Skip to comments.The Real Presence of Christ In The Eucharist: Scriptural and Tradition Support
Posted on 01/05/2014 1:56:06 PM PST by Steelfish
The Early Christians Believed in the Real Presence
"So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter." (2 Thes. 2:15)
"And what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (2 Tim. 2:2)
Many Catholics and non-Catholics alike think that the Roman Catholic Church invented the doctrine of transubstantiation. Transubstantiation means that the bread and wine presented on the altar at the Mass become the the Body and Blood of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit at the consecration.
The consecration is the time when the priest calls upon the Holy Spirit to change the bread and wine into Christ's Body and Blood. However, the Body and Blood retain the appearance of bread and wine. The Roman Catholic Church, that is, the Latin Rite Catholic Church, and other Catholic Churches in communion with Rome believe that the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity. The Orthodox Churches and most other Churches of the East do so as well.
Anglican [Episcopalian] and other Protestant denominations have interpreted Christ's presence at the celebration of the Lord's Supper or Eucharist to be either only spiritual, or symbolic, or non-existent.
The Early Christians actually took the Real Presence for granted. It doesn't even seem as if there was much debate. I could not find anyone who denied the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament before the year 500 A.D. Following are the results of my search.
(Excerpt) Read more at therealpresence.org ...
That link opens to a fantastic page about the Early Church.
It is flatly unbiblical.
Yes sir it sure is.
Since when is the Lord’s Supper unbiblical?
What part of "This is My Body" don't you understand?
We catholics don't have to debate what the meaning of the word 'Is' is.
The Lords Supper, in which the Lord's sacrificial death for the church is shown in a communal meal, is Biblical
But turning it into something in which spiritual life is gained by physically eating, and necessary to have eternal life, literally consuming human flesh and blood, with kosher Jews blithely assenting to doing so - which is only condemned in Scripture, and which pagans did to imbibe life force - is what is not Biblical .
Do we need to once again reiterate what about 500 threads have dealt with here?
Lets look at the Greek
Estin- is 3rd person singular active indicative
Mat 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
Mat 3:17 kai idou fwnh ek twn ouranwn legousa outov estin o uiov mou o agaphtov en w eudokhsa
So, is Jesus the Son of God, or does he represent the son of God?
Mat 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”
Mat 17:5 eti autou lalountov idou nefelh fwteinh epeskiasen autouv kai idou fwnh ek thv nefelhv legousa outov estin o uiov mou o agaphtov en w eudokhsa tsbautou akouete aautou
Again, is Jesus the Son of God, or does he represent the son of God?
Mat 26:26 And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
Mat 26:26 esqiontwn de autwn labwn o ihsouv ton arton kai euxaristhsav euloghsav eklasen kai douv edidou toiv maqhtaiv tsbkai eipen labete fagete touto estin to swma mou
This is the same estin. By what logic do you change the estin here to mean represents? There is no logic to support your tradition.
Mat 26:28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
Mat 26:28 touto gar estin to aima mou to thv kainhv diaqhkhv to peri pollwn ekxunnomenon ekxunomenon eiv afesin amartiwn
This is the same estin. By what logic do you change the estin here to mean represents? There is no logic to support your tradition.
Mar 14:22 And while they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it; and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is My body.”
Mar 14:22 kai esqiontwn autwn labwn o ihsouv arton euloghsav eklasen kai edwken autoiv kai eipen labete fagete touto estin to swma mou
This is the same estin. By what logic do you change the estin here to mean represents? There is no logic to support your tradition.
Mar 14:24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
Mar 14:24 kai eipen autoiv touto estin to aima mou to thv kainhv diaqhkhv to ekxunnomenon uper peri pollwn ekxunomenon
Is = Is. In English and Greek. Your man made tradition is not biblical, when it says says Is = represents.
The carnal mind needs that carnal fix and they will do all to try to justify it.
Cannibalism is a family tradition, started by Ug in the caves.
Indeed, and to be consistent with such literal understanding of consuming human flesh, thus David was also engaging in transubstantiation, and consistent with Scripture in refusing to eat blood like cannibals, when,
the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD. And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it.
Of course, just like in the NT, there is no record of any believers consuming human flesh, which is not what "the body" in 1Cor. 11 refers to , but the church (as in the next chapter as well.) See link.
But examining such literalism further, when the fearful Israelites exclaimed that the Promised Land was a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; or when Joshua exhorted the Israelites, Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us (Num. 13:32; 14:9), it is not to be supposed that the land or the Israelites would become cannibals. And when Jeremiah proclaims, Your words were found. and I ate them. and your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jer. 15:16), or Ezekiel is told, "eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel" (Ezek. 3:1), or (in a phrase most similar to the Lord's supper) John is commanded, "Take the scroll ... Take it and eat it" (Rev. 10:8-9 ), then it is not speaking of literal eating. And it is certain that cannibalism was not looked upon favorably in Israel, and is only portrayed negatively, even metaphorically, as David declared, "When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell." (Psa 27:2) And gaining spiritual life and eternal life by physically eating is clearly contrary to John, as well as the rest of the NT, but by believing the gospel is, the words being spirit, and life, (Jn. 6:63) is.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:57)
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:57)
And Jesus did not live by physically consuming the Father, but by living according to every word out of Huis mouth, and thus to do His will was the Lord's "bread." (Mt. 4:4; Jn. 4:34).
Moreover, the use of figurative language in Jn. 6 is what is consistent with John, as
In John 1:29, Jesus is called the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world but he does not have hoofs and literal physical wool.
In John 2:19 Jesus is the temple of God: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up but He is not made of literal stone.
In John 3:14,15, Jesus is the likened to the serpent in the wilderness (Num. 21) who must be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal (vs. 14, 15) but He is not made of literal bronze.
In John 4:14, Jesus provides living water, that whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (v. 14) but which was not literally consumed by mouth.
In John 7:37 Jesus is the One who promises He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water but this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive. (John 7:38)
In Jn. 9:5 Jesus is the Light of the world but who is not blocked by an umbrella.
In John 10, Jesus is the door of the sheep,, and the good shepherd [who] giveth his life for the sheep, that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly vs. 7, 10, 11) but who again, is not literally an animal with cloven hoofs.
In John 15, Jesus is the true vine but who does not physically grow from the ground nor whose fruit is literally physically consumed.
There is no compelling reason to believe that Jesus was saying the bread and wine at the Last Supper became his actual blood and flesh. He also said He was the Bread of Life - is He a loaf of bread? He said “I am the Door” - is He now wood with hinges? He prayed over Jerusalem, “how I long to gather you under my wings as a hen gathers her chicks” - so now He is a chicken with feathers? Jesus was the “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” - so now He is an actual sheep?
I see nowhere in the New Testament that the bread and the wine becomes Christ’s flesh and blood. I see plenty of symbolism in the NT that communicates God’s Truth without Jesus becoming bread, wood, a sheep, a chicken - and, I also see that the bread and wine of the Last Supper are eloquent and beautiful symbols that communicates the sacrifice of the Incarnate God in our behalf.
I know there is no way we are going to agree, but I felt compelled to try.
On the other hand, though I am very much a Baptist, I bear no animosity toward my Catholic Brothers and Sisters. We are servants of Christ, and it is to Him that we must give an account - not you to me nor me to you.
“The Early Christians Believed in the Real Presence... Many Catholics and non-Catholics alike think that the Roman Catholic Church invented the doctrine of transubstantiation.”
A false equation. Youre certainly free to believe in the Real Presence, after all, so did the Westminster divines:
From the Westminster Longer Catechism:
Q. 170. How do they that worthily communicate in the Lords supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ therein?
As the body and blood of Christ are not corporally or carnally present in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lords supper, and yet are spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses; so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lords supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ, not after a corporal and carnal, but in a spiritual manner; yet truly and really, while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.
The question is, does the scripture teach transubstantiation? Is the Real Presence the SAME THING as Transubstantiation, which our posters here claim is the case without even bothering to prove it? Well, let’s start with sacred ‘tradition’ first and then move on to scripture to test this claim:
Does Augustine believe that the “real presence” of Christ in the Eucharist is the same thing as transubstantiation? Let’s ask him:
Augustine - Against Transubstantiation
The body and blood of Christ consumed through faith without eating or drinking. Believe, saith Augustine, and thou hast eaten already.
They said therefore unto Him, What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? For He had said to them, Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto eternal life. What shall we do? they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent. This is then to eat the meat, not that which perisheth, but that which endureth unto eternal life. To what purpose dost thou make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already. (Augustine, Tractate 25)
Compare with Father John Bartunek, LC., whose interpretation requires the actual use of “teeth and stomach”:
“This was the perfect opportunity for Christ to say, Wait a minute, what I really meant was that my body and blood will just be symbolized by bread and wine. Of course I didnt mean that bread and wine really would become my body and blood. Dont be foolish! The strange thing is he doesnt say that. He does not water down his claim, as if eating his flesh were just a metaphor for believing in his doctrine; on the contrary, he reiterates the importance of really eating his flesh and drinking his blood.”
Augustine, writing on his rule for interpreting commands, calls the eating of Christ to be figurative, since otherwise it compels us to do something that is unlawful.
If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, says Christ, and drink His blood, you have no life in you. John 6:53 This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share [communicandem] in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory [in memoria] of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us. Scripture says: If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink; and this is beyond doubt a command to do a kindness. But in what follows, for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head, one would think a deed of malevolence was enjoined. Do not doubt, then, that the expression is figurative; and, while it is possible to interpret it in two ways, one pointing to the doing of an injury, the other to a display of superiority, let charity on the contrary call you back to benevolence, and interpret the coals of fire as the burning groans of penitence by which a mans pride is cured who bewails that he has been the enemy of one who came to his assistance in distress. In the same way, when our Lord says, He who loves his life shall lose it, we are not to think that He forbids the prudence with which it is a mans duty to care for his life, but that He says in a figurative sense, Let him lose his life that is, let him destroy and lose that perverted and unnatural use which he now makes of his life, and through which his desires are fixed on temporal things so that he gives no heed to eternal. It is written: Give to the godly man, and help not a sinner. The latter clause of this sentence seems to forbid benevolence; for it says, help not a sinner. Understand, therefore, that sinner is put figuratively for sin, so that it is his sin you are not to help. (Augustine, Christian Doctrine, Ch. 16)
When the Eucharist is offered, it is ourselves who we receive. (Are we transubstantiated into the bread?) A spiritual lesson is to be received from it, which is the purpose of the sacrament.
How can bread be his body? And the cup, or what the cup contains, how can it be his blood? The reason these things, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments is that in them one thing is seen, another is to be understood. What can be seen has a bodily appearance, what is to be understood provides spiritual fruit. So if its you that are the body of Christ and its members, its the mystery meaning you that has been placed on the Lords table; what you receive is the mystery that means you. (Augustine, Sermon 272)
(The Catholics will often quote the first part of this sermon, but will not attempt to discuss the lesson of it.)
In fact, throughout this sermon, sacraments are tools to impart spiritual lessons. For example, the sacrament of the Holy Spirit (oil), but it is not actually the Holy Spirit:
Then came baptism, and you were, in a manner of speaking, moistened with water in order to be shaped into bread. But its not yet bread without fire to bake it. So what does fire represent? Thats the chrism, the anointing. Oil, the fire-feeder, you see, is the sacrament of the Holy Spirit. (Same as above)
Another, the sacrament of the kiss of peace:
After that comes Peace be with you; a great sacrament, the kiss of peace. So kiss in such a way as really meaning that you love. Dont be Judas; Judas the traitor kissed Christ with his mouth, while setting a trap for him in his heart. But perhaps somebody has unfriendly feelings toward you, and you are unable to win him round, to show him hes wrong; youre obliged to tolerate him. Dont pay him back evil for evil in your heart. He hates; just you love, and you can kiss him without anxiety. (Same as above)
Same theme, different sermon.
I havent forgotten my promise. I had promised those of you who have just been baptized a sermon to explain the sacrament of the Lords table, which you can see right now, and which you shared in last night. You ought to know what you have received, what you are about to receive, what you ought to receive every day. That bread which you can see on the altar, sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That cup, or rather what the cup contains, sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ. It was by means of these things that the Lord Christ wished to present us with his body and blood, which he shed for our sake for the forgiveness of sins. If you receive them well, you are yourselves what you receive. You see, the apostle says, We, being many, are one loaf, one body (1 Cor 10:17). Thats how he explained the sacrament of the Lords table; one loaf, one body, is what we all are, many though we be. (Augustine, Sermon 227)
The Eucharist, which symbolizes both the entire church and Christ, not really consumed. The Eucharist signifies an invisible reality, and is not that reality. Christians should take the spiritual lesson of unity from the Lords supper. Also from sermon 227.
What you can see passes away, but the invisible reality signified does not pass away, but remains. Look, its received, its eaten, its consumed. Is the body of Christ consumed, is the Church of Christ consumed, are the members of Christ consumed? Perish the thought! Here they are being purified, there they will be crowned with the victors laurels. So what is signified will remain eternally, although the thing that signifies it seems to pass away. So receive the sacrament in such a way that you think about yourselves, that you retain unity in your hearts, that you always fix your hearts up above. Dont let your hope be placed on earth, but in heaven. Let your faith be firm in God, let it be acceptable to God. Because what you dont see now, but believe, you are going to see there, where you will have joy without end. (Augustine, Ser. 227)
To believe in Christ is to eat the living bread. This cannot be so if transubstantiation is true.
Wherefore, the Lord, about to give the Holy Spirit, said that Himself was the bread that came down from heaven, exhorting us to believe in Him. For to believe in Him is to eat the living bread. He that believes eats; he is sated invisibly, because invisibly is he born again. A babe within, a new man within. Where he is made new, there he is satisfied with food. (12) What then did the Lord answer to such murmurers? Murmur not among yourselves. As if He said, I know why you are not hungry, and do not understand nor seek after this bread. Murmur not among yourselves: no man can come unto me, except the Father that sent me draw him. Noble excellence of grace! No man comes unless drawn. There is whom He draws, and there is whom He draws not; why He draws one and draws not another, do not desire to judge, if you desire not to err. (Augustine, Tractate 26)
The body of Christ not held by any believer, even in the sacrament. Christ is held in the heart, and not in the hand. This cannot be so if transubstantation is true.
Let them come to the church and hear where Christ is, and take Him. They may hear it from us, they may hear it from the gospel. He was slain by their forefathers, He was buried, He rose again, He was recognized by the disciples, He ascended before their eyes into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of the Father; and He who was judged is yet to come as Judge of all: let them hear, and hold fast. Do they reply, How shall I take hold of the absent? how shall I stretch up my hand into heaven, and take hold of one who is sitting there? Stretch up thy faith, and thou hast got hold. Thy forefathers held by the flesh, hold thou with the heart; for the absent Christ is also present. But for His presence, we ourselves were unable to hold Him. (Augustine, Tractate 50)
Christ must be understood spiritually, not carnally.
It seemed unto them hard that He said, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, ye have no life in you: they received it foolishly, they thought of it carnally, and imagined that the Lord would cut off parts from His body, and give unto them; and they said, This is a hard saying. It was they who were hard, not the saying; for unless they had been hard, and not meek, they would have said unto themselves, He saith not this without reason, but there must be some latent mystery herein. They would have remained with Him, softened, not hard: and would have learnt that from Him which they who remained, when the others departed, learnt. For when twelve disciples had remained with Him, on their departure, these remaining followers suggested to Him, as if in grief for the death of the former, that they were offended by His words, and turned back. But He instructed them, and saith unto them, It is the Spirit that quickeneth, but the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Understand spiritually what I have said; ye are not to eat this body which ye see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth. I have commended unto you a certain mystery; spiritually understood, it will quicken. Although it is needful that this be visibly celebrated, yet it must be spiritually understood. NPNF1: Vol. VIII, St. Augustin on the Psalms, Psalm 99 (98)
These things cannot be so if transubstantiation is the historical Christian interpretation.
In another place, he tells us that it is weakness to interpret the sign as being what it signifies:
To this class of spiritual persons belonged the patriarchs and the prophets, and all those among the people of Israel through whose instrumentality the Holy Spirit ministered unto us the aids and consolations of the Scriptures. But at the present time, after that the proof of our liberty has shone forth so clearly in the resurrection of our Lord, we are not oppressed with the heavy burden of attending even to those signs which we now understand, but our Lord Himself, and apostolic practice, have handed down to us a few rites in place of many, and these at once very easy to perform, most majestic in their significance, and most sacred in the observance; such, for example, as the sacrament of baptism, and the celebration of the body and blood of the Lord. And as soon as any one looks upon these observances he knows to what they refer, and so reveres them not in carnal bondage, but in spiritual freedom. Now, as to follow the letter, and to take signs for the things that are signified by them, is a mark of weakness and bondage; so to interpret signs wrongly is the result of being misled by error. He, however, who does not understand what a sign signifies, but yet knows that it is a sign, is not in bondage. And it is better even to be in bondage to unknown but useful signs than, by interpreting them wrongly, to draw the neck from under the yoke of bondage only to insert it in the coils of error. (Augustine, Christian Doctrine, Ch. 9)
In still another place, he calls referring to the Eucharist as the body and blood of Christ as only a certain manner of speaking, the act itself obviously being non-literal:
You know that in ordinary parlance we often say, when Easter is approaching, Tomorrow or the day after is the Lords Passion, although He suffered so many years ago, and His passion was endured once for all time. In like manner, on Easter Sunday, we say, This day the Lord rose from the dead, although so many years have passed since His resurrection. But no one is so foolish as to accuse us of falsehood when we use these phrases, for this reason, that we give such names to these days on the ground of a likeness between them and the days on which the events referred to actually transpired, the day being called the day of that event, although it is not the very day on which the event took place, but one corresponding to it by the revolution of the same time of the year, and the event itself being said to take place on that day, because, although it really took place long before, it is on that day sacramentally celebrated. Was not Christ once for all offered up in His own person as a sacrifice? And yet, is He not likewise offered up in the sacrament as a sacrifice, not only in the special solemnities of Easter, but also daily among our congregations; so that the man who, being questioned, answers that He is offered as a sacrifice in that ordinance, declares what is strictly true? For if sacraments had not some points of real resemblance to the things of which they are the sacraments, they would not be sacraments at all. In most cases, moreover, they do in virtue of this likeness bear the names of the realities which they resemble. As, therefore, in a certain manner the sacrament of Christs body is Christs body, and the sacrament of Christs blood is Christs blood. (Augustine, Letters 98)
Now, moving on to the scripture. If the scripture teaches transubstantiation, then we must believe that Christ ate His own flesh and blood, and will continue to do so, even in heaven. Check your chronology. It is not your friend:
1) He gives thanks, breaks the bread, declares it is His body: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.(1Co 11:24)
2) After he had supped, He offers the cup, which He calls His blood: After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (1Co 11:25)
3) After calling it the blood of the covenant, with the cup still in hand, He calls it this fruit of the vine which He would not drink AGAIN until reunited with the Apostles in heaven, either indicating He was about to drink it, or had just drank it: for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Fathers kingdom.
Notice also that he continues to call it the fruit of the vine even after it had supposedly been transformed.
Furthermore, you do not have a sacrament of living water, which is necessary to drink in order to possess eternal life:
Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Joh 4:15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
If we are to suspect that Christ could never speak figuratively of Himself or of His doctrines, then we ought to wonder why we have never had actual water offered to us to give us eternal life? Obviously, the woman even took him quite literally, in the same way the Jews did in John 6. And unlike in John 6, Christ did not bother to provide any correction to her.
-— I see nowhere in the New Testament that the bread and the wine becomes Christs flesh and blood -—
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death until he comes.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
1 Cor 11
Oops, the two quotes about the sacrament of the Holy Spirit and the kiss of peace actually belong to sermon 227. I got it mixed up when I was pasting them in.
Well then, John the Baptist was literally Elijah, thus Rome supports reincarnation in addition to cannibalism:
Matthew 11:14: "ye will receive it, this is [esti] Elijah, which was for to come."
Moreover, the Lord's words literally are not words that you hear and can write, but are incorporeal spirit, and life:
John 6:63: "the words I speak unto you, are [esti] spirit, and they are life."
This is pure poppycock. You can eat doors and handles and lanterns. The early Church fathers all accepted this Catholic belief.
Here’s the refutation for those with an open mind.
You seriously misinterpret writings of Augustine, and the early Church Fathers and over 2000 years of unbroken tradition. It is heretical to disbelieve in the Holy Eucharist.
Here’s a sample but clear refutation of the what you have cut and pasted.
“Heres a sample but clear refutation of the what you have cut and pasted.”
No it’s not. It mentions Augustine just 5 times, with only two quotes, without any reference to what you claim was refuted, or to any of my arguments.
Also, I did not “copy and paste” my material from a website. I copied it from the actual writings themselves, after reading them personally.
Have you ever actually read even just ONE book of Augustine?
"Forgive them father they know not what they do."
The gotcha Lawyerism nonsense.
I have not only read Augustine, I had a graduate school class on his writings.
You don’t compare authoritativeness by the “number of times” a person is cited.
Besides, have you read Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, which is placed next to the Bible in Oxford’s Bordlein Library for its profound interpretations of Scripture?
Have you also read Cardinal Henry Newsman’s writing who as a lead Anglican scholar converted to the Church and founded the renowned Oxford Movement? Or, why not simply review the writings of the foremost American Lutheran theologian Richard Neuhaus, who after many years of teaching in established universities converted to Catholicism. These individuals after a lifetime of scholarship and theological training and instruction had the humility to acknowledge they were hopeless wrong. Even better, consult the great English Essayist, Hillaire Belloc, in his book, “The Great Heresies” for a superb rendition on why all of Protestantism is nothing more than a “cluster of heresies” peddled by mediocre men. I wish this book were made mandatory reading in all high schools.
At least these were consistent.
That, in context, and consistent with the next chapter, is simply NOT referring to the nature of the elements of the Lord's Supper, which are not even the focus, but that which is censured, that of not recognizing the Lord's body as the church for whom Christ died, by ignoring others while they filled their faces, "shaming them that have not," as if these were not not part of the body.
Thus they actually were not having the Lord's supper:
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. (1 Corinthians 11:20-22)
And "for as as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come," (1 Corinthians 11:26) thus they are to examine themselves whether they are acting consistent with what they are supposedly showing, proclaiming, that of Christ's death for them.
To not do so, would be render them "guilty of the body and blood of the Lord," who died not just for individuals, but the church "which he hath purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28)
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (1 Corinthians 11:29)
The church as the body of Christ, which as Paul proceeds to say in the next chapter, "is not one member by many," in continuing this theme, is clearly what is referred to as not being recognized, thus the concluding corrective,
Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation (1 Corinthians 11:33,34)
Even the RC notes in the RC NAB state,
" The self-testing required for proper eating involves discerning the body (1 Cor 11:29), which, from the context, must mean understanding the sense of Jesus death (1 Cor 11:26), perceiving the imperative to unity that follows from the fact that Jesus gives himself to all and requires us to repeat his sacrifice in the same spirit (1 Cor 11:1825). - http://usccb.org/bible/1corinthians/11 More here .
Now before you or anyone else tries to deny this, or otherwise begins telling us what it means, tell me,
Is what Scripture says or what Rome says (Scripture, tradition or history) says determinative of Truth for you?
Where does Rome indisputably interpret 1Cor. 11:29 (not discerning the Lord's body)?
Do you take Jn. 53,54 literally, so that one must believe and receive the Eucharist in order to have life in them, and eternal life? If not, explain.
I think Christ has answered the query to your last question.
Endocannibalism is most often an expression of veneration of the dead, or the pursuit of consuming some esoteric aspect of the person, like the deceased's wisdom.
The Fore peoples of Papua New Guinea had a strongly codified type of endocannibalism as part of funerary rites. In this tribe, women and children played the largest role in cannibalism among deceased Fore males. - http://people.howstuffworks.com/cannibalism2.htm
Alpers and Lindenbaum's research conclusively demonstrated that kuru [neurological disorder] spread easily and rapidly in the Fore people due to their endocannibalistic funeral practices, in which relatives consumed the bodies of the deceased to return the "life force" of the deceased to the hamlet, a Fore societal subunit. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_%28disease%29#Transmission
As you know, eating human flesh is always presented negatively in Scripture, as animals and plants are man's literal food, (Gn. 9) and even the idea that the kosher apostles would simply consume human flesh and blood, esp. Peter who protested foot washing and eating non-kosher food, is absurd.
What is consistent is the figurative use of eating and drinking, and gaining spiritual life by believing the Word. (Eph. 1:13)
“I have not only read Augustine, I had a graduate school class on his writings.”
So are you a Lutheran or a Reformed Presbyterian?
Augustine on irresistible grace, final perseverance, limited atonement, and whatever else I missed which he touches on here:
But of such as these [the Elect] none perishes, because of all that the Father has given Him, He will lose none. John 6:39 Whoever, therefore, is of these does not perish at all; nor was any who perishes ever of these. For which reason it is said, They went out from among us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would certainly have continued with us. John 2:19. (Augustine, Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints)
I assert, therefore, that the perseverance by which we persevere in Christ even to the end is the gift of God; and I call that the end by which is finished that life wherein alone there is peril of falling. (Augustine, On the Perseverance of the Saints)
And, moreover, who will be so foolish and blasphemous as to say that God cannot change the evil wills of men, whichever, whenever, and wheresoever He chooses, and direct them to what is good? But when He does this He does it of mercy; when He does it not, it is of justice that He does it not for He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens. And when the apostle said this, he was illustrating the grace of God, in connection with which he had just spoken of the twins in the womb of Rebecca, who being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calls, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. And in reference to this matter he quotes another prophetic testimony: Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. But perceiving how what he had said might affect those who could not penetrate by their understanding the depth of this grace: What shall we say then? he says: Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For it seems unjust that, in the absence of any merit or demerit, from good or evil works, God should love the one and hate the other. Now, if the apostle had wished us to understand that there were future good works of the one, and evil works of the other, which of course God foreknew, he would never have said, not of works, but, of future works, and in that way would have solved the difficulty, or rather there would then have been no difficulty to solve. As it is, however, after answering, God forbid; that is, God forbid that there should be unrighteousness with God; he goes on to prove that there is no unrighteousness in Gods doing this, and says: For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Augustine, The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, Chapter 98. Predestination to Eternal Life is Wholly of Gods Free Grace.)
But that world which God is in Christ reconciling unto Himself, which is saved by Christ, and has all its sins freely pardoned by Christ, has been chosen out of the world that is hostile, condemned, and defiled. For out of that mass, which has all perished in Adam, are formed the vessels of mercy, whereof that world of reconciliation is composed, that is hated by the world which belongeth to the vessels of wrath that are formed out of the same mass and fitted to destruction. Finally, after saying, If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, He immediately added, But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. And so these men were themselves also of that world, and, that they might no longer be of it, were chosen out of it, through no merit of their own, for no good works of theirs had preceded; and not by nature, which through free-will had become totally corrupted at its source: but gratuitously, that is, of actual grace. For He who chose the world out of the world, effected for Himself, instead of finding, what He should choose: for there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And if by grace, he adds, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. (Tractates on the Gospel of John, 15:17-19)
“These individuals after a lifetime of scholarship and theological training and instruction “
None of which has evidently benefited you anything, since you can’t ‘scholar” your way out of simple sentences like “Why ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already.”
Then why don't you plainly answer the question, which not one among many RCs asked before have yet to do? Do you hold that one must believe (in the Real Presence) and receive the Eucharist in order to have life in them, and eternal life? Affirm or deny.
had the humility to acknowledge they were hopeless wrong.
And so he is, as contrary to how the church began, as said, following an itinerant Preacher who was rejected by those who were the steward of Scripture sitting in Moses seat, Newman subscribes to the cultic trust in men, in which, as said, objective examination of evidence is discouraged in seeking to determine the veracity of official RC teachings,
"in all cases the immediate motive in the mind of a Catholic for his reception of them is, not that they are proved to him by Reason or by History, but because Revelation has declared them by means of that high ecclesiastical Magisterium which is their legitimate exponent. John Henry Newman, A Letter Addressed to the Duke of Norfolk on Occasion of Mr. Gladstone's Recent Expostulation. 8. The Vatican Council lhttp://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglicans/volume2/gladstone/section8.html
Absolute, immediate, and unfaltering submission to the teaching of God's Church on matters of faith and morals-----this is what all must give..
He is as sure of a truth when declared by the Catholic Church as he would be if he saw Jesus Christ standing before him and heard Him declaring it with His Own Divine lips. Henry G. Graham, "What Faith Really Means", (Nihil Obstat:C. SCHUT, S. T.D., Censor Deputatus, Imprimatur: EDM. CANONICUS SURMONT, D.D.,Vicarius Generalis. WESTMONASTERII, Die 30 Septembris, 1914 )]
Thus even if not taught in Scripture, if Rome says it, then it true. Cultic, not Scriptural.
Then why don't you plainly answer the question, which not one among many RCs asked before have yet to do? Do you hold that one must believe (in the Real Presence) and receive the Eucharist in order to have life in them, and eternal life? Affirm or deny.Any Catholic who would answer your question is overstepping his boundaries as a faith-filled servant of Jesus Christ. Hitler, John Wayne Gacy, and/or Margaret Sanger, could all be in heaven. This is the beauty of the Catholic faith. It's not our call, it's His.
There is no compelling indication that Jesus was not speaking metaphorically in these passages regarding the body and the blood used to “remember” the sacrifice df our Lord on our behalf. The focus of the Lord’s Supper is to remember what He endured for us, what He gave willingly for us - His body and His blood to pay the price for our sins. Seeing the elements as symbols in no way takes away from the meaning.
Taking it literally turns us into cannibals
Apparently Jesus’ own followers struggled with this question because in John 6: 60 we see them saying, “...this is hard teaching. Who can accept it?” Why would they say this if Jesus was speaking symbolically? Yes, it is hard teaching, but it is true, and I don’t know how he could have been more more emphatic.
Yours is the best reply I have seen to this false doctrine.
I would add that Paul distinguishes between a spiritual body and a body of flesh. The discerning of Christ’s body in 1 Corinthians 11 is a reference to not merely contemplating and remembering the body of Christ crucified but also an acknowledgement that we who believe have become the spiritual body of Christ. We see this in 1 Corinthians 10 where we are told in verse 17 that we are the bread.
The thought is throughout the letter as in 1 Corinthians 6:15 where Paul elaborates that our bodies are members (parts) of Christ’s body.
The physical body of Christ and the blood of His physical body could not undergo corruption (decay). However, the “members” of His spiritual body (us) do undergo decay. So our physical bodies decay when we die. If it were possible for our corruptible bodies to partake of His incorruptible body and blood then our bodies would never decay, being transformed into the physical and incorruptible body of Christ.
But we know that the corruptible (our physical bodies) cannot partake of the incorruptible (Christ’s physical body and blood). We must first be transformed at the resurrection before we will literally partake of this quality according to 1 Corinthians 15.
In a sense, all food that a believer eats is potentially transformed into the body of Christ because that food is transformed by digestion and assimilation into tissue of our various body parts; and these bodies are part of Christ’s SPIRITUAL body. To call this transubstantiation would be a stretch. The difference in communion is the spiritual aspect of remembering Christ’s death, discerning our being made parts of His body through the work of the Holy Spirit, and a renewing of our commitment to His new covenant.
I am left alone in a world where so many lament their loneliness.Fr Mark Kirby is a Benedictine Monk of Perpetual Adoration. He spends more time before the Blessed Sacrament than most protesting Protestants do on Free Republic. And it shows in his "body" of work. Sometimes you have to scrutinize the works of those who believe in Him, to see His presence is overwhelmingly effective.
If only souls would come to Me and would tarry in My presence,
they would discover a Love that fills the heart so completely that it dispels every loneliness
and becomes wondrously fruitful in the lives of those who accept it. -from Fr Mark Kirby
A quick break for all to sober us on how blessed we are: Reflections in the midst of extreme poverty and filth... trip in India [Warning: Graphic] http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3108723/posts?page=1
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.
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.”
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “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.
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”
As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?”
He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve. [John 6: 49-71]
Any Catholic who would answer your question is overstepping his boundaries as a faith-filled servant of Jesus Christ. Hitler, John Wayne Gacy, and/or Margaret Sanger, could all be in heaven. This is the beauty of the Catholic faith. It's not our call, it's His.
That is really quite an escape. I began asking it because RCs regularly post those texts in asserting Jn 6. is speaking literal, but you come along and deny the certitude of of what must be the conclusion of such literalism, thus negating their argument.
So thank you for accomplishing what they are afraid of doing. .
What believing in the Real Presence and receiving the Eucharist WILL do for a person, is fill them with His strength and His power. Who wouldn't what that?
However, it manifestly does not. I am a former weekly serving RC, and have lived in a heavily RC area for over 60 years, and in addition have abundance of statistics , and the reality is that it is evangelical faith that effects manifest regeneration, while deadness and liberalism reigns where Rome does. Or blind zeal.
I am a former weekly serving RC, and have lived in a heavily RC area for over 60 years, and in addition have abundance of statistics , and the reality is that it is evangelical faith that effects manifest regeneration, while deadness and liberalism reigns where Rome does. Or blind zeal.I remember going to see Rick Santorum in Glendale Heights, IL, and the crowd was mostly evangelicals, and they were a good group to be around, yes, very much alive in their faith, but the problem I see with your deduction regarding Catholics is the word "weekly." In order to see the true zeal available to the Roman Catholic, you must participate in the Sacraments more than once a week.
Because they actually though he was speaking literally, as they were carnally minded, and consuming human flesh and blood is forbidden. But the contrast btwn the carnal and the spiritual is what John is always engaging it. Thus Nicodemus though "born again" meant physical birth, and the Lord did not spell it out to him what He meant.
But as in parables, the Lord spoke enigmatically so that true disciples would seek the meaning, and thus after the carnally minded left the Lord revealed that He would actually no longer be present in the flesh, but in Heaven, yet the words He spoke are spirit are life.
And unlike physically eating in order to have life within and eternal life, and live by Jesus, to gain life within, and possess eternal life by first believing the gospel is what is consistent with John and Scripture.
If not, and the RC literalism is true, then you MUST conclude that one must believe (in the Real Presence) and receive the Eucharist in order to have life in them, and eternal life,as perr Jn. 6:53,54.
But which is another example of RC private interpretation in trying to support a tradition of men. You need more study in exegesis.
Invoking some secluded monk will no do for an argument or an answer.
The Lord’s Supper is in the Bible. It is NOT false doctrine.
Invoking some secluded monk will no do for an argument or an answer.Oh, it is not one secluded monk, there are many. And they have daily Mass for the public on their beautiful grounds in Ireland, too. If you want to measure zeal, you must read the works of those Catholics who have it. Ignoring they exist does nothing for your ability to learn. It is the fervent Catholic who brings others to the faith. What are you afraid of?
I assume, had He really meant the Apostles to eat His flesh, that He certainly was capable of stripping off pieces of Himself and handing them out (and healing Himself afterward).
He did not.
Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
Evangelicals believe that Jonah was in the belly of a whale, but don’t believe God is present in the Eucharist.
“..blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
The doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly presentbody and blood, soul and divinityunder the appearances of bread and wine. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists frequently attack this doctrine as “unbiblical,” but the Bible is forthright in declaring it (cf. 1 Cor. 10:1617, 11:2329; and, most forcefully, John 6:3271).
The early Church Fathers interpreted these passages literally. In summarizing the early Fathers teachings on Christs Real Presence, renowned Protestant historian of the early Church J. N. D. Kelly, writes: “Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Saviors body and blood” (Early Christian Doctrines, 440).
From the Churchs early days, the Fathers referred to Christs presence in the Eucharist. Kelly writes: “Ignatius roundly declares that . . . [t]he bread is the flesh of Jesus, the cup his blood. Clearly he intends this realism to be taken strictly, for he makes it the basis of his argument against the Docetists denial of the reality of Christs body. . . . Irenaeus teaches that the bread and wine are really the Lords body and blood. His witness is, indeed, all the more impressive because he produces it quite incidentally while refuting the Gnostic and Docetic rejection of the Lords real humanity” (ibid., 19798).
“Hippolytus speaks of the body and the blood through which the Church is saved, and Tertullian regularly describes the bread as the Lords body. The converted pagan, he remarks, feeds on the richness of the Lords body, that is, on the Eucharist. The realism of his theology comes to light in the argument, based on the intimate relation of body and soul, that just as in baptism the body is washed with water so that the soul may be cleansed, so in the Eucharist the flesh feeds upon Christs body and blood so that the soul may be filled with God. Clearly his assumption is that the Saviors body and blood are as real as the baptismal water. Cyprians attitude is similar. Lapsed Christians who claim communion without doing penance, he declares, do violence to his body and blood, a sin more heinous against the Lord with their hands and mouths than when they denied him. Later he expatiates on the terrifying consequences of profaning the sacrament, and the stories he tells confirm that he took the Real Presence literally” (ibid., 21112).
Ignatius of Antioch
“I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible” (Letter to the Romans 7:3 [A.D. 110]).
“Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . 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 that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:27:1 [A.D. 110]).
“We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor 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 nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).
“If the Lord were from other than the Father, how could he rightly take bread, which is of the same creation as our own, and confess it to be his body and affirm that the mixture in the cup is his blood?” (Against Heresies 4:3332 [A.D. 189]).
“He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal lifeflesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him?” (ibid., 5:2).
Clement of Alexandria
“Eat my flesh, [Jesus] says, and drink my blood. The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children” (The Instructor of Children 1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]).
“[T]here is not a soul that can at all procure salvation, except it believe whilst it is in the flesh, so true is it that the flesh is the very condition on which salvation hinges. And since the soul is, in consequence of its salvation, chosen to the service of God, it is the flesh which actually renders it capable of such service. The flesh, indeed, is washed [in baptism], in order that the soul may be cleansed . . . the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands [in confirmation], that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds [in the Eucharist] on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may be filled with God” (The Resurrection of the Dead 8 [A.D. 210]).
“And she [Wisdom] has furnished her table [Prov. 9:2] . . . refers to his [Christs] honored and undefiled body and blood, which day by day are administered and offered sacrificially at the spiritual divine table, as a memorial of that first and ever-memorable table of the spiritual divine supper [i.e.,
the Last Supper]” (Fragment from Commentary on Proverbs [A.D. 217]).
“Formerly there was baptism in an obscure way . . . now, however, in full view, there is regeneration in water and in the Holy Spirit. Formerly, in an obscure way, there was manna for food; now, however, in full view, there is the true food, the flesh of the Word of God, as he himself says: My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink [John 6:55]” (Homilies on Numbers 7:2 [A.D. 248]).
Cyprian of Carthage
“He [Paul] threatens, moreover, the stubborn and forward, and denounces them, saying, Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord [1 Cor. 11:27]. All these warnings being scorned and contemned[lapsed Christians will often take Communion] before their sin is expiated, before confession has been made of their crime, before their conscience has been purged by sacrifice and by the hand of the priest, before the offense of an angry and threatening Lord has been appeased, [and so] violence is done to his body and blood; and they sin now against their Lord more with their hand and mouth than when they denied their Lord” (The Lapsed 1516 [A.D. 251]).
Council of Nicaea I
“It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters [i.e., priests], whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer [the Eucharistic sacrifice] should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer [it]” (Canon 18 [A.D. 325]).
Aphraahat the Persian Sage
“After having spoken thus [at the Last Supper], the Lord rose up from the place where he had made the Passover and had given his body as food and his blood as drink, and he went with his disciples to the place where he was to be arrested. But he ate of his own body and drank of his own blood, while he was pondering on the dead. With his own hands the Lord presented his own body to be eaten, and before he was crucified he gave his blood as drink” (Treatises 12:6 [A.D. 340]).
Cyril of Jerusalem
“The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ” (Catechetical Lectures 19:7 [A.D. 350]).
“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 the faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the body and blood of Christ. . . . [Since you are] fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the body of Christ, and that the apparent wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so, . . . partake of that bread as something spiritual, and put a cheerful face on your soul” (ibid., 22:6, 9).
Ambrose of Milan
“Perhaps you may be saying, I see something else; how can you assure me that I am receiving the body of Christ? It but remains for us to prove it. And how many are the examples we might use! . . . Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ” (The Mysteries 9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]).
Theodore of Mopsuestia
“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 receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord. We ought . . . not regard [the elements] merely as bread and cup, but as the body and blood of the Lord, into which they were transformed by the descent of the Holy Spirit” (Catechetical Homilies 5:1 [A.D. 405]).
“Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, This is my body [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands” (Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10 [A.D. 405]).
“I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lords Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ” (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).
“What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction” (ibid., 272).
Council of Ephesus
“We will necessarily add this also. Proclaiming the death, according to the flesh, of the only-begotten Son of God, that is Jesus Christ, confessing his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into heaven, we offer the unbloody sacrifice in the churches, and so go on to the mystical thanksgivings, and are sanctified, having received his holy flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Savior of us all. And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his flesh, he made it also to be life-giving” (Session 1, Letter of Cyril to Nestorius [A.D. 431]).