If the Real Presence is true then why


#1

I am a former Protestant going through RCIA, pursuing conversion to the Catholic Church, and my Protestant family is very against this. I used the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist as my main reason for converting, because if someone told you God was literally present somewhere, wouldn’t you want to be there? So the question was asked “What’s God like then?” “I would think if Jesus was really there, I’d be prostrate, or dancing for joy, it would be life changing!” But the fact for so many unfortunately is that you would never know they truly met God literally in the Eucharist and received him.

My argument was that people may struggle to believe or may not always think of it that way, but if it’s literally God in the Eucharist, shouldn’t that be something that jumps out to us so much that we can’t help but worship him?

It’s a thought that I have, but I’d also like to know if there are other arguments or ways to address this issue that some people have. Thank you.


#2

Why didn’t the Pharisees, including the High Priest, then all fall to their faces and worship Him while He was on earth?


#3

Christ’s appearance to us in the Eucharist is not the same as the Beatific Vision, which is what these folks sound like they are after. If He did, there would be no need for faith. [EDIT. Faith would be impossible, actually.]


#4

No, He’s hidden so that only those who truly understand and make the effort will worship him. Read “Adoro te devote”.

Besides, even if he “jumped out”, for example Jesus appearing in person in the Adoration chapel walking around shaking hands, there would be people who would explain it away as a hallucination, mass hysteria, an imposter dressed up as Jesus, someone projecting a hologram into the room, etc.

This is just another variation on the “why doesn’t God make everything crystal clear and super easy for us” question, as in “Why didn’t God make the scriptures easier to understand”, “Why doesn’t God just appear and then everybody will believe in him” etc. God wants to see who’s going to believe in him when things aren’t so crystal clear and obvious. In other words, who has true faith and trust in him?


#5

The Devil tempted Jesus (Matthew 4) by suggesting that He do things that would have inspired most everybody to worship him.

Turn stones into bread = be an economic messiah; make life so much better for the people economically that they would all run after him.

Throw yourself off the temple = work miracles so great that everybody would be convinced and believe. Jesus said no.

Take over all the cities = be a great ruler or leader, bigger even than Caesar, so everybody would see his greatness and follow him. Jesus again said no.

Jesus repeatedly refused to self-promote and instead rewarded people who had faith. Often they weren’t even Jewish and didn’t have the slightest conception of a Jewish Messiah. They just had faith he could help them by curing their illnesses. Jesus today rewards the same kind of faith.


#6

Jesus does everything in humility even now when He comes to us in Mass and remains with us in the Tabernacle. The ALMIGHTY God Who is the Creator of all things, Who is the Alpha nd the Omega, Who always was is and will be could come to us in any form He chose but He comes even now to us in a little while host. He knows our simple minds and He knows we might not be able to accept something too dramatic or graphic in His appearance so He actually does this for us.


#7

image


#8

God gives all the means to believe in Jesus, have faith in His words, and be saved. While He may give those graces and even signs in different ways and at different times to different people, none are excluded and so there is already no excuse, even without greater signs.

But since God is love salvation comes through love, not fear–and love requires a certain act of the will toward the good. Rarely is one drawn to love with ostentatious displays–love is always more personal. As Elijah experienced on Mt. Horeb, God is not in the earthquake, but the quiet whistle of a gentle breeze (see 1 Kings 19:11-13).

In the Eucharist, believing in Him is an act of faith in His promise, and therefore a gift. In the Gospel of Luke, when the two disciples were on the road to Emmaus and Jesus joined them along the walk, “their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” However, when they asked him not to leave them, but to stay with them, then He revealed Himself to them in the breaking of the bread. That revelation was the fruit of a dialogue, an exchange.


#9

Jesus first came to us as a baby born in a manger, the most humble beginning. As it was pointed out above, he could have toppled the Caesar and ruled the world if He had wanted to, but He chose to live simply and humbly among common people.

Now He comes to us under the appearances of bread and wine, two humble and ordinary things that are fragile, and so common.

Just as it took faith to see the Divinity in Jesus, it takes faith to see the Divinity in the Eucharist.


#10

why? the Sacrament is a gift to us for our spiritual benefit. Jesus is with us till the end of time through the Sacrament.


#11

If God can inhabit a human body, like he is in Jesus, he can inhabit a piece of bread.

Likewise, if God could inhabit the Holy of Holies in the old days, he can inhabit a piece of bread.

Where in the Bible does it say that God would no longer inhabit physical matter on earth? On the contrary, he said the opposite (John 6).


#12

We are limited by our senses. Without a special grace from God-- which some people do indeed achieve on earth-- we can see the physical, but not the spiritual.

But we’re even limited by our senses in the physical realm. We can’t see molecules swirling around; we can’t see something happening on the other side of a wall or a door; we can’t see something in a dark room; we can’t follow the progress of our own children’s development in utero.

When you read your Bible, look for things like angel encounters/God encounters. How many people had them? How many of them were awake when they happened? Now compare that with how many people were asleep. There were very few individuals who saw God as he was. There were very few people who encountered God awake. But the ones who did encounter God while awake were either incredibly holy themselves— or had a task that a powerful encounter with God was necessary for.

Then look at Jesus’ life on earth. How many people recognized his Divinity? How many people only saw his Humanity?


#13

This is a good point. I’m reading the Ascent of Mount Carmel by St John of the Cross where he warns spiritual persons against dwelling too much on locutions, revelations, and the like and I can’t help but think: how many people receive those? it must indeed be very rare.


#14

Live an ascetic enough and spiritual enough lifestyle, and that stuff will happen all the time. I agree there are probably people to whom it happens more than other people, but I doubt that it’s super rare.


#15

He says to be vigilant if one receives those because the devil may deceive and the person may get attached to them for their own sake


#16

Well, sure. He says the point is to focus on the spirituality they build in you, not the fact that you’re getting (or think you’re getting) some supernatural message. His advice is actually quite practical.

When you’re not eating much, are working hard, and are heavily immersed in contemplative prayer, your head is going to go all kinds of strange places.


#17

Lent, when practiced properly and with the right blessing, is the time of the year when folks are best able to see through the devil’s deceptions.


#18

The people OP references questioning the experience in partaking of the Eucharist make an interesting argument. I’ve read some Catholics who have also partaken of eating the bread at a non-Catholic service and said that it wasn’t the same. I’m curious: If a believing Catholic were to partake of a host that may or may not have been transubstantiated, would that person be able to sense the difference?


#19

I once heard a story that St. Catherine of Siena (possibly not her, but definitely a female Saint) could tell the difference. Once a non-believing priest brought her a regular wafer, pretending it was the Eucharist, and she could tell instantly that it was not Jesus.


#20

Interesting. Thank you for that. If you were to speculate, would you say this is because she’s a saint or because it’s the nature of the Eucharist? I ask, because the people bringing the topic up to the OP are theorizing that if the Eucharist is so monumental an event then a believer should likely feel its power and majesty. I’d be curious if believers would want to take the test that the saint was given.


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.