Skip to comments.True Food and True Drink
Posted on 12/14/2004 1:55:17 PM PST by Salvation
|True Food and True Drink
|Dear Grace, Some of my friends have questioned me about why and how I can believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Host which we receive at Communion in Mass. Sometimes I am not sure exactly how to explain it well enough so that it will be understood. Can you help?
It is true that some people consider the Catholic Churchs belief about the Eucharist to be totally unbelievable and almost outrageous. Catholics actually believe that when a priest, during the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass, repeats the words of Jesus at the Last Supper over the bread and wine, they really do become the Body and Blood of the Lord Himself. How can this be? Where did the Church get this idea? The simple answer would be that we believe it because Jesus said it, and this Word of His is transmitted to us in various ways.
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The eating of human flesh and drinking human blood was anathema to the Jews, and Christ's teaching repulsed some of them, who had no glimmer of understanding of Christ.
If I'm not mistaken, the translation of one of verbs in the John gospel actually means "munch" more than it means "eat."
**I am the bread of life, he said (Jn 6: 35). I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world (Jn 6: 51).**
"Catholics actually believe that when a priest, during the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass, repeats the words of Jesus at the Last Supper over the bread and wine, they really do become the Body and Blood of the Lord Himself. "
Not ALL Catholics. I know, I know - this makes them CINOS, but they still think of themselves as 'Catholic'. I've had many an argument that this is actually the 'official' Church doctrine - TransSubstantiation - and still got arguments that 'No, it's just symbolic'. To which I'd reply - "Then you're not Catholic".
Meditation on Jesus in the Eucharist
Oh my Lord,
I see you there, o Jesus,
in the form of bread,
You, at whose name every knee will bow,
You, who sit at the right hand of the Father,
and yet are willing to come here,
share with us,
wait with us.
You let yourself be broken
for love of us.
Lamb of God
You take away the sins of the world,
yet to save our souls,
you feed us
O my hidden Jesus,
such a limitless love!
I weep with joy and sorrow,
I cringe with shame
but arise with wonder
would care so much,
would do so much
nowhere near worthy!
One of the "hard teachings." ;-D
I had a discussion once with some friends who understood everything about me except my Catholic beliefs.
"The Bible says, 'call no man father' so how can you address a priest that way?" they asked. They thought they had me on the spot.
"I'll answer that after you tell me what Christ meant when He said, 'my body is real food and my blood is real drink.'" I answered. "And explain to me what the keys to the kingdom, given to Peter, were."
They didn't follow up.
I think we need to keep praying for a little bit more (or a lot LOL!) of enlightenment for these CUNOs.
Lord have mercy on us!
"As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me" (John 6:57). The Greek word used for "eats" (trogon) is very blunt and has the sense of "chewing" or "gnawing."
What a fabulous image that accompanies this article!
Anyone know how to make it bigger?
Thank you for that information.
Sadly, many catholics are poorly catechized or not at all. I've met adults who recall making First Communion but received no further instruction after that.
The next time some of your catholic friends make this comment, share these comments of the first christians with them.
What Did the First Christians Say?
Ignatius of Antioch, who had been a disciple of the apostle John and who wrote a letter to the Smyrnaeans about A.D. 110, said, referring to "those who hold heterodox opinions," that "they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again" (6:2, 7:1).
Forty years later, Justin Martyr, wrote, "Not as common bread or common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, . . . is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus" (First Apology 66:120).
Origen, in a homily written about A.D. 244, attested to belief in the Real Presence. "I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the Body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence" (Homilies on Exodus 13:3).
Cyril of Jerusalem, in a catechetical lecture presented in the mid-300s, said, "Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that, for they are, according to the Masters declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy
of the body and blood of Christ" (Catechetical Discourses: Mystagogic 4:22:9).
In a fifth-century homily, Theodore of Mopsuestia seemed to be speaking to todays Evangelicals and Fundamentalists: "When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, This is the symbol of my body, but, This is my body. In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, This is the symbol of my blood, but, This is my blood, for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements], after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit, not according to their nature, but to receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord" (Catechetical Homilies 5:1).
>>"Then you're not Catholic".<<
God Bless You!
We are one body with Jesus. Perhaps in the same sense that a baby and its mother are one. That is how the baby survives. Jesus helps us to survive in this life until we are reborn in the eternal life.
As a result, those listening questioned his meaning. Jesus then reiterated, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day." (Jn 6:54 NAB)
"As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him." (Jn 6:66 NAB)
Notice when you read this chapter, Jesus did not call those disciples back and say, "No, no, what I really meant was..."
When Jesus spoke, he meant what he said. So, how do we receive the flesh and blood of Jesus that he commanded we eat?
">>"Then you're not Catholic".<<
God Bless You!"
LOL! It's this comment that causes the huge argument that follows!!
Karl Keating often points out that this is the only place in the Gospels where any disciples leave Him over a doctrinal issue.
Eucharist: From the Greek word, eucharistein (yoo kar is TAIN), "to give thanks": to the Heavenly Father for giving us the Divine Son, Jesus, for salvation and for the Eucharist Itself, in which we meet Jesus again.
It is a great image and no, I don't know how to make it larger. But you might check HTML Sandbox ( a thread here)
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord
until he comes. -- 1 Cor 11:26
The Year of the Eucharist
What is the Year of the Eucharist?
From time to time the Vatican designates a particular year for the Church to devote herself especially to celebrating some important aspect of the Catholic faith. Following in this tradition, Pope John Paul II announced a Year of the Eucharist on the feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ) in June 2004.
The year begins with the World Eucharistic Congress, October 1017, 2004, in Guadalajara, Mexico. It ends with the ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops held in the Vatican October 229, 2005. The theme of the synod is The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church.
In this extended celebration, all Catholics are called to honor Gods gift of the Eucharist, to receive it more faithfully, and to reflect more deeply on its meaning in their lives and in the life of the Church.
-- from How to Celebrate the Year of the Eucharist (pamphlet) by Paul Thigpen.
Excerpt from Why is That in Tradition?
by Patrick Madrid
14. The Eucharistic Liturgy
The Catholic term "Liturgy" derives from the Greek word leitourgia, which means "a public duty" or "a public action?" This meaning took on a religious connotation in regard to the public ministrations of the Old Testament priests in the Temple (cf. Exodus 38:27, 39:12; Joel 1:9, 2:17; where the term leitourgeo is used in the Greek, Septuagint, version). The ancient Tradition of the Liturgy has been taught and believed by Christians since the days of Christ. Latin Rite Catholics are accustomed to referring to it as the "Mass," while Eastern Catholics call it the "Divine Liturgy." Both refer to the same doctrine.
Since the night Christ was betrayed, the Catholic Church has been celebrating the Liturgy of the Eucharist. This is part of Sacred Tradition, a revealed doctrine of the Faith that came from Christ himself and was preached and taught by the Apostles and their successors from the earliest days of the Church. About the year 56, St. Paul wrote about this Tradition and of how important it was to the life of the Church:
"I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions,63 just as I handed them on to you. . . ."
For the first few centuries, the Eucharistic Liturgy was not a formally codified ritual as we know it today, though it was universally celebrated in the East and West with its essential elements and according to the particular meaning the Catholic Church has always understood it to contain: the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross, re-presented in time and space.
The Catechism explains the Churchs meaning when it refers to the Churchs Tradition of the Eucharistic Liturgy, defining it to mean:
An action of thanksgiving to God (CCC 1328);
The Lords Supper (CCC 1329; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:20; Revelation 19:9);
The Breaking of Bread (CCC 1329; cf. Matthew 14:19,15:36,26:26; Mark 8:6, 19.);
The Eucharistic assembly (CCC 1329; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34);
The memorial of the Lords Passion and Resurrection (CCC 1330);
A Holy Sacrifice (CCC 1330; cf. Hebrews 13:15; cf. 1 Peter 2:5; Psalm116:13, 17; Malachi 1:11);
The Holy and Divine Liturgy;
Holy Communion (CCC 1331; cf. 1 Corinthians 10: 16-17);
Holy Mass (CCC 1332).
From these explanatory sections from the Catechism, we can see the essential elements of the Tradition of the Eucharistic Liturgy. This has been an ever-present, ubiquitous Tradition in the Church since the time of Christ and the Apostles. What makes this Tradition so powerful when a Catholic dialogues with Protestants is that it is undeniable that the early Christians did not gather for a "Sunday service," as Protestants typically understand the term. Rather, the early Christians gathered together to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice, complete with the essential prayers and gestures we use today in the Catholic Church (as well as in the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches).
Excerpted from Why is That in Tradition?
by Patrick Madrid, copyright © Patrick Madrid,
Thanks for trying. I liked the image so much I was hoping to get a clear picture of it so I could try to recreate it in order to embroider it on my youngest kid's Communion banner for next year.
I'll have to wing it now....hope my inner artiste is up to the challenge!
I hope you have a merry and blessed Christmas as well! Thank you!
"dissenting members of the Church are not an authority".
Well, no kidding.
But......BUT their views are being rehashed over and over again in catechetical texts! Sure, the press companies and their wares have the conformity with the catechism monicker on the cover, or the press copyright page, by the USCCB. As if we can totally trust the USCCB??? Uh, I don't think so.
If you want examples you need go no further than any "Catholic Update" (St. Anthony Messenger Press) which focuses on the Holy Eucharist. Over and over again the focus of "The Real Presence" is the people (to refute that idea see CCC 1373 and Sacrosanctum Concilium 7).
These "Catholic Updates" are used not only in religious ed., but also RCIA. They are nothing more than the "New Age" movement revisited.
Even Archbishop Hughes said, after reviewing 25 catechetical texts they were "lacking doctrinally":
The U.S. bishops Committee on Catechesis has begun work on four projects to benefit the American church, said its chairman, Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein of Indianapolis. Areas to be covered in the committees work are education in human sexuality, the education and formation of catechists and catechetical leadership, the development of doctrinal guidelines for high school-level catechetical instruction and a project to outline key doctrinal elements in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans said the ad hoc committee had reviewed 25 high school catechetical texts since mid-2001 and found most of them lacking in key doctrinal areas."
(uh, fond this on a Google search in America magazine.......not exactly "in conformity" with the bishops is this magazine).
I suggest a search for these findings more thoroughly and get an opinion from a different website.
The PRE-DOMINANT way the "Real Presence" is being presented today is "in the assembly". Many "powers-that-be" DO NOT want to "go back" to the days of "coookie worship". After all, the will say, "The Eucharist is not confected to display in some baroque monstrance." Uh-huh. I guess this is why JPII is hammering Eucharistic Adoration so hard these days (see Ecclesia de Eucharistia #10, and The Year of the Eucharist #18).
Suggested reading to research bad catechesis which is still going on in religious ed. circles in the Church:
"Catechisms and Controversies" by Msgr Michael Wrenn and "Flawed Expectations" by the same author with Kenneth Whitehead (both printed by Ignatius Press). Also "In the Presence of Our Lord" by Fr. Groeschel.
My thoughts, FWIW.
Other authors to be very wary of when it comes to Transubstantiation and the proper meaning of the sacraments:
For an excellent article about the "dumbing down" (if not out right heresy) of the sacraments, please see this article by Fr. Edward O'Connor, C.S.C.:
bump for later read
Not ALL of the "Catholic Updates" are bad. They are a hodge-podge and mish-mash of good theology on certain topics mixed with BAD theology. They present differing "theologies" of theologians as if they were Catholic Truth from the Magisterium. This is a major problem. Theologians are NOT the Magisterium (like you said). I said "New Age" because some of these "Catholic Updates" focus on the Christ's Real Presence as being JUST AS PRESENT in the assembly as He is in the Eucharist. Not so.
Here are the dates of some examples:
Eucharist: Understanding Christ's Body--1998
The Sacrament of the Eucharist: What Has Happened to My Devotion?--1992
Real Presence In The Eucharist--1996
These are all presented in a "Come and See" big three-ring binder for an RCIA program. Mucho goofy stuff in there.
In a recent issue of "This Rock" (Dec '04), they did a whole issue of book reviews. There was a book published by St. Anthony Messenger Press called "Catholic Traditions: Treasures New and Old" by a Joanne Turpin which was reviewed by Michelle Arnold of Catholic Answers(p. 40, left-hand column). Arnold gave the book two out of five stars by-the-way.
Turpin says of Transubstantiation: "A devout manner of reception affirms the deeply held belief shared by Catholics that Christ is truly, fully present in the consecrated bread and wine."
To which Miss Arnold correctly says, "No, this is the deeply held belief of those non-Catholic Christians who subscribe to consubstantiation. Catholics have 'the deeply held belief' that the bread and wine are truly and fully changed into Christ, who is 'truly, fully present' under the appearance of bread and wine."
Thus, to Turpin, the bread and wine do NOT change. Jesus somehow attaches Himself to the bread and wine, or manifests Himself THROUGH them to make His "Real Presence" there. The latter "theology" is something called transfinalization or transignification. Both of which were promoted by Schilebeeckx and Rahner (and now, sadly, by many of their disciples).
Thank you so much for these quotes in order!
I have to get to work. I will get back with you as soon as I can.
"The author is sloppy, but is not contradict Church doctrine."
Kind of like giving a kid a cookie with a chocolate chip laced with arsenic. It's not completely okay, but it is mostly alright. However it may make you sick for a while.
This is huge part of the problem Dom. You water it down enough and the next thing you know the real doctrine is nowhere to be found and one ends up starving for real Truth. This is the "apologetcis method" of the Modernists.
I liked this part of that article:
"The body of Christ is not only ON the table, but AT the table and AROUND the table."
Well, I suppose I am the Eucharist right? No, I mean, WE are the Eucharist! Okay, I get it now. He is on the Altar, er--sorry, TABLE, but He is also present as us in the assembly!
So, should I respond to "The Body of Christ" when I receive communion with "I am!"???
Shoot, I could get some buds to go down to the Pizza Hut for some pepperoni and brew! Why go to Mass if I/we are the Body of Christ? I can give thanks to God right there----since I/we are Him.
Oh, and take that silly tabernacle out of the main nave of the Church. Kind of redundant to have the "consecrated bread" in here since I/we are "consecrated bread" ourselves.
Dom, you know I am being sarcastic but do you see what I mean? The stuff in these things really is so goofy in many ways. You are looking for specifics. I would be happy to share something with you about one of the other Updates.
Would you like to take this up privately like I asked Dom?
Jesus is NOT present the same way where two or three are gathered in His name as he is in the Sacred Host and Precious Blood.
From Ecclesia de Eucharistia:
10. In various parts of the Church abuses have occurred, leading to confusion with regard to sound faith and Catholic doctrine concerning this wonderful sacrament. At times one encounters an extremely reductive understanding of the Eucharistic mystery. Stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet. Furthermore, the necessity of the ministerial priesthood, grounded in apostolic succession, is at times obscured and the sacramental nature of the Eucharist is reduced to its mere effectiveness as a form of proclamation. This has led here and there to ecumenical initiatives which, albeit well-intentioned, indulge in Eucharistic practices contrary to the discipline by which the Church expresses her faith. How can we not express profound grief at all this? The Eucharist is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and depreciation.
13. By virtue of its close relationship to the sacrifice of Golgotha, the Eucharist is a sacrifice in the strict sense, and not only in a general way, as if it were simply a matter of Christ's offering himself to the faithful as their spiritual food. The gift of his love and obedience to the point of giving his life (cf. Jn 10:17-18) is in the first place a gift to his Father. Certainly it is a gift given for our sake, and indeed that of all humanity (cf. Mt 26:28; Mk 14:24; Lk 22:20; Jn 10:15), yet it is first and foremost a gift to the Father: asacrifice that the Father accepted, giving, in return for this total self-giving by his Son, who 'became obedient unto death' (Phil 2:8), his own paternal gift, that is to say the grant of new immortal life in the resurrection.
In giving his sacrifice to the Church, Christ has also made his own the spiritual sacrifice of the Church, which is called to offer herself in union with the sacrifice of Christ. This is the teaching of the Second Vatican Council concerning all the faithful: Taking part in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, which is the source and summit of the whole Christian life, they offer the divine victim to God, and offer themselves along with it.
27. At various times in the two-thousand-year history of the People of the New Covenant, the Church's Magisterium has more precisely defined her teaching on the Eucharist, including its proper terminology, precisely in order to safeguard the apostolic faith with regard to this sublime mystery. This faith remains unchanged and it is essential for the Church that it remain unchanged.
Dominick, notice how JPII over and over again focuses on the SACRIFICE of Holy Mass? How many times do you see this in any of the Catholic Updates? He even says, "At times one encounters an extremely reductive understanding of the Eucharistic mystery. Stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet." Yet, the "fraternal banquet" understanding of Holy Mass IS the focus of these Updates.
He also says, "The Eucharist is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and depreciation."
"Abiguity and depreciation". Hmmmm. Could that also per chance mean "sloppily written" as you say?
I am sorry. It is my contention that "watered down" and "sloppily written" catechetical materials, like many of these Catholic Updates and other material, directly leads one into heresy.