Eucharist question


#1

Hi all,

To cut to the chase, I just don’t understand how the bread and wine concecrated at Mass really turn into the True Body and Blood of Christ. I know it is His body, but how are we so sure? I mean it is basically bread and wine still. (I mean no disrespect). Wouldn’t the bread and wine have to turn into flesh and blood when concecrated? How is the bread His Body if it really doesn’t change? (change physically anyway).

I really don’t get it :frowning: I do believe it is His Body and Blood, but how is that to be proven after Concecration? Sorry if my question is confusing.

If you need it, I can give bacground info :slight_smile: just ask! :slight_smile:

As a sidenote- I mean no disrespect in this post. I am just curious.

Thank you,
coolduude:cool:


#2

Have you read about it in the Catechism or looked at articles about it? I'm not trying to shove your questions aside, but only determine what you already know.

Still, I'll take a stab at it in my own poor words.

The bread and wine actually become the Body and Blood of Christ, but they retain their appearance as well as the taste, texture, feel of bread and wine. How this happens exactly is a mystery, but in philosophical terms it's called transubstantiation, which means the substance changes, but not the appearance, etc.

Our Eastern brethren don't attempt to explain it, and that's fine, too. Jesus said it was his Body and Blood, therefore we believe it. But, Western thinking insists on explanations for everything and so our Western theologians determined that the term transubstantiation comes as close as we can to explaining what happens. Even that term is not what it is but only a word to help us understand the ineffable.


#3

You don't understand it because it is a great Mystery. A Mystery is a truth of our faith that we cannot fully understand, but we believe it to be true because Jesus said it was true, and we know that He is Truth and cannot lie, so we totally trust Him.

The fact that there are Mysteries of our faith that we cannot fully understand is actually a wonderful thing. It means that God is so great, so immense, so beyond our mere human imagining that our minds cannot ever fully comprehend Him. If we could fully understand God, He simply would not be God. How awesome God is, greater than we can imagine! God created the laws of nature, so He can certainly work outside them if He chooses to.

After Consecration, the consecrated species keep the "accidents" (appearance, taste, smell, size, weight, etc.) of bread and wine, but their substance changes. They look, feel, taste, etc. like bread and wine, but they are the Body and Blood of Christ. There is no way to logically explain it. It is a Mystery.

Suppose you met an old friend of yours you hadn't seen in years. She has lost 100 pounds, had cosmetic surgery, changed hair color, etc. Even her voice/accent has changed somewhat. You might not recognize her at first. Some of the "accidents" of your friend have changed, but she is still the same person, the same "substance."

Or think of a caterpillar that changes into a butterfly. You might not recognize them as the same creature, but they are.

These are only poor, insufficient analogies, but it is just my way of showing you that the substance of something can remain the same even though the accidents change.


#4

I agree with the earlier responses - and its ok to ask, you are in good company. Read John chapter 6 and you will see that many of Jesus disciples could not accept this “hard teaching” and left Him over it (John 6:66 (yikes - what a verse number - referring to those leaving Christ over their inability or unwillingness to accept this teaching). Jesus then turned to the apostles and asked if they would leave him to [over this teaching] and they stayed saying, where would we go “you have the words of eternal life”.

It is a hard teaching - a great mystery, on one we take on faith because we were taught this by Jesus.

Paul also teaches this in Corinthians when he tells us that sharing in the bread and wine is a participation in the blood and body of Christ and when he teaches that any who partake of the eucharist “without discerning the body” drink judement on themselves.

It was the eucharist and my faith in the real presence that drew me into the Catholic Church as a convert.

Blessings,

Brian


#5

To cut to the chase, I just don’t understand how the bread and wine concecrated at Mass really turn into the True Body and Blood of Christ. I know it is His body, but how are we so sure? I mean it is basically bread and wine still. (I mean no disrespect). Wouldn’t the bread and wine have to turn into flesh and blood when concecrated? How is the bread His Body if it really doesn’t change? (change physically anyway).

It is a hard thing to believe, that’s why sometimes the Lord has actually changed both the accidents (the appearence) and the substance (the part He normally transforms). My favorite example is the Miracle of Lanciano. Even the priest doubted the mystery and so during the mass the bread became physical flesh and the wine became physical blood.

You can read more about it here: therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html

There’s other miracles on that site, but this one has baffled and been tested by scientists.


#6

An analogy of transubstantiation I once heard is a blank CD, before recording it is just a CD, but after you copy songs or whatever on it, it still looks like a CD (form) but now has content of music. Maybe that helps, maybe not.


#7

have you ever read about the Miracle of Lanciano? miraclerosarymission.org/lanciano.html
therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html

the reason it still looks like bread and wine… is because - well imagine receiving Communion that looks like flesh and blood. I think most people would not be able to. God knows our weakness so He hides His presence. But there have been MANY miracles… and most importantly: Christ promised it.

each object has substance and accidents… substance is what it IS, accidents is the characteristics perceivable to our senses. In the Consecration, the substance changes, but not the accidents. It IS Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, and the bread and wine is no longer present.

Remember that Jesus is fully there, so you can talk to Him in the Eucharist, it is Him… maybe developing a devotion to the Eucharist can help :slight_smile: for example, after you receive the Eucharist, try to remember that Jesus is really in your heart and unite yourself to Him, pray, talk to Him… offer thanksgiving…

the people in John 6, and evangelical Protestants, rejected the Eucharist because they couldn’t understand it. Keep in mind there’s much in the world we can’t explain or understand with our little minds.

God bless


#8

from the 'Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus'

CHAPTER I. THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST IS
AN INVENTION OF THE LOVE OF THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS

  1. The voice of Jesus.-----I was dead, My Child, and behold I am living for ever more.

I had come forth from the Father, and had come into the world: at last I was leaving the world to return to the Father.

However, the love of My Heart did not allow nor suffer that I should leave them orphans, whom I cherished more than My Own life.

The love of My father called and invited Me, that, coming, I might be glorified with Him, with the glory which I had with Him before the world was created.

The love of men also invited and urged Me on, that, staying among them, I might comfort them amidst all the troubles of life.

And behold! My Heart invented a means of satisfying both My love for My Father, and My Love for men.

A mystery, My Child, that going up into Heaven I may be seated at the right of the Father, and abide with you even to the consummation of the world.

A mystery, which, unless I Myself had drawn it forth from My Heart, no mortal could ever have imagined: a mystery which transcends all created nature: a mystery, in fine, which exceeds all finite power.

There is need, therefore, of stupendous miracles, to be wrought by Divine omnipotence alone. But love triumphs: love, which in My Divine Heart found the design, there also found the power of executing the same.

All things are possible, all things are easy, if I will them in My Heart, Whose Will is power and execution.

  1. As men were not able to bear the sight of My glorified Majesty, and the world could not subsist in the effulgence of such a brightness; regard was to be had to their weakness, lest, alarmed at the splendor of My greatness, they might be kept away.

Wherefore, I must needs conceal My dazzling glory, and display naught that might fill them with dread.

Moreover, My Child, since thou hast here no permanent city, but lookest for one to come, it is expedient for thee, that I do abide with thee under another form; lest, forgetting that thou art a pilgrim on earth, thou be willing to make here thy abode, and cling to the things of the present; but that, mindful of thy place of exile, thou mayst aspire to thy country, where thou shalt be able, with face unveiled, to gaze upon My glory.

Lastly, since this life is short, and after it there shall be no longer any time to gain merits, it is good and most useful that I hide My countenance, that thus thou mayst have a greater opportunity of reducing to practice faith, as well as all other virtues.

  1. If for so many reasons it is advantageous that I dwell henceforth in another form among men upon earth: from among all possible forms that one should be chosen, which is best suited to My Heart, and most profitable to men.

Now, My Child, since I came down to men, that they might have spiritual life, and since I stay in their midst that they may have it more abundantly; and as the spiritual life bears in every way a resemblance to the material life, which is sustained and strengthened by natural food; they need a supernatural food, whereby the life of the spirit may be preserved, may grow in solidity, and flourish ever more and more.

It is better, therefore, that I remain under the appearance of food, since I am not only the Bread of life, but Life itself. For how much more abundantly will the faithful soul have life, if she be nourished with Life itself?

Besides, Child, My Heart is love: but love is the gift of one's self, and does not rest until it has given and united itself to the object beloved.

Now, as in the life of nature. naught is more intimately united than food and the one that takes it; so also in the spiritual life, by the gift of My love, the greatest and most intimate union occurs between the soul and Myself.

This is that Divine and beatific union, whereby 1 can render every soul blissful: the work of a boundless love.


#9

Finally, I am pleased to stay among men under the form of a banquet, which is a token of the greatest friendship, in order that, even upon earth, the faithful may rejoice in My supernal fellowship, which the Blessed in Heaven enjoy; and that they may recall with delight that never-ending bliss, wherein I dispose to you a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at My table, and where, girding Myself and going about, I will minister to you.

This will be the union everlasting, and thrillingly blissful,-----the Passover of never-ending joy,-----the wine of eternal love, which I will drink with you ever new in the kingdom of My Father.

  1. In order that men might gradually be prepared for mysteries so great, I willed that, in many ways, all this should be foreshadowed in the Old Law.

A figure thereof was the fruit of the tree of life planted in Paradise, by the food of which men, in a state of innocence, were to be nourished, and to bloom with life, that they might preserve themselves from death, and thus secure immortality.

A figure thereof was the bread and wine offered by Melchisedech, the priest and king: priest of the Most High, king of Salem, king of peace.

A figure thereof was the Paschal Lamb, the Lamb without blemish, which was both offered and eaten: which was to be consumed neither raw nor cooked, but prepared with fire: and they that eat the same were to have their loins girded, shoes on their feet, staves in their hands, as if in readiness to go on a journey.

A figure thereof was the Manna in the desert, which fell every day from Heaven, possessed the pleasantness of every kind of savor, was called the bread of Angels, of which neither he that gathered more than the usual measure had more, nor he that collected less than another possessed less.

A figure thereof was the Ark of the Covenant, wherein the Majesty of God was honored between the Cherubim; and whence He was wont, day and night, to impart to His people propitiation, aid, and comfort.

Lastly, a figure thereof was the bread baked under the ashes, whereby the Prophet was freed from his faintness and depression of spirit; and, endowed with new vigor, walked, on the strength of that food, even to the mountain of God.

  1. It was not unknown to Me, my Child, how much this institution would cost Me: how great and how many a sacrifice this My Sacramental life would require.

I know to what humiliations I subject Myself, to how many insults I expose Myself. But all these My Heart deems less than the love, whereby It is borne towards My Father and towards men.

My love is overcome by no obstacles: it triumphs easily over all. Nay more, these very difficulties themselves, it looks upon and displays, as so many proofs of its greatness and generosity.

Behold, then, eminently the great Sacrament of affectionateness, which, conceived by My love before all ages, was realized by My supreme power in time, appeared wonderful to the Angels, was preached to the nations: which has consoled the world, and which by its sweetness has inebriated the hearts of mortals.

catholictradition.org/Classics/imitation4-1.htm#1


#10

My favorite analogy. Thanks for posting! :slight_smile:

Monica also had a good point when she said it would be too disgusting. :frowning: a good point indeed. Monica, your posts are good but I’ll have to read them later. I just don’t have the time.

To the others- thank you for the posts and keep them coming! Miracles are a very good way to prove the Real Presence :slight_smile:


#11

We believe Jesus!

What a thing is and how a thing appears are not necessarily the same thing.

You already know this on some level, that “what this is” is often distinct from “how this looks.” They’re two different questions, aren’t they? Otherwise, you would not be able to identify both a green apple and a red apple as apples, or both an acorn and a huge tree as oaks. :slight_smile:


#12

How can Jesus be God when he looks, feels, and acts just like a human? Matters like these must be held on faith because they deal with the Divine, who is beyond comprehension.

If the Word could become flesh, then he could most certainly make bread into his flesh.


#13

I don’t know if this is solid Catholic teaching, but, I see it similarly to how Christ was born. If you look at him, touch him, examine him under a microscope, he appeared to be a man, but he was God. Similarly, when I see the bread and wine, even examining them under a microscope, you would see bread and wine, but they are also fully Jesus.

Just as God could turn those very stones into descendants of Abraham, he could just as easily change bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus.


#14

Christ came in the simplest and humblest form. He came as a small child, poor parents, born in a stable. Today, Christ comes to us today through the simplest of things, bread and wine. We can’t prove it scientifically or anything, it is a Mystery. But Just as Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross to bring us into the Father’s perfect love and grace, the priest makes the sacrifice to bring his congregation into God’s love and grace. Priests act in the Persona Christi, the person of Christ. Every time you receive the Eucharist, you are literally being untied to Jesus’ sacrifice.

-Jeanne


#15

I love it! :thumbsup:


#16

[quote="coolduude, post:1, topic:182253"]
Hi all,

To cut to the chase, I just don't understand how the bread and wine concecrated at Mass really turn into the True Body and Blood of Christ. I know it is His body, but how are we so sure? I mean it is basically bread and wine still. (I mean no disrespect). Wouldn't the bread and wine have to turn into flesh and blood when concecrated? How is the bread His Body if it really doesn't change? (change physically anyway).

I

[/quote]

with respect, what you believe, or what I believe, about the Eucharist is irrelevant, and does nothing to affect the absolute truth. It is not necessary to understand how Christ chooses to work this miracle, only to believe his promise that he does so, that he commands his priests to do so. We believe in his promise, and that he instructs us that the means he establishes our unity on earth is through communion: reception of his Body on Blood, sacramentally (not physically, not symbolically) and substantially present in the Eucharist. If you don't believe the promise of Christ, in his teaching in John 6, at the Last Supper, in his life, death and resurrection, then it surely is of no import to you at all whether or not he is truly, really present under the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist. If you believe what he said and did, then you believe all of it, including the truth that he is indeed present in the most holy sacrament of the altar and that we receive his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, glorified, sacramentally and substantially present in the Eucharist.

If you don't believe in him and what he did, what difference does it make to you?


closed #17

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