Is Eucharistic Adoration idolatry?


#1

I know Catholics believe Jesus is really present in the Eucharist.

However, I believe the Lord’s Supper is meant to point to Jesus (do this in rememberance of me). As such, it is my fear that to worship the meal itself represents a subtle distraction from what is really important. It seems to me a deflection of worship away from Jesus, ever-so-slightly, in a way that I think would make Satan very happy. If he cannot break a thing he can try to bend it.


#2

[quote=Angainor]I know Catholics believe Jesus is really present in the Eucharist.
However, I believe the Lord’s Supper is meant to point to Jesus (do this in rememberance of me). As such, it is my fear that to worship the meal itself represents a subtle distraction from what is really important.
[/quote]

We are not worshipping a “meal”, we are in the presence of God. It is not a “deflection” away from Jesus it IS Jesus. Many people have difficulty believing He is physically present. I understand, in fact several of His disciples left Him because they couldn’t believe. Is it easier to believe God manifest Himself as a burning bush? Or a dove? Or a pillar of fire? We don’t seem to doubt these, why is it so difficult to believe He is physically present in the consecrated host?


#3

From the Cathechism of the Catholic Church:


1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”[134] “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”[135]


Catholics believe when Jesus said, “This is my body” he changed ordinary bread into His body. Likewise, when He said, “This is my blood” He changed ordinary wine into His blood. The appearance may still be bread and wine, but the theological virtue of faith tells us it is no longer bread and wine, but the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The Catechism goes on to say:


1374 …In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.”[200] “This presence is called ‘real’ - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.”[201]


**1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. **


The teaching of the Church Fathers affirms this belief:


St. John Chrysostom declares:
It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.


St. Ambrose says about this conversion:
Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed… Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature. (emphasis mine).


Many of Christ’s disciples left Him when He declared one must eat His body and drink His blood to have life. It was correctly understood by these disciples that Christ was speaking literally, not figuratively, or else Jesus would told them He only meant it figuratively. Jesus didn’t call them back, He let them go.


I hope this gives you a better understanding the depth of Catholic belief in the Eucharist. I understand why someone looking at the Eucharist from a non-Catholic viewpoint might think Eucharistic adoration to be idolatry. However, when one understands, not agrees with, Catholic teaching, it is clear Eucharistic adoration is worship “in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23)



#4

If the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord as the Church teaches (and I believe) then it follows that the Eucharist is worthy of worship. From Ott’s Fundamentals: The Worship of Adoration (latria) must be given to Christ present in the Eucharist. (De fide.)

Scott


#5

[quote=Scott Waddell]If the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord as the Church teaches (and I believe) then it follows that the Eucharist is worthy of worship. From Ott’s Fundamentals: The Worship of Adoration (latria) must be given to Christ present in the Eucharist. (De fide.)

[/quote]

If it is Christ up on the altar in the form of bread and wine, why not call it “Christ”? As in, “Look that is Christ on the altar.”

As it is, you have a different word for it, “the Eucharist”. The two things are not interchangable. The Eucharist is related to Christ, but it would not be fair to say the Eucharist is Christ. If it is something other than compltely Christ, then I cannot say it is worthy of worship.

For Lutherans, the Lord’s Supper is a form of worship. It is a way to worship Jesus. The meal itself is not worshiped.


#6

But it is Christ up on the Altar - many of us say my Lord and My God at the end of the consecration just as Thomas did. (John 21:24f).

The priest says - “This is Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” These are not symbolic words. Christ is there, present to us, body, blood, soul and divinity at every mass

God Bless


#7

[quote=Angainor]If it is Christ up on the altar in the form of bread and wine, why not call it “Christ”? As in, “Look that is Christ on the altar.”

As it is, you have a different word for it, “the Eucharist”. The two things are not interchangable. The Eucharist is related to Christ, but it would not be fair to say the Eucharist is Christ. If it is something other than compltely Christ, then I cannot say it is worthy of worship.

For Lutherans, the Lord’s Supper is a form of worship. It is a way to worship Jesus. The meal itself is not worshiped.
[/quote]

We call it the body and the blood of Christ. That is the same thing as calling it Christ.


#8

[quote=Angainor]If it is Christ up on the altar in the form of bread and wine, why not call it “Christ”? As in, “Look that is Christ on the altar.”

As it is, you have a different word for it, “the Eucharist”. The two things are not interchangable. The Eucharist is related to Christ, but it would not be fair to say the Eucharist is Christ. If it is something other than compltely Christ, then I cannot say it is worthy of worship.

For Lutherans, the Lord’s Supper is a form of worship. It is a way to worship Jesus. The meal itself is not worshiped.
[/quote]

Calling it the Eucharist does not mean that it is not Christ. It is the body and blood of Christ, literally.

The reason why Lutherans do not feel that it should be worshiped is because they do not have the same belief regarding the Eucharist. They do not believe in transubstantiation, instead they believe in consubstantiation. In the Lutheran belief, they believe that the body and blood is only present during the liturgy, afterward it ceases to be the body and blood after the liturgy. Catholics believe that it is the body and the blood of Christ and it will never be bread again. So, it is a different situation.

Transubstantiation says that nothing of the bread and wine remain. All that is there is the body and blood of Christ. Now, it may appear to be bread, but it is not. That is called the “Accidents”(appearances). The body and blood retain all the accidents of bread and wine, but they are not bread and wine.

The Catholic Church also teaches that each little crum of the Eucharist is completely the body and blood of Christ. If you have only a half of a piece of the bread, it is still just as much of Christ as the whole thing is. Each little drop of the wine contains the whole of Christ, just like the bread.

Since it is completely Christ, and nothing else, it is worthy of worship.


#9

Here are all the canons from the council of Trent.

CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist***, are contained truly, really, and substantially***, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; ***let him be anathema. ***

CANON lI***.-If any one saith***, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist,** the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ,** and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.

CANON III.-If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist,*** the whole Christ is contained under each*** [Page 83] species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.

CANON IV***.-If any one saith, that, after the consecration is completed, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not in the admirable sacrament of the Eucharist, but (are there) only during the use, whilst it is being taken***, and not either before or after; and that, in the hosts, or consecrated particles, which are reserved or which remain after communion, the true Body of the Lord remaineth not; ***let him be anathema. ***

CANON V.-If any one saith, either that the principal fruit of the most holy Eucharist is the remission of sins, or, that other effects do not result therefrom; let him be anathema.

CANON VI.-If any one saith, that, in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship, even external of latria; and is, consequently, neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in processions, according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of holy church; or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be adored, and that the adorers thereof are idolators; let him be anathema.

CANON VII.-If any one saith, that it is not lawful for the sacred Eucharist to be reserved in the sacrarium, but that, immediately after consecration, it must necessarily be distributed amongst those present; or, that it is not lawful that it be carried with honour to the sick; let him be anathema.

CANON VIII.-lf any one saith, that Christ, given in the Eucharist, is eaten spiritually only, and not also sacramentally and really; let him be anathema.

CANON IX.-If any one denieth, that all and each of Christ’s faithful of both sexes are bound, when they have attained to years of discretion, to communicate every year, at least at Easter, in accordance with the precept of holy Mother Church; let him be anathema.

[Page 84] CANON X.-If any one saith, that it is not lawful for the celebrating priest to communicate himself; let him be anathema.

CANON XI.-lf any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burthened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.

history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct13.html


#10

I like to say that the Eucharist is not bread and wine, that’s just what it is made of.


#11

Angainor,

can I recommend to you a very good book written by Scott Hahn called the Lamb’s Supper. I think that Scott can answer your questions on the Eucharist. At the same time I recommend to you Mark Shea’s book “This is My Body” because it addresses your objections.

In the meantime, I suggest that you also try and discover the meaning of “todah”.

Maggie


#12

[quote=Angainor]If it is Christ up on the altar in the form of bread and wine, why not call it “Christ”? As in, “Look that is Christ on the altar.”

Catholic do call the Blessed Sacrament Jesus. I teach 7th grade CCD and I always tell my kids to genuflect when entering the pew because Jesus is in the tabernacle.

As it is, you have a different word for it, “the Eucharist”. The two things are not interchangable. The Eucharist is related to Christ, but it would not be fair to say the Eucharist is Christ. If it is something other than compltely Christ, then I cannot say it is worthy of worship.

Please refer to my previous post about Catholic belief in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is completely Christ as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as by the Church fathers, two of whom I quoted in my previous post.


There is more than one different word to describe Christ’s presence under the form of bread and wine. Eucharist means thanksgiving, which is what Christ gave the Father on the cross. The Eucharist is also called the Blessed Sacrament, which I used in responding to your first point. We call it the Blessed Sacrament to distinguish it from the other sacraments because it is the only sacrament which contains Jesus Christ entirely - body, blood, soul and divinity. Another name is the host, which we refer to when receiving Holy Communion.


**Just because we use a different word doesn’t mean the Eucharist isn’t Jesus. There are different words we use to refer to Jesus such as Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, Second Person of the Holy Trinity, and Messiah. By using your logic, Jesus and the Son of God are two different persons, since two different titles are used. **

For Lutherans, the Lord’s Supper is a form of worship. It is a way to worship Jesus. The meal itself is not worshiped.

There are different dimensions to the Eucharist. The Catechism states these dimensions:


**1358 We must therefore consider the Eucharist as: - thanksgiving and praise to the Father;

  • the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body;
  • the presence of Christ by the power of his word and of his Spirit.**

**A further explanation can be found at **christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/euch1.html#SUMMIT

I understand Lutheran teaching on the Lord’s Supper, I just don’t agree with it. I don’t call you a heretic because you don’t agree with Church dogma on the Eucharist. You shouldn’t call Catholics idolators because we don’t agree with Lutheran teaching on the Lord’s Supper. Name calling gets us nowhere.


Try to understand what we Catholics believe instead of imposing Lutheran teaching on Catholics. It will go a long way to us understanding each other better.

[/quote]


#13

[quote=Sowndog]I like to say that the Eucharist is not bread and wine, that’s just what it is made of.
[/quote]

Hello Sowndog,
I understand what you are trying to convey here, but we must be very careful with terms, especially when discussing the Eucharist. After consecration, there is no bread and wine left. The Body and Blood of Christ are present under the appearance of bread and wine. Bread and wine certainly are the elements that are consecrated, but they do not co-exist with the Body and Blood of Jesus after consecration. This could seem tedious, but it is essential.

Yours,
Jesus


#14

[quote=MaggieOH]Angainor,

can I recommend to you a very good book written by Scott Hahn called the Lamb’s Supper. I think that Scott can answer your questions on the Eucharist. At the same time I recommend to you Mark Shea’s book “This is My Body” because it addresses your objections.

In the meantime, I suggest that you also try and discover the meaning of “todah”.

Maggie
[/quote]

http://www.eattheword.com/images/todah.gif[font=Hebrew]- todah[/font]

Todah An extension of the hand; adoration; a choir of worshippers.

Is that right?


#15

[quote=Angainor]If it is Christ up on the altar in the form of bread and wine, why not call it “Christ”? As in, “Look that is Christ on the altar.”

As it is, you have a different word for it, “the Eucharist”. The two things are not interchangable. The Eucharist is related to Christ, but it would not be fair to say the Eucharist is Christ. If it is something other than compltely Christ, then I cannot say it is worthy of worship.

For Lutherans, the Lord’s Supper is a form of worship. It is a way to worship Jesus. The meal itself is not worshiped.
[/quote]

When the priest elevates the Host divide into two halves, he says Behold the Lamb of God, who has taken away the sins of the world. How more accurately do you wish Christ to be identified


#16

Then again, if you’re near us at Mass, you might hear one of my younger ones call out “There’s Jesus!” at the time of elevation and bell ringing. I guess you know the old saying “out of the mouth of babes …”


#17

angainor,

When I receive communion, I say I am receiving the Lord. When I go to adoration, I say I am going to visit the Lord. It is Jesus’ actual/real Body, Blood, Soul and Divnity–Jesus Himself said so.

*The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” *
**
*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. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. *
**


#18

Catholics do know what the meaning of the word “is” is. “This IS My body” seems quite clear, and yes, in partaking of His body we are doing so in remembrance of (and participation in) His sacrifice. This is the understanding of Paul, and is also found in the writings of the early Christians.


#19

[quote=Beaver]When the priest elevates the Host divide into two halves, he says Behold the Lamb of God, who has taken away the sins of the world. How more accurately do you wish Christ to be identified
[/quote]

I still have an uneasy feeling about it. It seems to me the deflection of worship away from Christ is complete, if you feel the bread and wine is Jesus and you worship it.


#20

[quote=Angainor]I still have an uneasy feeling about it. It seems to me the deflection of worship away from Christ is complete, if you feel the bread and wine is Jesus and you worship it.
[/quote]

It is actually Christ though, so there is no deflection away from him. It is a direct worship of him.


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