Another Thread About Transubstantiation

I was reading a little about consubstantiation, which. To me, makes more sense than saying the bread and wine cease to exist. Can you all give me some help here, again?
Maybe I just don’t get it.

You don’t give us any indication of your philosophical understanding of either term.

So, for a start, permit me to define the terms:

Consubstantiation is the idea that the bread and wine remain unchanged in any meaningful way, but Jesus is somehow “handcuffed” to them, and you can’t receive this bread or wine without ALSO receiving Jesus. The bread and wine are not ACTUALLY the Body and Blood of Our Lord, but Jesus is somehow linked to them. I don’t know if Martin Luther was actually the first guy to invent this idea, but he is the guy that is most associated with it.

Transubstantiation is the idea that the bread and wine ACTUALLY become the Body and Blood of Our Lord, but the appearances of bread and wine remain (such that we could not perceive the change).

I doubt you will find the name “Aristotle” in any official Catholic teaching, but transubstantiation is often explained in philosophical terms that Aristotle expressed more than three centuries before Jesus.

Aristotle recognized a difference between the “substance” of something and it’s attributes (which he called “accidents”). What is bread? Is it hard or soft, or sweet or sour, or black or white, fresh or stale? It can be all of these things and still be “bread.” But bread has a certain “breadness” (substance) which cannot be defined by its physical properties alone, but which is readily apparent to us all.

Or, what about chairs? Do chairs have a substance (chairness?): What is a chair? 1999 Nobel Prize winning physicist Gerard 't Hooft puts it this way:

Imagine that I give you a chair, while explaining that the legs are still missing, and that the seat, back and armrest will perhaps be delivered soon; whatever I did give you, can I still call it a chair?

Chairs have a “chairness.” Bread has a “breadness.” This is substance. In our physical world, we expect that accidents (attributes) are aligned with substance. But, if the substance changed, and the accidents (attributes) remained the same, how would you know? What test could you perform?

Substance is the essence of something, that which defines (actualizes) its matter or its being.
When we say the Father and Son are “consubstantial”, we are saying they have the same being with (con) each other; they are one Divinity, not two Divinity substances.
Here is a definition I found of consubstantial online:
Definition of consubstantial - Of one and the same substance. A concept especially necessary in Christian theology, as providing the unity between the three persons in the Trinity.

While Luther did not intend consubstantial this way, he intended it to mean both the substance of bread and the substance of the body of Christ dwelt in the same place, the material of bread remaining bread and the spiritual body of Christ somehow dwelling in the same space as the bread. So there would be two substances actualizing themselves in the matter on the altar, such that two things are in the same space on the altar.

But, Christ’s body is material, literally (he told his disciples to touch him, handle him, and see that he was not a spirit, not a ghost). And two bodies cannot occupy the same space (the body of bread and the body of Christ). And also, when Christ says on Sunday at Mass, “this is my body”, he is referring to the material in his hands (your priest’s hands) and not to some other invisible material that is in the same space. He is referring to actual material because he is holding that material thing up for you to see with your eyes. What you are seeing he is telling you is actually his body, no sharing with something you can’t see.

The way you would know is to study exactly what Jesus says in the Gospel of John, Chapter 6. When the priest, in persona Christi recites those same words, the bread and wine are forever changed into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. That is why the remaining consecrated bread is placed reverently in the tabernacle.

Non-Catholics who believe in consubstantiation throw the leftovers out for the birds to eat. All Christians believed in transubstantiation for 1500 years (with the exception of some small fringe groups), all the Apostles, all the early church fathers writings that are historical documents that are still with us today believe in transubstantiation, Jesus explained it clearly and perfectly. if Jesus could cast out demons, cure all sicknesses, raise people from the dead, why is it hard to believe that He can be with us in the blessed sacrament. He said he will be with us always until the end of the age. If you can believe in Jesus and everything else he taught us, why cherry pick this one thing to disbelieve? Pray, attend Eucharistic Adoration, receive the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist. Ask the Lord to help your disbelief and He will do it.

A bit of black- mail here, I’d say , and not a bit of dissimulation too .

He is with those who love Him , always, and in Spirit ,as He said .

And as far as I know ‘transubstantiation’ was much debated and not a few of the great religious figures did not believe that the body and blood of Christ was literally there , although He is there .(in Spirit )

All things are possible with God, He gave us His One Holy And Apostolic Church. In job God asked Job if he understood how things were created.

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD:2 "I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted.
God Bless:)
Read more:

Forgive me if this is heretical, if so I’ll change my view immediately, but I’ve always thought of the substance of Christ replacing the substance of bread and wine rather that in changing into his substance. I just don’t see a temporal substance becoming eternal (the Divine substance specifically). I kinda see it as the priest saying “This is my Body” over the bread and bam the bready substance is gone and in comes the substance of Jesus in its place. Is it really a change of substance or a replacement thereof?

Please consider John 6. The apostles found what Jesus said in John 6 was a hard saying.
Please consider what Jesus is telling you here. Now consider when he then offers this body up at the last supper - t he same body he told you about in John 6.

He could have told you that the bread was both bread and his body. But he did not.

Later we find that he instructs us as to how he wants to be present with us forever, and this is through the Eucharist.

So it is a matter of giving Jesus the full respect that he deserves when you simply take his words as they are and understand his meaning.

Also metaphysically, Aquinas later would prove that the Eucharist can’t be both substances. This opens up the understanding of how God suspends the accidents (or outward appearances) of bread and wine even though it is flesh and blood.

Jesus Christ said, " He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day." [John 6: 55]. If the Eucharist is a symbol then is not His promise to be raised up on the last day a symbol? Doesn’t this make the promised everlasting life a symbol? If we consume a symbol hoping for sustenance, then shouldn’t we expect a symbolic nourishment, not a real satisfaction of life? If the promise is real, then why shouldn’t we expect the food to be real as well?

What is a “symbolic” eternal life? Do we live an eternity only in the imagination? If this is the case whose imagination do we live in?

Christ didn’t say He was with us in ‘spirit’. He said “I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world”. [Matthew 28:20]. Where do we see, “in spirit”? Did Christ ascend to heaven ‘in spirit’?


My understanding about consubstantiation is that both Jesus and the accidents remain.

The substance of bread does not become a divine substance - that is only God.
The substance of the body of bread becomes another material substance (it becomes the substance of the body of Christ, which body was truly material and human body). It does not become the substance of Christ, but becomes the substance of his body, and the wine the substance of his blood. And just as our bodies are not our souls, but our souls are with our bodies, so the soul, and divinity of Christ are where his body is; and the same with his blood.

But your statement about the substance of bread being “gone” and in the same instant the substance of Christ’s body in its place is a good way to state it, because “change” implies a duration in time, where transubstantiation is in the instant of Jesus’ declaration, with no elapsing of time during the changeover.

I guess you are one standing in protest against this teaching of Christ and his Church. I don’t know of any great Catholics who have denied transubstantiation (though I know of many renowned protesters to Catholic doctrine who have not believed their Catholic teachers).

With respect to a temporal substance becoming eternal, what about when our Lord consumed food and it became His Body? But I don’ t think that was your question, rather how this could happen in the Eucharist.

My opinion is that in both cases Christ extends His Soul to matter, in the case of the Eucharist, to bread; and, inasmuch as it comes under the organizing principle of the Soul, it is, by that very fact, the Body and Blood of our Lord. However, due to the glorification of a Body in direct communion with God, the normal “flesh and blood” can be overridden to a different appearance.

Again, my opinion.


One correction-

Not forever, but only as long as the accidents of bread and wine persist.

For, instance, should a drop of the Precious Blood fall into a glass of water, the appearance of wine would be gone, and thus so would the real presence of the Blood.


That is the understanding of Transubstantiation. Consubstantiation has the SUBSTANCE of the bread and wine CONjoined with the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. IOW, both Substances subsist under the accidents of Bread and Wine.

For those who are Philosophically inclined, consubstantiation may seem more plausible. However, since the Church has infallibly declared in favor of Transubstantiation (and really for no other reason) we hold to Transubstantiation.

An Evangelical friend questions the Last Supper stating that since Jesus had not died, there was no way He could change the bread & wine into His glorified body. Other than “God can do anything”, I need a good response.

Well in truth this discussion could go on and on ,as it does . For me it is not a matter of final salvation . When trying to teach someone something difficult, it is best to lead by example ,by good practice ,and let the person ‘discover’ for themselves ,
In time if it is true , it will become apparent, or not . When you push people to belief because you do, in time they will rebel, as they have not experienced this as true .

I am not standing in ‘protest’ of Christ . As for His Church ,well, when the ones He came for, denied Him ,he simply gave salvation to the gentiles ,and I think He has later given 'salvation to those who love Him and do their best to hear His voice .
I myself accepted this doctrine until I realised all the implications . I know that most
people in the Church do not understand all that is going on . If you had asked
me as a child, I would have said the eucharist is the body of Christ , but if you had said 'literally ’ as if it was Him in the flesh , I would have said no ,but His spirit, which is more powerful , is with us .

Of course the eucharist is to be treated with reverence,as would all ‘representations’ of things sacred

John 6 :63 "Tis the Spirit which gives life, the flesh counts for nothing .
That is my position , others can choose for themselves .

In answer to your John 6:63, read below what Tim Staples had to say about it:

But John 6:63 is probably the most important of all to deal with as a Catholic apologist. This is a verse that is set within a context where not only “the Jews” who were listening, but specifically “the disciples” themselves were struggling with what Jesus said about “eating his flesh” and “drinking his blood.” “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it” (verse 60)? It is in this context that our Lord says to the disciples: “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

The Protestant apologist will almost invariably say of this text, “See? Christ is not giving us his flesh to eat because he says ‘the flesh is of no avail.’”

There are at least four points to consider in response:

  1. If Jesus was clearing up the point here, he’s a lousy teacher because he didn’t get his point across. According to verse 66, “many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him” immediately after this statement. They obviously still believed his earlier words about “eating [his] flesh” to be literal because these “disciples” had already believed in and followed him for some time. If Jesus was here saying, “I only meant that you have to believe in me and follow me,” why would they be walking away?

  2. Jesus did not say, “My flesh is of no avail.” He said, “The flesh is of no avail.” There is a big difference! He obviously would not have said my flesh avails nothing because he just spent a good portion of this same discourse telling us that his flesh would be “given for the life of the world” (John 6:51, cf. 50-58).

“The flesh” is a New Testament term often used to describe human nature apart from God’s grace (see Romans 8:1-14; I Cor. 2:14; 3:1; Mark 14:38).

  1. That which is “spiritual,” or “spirit” used as an adjective as we see in John 6:63, does not necessarily refer to that which has no material substance. It often means that which is dominated or controlled by the Spirit. For example, when speaking of the resurrection of the body, St. Paul writes: “It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body” (I Cor. 15:44). Does this mean we will not have a physical body in the resurrection? Of course not! Jesus made that clear after his own resurrection in Luke 24:39:

See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.

The resurrected body is spiritual and indeed we can be called spiritual as Christians inasmuch as we are controlled by the Spirit of God. Spiritual in no way means void of the material. That would be a Gnostic understanding of things, not Christian.

  1. In verses 61-62, Jesus had just said, “Do you take offence at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?”

Jesus wants to ensure the apostles do not fall into a sort of crass literalism that would see the truth of the Eucharist in terms of gnawing bones and sinew. It is the Holy Spirit that will accomplish the miracle of Christ being able to ascend into heaven bodily while also being able to distribute his body and blood in the Eucharist for the life of the world. A human body—even a perfect one—apart from the power of the Spirit could not accomplish this.

Thus, Jesus words, “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail” refers to the truth that it is only the Spirit that can accomplish the miracle of the Eucharist and it is only the Holy Spirit that can empower us to believe the miracle.

His Body was glorified at conception. However, by humility and submission to the Will of His Father, He maintained a normal human appearance (except for tthe Transfiguration and the Eucharist, afaik).


I would answer that the He did indeed hold himself in His hands at the last supper!

“Because there was there a sacrifice after the order of Aaron, and afterwards He of His Own Body and Blood appointed a sacrifice after the order of Melchizedek; He changed then His Countenance in the Priesthood, and sent away the kingdom of the Jews, and came to the Gentiles. What then is, “He affected”? He was full of affection. For what is so full of affection as the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, seeing our infirmity, that He might deliver us from everlasting death, underwent temporal death with such great injury and contumely? “And He drummed:” because a drum is not made, except when a skin is extended on wood; and David drummed, to signify that Christ should be crucified. But, “He drummed upon the doors of the city:” what are “the doors of the city,” but our hearts which we had closed against Christ, who by the drum of His Cross has opened the hearts of mortal men? “And was carried in His Own Hands:” how “carried in His Own Hands”? Because when He commended His Own Body and Blood, He took into His Hands that which the faithful know; and in a manner carried Himself, when He said, “This is My Body.” [Matthew 26:26] “And He fell down at the doors of the gate;” that is, He humbled Himself. For this it is, to fall down even at the very beginning of our faith. For the door of the gate is the beginning of faith; whence begins the Church, and arrives at last even unto sight: that as it believes those things which it sees not, it may deserve to enjoy them, when it shall have begun to see face to face. So is the title of the Psalm; briefly we have heard it; let us now hear the very words of Him that affects, and drums upon the doors of the city.” [St. Augustine, On the Psalms, 34, 1]

The question was put forward, “did he hold himself in his own hands,” to suggest that the Eucharist is symbol. Protestant/reformers will say "see the Apostles didn’t partake in the REAL PRESENCE of the Eucharist. They forget, Christ was indeed PRESENT. Thus, say say, the Eucharist is but a symbol because they didn’t understand it to be real.


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