones onto the parish staff. Already, he has encouraged Jones to join him in teaching at a Wednesday night Bible service. And, he is working on adapting the music at Masses so that it better reflects the parish’s new makeup.

The current European worship style at St. Suzanne’s has been the most difficult adjustment for the former Maranatha members, Jones said, because they had been accustomed to using contemporary music with the Catholic prayers and rituals.

“The cultural adaptation is far more difficult than the theological adaptation,” he said.

Protestant Issues

Jones said the four biggest problems Protestants have with Catholicism are teachings about Mary, purgatory, papal authority, and praying to saints. He resolved three of the four long ago, but struggled the most with Mary, finally accepting the teaching on her just because the church taught it.

“It is so ingrained in Protestants that only God inhabits heaven and to pray to anyone else is idolatry. ... The culture had so placed in my heart that only the Trinity received prayer that it was difficult.”

He is writing a paper on the appropriateness of venerating Mary for a class at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary, where he is taking prerequisite courses for a master’s degree in theology and pastoral studies. He also is writing a book for Ignatius Press and accepting speaking engagements through St. Joseph Communications, West Covina, Calif.

Jones, the father of three married sons and grandfather of six, is leaving the question of whether he becomes a priest up to the Church.

“If the Church discerns that vocation, I will accept it. If not, I will accept that, too. Whatever the Church calls me to do, I will do.”

Although he has given up his job, prestige, and the congregation he built to become Catholic, Jones said the hardest loss of all has been the family and friends who rejected him because of his decision.

“To see those that have worshiped with and prayed with me for over 40 years walk away and have no contact with them is sad.”

It was especially painful, he said, when his mother, who had helped him start Maranatha, left to go to Detroit’s Perfecting Church, where his cousin, gospel singer Marvin Winans, is the pastor.

Neither Winans nor the pastor of the church that bought Maranatha’s building would comment on Jones’ conversion.

Jones also is troubled that those he left behind do not understand his decision.

“To them, I have apostasized into error. And that’s painful for me because we all want to be looked at as being right and correct, but now you have the stigma of being mentally unbalanced, changeable, being looked at as though you’ve just walked away from God.”

Jones said when his group was considering converting, prayer groups were formed to stop them. “People fasted and prayed that God would stop us from making this terrible mistake. When we did it, it was as though we had died.”

He said Catholics do not fully understand how many Protestants see their church. “There’s this thin veneer of amicability, and below that there is great hostility.”

But he remains convinced he is doing the right thing.

“How can you say no to truth? I knew that I would lose everything and that in those circles I would never be accepted again, but I had no choice,” he said.

“It would be mortal sin for me to know what I know and not act on it. If I returned to my former life, I would be dishonest, untrustworthy, a man who saw truth, knew truth, and turned away from it, and I could just not do that.”


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While this event occured 3 years ago, the story is one worth sharing again. EWTN is running a new video entitled: A Dinner with Alex Jones. Check EWTN's web site for time slot. The program culminates with videotaped portions from the Easter Vigil mass.

If there is one thing that marks the faith journey of Alex Jones, it is his uncompromising commitment to the truth. In 1998, then Reverend Jones promised his congregation of some 200 souls, a real New Testament worship service. In thirty short days of reading the Fathers of the Church he came face-to-face with the Truth again. Like the night when he gave his life to Christ, Alex Jones had made another great discovery. He had found the Apostolic Church. Here, in the writings of other "Pentecostal Pastors" who had known and followed the apostles, was a Christianity he had never known; a liturgical and hierarchical Church where the center of worship was not just great preaching or even the movement of the Spirit, but the Eucharist. The Church founded by Jesus was a Sacramental Church. Going to the Scriptures, Alex found that they fell right in line with his new apostolic vision of the "Church of the upper room."

1 posted on 02/16/2004 11:55:27 AM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; CAtholic Family Association; narses; ...
One of the most moving interviews I have ever seen, was the night Alex Jones appeared as a guest on EWTN's The Journey Home. He spoke with the program's host, Marcus Grodi, about his faith journey and his surprise to find that it had led him to the Catholic Church. As the above story notes, there were several challenges in embracing catholicism. But the most moving part of his story came towards he end of the program. A caller asked him how he had approached the Eucharist.

Alex looked off for a few seconds, choking back tears. On the night before he and his family were to be received into the church, he asked Fr. Dennis if it would be alright to receive "his Lord" on his knees. There wasn't a dry eye in the audience that night!

Hope you enjoy this beautiful story.

2 posted on 02/16/2004 12:06:27 PM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: Salvation; All
For those who have never read Scott Hahn's In The Presence of the Lord, here is Scott's first hand experience as he attended his first catholic mass.

* * * * *

Scott Hahn’s The Lamb's Supper - The Mass as Heaven on Earth.
Foreword by Fr. Benedict Groeschel.
Part One - The Gift of the Mass

Hahn begins by describing the first mass he ever attended.

"There I stood, a man incognito, a Protestant minister in plainclothers, slipping into the back of a Catholic chapel in Milwaukee to witness my first Mass. Curiosity had driven me there, and I still didn't feel sure that it was healthy curiosity. Studying the writings of the earliest Christians, I'd found countless references to "the liturgy," "the Eucharist," "the sacrifice." For those first Christians, the Bible - the book I loved above all - was incomprehensible apart from the event that today's Catholics called "the Mass."

"I wanted to understand the early Christians; yet I'd had no experience of liturgy. So I persuaded myself to go and see, as a sort of academic exercise, but vowing all along that I would neither kneel nor take part in idolatry."

I took my seat in the shadows, in a pew at the very back of that basement chapel. Before me were a goodly number of worshipers, men and women of all ages. Their genuflections impressed me, as did their apparent concentration in prayer. Then a bell rang, and they all stood as the priest emerged from a door beside the altar.

Unsure of myself, I remained seated. For years, as an evangelical Calvinist, I'd been trained to believe that the Mass was the ultimate sacrilege a human could commit. The Mass, I had been taught, was a ritural that purported to "resacrifice Jesus Christ." So I would remain an observer. I would stay seated, with my Bible open beside me.

As the Mass moved on, however, something hit me. My Bible wasn't just beside me. It was before me - in the words of the Mass! One line was from Isaiah, another from Psalms, another from Paul. The experience was overwhelming. I wanted to stop everything and shout, "Hey, can I explain what's happening from Scripture? This is great!" Still, I maintained my observer status. I remained on the sidelines until I heard the priest pronounce the words of consecration: "This is My body . . . This is the cup of My blood."

Then I felt all my doubt drain away. As I saw the priest raise that white host, I felt a prayer surge from my heart in a whisper: "My Lord and my God. That's really you!"

I was what you might call a basket case from that point. I couldn't imagine a greater excitement than what those words had worked upon me. Yet the experience was intensified just a moment later, when I heard the congregation recite: "Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God," and the priest respond, "This is the Lamb of God . . ." as he raised the host. In less than a minute, the phrase "Lamb of God" had rung out four times. From long years of studying the Bible, I immediately knew where I was. I was in the Book of Revelation, where Jesus is called the Lamb no less than twenty-eight times in twenty-two chapters. I was at the marriage feast that John describes at the end of that very last book of the Bible. I was before the throne of heaven, where Jesus is hailed forever as the Lamb. I wasn't ready for this, though - I was at Mass!

3 posted on 02/16/2004 12:10:09 PM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: NYer
What a great story Alex has to share. I organized a conference at our parish 2 years ago in which we brought in Jeff Cavins and wife, Fr. Peter Stravinskas, and Alex Jones and wife. The Joneses are the absolutely most gracious, faith-filled folks. They provide the necessary antidote to the Hubbards etal that helps us to renew our faith.

Thank you, NY, for your posts and commentaries. I read them all and salute your well-grounded faith!
4 posted on 02/16/2004 12:11:11 PM PST by jobim
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To: NYer
Five years later, while he was reading about the church fathers, Keating’s question resurfaced. Jones began a study of the Church’s beginnings, sharing his newfound knowledge with his congregation.

To quote John Cardinal Newman: "To be steeped in history is to cease to be Protestant."

5 posted on 02/16/2004 12:30:33 PM PST by conservonator (To be Catholic is to enjoy the fullness of Christian faith.)
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To: NYer
I saw that "Coming Home" program. I filled up as well! We are so blessed as Catholics and most of the time I at least forget that fact.

Kneeling for Communion is one of the things I still miss even after 30 years.

6 posted on 02/16/2004 12:55:21 PM PST by american colleen
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To: NYer
BTTT for an edifying post!
7 posted on 02/16/2004 1:07:24 PM PST by Tantumergo
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To: Tantumergo
I love these stories! I have a bookshelf full of them! :-)
8 posted on 02/16/2004 1:22:59 PM PST by samiam1972 (Live simply so that others may simply live!)
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To: NYer
I have a sincere question that I have not found an answer for yet.

Chalcedon sets forth that the divine and human natures of Christ exist "without confusion, without change, without division, without separation."

The Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation as I understand it have the bread actually becoming or taking on the substance of Christ's flesh (which is obviously an aspect of His fully human nature).

What I don't understand is how Christ's flesh can be in two places at once, both sitting on the throne and in the substance of the Eucharist in any number of churches at any particular time.

Again, I am asking this sincerely because I have yet to be given a reasonable explanation for this, especially in light of the definition set forth in Chalcedon.

9 posted on 02/16/2004 1:44:44 PM PST by Frumanchu (I for one fear the sanctions of the Mediator far above the sanctions of the moderator)
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To: american colleen; nickcarraway; Pyro7480; NYer
Bump.

In our new parish (--where the pastor is getting to know me. ;^) --) there is an ancient aboriginal woman who receives the Lord directly upon her tongue (standing as demanded by the pastor) and then she steps up to where the altar rail was and drops quietly to her knees.

Our family and others now join her in this practice, and by e-mail the word is beginning to spread to other places. So I pass this on to you in America.

10 posted on 02/16/2004 1:56:02 PM PST by Siobhan (+Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet+)
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To: NYer
I just happened upon this program last night on EWTN. It was an accident, and I remained with it until the end. It is an inspirational story.
11 posted on 02/16/2004 1:56:44 PM PST by Gumdrop
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To: Frumanchu; Salvation; NYer; AAABEST; Patrick Madrid; american colleen; Canticle_of_Deborah; ...
Bumping Your Question to those better than I. Can anyone of you give him a well-thought answer. I gotta run to Mass. God Bless.
12 posted on 02/16/2004 2:04:17 PM PST by StAthanasiustheGreat (Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit)
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To: NYer
Bumping this thread. Great find!
13 posted on 02/16/2004 2:11:37 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Siobhan
What a testimonial you are giving in your church. God bless you all.
14 posted on 02/16/2004 2:14:55 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
Not just happening here!

Catholic archdiocese of Washington [D.C.] has largest ordination class in 14 years

Roman Catholic friar community growing

Retiring priests pose problem for the Archdiocese of Boston

Church Is Still Attracting Converts

Former Anglican priest ordained Catholic priest in San Francisco

Planted in tradition Orthodox churches are gaining presence, members amongst Protestants

AM - Anglican clergy defect for Catholic Church

Archdiocese has active, engaged laity (Archbishop Burke article)

Pastor and Flock Become Catholics

15 posted on 02/16/2004 2:18:10 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Tantumergo; sinkspur; ThomasMore
Ping to #9

Transubstantiation
16 posted on 02/16/2004 2:20:20 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Frumanchu; NWU Army ROTC
John 6:51
I AM the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give IS my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Keywords "am" and "is".

This is where it tells us that when we take communion, it IS the body of Christ. In at least three other places, Jesus tells us to do this in remembrence of Him, but this passage is key in that he leaves no doubt as to what we are doing when we take communion. It IS his body.

As to how he does this wouldn't you agree that God is capable of anything at all, the least of such being in two places at the same time?

17 posted on 02/16/2004 2:20:26 PM PST by AAABEST (<a href="http://www.angelqueen.org">Traditional Catholicism is Back and Growing</a>)
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To: Frumanchu
Can God be in more than one place at a time?
Yes.

According to Matthew are all things possible with God?
Yes.

Then, is it not possible that Christ can be present in the Holy Eucharist as well as at the right hand of the Father.

Stretch your mind and let faith take hold.
18 posted on 02/16/2004 2:22:06 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Siobhan
Wow, what a great statement of dedication and devotion that is.

That takes guts.

19 posted on 02/16/2004 2:22:43 PM PST by AAABEST (<a href="http://www.angelqueen.org">Traditional Catholicism is Back and Growing</a>)
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To: Frumanchu
What I don't understand is how Christ's flesh can be in two places at once, both sitting on the throne and in the substance of the Eucharist in any number of churches at any particular time.

That's why the Eucharist is called a "mystery." The miracle of the Loaves and Fishes was a sign of what was to come in the Eucharist: Jesus really feeds us, with His Body and Blood.

20 posted on 02/16/2004 2:24:57 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: Frumanchu
Again, I am asking this sincerely because I have yet to be given a reasonable explanation for this, especially in light of the definition set forth in Chalcedon.

I would refer you to Karl Keating's web site. Alex Jones was moved by a comment made by Keating. His web site, Catholic Answers, can provide you with scripturally based responses to just about any question you might have. Specifically, here is the link to:

Christ In The Eucharist

You may also find answers at Marcus Grodi's web site.

"Have questions about the Catholic Church?
The CHNetwork is operated by many staff members who are themselves converts, and would be happy to discuss any theological questions you might have. We want to help you learn more about the Catholic Church, and help you discover the wonderful treasures that it contains. "

COMING HOME NETWORK

God bless you on your journey.

21 posted on 02/16/2004 2:36:34 PM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: sandyeggo
**He was awesome, and it was he who said that in the last 3 years, that over 300 Protestant pastors had converted to Catholicism!**

What wonderful news!
23 posted on 02/16/2004 2:44:40 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Frumanchu
Disclaimer: I am not the best person to answer this question. I'll give it a shot anyway.

Look at this picture:

This is what happens at a Traditional Mass. Gerry Matatics calls the Eucharist "a time machine back to Calvary". Catholics believe during the Sacrifice of the Mass we are transported back in time to the foot of Cross. The one time Sacrifice is made present in the here and now and transfused/transformed in the species of the bread and wine which become the Body and Blood. The Mass opens up a portal to Heaven.

Gerry Matatics is a former Presbyterian minister. He has a couple of tapes on the Eucharist (one of which I've been listening to). He is going to be speaking in your area at the end of March if you're interested. He is a great speaker who can explain things better to Protestants than I can due to his background. Here's the link to his site: http://www.gerrymatatics.org/

24 posted on 02/16/2004 3:02:16 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: AAABEST
As to how he does this wouldn't you agree that God is capable of anything at all, the least of such being in two places at the same time?

In terms of His divine nature, yes. In terms of His human nature, no. Omnipresence is a divine attribute, not a human attribute. A human being cannot be present in two places at the same time. Christ's human nature is not infinite. It would seem to me that it would be impossible for His flesh to be physically present in the Eucharist worldwide while at the same time remaining seated at the right hand on the throne.

That is why I'm having trouble understanding this doctrine.

25 posted on 02/16/2004 3:31:20 PM PST by Frumanchu (I for one fear the sanctions of the Mediator far above the sanctions of the moderator)
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To: Salvation
See my #25.
26 posted on 02/16/2004 3:35:33 PM PST by Frumanchu (I for one fear the sanctions of the Mediator far above the sanctions of the moderator)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
I've seen that picture before and love it.
27 posted on 02/16/2004 3:37:00 PM PST by AAABEST (<a href="http://www.angelqueen.org">Traditional Catholicism is Back and Growing</a>)
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To: NYer
I would refer you to Karl Keating's web site. Alex Jones was moved by a comment made by Keating. His web site, Catholic Answers, can provide you with scripturally based responses to just about any question you might have. Specifically, here is the link to: Christ In The Eucharist

I looked through the site and I couldn't find any explanation beyond "this is what the early church believed." There was no specific address as to how the physical body of Christ can be more places than physically possible for the substance present in a person of normal constitution.

I will check out Grodi's site as time permits.

28 posted on 02/16/2004 3:40:24 PM PST by Frumanchu (I for one fear the sanctions of the Mediator far above the sanctions of the moderator)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
Gerry Matatics is a former Presbyterian minister. He has a couple of tapes on the Eucharist (one of which I've been listening to). He is going to be speaking in your area at the end of March if you're interested. He is a great speaker who can explain things better to Protestants than I can due to his background. Here's the link to his site: http://www.gerrymatatics.org/

Will check it out as time permits.

29 posted on 02/16/2004 3:41:29 PM PST by Frumanchu (I for one fear the sanctions of the Mediator far above the sanctions of the moderator)
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To: Frumanchu
In terms of His divine nature, yes. In terms of His human nature, no. Omnipresence is a divine attribute, not a human attribute. A human being cannot be present in two places at the same time. Christ's human nature is not infinite. It would seem to me that it would be impossible for His flesh to be physically present in the Eucharist worldwide while at the same time remaining seated at the right hand on the throne.

...ALL things are possible. The how can be a challenge or even impossible to understand. As someone already said; its a mystery of faith. What you can know is this: Christ instituted the Eucharist, see John 6, and being God he knew full well what he was promising and again being God, he is good to his Word.

30 posted on 02/16/2004 3:44:17 PM PST by conservonator (To be Catholic is to enjoy the fullness of Christian faith.)
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To: Frumanchu; Salvation
"There was no specific address as to how the physical body of Christ can be more places than physically possible for the substance present in a person of normal constitution."

You ask a sensible question as it is important to remember that Christ is both FULLY MAN as well as FULLY GOD.

When we say that Christ's Body and Blood are really present in the consecrated species, we believe that it is His living, resurrected and glorified Body and Blood - i.e. His human nature has been divinised by the action of the Holy Spirit, perhaps what the Orthodox would term theosis.

He now has a "spiritual body" as opposed to a "natural body". Consequently it does not suffer the same limitations that it did prior to His death and resurrection e.g. He is able to materialise/pass through locked doors cf. doubting Thomas etc.

Similarly in the Eucharist, He is not bound by the same constraints of time and space that we are, as His Body and Blood have taken on the spiritual qualities which are needed to exist in eternity where every single moment in time is simultaneously present as present.

To try and rationalise the Mystery much further is probably to tread on thin ice - there is only so much that is knowable with a limited human intellect unless God gives a specific revelation.

However, St. Paul makes some notable contrasts between the natural body and the supernatural body in the following passage:

1 Cor 15,35 "But some man will say: How do the dead rise again? or with what manner of body shall they come?
36 Senseless man, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die first.
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest NOT THE BODY THAT SHALL BE; but bare grain, as of wheat, or of some of the rest.
38 But God giveth it a body as he will: and to every seed its proper body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but one is the flesh of men, another of beasts, another of birds, another of fishes.
40 And there are BODIES CELESTIAL, and BODIES TERRESTRIAL: but, one is the glory of the celestial, and another of the terrestrial.
41 One is the glory of the sun, another the glory of the moon, and another the glory of the stars. For star differeth from star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it shall rise in incorruption.
43 It is sown in dishonour, it shall rise in glory. It is SOWN IN WEAKNESS, IT SHALL RISE IN POWER.
44 It is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body. If there be a natural body, there is also a spiritual body, as it is written:
45 The first man Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a quickening spirit.
46 Yet that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; afterwards that which is spiritual.
47 The first man was of the earth, earthly: the second man, from heaven, heavenly.
48 Such as is the earthly, such also are the earthly: and such as is the heavenly, such also are they that are heavenly.
49 Therefore as we have borne the image of the earthly, let us bear also the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot possess the kingdom of God: neither shall corruption possess incorruption.
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. WE SHALL ALL INDEED RISE AGAIN: BUT WE SHALL NOT ALL BE CHANGED.
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory."

St. John also appears to teach that there is something radically different about resurrected human nature, which is just not knowable or understandable in this earthly existence:

1 John 2 "Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is."
31 posted on 02/16/2004 4:36:50 PM PST by Tantumergo
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To: Frumanchu
"In terms of His divine nature, yes. In terms of His human nature, no. Omnipresence is a divine attribute, not a human attribute. A human being cannot be present in two places at the same time. Christ's human nature is not infinite. It would seem to me that it would be impossible for His flesh to be physically present in the Eucharist worldwide while at the same time remaining seated at the right hand on the throne. That is why I'm having trouble understanding this doctrine."

Christ's human nature/body was glorified at His resurrection. Since He is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, He is God. He is not only ABLE to be in two places at once, He is able to be EVERYWHERE He wants.

God created time. Because He is "outside of time," He is not constrained by temporal restrictions, and not only can He be present within the Eucharist on every altar in the world, but everything for Him is an eternal NOW.

32 posted on 02/16/2004 5:39:17 PM PST by redhead
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To: Tantumergo
You ask a sensible question as it is important to remember that Christ is both FULLY MAN as well as FULLY GOD. When we say that Christ's Body and Blood are really present in the consecrated species, we believe that it is His living, resurrected and glorified Body and Blood - i.e. His human nature has been divinised by the action of the Holy Spirit, perhaps what the Orthodox would term theosis.

The notion that His human nature is somehow "divinized" appears to me to be in direct violation of the definition of Chalcedon:

"...recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ"

To "mix" the natures by means of "divinizing" the human nature blurs the discinction between and preservation of those natures. To me the standard finitum non capax infinitum applies.

33 posted on 02/16/2004 5:50:21 PM PST by Frumanchu (I for one fear the sanctions of the Mediator far above the sanctions of the moderator)
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To: NYer
Jones said the four biggest problems Protestants have with Catholicism are teachings about Mary, purgatory, papal authority, and praying to saints. He resolved three of the four long ago,...

And this learned fellow did this exactly how? By frontal lobotomy? Burning his Bible?

34 posted on 02/16/2004 7:49:06 PM PST by winstonchurchill
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To: NYer
I have listened to Scott's story many times. Have read a few of his books. and am still listening to the audio from the programs on EWTN, sometimes a couple a day. I have learned more about the bible from him than I ever could in a lifetime..
35 posted on 02/17/2004 12:23:22 AM PST by .45MAN (this page written on recyclable media)
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To: Siobhan; NYer; Salvation
Thank you very much.

Have we noticed that every time we see something like this
that it stirs our love for our Catholic Faith and for its devotions and traditions.

Each of these is an instance of the beauty of holiness
- however brief or seemingly private that it was intended to be, an image is impressed on our hearts to be long remembered.

What a blessing it would be if there were a place that could be visited whenever someone wanted to dwell for a while on experiences such as these.
As a place in FreeRepublic it might be called the: "Catholic Traditions in Daily Life Canteen".

A bit of an example elsewhere might be: the Reader's Digest feature- "Life in these United States". These brief stories always left me with a smile and a warm feeling of thank you to whomever took the time to prepare and submit the item.

Each remembered experience could convey the specialness of the moment as much as possible including the thoughts and actions and perhaps what it meant to the observer or participant and to any other people nearby.

These little sharings of Catholic Tradition in daily life might include:
-An interaction between Denise and her friends about chapel veils.
-A special response or interaction upon giving a holycard to someone.
-A story about four little children all dressed up on Easter Sunday going around distributing brightly colored packets of candy - and what fortunately was on hand to give them in return.
-Thoughts about the approaching moment of the reception of Jesus onto your tongue.
-About the inspiration received when a priest came into the perpetual adoration room late at night.
-About a successful effort to restore to a parish the singing of hymns like: O Sacrament Most Holy...

May you edify others and pray that they might edify you.
Let all be lifted up just a little bit higher.
36 posted on 02/17/2004 12:49:31 AM PST by Phx_RC (Fr Frank Pavone gave a stirring homily today (2/16) on EWTN calling us all to vote pro-life.)
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To: Frumanchu
"To "mix" the natures by means of "divinizing" the human nature blurs the discinction between and preservation of those natures. "

We believe that theosis is the ultimate end of all human nature that is raised to new life in Christ and perseveres to the finish line - not just Christ's human nature.

We are truly made a new creation in Him - we will always be fully human, but we partake in the divine nature:

2 Peter 1,4 "By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world."

Do you not see evidence in the Gospels that His post-resurrection spiritual Body was significantly different from His pre-resurrection natural Body?

Chalcedon is primarily addressing the reality of the hypostatic union at the incarnation, it does not address the issue of the change that occurs in His human nature post resurrection.
37 posted on 02/17/2004 2:45:52 AM PST by Tantumergo
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To: Frumanchu
>>What I don't understand is how Christ's flesh can be in two places at once, both sitting on the throne and in the substance of the Eucharist in any number of churches at any particular time.

Heck, Christ rose from the dead, a death that no one could come back from. He raised the dead, he cured the blind with spittle and dirt, and this thing you mention confuses you?

Just think about how God exists in the first place if you want a real brain twister.

Think about the soul -- according to all known laws of science, it's impossible for a soul to exist. A soul can't be detected, yet it occupies the same place as your body. If there is a God, then why isn't he visible? Why can't he send us radio waves and visa versa? GOD TV would be a smash hit on cable.

My point is,we cannot apply Science (the laws of science which the creator created) to the Creator. Rather, he applies them to us and excludes himself.

Acceptable? Yes. Understandable. Nope!

38 posted on 02/17/2004 9:36:08 AM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: Frumanchu
What I don't understand is how Christ's flesh can be in two places at once, both sitting on the throne and in the substance of the Eucharist in any number of churches at any particular time.

The argument you're bringing up -- that transubstantiation contradicts Chalcedon -- was lodged by John Calvin. His argument is that transubstantiation makes Christ's humanity omnipresent, thus contradicting Chalcedon, because omnipresence is an attribute of divinity, not humanity.

Of course, there's the simple answer that the Council Fathers of Chalcedon unquestionably accepted the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (a long list of proofs can be adduced for that), so they must have been contradicting their own belief, as well!

However, Calvin's premise is wrong, so his argument collapses. Transubstantiation does not make Christ's humanity omnipresent (present everywhere) but merely multipresent or multilocal (present in several places at once). That's not the same thing.

And, there is no reason to suppose that glorified humanity cannot be multilocal. (After all, according to the Gospels, it can pass through walls and doors, so why can it not be in two places at once?) In fact, there are thought to be cases on record where non-glorified humanity is bilocal, through a miracle. The Italian stigmatist friar St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) is believed to have had the spiritual gift of bilocation, for example.

39 posted on 02/17/2004 10:27:16 AM PST by Campion
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To: Frumanchu
physical body of Christ can be more places than physically possible for the substance present in a person of normal constitution

Christ's humanity is not now that of "a person of normal constitution". It's resurrected, glorified human nature.

40 posted on 02/17/2004 10:30:43 AM PST by Campion
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To: Campion
Transubstantiation does not make Christ's humanity omnipresent (present everywhere) but merely multipresent or multilocal (present in several places at once). That's not the same thing.

Six of one, half-dozen of the other. The issue isn't between whether he's omnipresent or multipresent, but rather that neither is a characteristic or ability of non-deistic beings. There is no record of the multipresence of angels, nor is there record of multipresent humans. The understanding of Christ's ability to pass through walls and doors is speculative and not explicitly stated in the text.

41 posted on 02/17/2004 11:51:48 AM PST by Frumanchu (I for one fear the sanctions of the Mediator far above the sanctions of the moderator)
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To: Frumanchu
The issue isn't between whether he's omnipresent or multipresent, but rather that neither is a characteristic or ability of non-deistic beings.

Well, no, that's a conclusion that you want to make, but nothing supports it. Clearly, God is omnipresent. Multilocality is a lesser ability than omnipresence, so it's something that could belong to a lesser order of existence than divinity.

There is no record of the multipresence of angels, nor is there record of multipresent humans.

As I pointed out, there is such a record.

The understanding of Christ's ability to pass through walls and doors is speculative and not explicitly stated in the text.

John 20:19 and 20:26 make it crystal clear that Jesus was able to come into the midst of the disciples without doors being opened. There's nothing "speculative" about it.

42 posted on 02/17/2004 12:02:09 PM PST by Campion
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To: saradippity; AAABEST
BTTT
43 posted on 02/17/2004 1:34:32 PM PST by Phx_RC
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To: Phx_RC
Welcome to FR!
44 posted on 02/17/2004 1:39:44 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Frumanchu
(c) The third and last question has to do with the multilocation of Christ in heaven and upon thousands of altars throughout the world. Since in the natural order of events each body is restricted to one position in space (unilocatio), so that before the law proof of an alibi immediately frees a person from the suspicion of crime, multilocation without further question belongs to the supernatural order. First of all, no intrinsic repugnance can be shown in the concept of multilocation. For if the objection be raised, that no being can exist separated from itself or show forth local distances between its various selves, the sophism is readily detected; for multilocation does not multiply the individual object, but only its external relation to and presence in space. Philosophy distinguishes two modes of presence in creatures:


the circumscriptive, and

the definitive.

The first, the only mode of presence proper to bodies, is that by virtue of which an object is confined to a determinate portion of space in such wise that its various parts (atoms, molecules, electrons) also occupy their corresponding positions in that space. The second mode of presence, that properly belonging to a spiritual being, requires the substance of a thing to exist in its entirety in the whole of the space, as well as whole and entire in each part of that space. The latter is the soul's mode of presence in the human body. The distinction made between these two modes of presence is important, inasmuch as in the Eucharist both kinds are found in combination. For, in the first place, there is verified a continuous definitive multilocation, called also replication, which consists in this, that the Body of Christ is totally present in each part of the continuous and as yet unbroken Host and also totally present throughout the whole Host, just as the human soul is present in the body. And precisely this latter analogy from nature gives us an insight into the possibility of the Eucharistic miracle. For if, as has been seen above, Divine omnipotence can in a supernatural manner impart to a body such a spiritual, unextended, spatially uncircumscribed mode of presence, which is natural to the soul as regards the human body, one may well surmise the possibility of Christ's Eucharistic Body being present in its entirety in the whole Host, and whole and entire in each part thereof.

There is, moreover, the discontinuous multilocation, whereby Christ is present not only in one Host, but in numberless separate Hosts, whether in the ciborium or upon all the altars throughout the world. The intrinsic possibility of discontinuous multilocation seems to be based upon the non-repugnance of continuous multilocation. For the chief difficulty of the latter appears to be that the same Christ is present in two different parts, A and B, of the continuous Host, it being immaterial whether we consider the distant parts A and B joined by the continuous line AB or not. The marvel does not substantially increase, if by reason of the breaking of the Host, the two parts A and B are now completely separated from each other. Nor does it matter how great the distance between the parts may be. Whether or not the fragments of a Host are distant one inch or a thousand miles from one another is altogether immaterial in this consideration; we need not wonder, then, if Catholics adore their Eucharistic Lord at one and the same time in New York, London, and Paris. Finally, mention must be made of mixed multilocation, since Christ with His natural dimensions reigns in heaven, whence he does not depart, and at the same time dwells with His Sacramental Presence in numberless places throughout the world. This third case would be in perfect accordance with the two foregoing, were we per impossible permitted to imagine that Christ were present under the appearances of bread exactly as He is in heaven and that He had relinquished His natural mode of existence. This, however, would be but one more marvel of God's omnipotence. Hence no contradiction is noticeable in the fact, that Christ retains His natural dimensional relations in heaven and at the same time takes up His abode upon the altars of earth.

There is, furthermore, a fourth kind of multilocation, which, however, has not been realized in the Eucharist, but would be, if Christ's Body were present in its natural mode of existence both in heaven and on earth. Such a miracle might be assumed to have occurred in the conversion of St. Paul before the gates of Damascus, when Christ in person said.to him: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" So too the bilocation of saints, sometimes read of in the pages of hagiography, as, e.g., in the case of St. Alphonsus Liguori, cannot be arbitrarily cast aside as untrustworthy. The Thomists and some later theologians, it is true, reject this kind of multilocation as intrinsically impossible and declare bilocation to be nothing more than an "apparition" without corporeal presence. But Cardinal De Lugo is of opinion, and justly so, that to deny its possibility might reflect unfavorably upon the Eucharistic multilocation itself. If there were question of the vagaries of many Nominalists, as, e.g., that a bilocated person could be living in Paris and at the same time dying in London, hating in Paris and at the same time loving in London, the impossibility would be as plain as day, since an individual, remaining such as he is, cannot be the subject of contrary propositions, since they exclude one another. The case assumes a different aspect, when wholly external contrary propositions, relating to position in space, are used in reference to the bilocated individual. In such a bilocation, which leaves the principle of contradiction intact, it would be hard to discover an intrinsic impossibility.



(Below, I'll link to the entire article).
45 posted on 02/19/2004 4:20:56 AM PST by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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To: Frumanchu
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05573a.htm
46 posted on 02/19/2004 4:21:50 AM PST by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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To: Frumanchu
The understanding of Christ's ability to pass through walls and doors is speculative and not explicitly stated in the text.

Now when it was late the same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them: Peace be to you.

47 posted on 02/19/2004 4:25:46 AM PST by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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To: Campion
Well, Calvin was the first to deny this miracle. Maybe our friend is a Calvinist
48 posted on 02/19/2004 4:27:08 AM PST by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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To: Phx_RC
There is a tradional Catholic forum if you want a place on the web where you can be around others like yourself.
49 posted on 02/19/2004 4:37:19 AM PST by AAABEST (<a href="http://www.angelqueen.org">Traditional Catholicism is Back and Growing</a>)
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To: Frumanchu
http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/realpresence1.html
50 posted on 02/19/2004 4:39:01 AM PST by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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