Blind Faith

I got into a very interesting conversation with one of my Protestant friends about the Eucharist and the Real Presence. He absolutely could not fathom how we believe that, during the Consecration, the bread and wine actually BECOME the body and blood of Christ. He kept trying to throw me off by asking me questions like, “Have you ever drank blood? Ate human flesh? Can you actually see the molecular structure change?” He was really trying to catch me, but the funny thing was that I wasn’t been phased because I’ve already had this very battle with myself before. What I realized is that, yes, it still tastes like bread and wine and looks like bread and wine, but what faith would we have if it didn’t? It’s almost like the part about blessed are those who have believed without seeing. God is hard to explain or understand too, but we still believe in Him…anyway, I told him this and reminded him of the passage in the bible during the Last Supper when Jesus said this IS my body and blood not LIKE my body and blood, and he turned away. He went over and sort of began making fun of what I said with another of my friends…saying things like, “She says it’s part of FAITH that you believe it happens, you just have to BELIEVE…”

My problem with this is that my friend is so hard to the bible that he takes every word in Genesis completely literally (and I know that many Catholics believe in this too) and yet he won’t take Jesus’ OWN, unmistakable words literally and leaves THEM up to translation…kind of…well, hypocritcal really.

So here’s my question:

Do you believe that Catholics have stronger faiths because we accept in very extreme (bad word, I know, but I can’t think of another, sorry) beliefs like the Real Presence without questioning them because they are the Word of God or do you believe that Catholics are often led by blind faith?

First of all,having Blind Faith can be very dangerous, just ask anyone who have ever been involved in the acult. :eek:

It is very RATIONAL to believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. To quote from a protestant bumper sticker I once saw, “HE SAID IT-I BELIEVE IT”!

“Blind” Faith is to imply that we are uninformed and believe everything we are told without ever questioning or thinking for ourselves. How wrong a presumption that is.

I believe in the Real Presence, not because of somekind of “blind” faith, but because Jesus’ words at the Last Supper was clear and plain and to the point. :thumbsup: As a convert, this was my last stumbling block into entering the church. God really came through big time for me, (He always does) when I read the Creation account in Genesis. God created out of nothing and fashioned man from DIRT. Now if God could pull that off, and we know He did, why is it so hard to believe by FAITH that He can also “hide” behind a simple piece of bread.?!

It saddens me when I think that my protestant friends are only getting half of Jesus, when we as Catholics are getting Him whole and complete-His Word AND His Body and Blood.

[quote=CheesusPowerKid]Do you believe that Catholics have stronger faiths because we accept in very extreme (bad word, I know, but I can’t think of another, sorry) beliefs like the Real Presence without questioning them because they are the Word of God or do you believe that Catholics are often led by blind faith?
[/quote]

I will agree with one of your responders that blind faith is an Extremely Bad Thing. I don’t think Catholics are often led by blind faith; usually it is faith in someone whom they trust because he has proven his trustworthiness. If you want blind faith, ask members of the general public about science. (Do you believe that quasars exist? Have you ever seen one? Have you ever seen any direct evidence that they exist?)

  • Liberian

In line with this being the Feast of The Most Holy Trinity, our belief in The True Presence is a matter of faith and accepting Christ’s word on the subject. Though one cannot actually *understand *TheTrinity with our limited human intellect, we know it to be True. It may be a mystery now but in Faith we believe.

I cannot understand how protestants can believe in The Trinity with no problem but balk at belief in The Eucharist when that particular Doctrine is *literally *spelled out for them by Christ Himself.

…grab the Bible Christian by the hand… start with the book of John, the 6th chapter… you won’t get 1 page read and you will discover not one, not two, but four statements on the literal meaning of the body and blood of chist…

…remember, we have to want to see God… to infact “SEE GOD”…
Faith is just that… belief when common sence might tell you otherwise…

…my bias is however… when I read beginning from John 6… all i can see is the body and blood of our Lord… i also realize that i am disposed to see that…

…be patient… the Holy Ghost converts people… not us… be strong in your faith, but witness to others your faith, and sometimes…“use words”!:thumbsup:

Do you believe that Catholics have stronger faiths because we accept in very extreme (bad word, I know, but I can’t think of another, sorry) beliefs like the Real Presence without questioning them because they are the Word of God or do you believe that Catholics are often led by blind faith?

Dear Briddz,
What we have as Catholics is no more a blind faith than any Christian. The Eucharistic Real Presence of Jesus is no more mysterious than the Trinity and the diety of Jesus, since they all (and many other doctrines of Christainity are implied in scripture as opposed to laid out explicitly like the virgin birth of Jesus…

One thing that one must realize about the mysteries of faith is that a mystery is not something that we cannot understand at all, it is something that we cannot understand completely, which is a huge difference.

Our faith is based upon the Bible as well as the 2,000 years of historical evidence that what we believe is the same as what the early church believed. To me that makes it much less of a leap of blind faith than an assurance that God knows what He’s doing and has made us promises that all Christians have believed and relied upon for that 2,000 years.

Your fundamentalist friend is really making a silly mistake in attacking what you believe about the Real Presence, since that is actually one of the most scripturally easy doctrines to show from the NT. Have a look at this thread where we got all into this with some n-Cs on here and maybe it will give you even better info to refute that attack the next time it comes around. forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=40172
There is just no way to miss all the NT passages that speak to this, (IMO) and especially 1st Corinthians 11:23-30. If there is no Real Presence then St. Paul must’ve been on drugs or something I guess because he tells us that to recieve unworthily makes us guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, which would be impossible if that body and blood were not really there, now wouldn’t it? Now who we gonna trust? Jesus and St. Paul and the ECF…or someone who says he believes the whole Bible literally and yet fails to believe this? :hmmm:

To me it’s not rocket science or blind faith. It’s just believing that Jesus means exactly what He said.

You might print out one or two of the tracts on the Eucharist at this link and give 'em to your friends so that they can see the whole story. You know them best. catholic.com/library/sacraments.asp
Pax tecum little sister,

CheesusPowerKid,

If I may answer the title of your post a second time, I’d like to tell you of an exercise we did when I taught fifth grade CCD. Our first section was about the Nicene Creed, and the first part of the creed is “I believe in one God.” I would take the kids outside to where I had earlier brought my 24-foot extension ladder. I would stand the ladder up against a tree, extend it to its full length, trot up it, and tie the top rung to the tree trunk. I would then come down, turn to the kids, and ask if anybody believed in my ladder.

I used this to illustrate the “I believe in” part of the Creed. It is one thing to say “Yes, I think your ladder can support my weight” and quite another thing to climb up it–to put your weight on it. I would explain to the kids that there was no Church law about believing in my ladder, and if somebody didn’t want to climb up it there was absolutely no problem. But I would also explain that if they had faith in my ladder it was most definitely not “blind faith,” because they had just seen me climb up it and come back down just fine. In the same way they (and we) have all this apologetic material and also all these fine examples of saints who have gone on ahead of us and shown us how the Christian life can be lived.

I apologize for replying twice to the same post, but “blind faith” is a dirty word in my book. If you want to get me mad, just accuse Catholics of having blind faith.

  • Liberian

If I were sick and my mother offered me some pills saying, “Here, take these and you’ll feel better,” I would most certainly take them, whether or not I knew what they were. However, if a total stranger popped out of a dark alley as I was walking by and said the same thing and offered the same pills, I absolutely would not take them. This is of course because I love and trust my mother and realize that she loves me and wants the best for me, as opposed to creepy alley man. The point is that Jesus is trustworthy and has our best interests in mind. There is an abundance of ways to realize this, if only we give Him the chance. One way is to look at a crucifix. Anyway, we need only trust Christ and his Church and we will get what is best for us, even if it doesn’t look or taste or feel like Christ’s body and blood.

Hey Britt,

Now correct me if I’m mistaken but isnt faith in itself “blind”. The very defintion of faith is believing without seeing. Now as for this whole believing that in communion ur actually taking in the body and blood of Christ. For me that is just huge. I mean to actually take in the purest of pure… wow. If thats what gets you high for Jesus, by all means go for! There’s so many ways of worship, that looks to me like one of them. Now as for Mr. C. I’m gunna quotes (I love quoting you! Ur so wise!) " Its easy to hate something you dont understand." I love that quote because it applies to everything! In this case Mr. C. just cant get around believing that you are taking in the actual body and blood of Christ. Once again I see it as worship. Well there’s my two cents!

[quote=april_hosen]Hey Britt,

Now correct me if I’m mistaken but isnt faith in itself “blind”. The very defintion of faith is believing without seeing.
[/quote]

April,

Faith is indeed believing without seeing, but I would draw a distinction between blind faith and reasoned faith. If I have a good bit of evidence about something but can’t prove it and believe it anyway, that is reasoned faith. If I have no evidence but believe it, that is blind faith.

In the case of the Eucharist being the true Body and Blood of Christ, the evidence is the testimony of the Church. The Church has told me many, many things that I have checked out and found to be true and solid. On this matter I will take the Church’s word for it (setting aside the various eucharistic miracles that have happened down the ages). This is not blind faith; it is a reasoned faith that the Church knows what she is talking about.

  • Liberian

[quote=CheesusPowerKid]I got into a very interesting conversation with one of my Protestant friends about the Eucharist and the Real Presence. He absolutely could not fathom how we believe that, during the Consecration, the bread and wine actually BECOME the body and blood of Christ. He kept trying to throw me off by asking me questions like, “Have you ever drank blood? Ate human flesh? Can you actually see the molecular structure change?” He was really trying to catch me, but the funny thing was that I wasn’t been phased because I’ve already had this very battle with myself before. What I realized is that, yes, it still tastes like bread and wine and looks like bread and wine, but what faith would we have if it didn’t? It’s almost like the part about blessed are those who have believed without seeing. God is hard to explain or understand too, but we still believe in Him…anyway, I told him this and reminded him of the passage in the bible during the Last Supper when Jesus said this IS my body and blood not LIKE my body and blood, and he turned away. He went over and sort of began making fun of what I said with another of my friends…saying things like, “She says it’s part of FAITH that you believe it happens, you just have to BELIEVE…”
[/quote]

As a protestant, I really love how you explained the eucharist!! I am Lutheran. We also don’t believe that the bread and wine are “just a symbol”. We don’t believe in transubstantiation but consubstantiation (where the *presence *of Christ is in the bread and wine…in, with, and under). Anyways, I liked your statement about blind faith. And I think it does take a lot of faith to believe that there is more to the bread and wine than what others will admit. Taking communion is a big deal to me. I don’t take it lightly. Thanks for opening my mind to how Catholics view the bread and wine. :slight_smile:

Honestly, I don’t even know what “blind faith” means. We either believe that the Church was founded by Christ and teaches the deposit of faith correctly, or we don’t.

As to all those questions about molecules and the Eucharist, the same questions could of course apply to Christ in His physical body. Nobody could have proved that the man Jesus was God. Were Jesus’ molecules any different than yours or mine? The Incarnation is just as extreme a belief as the belief in the Real Presence (just ask a Jew or a Muslim). But Protestants believe that one extreme belief, while using arguments against the Real Presence that would be just as valid against the Incarnation. Strange…

Maybe rather than “blind faith” the question should be about “full faith” vs. “cafeteria faith”.

Of Course! This amount of faith is by definition a higher degree of faith. You could ask your friend something like, “If you believe that Jesus changed water into wine, fed 5000 with a few loaves and fishes, or any of the miracles He did, why is it such a stretch to believe in the Real Presence?” You could then point out to your friend that he is missing out on taking Jesus into his body and having Jesus’ Spirit dwell within.

There have been many converts to Catholicism on this point alone.

Subrosa

The Real Presence is one of the most biblically supported of all Catholic teachings. When taken as a whole, it is extremely difficult to find a rational explaination of thinking this is a “symbol” only. If you’ve never read these passages, now might be a good time. Once you are done, you may want to explain the following verses to your Protestant friend (all from www.scripturecatholic.com ):

Exodus 12:5 - the paschal lamb that was sacrificed and eaten had to be without blemish. Luke 23:4,14; John 18:38 - Jesus is the true paschal Lamb without blemish.

Exodus 12:7,22-23 - the blood of the lamb had to be sprinkled on the two door posts. This paschal sacrifice foreshadows the true Lamb of sacrifice and the two posts of His cross on which His blood was sprinkled.

Exodus 12:8,11 - the paschal lamb had to be eaten by the faithful in order for God to “pass over” the house and spare their first-born sons. Jesus, the true paschal Lamb, must also be eaten by the faithful in order for God to forgive their sins.

Exodus 12:43-45; Ezek. 44:9 - no one outside the “family of God” shall eat the lamb. Non-Catholics should not partake of the Eucharist until they are in full communion with the Church.

Exodus 12:49 - no uncircumcised person shall **eat **of the lamb. Baptism is the new circumcision for Catholics, and thus one must be baptized in order to partake of the Lamb.

Exodus 12:47; Num. 9:12 - the paschal lamb’s bones could not be broken. John 19:33 - none of Jesus’ bones were broken.

Exodus 16:4-36; Neh 9:15 - God gave His people bread from heaven to sustain them on their journey to the promised land. This foreshadows the true bread from heaven which God gives to us at Mass to sustain us on our journey to heaven.

Exodus 24:9-11 - the Mosaic covenant was consummated with a meal in the presence of God. The New and eternal Covenant is consummated with the Eucharistic meal - the body and blood of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.

Exodus 29:33 – God commands that they shall eat those things with which atonement was made. Jesus is the true Lamb of atonement and must now be eaten.

Lev. 7:15 - the Aaronic sacrifices absolutely had to be eaten in order to restore communion with God. These sacrifices all foreshadow the one eternal sacrifice which** must also be eaten** to restore communion with God. This is the Eucharist (from the Greek word “eukaristia” which means “thanksgiving”).

Lev. 17:11,14 - in the Old Testament, we see that the life of the flesh is the blood which could never be drunk. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ’s blood is the source of new life, and now must be drunk.

Gen. 9:4-5; Deut.12:16,23-24 - in these verses we see other prohibitions on drinking blood, yet Jesus commands us to drink His blood because it is the true source of life.

2 Kings 4:43 - this passage foreshadows the multiplication of the loaves and the true bread from heaven which is Jesus Christ.

2 Chron. 30:15-17; 35:1,6,11,13; Ezra 6:20-21; Ezek. 6:20-21- the lamb was killed, roasted and eaten to atone for sin and restore communion with God. This foreshadows the true Lamb of God who was sacrificed for our sin and who must now be consumed for our salvation.

Neh. 9:15 – God gave the Israelites bread from heaven for their hunger, which foreshadows the **true heavenly bread **who is Jesus.

Psalm 78:24-25; 105:40 - the raining of manna and the bread from angels foreshadows the true bread from heaven, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 53:7 - this verse foreshadows the true Lamb of God who was slain for our sins and who must be consumed.

Ezek. 2:8-10; 3:1-3 - God orders Ezekiel to open his mouth and eat the scroll which is the Word of God. This foreshadows the true Word of God, Jesus Christ, who must be consumed.

Hope this helps!
RyanL

[quote=RyanL]The Real Presence is one of the most biblically supported of all Catholic teachings. When taken as a whole, it is extremely difficult to find a rational explaination of thinking this is a “symbol” only.
[/quote]

You are so right! It is not rational for bible-believing Christians to deny the Real Presence. Belloc says that the rejection of the Real Presence was simply part of the rejection by the Reformers of the Ministerial Priesthood.

[quote=Liberian]April,

The Church has told me many, many things that I have checked out and found to be true and solid. On this matter I will take the Church’s word for it (setting aside the various eucharistic miracles that have happened down the ages). This is not blind faith; it is a reasoned faith that the Church knows what she is talking about.

  • Liberian
    [/quote]

Sorry for the inconvenience,
But would you mind elaborating? Thanks!

[quote=april_hosen]Sorry for the inconvenience,
But would you mind elaborating? Thanks!
[/quote]

April,

I must confess that I did most of my checking out some years ago and have been coasting recently. (These forums are helping me sharpen my wits again!) But let me try to dig a few examples out of my memory.

The Church has said …

(1) that people are basically good, but fallen and tend naturally towards sin. The failure of Communism is perhaps the most spectacular demonstration of this.

(2) that Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead. I have looked into the matter–not that I claim any great expertise on the subject–and have found no cogent evidence against it and a good bit of evidence for it.

(3) that we are regenerated by God’s grace as we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” This is borne out in my own experience over the last thirty years or so.

(4) that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I have seen the intellectual bankruptcy of atheism.

(5) that certain things (artificial birth control comes to mind) are sinful, even if secular society and other Christian churches say they aren’t. Again, I’ve looked into the matter and found that the Church knows what she is talking about. (Incidentally, this was one of the major obstacles to my coming to Catholicism.)

I daresay I could come up with some other examples if I thought about it longer.

So with these things that I have checked out and found the Church to be correct, I will take her word for it that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and that the substance of the Eucharist is changed from bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.

The eucharistic miracles that I refer to involve things like a priest holding a piece of bread in his hands, saying the words of consecration, and watching the bread turn physically into meat in front of his eyes. They bear some checking out.

  • Liberian

[quote=Liberian]April,

I must confess that I did most of my checking out some years ago and have been coasting recently. (These forums are helping me sharpen my wits again!) But let me try to dig a few examples out of my memory.

The Church has said …

(1) that people are basically good, but fallen and tend naturally towards sin. The failure of Communism is perhaps the most spectacular demonstration of this.

(2) that Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead. I have looked into the matter–not that I claim any great expertise on the subject–and have found no cogent evidence against it and a good bit of evidence for it.

(3) that we are regenerated by God’s grace as we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” This is borne out in my own experience over the last thirty years or so.

(4) that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I have seen the intellectual bankruptcy of atheism.

(5) that certain things (artificial birth control comes to mind) are sinful, even if secular society and other Christian churches say they aren’t. Again, I’ve looked into the matter and found that the Church knows what she is talking about. (Incidentally, this was one of the major obstacles to my coming to Catholicism.)

I daresay I could come up with some other examples if I thought about it longer.

So with these things that I have checked out and found the Church to be correct, I will take her word for it that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and that the substance of the Eucharist is changed from bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.

The eucharistic miracles that I refer to involve things like a priest holding a piece of bread in his hands, saying the words of consecration, and watching the bread turn physically into meat in front of his eyes. They bear some checking out.

  • Liberian
    [/quote]

Hi Liberian,
You referred to the church as “she” or “her” a lot, I was wondering if there was a reason. Also in your 5th example, I’m not seeing the connection of where the church is right about no birthcontrol. Maybe you could give me an example? Oh and with your last paragraph, I thought the belief that you were truly taking in the body and blood of Christ was more so a mentality thing. Once again thank you so much for your time.

[quote=april_hosen]Hi Liberian,
You referred to the church as “she” or “her” a lot, I was wondering if there was a reason. Also in your 5th example, I’m not seeing the connection of where the church is right about no birthcontrol. Maybe you could give me an example?
[/quote]

The Church as a “She”? That’s easy. She is the bride of Christ. Just look at all of Christ’s references as being the bridegroom. I could gather a lot more references, or some other posters could, if you wish to persue this (How about it, people, can you help a brother in need?). Maybe this would be good for another thread.

How do we feel that the church is right about birth control? April, I wonder what religion you are. Because I’d be willing to bet that your denomination felt that birth control was a sin as late as the 1930’s. All Christians Faiths (OK, there might be a few exceptions that I haven’t heard of) felt that birth control was a sin against God.

The truth hasn’t changed since the time of Christ. The last I heard, we were called to follow Him, not the other way around. So I wonder how other churches reconcile this. Again, maybe another thread.

Thanks, so much.

NotWorthy

Since I have already spammed this post with scripture anyway, I figured I might help with the “bride of Christ” references. Sorry for the formatting, but it was a hack-job type of thing.

By the way, April - I am *extremely *pleased to have you joining us! You are welcome and if anyone gives you a hard time, let the rest of us know and we’ll take care of it!

2 Corinthians 11:2
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. (NIV)
Ephesians 5:31-32
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.* This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church.* (NIV)
Matthew 9:15
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. (NIV)
Revelation 21:9 (New International Version)9One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."

ATTENTION: KEY VERSE FOR REFERING TO THE CHURCH AS A “HER”…

Eph 5:25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make **her **holy, cleansinga] **her **by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present **her **to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Also, if you would like to see how the Catechism of the Catholic Church treats this topic:

bride of Christ, 757, 772-73, 796, 808, 823, 867, 926, 1617

That’s one thing we have going for us…over 2000 years we have developed a lot of solid answers to a lot of good questions!
Hope this helps!
RyanL

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.