I have been exposed to Catholic teaching before, but never really came to faith until I found pastor Greg Laurie and listened to his sermons on line.
He’s a wonderful evangelist and cares for people. I sat thru many a Catholic mass, but they never reached me.
I am looking and considering Catholicism more because my wife is Catholic, and I want to keep our family united.
I have a hard time leaving someone that was so responsible for bringing me to faith in Christ, to go to something that I don’t think ever would have.
I just don’t know what to do.
My other big stumbling block is the Eucharist. I can’t seem to get to it really being his physical body and physical blood.
One of my other favorite teachers is C.S. Lewis. He being Anglican, believed in real presence of Christ in Eucharist, which is much easier to accept than a literal physical body (I am thinking “meat” literally, as that’s what a body is.)
Greg Laurie is a motivational speaker, I have heard him on the radio quite a bit and I have nothing bad to say about him. When I go to Mass, I don’t go to hear a great speaker to get me pumped up about my faith (though that sometimes happens), I go to enter into the sacred mystery of the Word of God, risen and yet present in the prayers and the readings of Sacred Scripture. Then when the priest/bishop uses the the language from scripture that Christ used at the Last Supper, to consecrate the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ (which the Church has been doing for two thousand years), now that to me is powerful!!!
:hmmm: C.S. Lewis believed the same as the Catholic Church regarding the Eucharist. The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is Catholic Teaching. That the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ.
Let the early Church Fathers speak to you about the Eucharist:
“I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life–which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God… And I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life.” (Ignatius of Antioch 105 AD)
“They [the Gnostics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not believe the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ… Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death.” ** (Ignatius of Antioch 105 AD)**
We do not receive these as common bread and common drink. Rather, Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation. So, likewise, we have been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. (Justin Martyr 160 AD)
(all quotes taken from ‘A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs’ by David W. Bercot, Editor)
We actually say its a sacramental, not physical, presence. If it were physical, it would have physical characteristics. The substance is changed but not the physical characteristics of bread and wine.
Think pf it as being the presence of Jesus’s glorified soul. Since it is a soul the matter it is attached to is His Body. But because it is glorified it has the ability to display different physical characteristics.
I disagree with your interpretation. It is the actual body and blood of Christ; however, the appearance of the bread and wine remains. It’s not ‘sacramental’. There have been cases of the bread and wine, after consecration turning it to the body and blood of Christ, has been tested as to have the characteristics of flesh and blood, although we cannot ‘taste’ or sense it during communion.
Regards Greg Laurie - you don’t have to leave him! He can still be part of your ‘information sources’ but in Catholicism, once you’ve learned the complete 360 truth of a matter, you can see where his views are limited and thereby educate yourself on how to answer or approach others who will have enquiry of you.
Many have either entered or returned Home into the church via a variety of speakers / teachers / pastors etc of other faiths after discerning that ‘something’ else is still missing from any faith community they may have been in.
Eucharist: God Speaks -
“Let there be Light” - and there was light!
“This is my Body! This is my Blood” - ??
Very simple for Catholics! We have no choice!
The Apostles and ECFs have spoken at length regarding the Eucharist. We simply follow suit.
Elements of The Eucharist:
If you want proof that it’s flesh and blood - type “Luciano Eucharistic miracle” into your browser and/or simply “Eucharistic miracles”!
In the end, your ‘struggles’ are between yourself and Our Maker ‘drawing’ you to Himself - The Mystical Body of Christ - and you seem more concerned with what others may think/see or worried about the ‘vehicle’ He used to get you here!
In Catholicism, we have ABSOLUTE trust that Our Maker has The Plan and we move when prompted and He takes care of the details. There’s very little elements of Catholicism that require FAITH, because we can know many things with certainty - including the Eucharist.
About the only ‘faith’ requirement - if you can call it that - is that Jesus IS Who He said He Is!
Everything else regarding a church life, CAN be known in this temporal realm when you examine what has been already revealed to man.
Have faith, and cast your nets into the deep water. Do not let your heart be troubled. To learn a little more and open your mind, I would suggest reading Scott Hahn, either The Lamb’s Supper (which goes over the Eucharist, the Book of Revelation, and how they are tied together and how we participate in the eternal worship of heaven at mass.) and also his book on the sacraments.
Google “The Miracle of Lanciano”. Read all it says about that. That will answer your main question. I have a Holy Card which briefly talks about The Real Presence on the back of it and the front of it says, “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Truly present in the Holy Eucharist, I place my trust in You.”
Perhaps the book “A Biblical Walk Through The Mass: Understanding What We Say And Do In The Liturgy” by Edward Sri may be helpful. It does what it says in the title and explains the overall structure and each part of the mass. It may, alongside the other suggestions, be a good resource for delving more deeply into the depth and beauty of the celebration founded/initiated by Jesus.
There was once a mother in a church, teaching her child about the different things he saw. She pointed to the cross. “It looks like Jesus is there, but He isn’t.”. She pointed to the tabernacle where the Eucharist is kept. “It looks like Jesus isn’t there, but He is.”
My best argument for the Real Presence is from Jesus. He said, ‘My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink,’ and many disciples left him because that’s a crazy thing to say. Jesus, who loved them so much, just watched them go, then turned to His apostles, His best friends and said, ‘What about you, are you going too?’ Imagine how painful that moment was! He didn’t run after the departing ones, shouting, ‘Hey, guys, it’s just a metaphor, give me a break!’. He let them go. He meant it and He paid for it and He must have thought it was worth it.
What is it that you think the Catholic Church teaches?
I don’t know if he ever used that word but he believed that the Eucharist was literally the body and blood of Christ, the real presence, just as all Catholics and Orthodox do, as everyone did in the early Church, and as many Anglicans and Lutherans do.