As a candidate, should I be confirmed at Easter or should I wait?

My question is this:

Will I be “missing out” if I don’t get confirmed at Easter vigil?

NOW, here is the “backstory”:

According to the article How to Become a Catholic, as a candidate, I should not be confirmed at Easter. However, the parish RCIA program lumps candidates and catechumens together and Easter is the next “slot” at which confirmation is being made available.

To confuse things a little bit…this parish RCIA program is pretty “light” in its teaching and I have found this to be quite frustrating–I am really not learning anything. The sister who runs the program (a very sweet woman) apparently used to be a kindergarten teacher…no wonder I feel like I’m in kindergarten! Last night the teaching was on Eucharist and the monsignor gave the presentation. He said he didn’t want to talk about transubstantiation and how it was different than transignification because he didn’t want to get too into things! What?! :mad:

Another example–last week’s class we had a guest speaker/priest who passed out excellent handouts with quotes from the CCC. He held up the CCC book and mentioned it. Later on in the Q&A, one of the students asked “Hey, what was that book you held up before?” Now, I do not fault the student for not knowing the CCC – IMO it is the responsibility of the RCIA instructors to teach us this information and ensure we’re not ignorant of such basic things. (And, at dismissal this past Sunday, someone asked “what is cycle C?” Again–not his fault–the program should go over this stuff!)

Thankfully, I have recently found another RCIA program that is much more “meaty” in its teaching. It is offered by a sub-ministry of the Holy Cross fathers, called Family Theater Productions (FTP for short). It’s in Hollywood, and it’s an outreach to the Hollywood community. I myself do not work in “the industry” but they said I am welcome to be in the class. I gather that it is a bit unusual in that it is not sponsored by a parish. I am supplementing my learning by going to the FTP RCIA class in addition to the one at the parish. (Because I am not learning anything of note at the parish RCIA program – it really is that basic. I know they mean well, but it is just sad.) The FTP RCIA class is really meaty–we have reading assignments to do each week from the CCC as well as other books we’re assigned to read, and the people who teach the class (so far anyway, I’ve attended two classes) are amazing. Dynamic speakers, and knowledgeable.

The FTP RCIA program said that they will be doing the confirmation rites at a parish which they have used for such purposes in the past, at Pentecost, not at Easter vigil, because the LA Archdiocese wants candidates to be separated from catechumens. However, because I just joined their program, the lead catechist said she wants to make sure that I’ve been given enough proper instruction before I get confirmed and would work with me privately if need be to make up for the classes I’ve missed–so if I am not ready by Pentecost, she thinks I could enter the church sometime in the summer.

My question is this – I seem to have a choice of when to do the rites, either at Easter with the parish RCIA program (if I can stand to remain in it despite the utterly inadequate teaching) or later, either at Pentecost or in the summer through the FTP RCIA. EITHER WAY, I plan to continue with the FTP RCIA program through its completion because I feel it is the only place where I am actually learning.

I am just worried – want my confirmation to be special and meaningful and I don’t want to “mess up” my confirmation by doing it at the “wrong” time.

I think most parishes put candidates and catechumens together for the catechetical part of RCIA.

The Easter Vigil is the time for the Elect to be baptized, confirmed, and receive their First Communion. Ideally, candidates would be confirmed at another time. In my archdiocese (Los Angeles), Cardinal Mahony sent out a letter a couple of years ago asking very specifically that the Easter Vigil be kept strictly for baptisms and that candidates be received into the Church at another time. I don’t know how many parishes follow this directive, but I can say that mine does.

To confuse things a little bit…this parish RCIA program is pretty “light” in its teaching and I have found this to be quite frustrating–I am really not learning anything. The sister who runs the program (a very sweet woman) apparently used to be a kindergarten teacher…no wonder I feel like I’m in kindergarten! Last night the teaching was on Eucharist and the monsignor gave the presentation. He said he didn’t want to talk about transubstantiation and how it was different than transignification because he didn’t want to get too into things! What?! :mad:

Don’t be mad. RCIA isn’t a theology class. Its purpose is to give people the basics so that they can continue to learn in the future. There is no way that someone can learn everything in a year or two of preparation. This is particularly true when some people have little or no background. I don’t know how many times I’ll drop the words “Real Presence” into our classes in order to keep reinforcing the idea that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. And we’ll still get to a point where someone will say “Wait a minute…you mean it isn’t just a symbol?” It can be hard to get even basic ideas across until someone is ready to hear them or has heard them often enough that it finally sinks in.

My question is this – I seem to have a choice of when to do the rites, either at Easter with the parish RCIA program (if I can stand to remain in it despite the utterly inadequate teaching) or later, either at Pentecost or in the summer through the FTP RCIA. EITHER WAY, I plan to continue with the FTP RCIA program through its completion because I feel it is the only place where I am actually learning.

I am just worried – want my confirmation to be special and meaningful and I don’t want to “mess up” my confirmation by doing it at the “wrong” time.

You’re not going to mess up anything no matter what you do. The Easter Vigil may not be the “right” time but it is a wonderful Mass and will be memorable.

One thing you might consider is what happens after RCIA is over? You’re going to belong to a parish, not to FTP. I personally would want to come into the Church in MY parish, not a parish that happens to host an outside group. One thing RCIA should do is integrate you into the parish – you should be meeting people and getting to know different groups and ministries so that you will have your place in the parish once RCIA is over. Another thing to consider is that the catechumens and candidates are a real gift to the parish. It’s inspiring for people who have been Catholic their whole lives to see people who are choosing to come into the Church as adults. Think about what you can do for them as well.

It seems to me you need to speak with the priest of the parish where you expect to be received. Our priest recently said that those who are already baptized should not come into the Church at Easter Vigil, but it has become tradition(small ‘t’) in many areas to bring everyone who attended an RCIA program into the Church at one time, whether or not they are baptized. I was baptized already, and came in at Easter Vigil 2007 with the rest of the people in my class. Your priest should be in charge of the RCIA program, I believe, even if he isn’t there every week. He would best be able to judge your readiness to enter the Church. I would contact him. He should certainly be more able to answer your questions.

Welcome!!

I think not. I was received into the Church in August, and have always been very happy about it. :slight_smile:

In fairness, RCIA was originally intended and created for people with no Christian background whatsoever, i.e. for catechumens only. For most catechumens, and honestly for most candidates, the difference between transignification and transubstantiation is too advanced. They need to know that the Eucharist, regardless how it may appear to our senses, is Jesus, the whole and living Jesus, and nothing but Jesus. Bringing up transignification would only confuse them.

If your theological background is so much deeper and you really do need a discussion of the differences between transignification and transubstantiation, I think it’s probable that you should not be in RCIA. When candidates are so advanced, they should really have a more custom-tailored program.

That being said, I know some theologically-advanced candidates who did get a lot out of RCIA. I think the FTP program may be best for you.

This is great.

the timing is up to the bishop. here most likely both candidates and catechumens will be received at Easter by the parish priest with all sacraments, but adult Catholics will be confirmed by the bishop on Pentecost

My question is this – I seem to have a choice of when to do the rites, either at Easter with the parish RCIA program (if I can stand to remain in it despite the utterly inadequate teaching) or later, either at Pentecost or in the summer through the FTP RCIA. EITHER WAY, I plan to continue with the FTP RCIA program through its completion because I feel it is the only place where I am actually learning.

I am just worried – want my confirmation to be special and meaningful and I don’t want to “mess up” my confirmation by doing it at the “wrong” time.

my advice, prepare with a good heart and receive sacraments at Easter if you are convinced that the Catholic church is teaching the truth you have no real alternative. My plea is that you will then go to that other parish with the stronger program, talk to the pastor or director, explain why your experience here has left you somewhat unsatisfied, and ask to join their program, hopefully as a sponsor for someone else. you will learn much more not just because of better teaching, but because 2nd time around is always better. And you will be much more likely to have your conversion “take” if you get active in this way and keep studying, esp. if you still have unanswered questions.

Welcome Home!

Let me explain why I am afraid of “messing up.” My baptism was done by a Presbyterian church . I had a choice of doing it at the induction ceremony for new members (done at the worship service), OR they mentioned that they were going to do beach baptisms later on in the year.

Being Jewish, I knew conversion to Judaism requires full immersion either in a running body of water OR in a ritual indoor pool (called a mikvah). Because of this, I felt I could could related more to getting baptized at the beach–it seemed somehow “fitting” to me. Plus at the time I felt a little shy about being baptized in front of the entire congregation as it’s a rather large church.:blush:

At the time, what I failed to appreciate is that a beach baptism would be a lot more “casual” than having it done in the church. What took place was that everyone was clapping as each newly baptized person emerged from the water. For me, it just wasn’t a very reverent experience and I wish my baptism had more ritual and symbolism surrounding it. It was about as reverent as a beach volleyball game with a “kumbaya” song.

NOW – the parish where I’m doing RCIA tends to be on the liberal end of things. I have never been to Easter vigil there before so I don’t know what that it is like there (though I’ve been to Easter vigil elsewhere). To me, mass there feels like a performance (especially the Sunday evening mass), and not particularly reverent, and with really blah homilies. In November when the last group of candidates was received the parishioners applauded. (Coming from a Jewish background it was shocking for me to hear applause in a house of worship. It seemed really tacky.)

I am VERY afraid that my confirmation will be a repeat of my disappointing baptism. I don’t want my confirmation to feel like it’s part of a “show”. I want it to mean something and I want the ritual to be reverent. And I am sorry to say (because the monsignor seems like a nice person) I am not too keen on having him do my confirmation because I find him so utterly uninspiring as a pastor/homilist/mass officiant.

I totally agree with you on this–what you describe is the ideal. I would love to come into the church in MY parish.

Unfortunately, I don’t really HAVE a parish. If I was happy at the parish where I’m doing RCIA now, I would just go ahead and enter on Easter along with the catechumens and not care too much about the archdiocese’s request to separate the rites. The sad reality is that I find this parish does not in any way feel like a spiritual home for me. It has been very hard to meet people. It’s a “magnet” parish and is VERY large, so while people are friendly, it seems like you meet them once and never see them again. Also, over the past few years I’ve participated in some of the ministries aimed at my age group and have found, once again, that it is VERY hard to connect with people there. :shrug:

I should add that after the RCIA program at FTP there are appear to be opportunities for additional study, so I will not necessarily “be done” with FTP after RCIA.

The sad reality for me is that I have not yet found a parish to which I actually *want * to belong. Ideally there would be a parish in my area that had a solid RCIA program and was a parish to which I also wanted to belong. But since I cannot find that (and believe me, I’ve looked for around 2 years now, and have delayed coming into the church because of it) I feel that it is better to do a high-quality RCIA program outside of a parish rather than not learn a darned thing in the parish RCIA class.

I am at the point where I wish to enter the church, I’ve waited two years already (that’s half the time I’ve been a Christian).

Of course, in the meantime I continue to look for a parish. If I find one before I am ready to do the rites, perhaps the FTP RCIA program would be able to make arrangements for me to enter there.

Again, I agree. The RCIA program at the parish should theoretically introduce me to people and different ministries. I believe that a lot of this is slated to happen during mystagogia. But there doesn’t seem much point in being integrated into a parish in which I do not want to continue…Honestly, the atmosphere at that parish really does utterly nothing to deepen my faith–if anything, I find that it tends to erode it.

FOR ME, I need an RCIA program that doesn’t insult my intelligence, that doesn’t treat me like I’m in kindergarten. I have found one, thank goodness. It is ideal that it is separate from a parish? No, that’s not ideal. But it is the only RCIA program I’ve found after two years of searching that is actually teaching me something AND doing so at a level of instruction that is appropriate for me.

Once I find a parish that I want to be a part of, I agree with you, and I will want to participate, etc.

I understand what you mean, and I hope it does not turn out as you fear, but really the most important thing is not the atmosphere/circumstances, but the chrismation itself. It means something very important regardless whether people behave as you would wish. :slight_smile:

Canonically, you do. Whether you go to Mass and such there is a different matter. :slight_smile:

I would expect, at the very least, a period of mystagogy!

I am already in the stronger program as a student. :thumbsup: I am doing “double duty” right now and am in two RCIA programs until I decide what to do. (Note, the “new” RCIA program through FTP is not part of a parish, as I stated above). I will certainly consider future involvement in the program after I complete my studies, but that is months away. :rolleyes:

Well, yeah, the teaching is WAY better. That is why I am not sure whether I will stick with the program at the parish. The only reason to stay there, it would seem, is if I decide to just get admitted to the church at Easter. Because in all likelihood I don’t see myself being there over the long term.

In future years as you continue on as a Catholic, you are going to run into some priests you love and some you abide, some who are inspiring homilists and some who simply talk for a while. But whether you love them or not, they’re still going to be the ones celebrating Mass and providing the sacraments for you.

As an RCIA director, I guess what I’m thinking about here is that to me, it feels like Easter is right around the corner. The Rite of Election is only four weeks away! (I know you won’t go through the Rite of Election, but the catechumens will.) If you had been in RCIA with me and at this point said you were leaving to go to another parish, I’d wonder why you waited until now and feel very disappointed that I wouldn’t see you receive the sacraments.

Unfortunately, I don’t really HAVE a parish. If I was happy at the parish where I’m doing RCIA now, I would just go ahead and enter on Easter along with the catechumens and not care too much about the archdiocese’s request to separate the rites. The sad reality is that I find this parish does not in any way feel like a spiritual home for me. It has been very hard to meet people. It’s a “magnet” parish and is VERY large, so while people are friendly, it seems like you meet them once and never see them again. Also, over the past few years I’ve participated in some of the ministries aimed at my age group and have found, once again, that it is VERY hard to connect with people there. :shrug:

The parish you’re in may not feel like your spiritual home, but for the moment it’s what you’ve got. I hope that you’ll find a place that is a better fit, but that still leaves the question of what you are going to do about coming into the Church now.

I am at the point where I wish to enter the church, I’ve waited two years already (that’s half the time I’ve been a Christian).

Then why not hang in there with your RCIA program for another couple of months? That’s not long! After that, if you want to take theology classes or change parishes or whatever it is you want to do, you’ll be in a better position for it.

Aspirant–what was your confirmation like? Did you come in by yourself or with other candidates?

This is precisely why I have had such a hard time in RCIA. It has been way too basic for my needs. Thus the FTP program is a godsend. I’ve only had two classes so far, but each one of them was far superior to the two other RCIA programs I’ve been in.

Because FTP is smallish and attracts a more intellectual crowd (people who aren’t afraid of the reading assignments), it seems to be a good place for me. Too bad I didn’t know about it last fall when it first started. Had I known, I wouldn’t have re-entered the parish RCIA program and wouldn’t have this decision ahead of me as to when to do the rites. It would be easy–I’d be doing them at Pentecost with the other candidates in the program.

You are very right, to be sure, and I’ve certainly experienced this already. I admit that I am probably way too picky (and a bit of a control freak). I’m afraid I’m a little like a bride-zilla planning her wedding. No doubt I could stand to learn some humility.

It’s hard, though as I do really feel that I “blew it” at my baptism and hope that confirmation is a better experience.

I certainly don’t want to hurt the feelings of the RCIA team leaders. Thanks for the gentle reminder. FWIW, I hadn’t planned on telling them about this other program unless it becomes absolutely necessary.

I just learned about the FTP RCIA program 2 weeks ago. Had I known about it sooner I never would have gone to the one at this parish in the first place. (I had tried the one at this parish a year ago and left due to the same problems I’m experiencing now.)

It seems I have three choices:

[LIST=1]
*]Enter at the parish where I’m doing RCIA now
*]Enter at the parish hosting the FTP candidates, either at Pentecost or in the summer
*]Find another parish that I like as soon as I can and make arrangements to enter there…
[/LIST]

Well, I am considering it, which is why I haven’t left. Hedging my bets, so to speak, for the time being, until I make a decision. Regardless of whether I remain, though, I am already in the FTP RCIA and plan on continuing. It meets my needs in a way that I feel the other class cannot.

Just me. It was awesome. :slight_smile:

=sablouwho;My question is this:

Will I be “missing out” if I don’t get confirmed at Easter vigil?

According to the article How to Become a Catholic, as a candidate, I should not be confirmed at Easter. However, the parish RCIA program lumps candidates and catechumens together and Easter is the next “slot” at which confirmation is being made available.

To confuse things a little bit…this parish RCIA program is pretty “light” in its teaching and I have found this to be quite frustrating–I am really not learning anything. The sister who runs the program (a very sweet woman) apparently used to be a kindergarten teacher…no wonder I feel like I’m in kindergarten! Last night the teaching was on Eucharist and the monsignor gave the presentation. He said he didn’t want to talk about transubstantiation and how it was different than transignification because he didn’t want to get too into things! What?! :mad:


However, because I just joined their program, the lead catechist said she wants to make sure that I’ve been given enough proper instruction before I get confirmed and would work with me privately if need be to make up for the classes I’ve missed–so if I am not ready by Pentecost, she thinks I could enter the church sometime in the summer.

My question is this – I seem to have a choice of when to do the rites, either at Easter with the parish RCIA program (if I can stand to remain in it despite the utterly inadequate teaching) or later, either at Pentecost or in the summer through the FTP RCIA. EITHER WAY, I plan to continue with the FTP RCIA program through its completion because I feel it is the only place where I am actually learning.

I am just worried – want my confirmation to be special and meaningful and I don’t want to “mess up” my confirmation by doing it at the “wrong” time.

***My dear friend in Christ;

Welcome HOME!:thumbsup:

Where I you, I might take a different perspective?

The Sacrament of Confirmation is an awesome Gift from God for those committed to the Faith. Easter is the single most impotant and signifiant Holy day of the Church year. This is so because it is by our Lord’s Ressurection, that we have hope in our own ressurection.

It is a time to afirm and confirm for oneslf, being willining to accept all of the responsibiliteis of being an Informed and Practicing Roman Catholic; a child of Christ and for Christ***.

CCC 625 Christ’s stay in the tomb constitutes the real link between his passible state before Easter and his glorious and risen state today. The same person of the “Living One” can say, “I died, and behold I am alive for evermore”:

**642 **Everything that happened during those Paschal days involves each of the apostles - and Peter in particular - in the building of the new era begun on Easter morning. As witnesses of the Risen One, they remain the foundation stones of his Church. The faith of the first community of believers is based on the witness of concrete men known to the Christians and for the most part still living among them. …

***It is precisely this “link” that makes being Confirmed on Easter so signifiant. It is our desire to go from where we have been, to where God desires us to be. It began’s our personal Faith Journey with the same commitment and on the same day that the Universal CC celebrates this very same journey, and again commits Herself to the process anew. ***.:slight_smile:

Catecheism: 1169 Therefore Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the “Feast of feasts,” the “Solemnity of solemnities,” just as the Eucharist is the “Sacrament of sacraments” (the Great Sacrament). St. Athanasius calls Easter “the Great Sunday” and the Eastern Churches call Holy Week “the Great Week.” The mystery of the Resurrection, in which Christ crushed death, permeates with its powerful energy our old time, until all is subjected to him.

**281 **731 On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.

***Having shared this, I’m assuming that your first Confession and First Holy Communion will take place either before easter, or also on Easter?

One ougt to have received these two most powerful and unique to the CC in there Valid Practice Sacraments, in order to be in a position to fulfill the commitment of Confirmation.:rolleyes:***

***If, your Confession and First Communion are on or before Easter, then by all means, get Confirmed on Easter. The Holy Spirit with some help from “His friends” will help with the rest.:thumbsup:

As a final note I agree that RCIA is not the proper place for the heresies sourounding the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Two reasons* for this: First the PROFOUND and humanly impossible comprehension of this most agust Sacrament towards which EVERY OTHER Sacrament points, as it is Jesus Himself; not a sign, not a symbol; REALLY Jesus.

Second, the issues of “tranfiguration” and “transfinalization” might actually sway the unlearned and do far more harm then good. One ought to avoid such possibilities in RCIA, and allow one to GROW in Wsdom and Understanding with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

After one has grown through the gained GRACES made available through Confession and Holy Communion; one is much better prepared for and suited to these kind of discussions.

The MAIN Goal of RCIA is to teach the basics of what we believe and how we can believe them, * So that one might make an informed decision to become a Catholic, knowing the responsibilities that are an essentail part of the committment.

Love and prayers,

Pat [PJM] ***

It depends on which RCIA program I do my Rites through. If I go through the parish RCIA then first confession would take place *before *Easter. First communion would take place at the Easter vigil.

However, I could wait and do it with the new RCIA program that I’ve just joined, which is by far the better of the two in terms of catechesis. If I wait and do it through this class, the soonest I could enter would be Pentecost, but it would be more likely that it would happen in summer. REGARDLESS, I plan to complete this RCIA program even if I do the Easter rites, because the learning is what I am after and the parish program is just not giving me what I need.

My main concern in all of this is whether the “tone” of the Easter vigil will be one that is reverent. My experience with this parish so far is that, for me, it feels as if I’m being “performed at”. I don’t find it particulalry conducive to inviting the Holy Spirit. This parish tends to be liberal and sort of touchy-feely. (It’s also a huge parish–people come from quite far to attend here–go figure!)

To be fair to the Monsignor, he did not say anything that sounded heretical as far as I could tell in my limited knowledge. My complaint is that he didn’t really teach us much. Things were just VERY watered down.

Thank you, Pat, for your input, I appreciate it! :thumbsup:

I could be wrong, but I think PJM’s point was that RCIA is not a place to present doctrinally problematic concepts like transignification. RCIA is a place to focus on what the Catholic Church teaches.

I see what you mean. Oops, sorry PJM! Thank you aspirant for pointing this out. Clearly I didn’t understand what PJM meant. My bad!

I guess my frustration that the Monsignor indicated that he didn’t want to talk about transubstantiation. He didn’t HAVE to talk about how what the CC believes is different from, say, what Lutherans believe, but C’MON, he didn’t really talk about the Real Presence at all. To the point where I sorta wonder if he believes in it al all… Shudder.

A few weeks ago when he talked about the sacrament of Reconciliation, I asked him a question about grace and he wouldn’t answer.

My overall feeling is that he’s just not interested (perhaps not capable) of teaching things in an in depth manner, even when someone is BEGGING him to answer a question.

Whether or not this is the case, it is very sad that he comes across this way. We should pray for him. :slight_smile:

Good point. I will do.

=sablouwho; Oops, sorry PJM! Thank you aspirant for pointing this out. Clearly I didn’t understand what PJM meant.

I guess my frustration that the Monsignor indicated that he didn’t want to talk about transubstantiation. He didn’t HAVE to talk about how what the CC believes is different from, say, what Lutherans believe, but C’MON, he didn’t really talk about the Real Presence at all. To the point where I sorta wonder if he believes in it al all… Shudder.

A few weeks ago when he talked about the sacrament of Reconciliation, I asked him a question about grace and he wouldn’t answer.

=sablouwho;6216913]I see what you mean. Oops, sorry PJM! Thank you aspirant for pointing this out. Clearly I didn’t understand what PJM meant. My bad!

I guess my frustration that the Monsignor indicated that he didn’t want to talk about transubstantiation. He didn’t HAVE to talk about how what the CC believes is different from, say, what Lutherans believe, but C’MON, he didn’t really talk about the Real Presence at all. To the point where I sorta wonder if he believes in it al all… Shudder.

A few weeks ago when he talked about the sacrament of Reconciliation, I asked him a question about grace and he wouldn’t answer.

My overall feeling is that he’s just not interested (perhaps not capable) of teaching things in an in depth manner, even when someone is BEGGING him to answer a question.

In Reply: PART 1 of 2

B]* if you’ll ask me your “grace question” or Reconcillation question, I’ll be happy to address it for you. But for this post let’s discuss “Transubstaniation.”

We’ll began but explaining what it “in not.” It is neither a mere sign, nor only a symbol." These are the common understanding of those who either won’t or “can’t” take God’s own words at face value in the Bible. They are the primary meaning of the other terms you brought up, and a commonly held belief by most non-Catholics.*

“Transubstaniation.” Is the Catholic theological term used to explain the change / transformation of actual properties of unleavened bread and ordinary wine into the very REAL actual and Real Divine Presence [actual properties] of Jesus Himself.

The point of confusion for most folks is that this change appears “anything but ‘real’ “in that there is NO EVIDENT CHANGE in the physical appearance of the bread and wine.

We Catholics term this phenomena “the accidents,” that which “just happens to remain and is visible.” For now a miracle has taken place, and what appears as bread and wine [the accidents] NO LONGER EXIST! In there place is the Real, [GLORIFIED] Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. Just as Jesus proclaimed.

Before getting into and explaining Johns Gospel, we should explain a bit more about the “Transubstaniation” and how it actually happens. Key to this understanding is knowing that it is God Himself, that makes these miracles happen. IN FACT God causes two consecutive back-to-back miracles that take place at every Catholic Mass.

Some of the words of “Consecration,” [the process of “Transubstaniation] are: “In Him, with Him, THROUGH Him.” This means that Eucharist is from God, of God and [primarily] for [an offering to] God. We however are the sole and only beneficiaries, as God is “Perfect” and “perfection” cannot be improved upon. God offers it, God Himself is offered in it, and God causes the change to take place.

OF GREAT significance is the separate Consecration of the Bread [into the very Body of Jesus] and the Wine [into the very Blood of Jesus]. This is to signify the total Sacrifice of Christ, wherein His Blood was separated from His Holy Body. There can be “no sacrifice without the letting of blood.”

The first miracle is the transformation of the priest [physically and spiritually] into the “another Christ,” “Alter Chrsiti”]. At the moment of Consecration when the “Transubstaniation” takes place, the priest is too transformed into “another Christ,” so then it is Christ making Himself present, Christ Himself, pronouncing the words of Consecration, not per sae, the priest effecting the miracle.

While the Church has never defined the precise words for the miracle of Transubstaniation, rather holding to this coming about “within the “Eucharistic Prayer,” the words of Consecration always include: “This is My Body, This is My Blood and Do this in Memory of Me.” God’s direct intercession is also always sought.

It is through the direct intervention of God, sometime within the framework of the Eucharistic Prayer, that God makes Jesus Really Present to us.

Our question more rightly ought to be NOT, “can God do this?” Keep in mind we are speaking of the same God that Created the Universe out of nothing, the same God who Creates and sustains us, the same God born of the Virgin Mary, who turned ordinary water into wine, fed the Israelites for forty years with manna, and flesh [quail], walked on water, and multiplied the loafs and fishes. Thus our question ought not be “can God,” BUT WHY would God do such a wondrous thing.? Which too is a separate topic of discussion.

In fairness, believe in the Real Presence requires Faith, because it seems not to be evident [except for the GOOD results it constantly produces], and like the Trinity Itself, is humanly incomprehensible. Faith is a gift of GRACE, which too needs to be a separate topic.

But is does happen, God makes it happen, because God desires that it happen.

Please see next POST for explanation of Johns Gospel.

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POST 2 of 2 TRANSUBSTANIATION explained**

I have always found it interesting that most of us have not seen God, but nevertheless believe in Him, just as we can’t see “air” and believe in its existence. And yet many struggle, despite the exceeding clear articulation of this truth by five NT authors, four of whom give eye-witness accounts. All FOUR Gospels and Saint Paul write about this in the same specific language. “This is My Body,” and this “is My Blood.” John’s Gospel, chapter six has clarity and such obvious specific intent, that a fifth-grader would be able to explain what the author is saying [not implying; saying.”] From John 6: 41-69

[41] The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, `I have come down from heaven’?”

*At the root of lack of understanding, lies a significant lack of Faith, which can be explained by the predominance today, of “Secular Humanism,” founded on “Relativism.” “Something is only true if I say that its true; something is only wrong if I say that its wrong.” Many somehow are able to convince themselves, that such a right actually exist. It is a myth, that will lead many to Hell. *

The short-sighted premise seems to be , “if I can’t see it, if I can’t understand it, its because its NOT true.”

[47] Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. [50] This is the bread which comes down from heaven that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."

*In the time of Christ, the term; “truly, truly” was contractual. It was an emphatic commitment, and known and accepted as such. Again it imperative to realize that this is an all-Wise, all-Perfect God proclaiming this message. Words have specific meaning, and are used to convey precise and specific intent.

How could Christ have been more clear? “and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." “*

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” [53] So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; **he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. **

*He who does this “has eternal life,” is not a promise; rather it expresses the power and potential of Catholic Holy Communion. [Common effects of.] Again **v. 55 *could not be more clear, more specific.

[56] **He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.[This is a precise explaination of what takes place in Catholic Holy Communion] **…. Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? … 63. 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. But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. [66] After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. [67] Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” [NOT “opp’s” I really didn’t exactly what I said.] Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

Does verse 63, give “plausible denial” to unbelievers?

No, again we see Secular Humanism’s rationale. Jesus didn’t say; “get out your steak knives and fine china.; eat my physical body.” Christ was speaking of His Glorified Body! His Risen Body.

Christ died “Once for all,” so that “many MIGHT BE SAVED!” BUT, it remains the same Jesus, the REAL Jesus, who God Himself makes Present to us as Spiritual and physical nourishment, for our souls and our bodies.

The Mass is a “re-presentation” that happens again and again. [NOT a mere representation!] An UNBLOODY memorial, a true making present, of the actual Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, for our benefit. And as the most perfect act of Divine Worship to our God.
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This can be supported Biblically from* John 6: 67-69, and 1 Cor. 11: 27-29. In John when many deserted Jesus, He made no attempt to get them back, rather asked His disciples; “do you wish to leave me too?. NOT the words of one, who din not know precisely what He said, and had done.

And from Paul we find this teaching [one of the earliest in the Bible]: 27 “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.** Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. “**

Paul could not be speaking of mere bread and wine. One cannot condemn oneself for ONLY eating a meal. NO, right from the very beginning; it is clear and evident that What Jesus said, what Jesus did, was understood, accepted and believed by the early Church. [SINGULAR].

Twelve Apostles died, gave there very life’s as Martyrs in gruesome way’s in belief of this truth.

Love and prayers,
Pat
PJM

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