Another Eucharist Thread


#1

Let me start out by saying, I absolutely do not want to offend anyone, so please please please…take my question and comments as pure ignorance.

That being said…

I am at somewhat of a crossroads when it comes to the Eucharist. I find myself possibly being able to believe what the Catholic church teaches on the subject, yet not knowing what to do with that belief once I finally grasp it.

Let me clarify. Every week, I watch my husband go up and receive the Eucharist, and I find nothing wrong with that, I am happy for him. (Of course, the whole time, I am trying to ask all those little pieces of “bread” in the brief second between when the priest shows it and the person consumes it…“is that you Christ” “is that you Christ”…but that is a different post entirely)

Back on topic… my problem is this… Once I finally admit that the Eucharist is in fact the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, the thought of actually consuming Christ, just somehow seems…not right. Almost a type of violation. I realize He tells us to eat His flesh, but it seems so…destructive/borderline sacrilegious/detrimental. I realize it isn’t. But I don’t know that I could do it. Chewing and swallowing our Lord? (again, I don’t mean to offend anyone…I understand why you do it, I just don’t have the same mindset yet…which I am hoping you can help me with)

As a child, ( Baptist), during the Lord’s supper, (where the bread only symbolized the body of Christ) I always had trouble chewing the bread, as if somehow it disrespected God. I don’t know why, I just didn’t want to break apart something that represented my Lord. Therefore, doing so to something that actually is my Lord…wow, I think I would have a problem with that.

I could go on and on with my view of chewing and swallowing the Eucharist, but I think you get my point. So my question is, any pointers on how I should view, or suggestions on a way to change my views of receiving the Eucharist. If I do eventually convert, and receive the Eucharist, I don’t want to feel like I am doing something wrong…or even being repulsed by my own actions. So any thoughts would be appreciated.

I hope this made sense…I realize I have a totally different mindset than most of you, but maybe you could suggest something to change that?

Thanks,

RyanL’s Wife


#2

I think, first of all. You must understand that God in His very essence is spirit, and while although it is the actual Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, it is not your flesh which Christ is feeding, but rather He it is in whom all life exists gives this life to your soul by becoming one with you.
I think the problem most people have with the Eucharist, is that they do not fully comprehend the immense love which God has for us and the means by which He is willing to go to draw us to Himself.
Might I suggest the book “Love of Eternal Wisdom” by Lois de Montfort. It is a short book but it will do you worlds of good.


#3

A good way of understanding the “completeness” of this act is to go to the Old Testament. Here’s how Tim Gray explains it:

The significance of Jesus’ “new covenant in my blood” could not be overstated. Ancient covenants had to be sealed with blood, which was shared between the two parties to signify their new kinship relationship. Since blood meant kinship, its sharing signified the extension of family ties. At Mount Sinai, when he sealed the covenant with Israel, Moses poured half the blood of the sacrifices out upon the altar for Yahweh, and half upon the people, making Israel and Yahweh a family. According to Jewish law, “You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off” (Lev. 17:14). Life was identified with blood; to partake of an animal’s blood was to share in its life. They could, however, eat of the flesh of certain animal sacrifices, for eating the flesh of animals signified a participation in their death. Just as we participate in the death of Jesus. We must be willing to “take up our Cross”.

Jesus’ giving of His own blood for the disciples to drink seemed to fly in the face of Jewish practice. How could Jesus offer His blood to be drunk? Whereas partaking in the blood of animals was demeaning, for you took on the nature of that animal, partaking of the blood of Jesus was to share in the life of the God-man, to be elevated to share in the divine nature. God did not want man to sink to the level of the beasts, but rather He “earnestly desired” (Lk. 22:15) that men “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). In previous covenants, animals were sacrificed and their blood poured out as a token sign of shared kinship, but Jesus goes beyond this in giving a sign (sacrament) that effects reality. He actually gives us a share in His blood so that we can truly become children of God. This is why the early Christians called each other brethren, for they saw themselves as members of the Family of God.

Take Care!

Notworthy


#4

I was taught to never chew the Blessed Sacrament.

We are to let it melt, and then swallow it. If you can, fold it half once or twice.

This approach will prevent particles from being stuck in your teeth. Every particle is sacred.

Also, it is important that for the most grace, you foster a desire for God in this sacrament.

This food strengthens little or much, according to the desire of the recipient, whether he receives sacramentally or virtually. He receives sacramentally when he actually communicates with the Blessed Sacrament. He receives virtually when he communicates, both by desire of communion, and by contemplation of the Blood of Christ crucified, communicating, as it were, sacramentally, with the affection of love, which is to be tasted in the Blood which, as the soul sees, was shed through love. On seeing this the soul becomes inebriated, and blazes with holy desire and satisfies herself, becoming full of love for Me and for her neighbor. Where can this be acquired? In the house of self-knowledge with holy prayer, where imperfections are lost, even as Peter and the disciples, while they remained in watching and prayer, lost their imperfection and acquired perfection. By what means is this acquired? By perseverance seasoned with the most holy faith.

The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena p. 67-68
catholicprimer.org/catherine/catherine_dialog.pdf

hurst


#5

choose John 6 as your matter for reading, prayer and meditation for the next few months.


#6

#7

I have heard it explained this way: Christ is the groom and the Church is His bride, just as a married couple would consumate their bond by the total donation of oneself to the other; so does Christ give himself completely (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity) to His bride (Remember that the sacrifice of the Mass and the sacrifice on Calvary are one and the same). When the husband and wife consumate their marriage they actually become one flesh. The same is true when we consume Christ in the Eucharist, we become one body, one spirit.

Jn 6:56 - He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

The end of the book of Revelation describes the wedding banquet that is prepared for Bridegroom and His bride. That is how the Bible ends.


#8

[quote=RyanL’s Wife]Let me start out by saying, I absolutely do not want to offend anyone, so please please please…take my question and comments as pure ignorance.

That being said…

I am at somewhat of a crossroads when it comes to the Eucharist. I find myself possibly being able to believe what the Catholic church teaches on the subject, yet not knowing what to do with that belief once I finally grasp it.

Let me clarify. Every week, I watch my husband go up and receive the Eucharist, and I find nothing wrong with that, I am happy for him. (Of course, the whole time, I am trying to ask all those little pieces of “bread” in the brief second between when the priest shows it and the person consumes it…“is that you Christ” “is that you Christ”…but that is a different post entirely)

Back on topic… my problem is this… Once I finally admit that the Eucharist is in fact the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, the thought of actually consuming Christ, just somehow seems…not right. Almost a type of violation. I realize He tells us to eat His flesh, but it seems so…destructive/borderline sacrilegious/detrimental. I realize it isn’t. But I don’t know that I could do it. Chewing and swallowing our Lord? (again, I don’t mean to offend anyone…I understand why you do it, I just don’t have the same mindset yet…which I am hoping you can help me with)

As a child, ( Baptist), during the Lord’s supper, (where the bread only symbolized the body of Christ) I always had trouble chewing the bread, as if somehow it disrespected God. I don’t know why, I just didn’t want to break apart something that represented my Lord. Therefore, doing so to something that actually is my Lord…wow, I think I would have a problem with that.

I could go on and on with my view of chewing and swallowing the Eucharist, but I think you get my point. So my question is, any pointers on how I should view, or suggestions on a way to change my views of receiving the Eucharist. If I do eventually convert, and receive the Eucharist, I don’t want to feel like I am doing something wrong…or even being repulsed by my own actions. So any thoughts would be appreciated.

I hope this made sense…I realize I have a totally different mindset than most of you, but maybe you could suggest something to change that?

Thanks,

RyanL’s Wife
[/quote]

I periodically ask myself these questions too. It’ll never end. . . .

But many other physical things are used by Catholics to reinforce the connection to God:

art
[font=Comic Sans MS]genuflecting
[/font]wine
incense
oil
laying on of hands
water
the sign of the cross
praying and confessing aloud

even the marital act . . . . .

If I think too much about these things, I think I reduce the positive effect they have on me.


#9

[quote=RyanL’s Wife]Back on topic… my problem is this… Once I finally admit that the Eucharist is in fact the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, the thought of actually consuming Christ, just somehow seems…not right. Almost a type of violation. I realize He tells us to eat His flesh, but it seems so…destructive/borderline sacrilegious/detrimental. I realize it isn’t. But I don’t know that I could do it. Chewing and swallowing our Lord? (again, I don’t mean to offend anyone…I understand why you do it, I just don’t have the same mindset yet…which I am hoping you can help me with)

[/quote]

I have a simple mind, so I think in simple terms…

We break the bread of the Eucharist- with our mouth, with our body - just as His body was beaten and broken on calvary - we are the ones that did that to Him, with our sins. In the Eucharist we accept that we did/do this to Him, that we need Him to save us from our sins - He overcame calvary, we cannot destroy Him, our sins cannot destroy Him.

Someone please correct me if this is totally off theologically.


#10

RyanL’s Wife!

I don’t think anyone’s offended at all. Your question is so legitimate Catholics need to reflect on the self same questions you asked.

Let me give it a try. Since we are corporeal spirits…our communion with God will only be complete when not only our spirits are united with him, but also our body in the physical sense. In non catholic terms, we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and savior in mind and spirit, but also through the provision of Christ himself, we also accept him in the senses, in the material aspect of our being. In a way, the divine efficiency allowed that God revealed himself by coming in the flesh, and then further allows unity in the flesh through this Most Holy Sacrament.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that in the psalms: all of creation give God praise. As elements are absorbed by plants and plants absorbed by animals and plants and animals are absorbed by man, when man receives Christ in the Holy Eucharist, God absorbs man. The size of the host is such a sweet diminutive of the paradox that that is God. We enter into the mystery of God’s interior life when we receive the Holy Eucharist.

Lastly, the variety of intimacies available for the happiness of people: handshake, hug, kisses and the marital embrace pale in comparison to the intimacy of consuming Christ…his blood mingling with our blood, his flesh feeding our flesh. The Holy Eucharist is the true anticipation of our eternal embrace with God.

By the way, I recall your reply regarding the faulty analogy. Thanks for keeping me honest. I guess a better one would be: is it legal to allow cotton pickin’ be done by children in July be explicitly spelled out in the Constitution.

Hope this sheds a little to the perception of this New and Everlasting Covenant.

in XT.


#11

I just wanted to send a quick reply and say thanks to all who have responded. Much of what you have said makes total sense. I am still not sure where I stand on the issue, but it isn’t as “somehow wrong” as I originally thought. Hopefully if I ever get to that place in my life (conversion), everything will just fall into place.

Thanks again,

RyanL’s Wife


#12

[quote=nobody]I have a simple mind, so I think in simple terms…

We break the bread of the Eucharist- with our mouth, with our body - just as His body was beaten and broken on calvary - we are the ones that did that to Him, with our sins. In the Eucharist we accept that we did/do this to Him, that we need Him to save us from our sins - He overcame calvary, we cannot destroy Him, our sins cannot destroy Him.

Someone please correct me if this is totally off theologically.
[/quote]

Sounds great!

:amen:


#13

[quote=nobody]I have a simple mind, so I think in simple terms…

We break the bread of the Eucharist- with our mouth, with our body - just as His body was beaten and broken on calvary - we are the ones that did that to Him, with our sins. In the Eucharist we accept that we did/do this to Him, that we need Him to save us from our sins - He overcame calvary, we cannot destroy Him, our sins cannot destroy Him.

Someone please correct me if this is totally off theologically.
[/quote]

Yeah, I liked this one too…maybe I have a simple mind as well, but it made lots of sense. So Thanks for sharing.

RyanL’s Wife


#14

In receiving the Eucharist, it is not possible to chew up Our Lord, or to damage or destroy Him in any way.

When you chew the host, what you are chewing is the accidents, or the appearances of bread–Jesus is present whole and entire beneath those appearances and cannot be divided.

Catholic theology of the Eucharist teaches this: If you break a consecrated host in two, or in quarters, or in however many pieces, you do not thereby divide the body of Christ. He remains whole and entire in each piece.

The same applies when you chew and swallow the host. Your actions affect the accidents, under which Christ is truly present, but He remains whole.

A further corollary is this: Even though Jesus is present in each piece of the host, and in multiple consecrated hosts, Jesus is not thereby multiplied. He remains one. The host you receive is the same Jesus as the host I receive.

From his viewpoint, it is all one. We see multiple hosts. He sees only multiple communicants, all receiving His one body. Because of that fact, we are literally united with one another by receiving the one body. That’s why it is called communion.


#15

[quote=RyanL’s Wife]Yeah, I liked this one too…maybe I have a simple mind as well, but it made lots of sense. So Thanks for sharing.

RyanL’s Wife
[/quote]

You liked it? Yea! :bounce: It feels good to be able to contribute, when I’m usually the one asking all the questions.

Thanks.


#16

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.