Is the form of Christ present in the Eucharist?


#1

When the bread and wine are transubstantiated, so that their visible form remains ("accidentally"), but the physical substance is replaced by Christ — does their substantial form also change, invisibly?

I'm a bit confused — though I hope my confusion doesn't affect my ability to receive communion.

I believe the Eucharist is Christ physically and spiritually: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity (Christ cannot be divided); but is He present substantially without His form? Is that why we don't see Him? Is there even such a thing as a substance without a form?

:shrug:


#2

[quote="Neithan, post:1, topic:313729"]
When the bread and wine are transubstantiated, so that their visible form remains ("accidentally"), but the physical substance is replaced by Christ — does their substantial form also change, invisibly?

I'm a bit confused — though I hope my confusion doesn't affect my ability to receive communion.

I believe the Eucharist is Christ physically and spiritually: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity (Christ cannot be divided); but is He present substantially without His form? Is that why we don't see Him? Is there even such a thing as a substance without a form?

:shrug:

[/quote]

Substance is what something is. Accidents is what properties and appearance of something is.

After the bread and wine are transubstantiated: the substance is Christ's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity; the accidents is bread and wine. That is, It actually is Christ's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity but, appears to be and has the properties or bread and wine.


#3

[quote="Zekariya, post:2, topic:313729"]
Substance is what something is. Accidents is what properties and appearance of something is.

After the bread and wine are transubstantiated: the substance is Christ's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity; the accidents is bread and wine. That is, It actually is Christ's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity but, appears to be and has the properties or bread and wine.

[/quote]

Thank you. What then, is the form? Both Christ and bread or wine; or is only one form present?


#4

The whole thing of "substance" vs. "accidents" is Aristotilian metaphysics. Personally, I had enough philosophy in college. To me, all that is important is that Christ is truely present in the eucharistic feast.

I guess if you want, you could think of the prince turned into a frog. It may look like a frog (i.e. it has the accidents of a frog), but in its true essence (substance, being), it's a prince.


#5

The forms of bread and wine remain, as Accidents too, have forms.

The Form is what defines the physical qualities of the essence. The essence of the Eucharist is Christ, but the Forms are of bread and wine.

As Aquinas noted, in the human person, the soul is the Form of the Body. Our soul defines the boundaries of the body, so to speak. If it is 'outside' of the soul, it is not part of the body.

Likewise, the forms of bread and wine define the physical 'boundaries' of the Real Presence. Outside the form of bread, it is not the Eucharist.


#6

[quote="Zekariya, post:2, topic:313729"]
Substance is what something is. Accidents is what properties and appearance of something is.

After the bread and wine are transubstantiated: the substance is Christ's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity; the accidents is bread and wine. That is, It actually is Christ's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity but, appears to be and has the properties or bread and wine.

[/quote]

I would make one small correction to this description. Christ is present whole and entire, body and soul. He is present in his entirety. But he doesn't "have the properties" of bread and wine, strictly speaking. The appearances of bread and wine do not inhere in Jesus. Neither do they inhere in the bread, which is gone, having been transubstantiated into the body and blood of Jesus. The appeaances of bread and wine do not inhere in any substance. But Jesus is wholly present.

One often uses the term "physically" present to mean that we perceive the appearances of someone. We do not perceive the appearances of Jesus in the Eucharist but he is all there.


#7

[quote="Neithan, post:3, topic:313729"]
Thank you. What then, is the form? Both Christ and bread or wine; or is only one form present?

[/quote]

In Communion you receive the Whole Christ. Substance and form are philosophical terms. But here they are used in a special way we don't need to go into because you wouldn't understand them. In this instance the Substance of Christ includes his human form and his body and the Divine Nature ( in philosophy we would call "form, "substantial form). Now the form of the human person is the soul ( but in Christ there is no human person but a human nature composed of body and soul only). The human nature of Christ has been assumed by the Divine Person. So you receive the Second Person of the Trinity with His human and Divine natures. *

So you do receive the substance and form of Christ. You are also receiving the Whole Christ, that is with all his physical and psychological accidents, limbs, eyes, hair, measurements, etc, mind ( intellect and will ), all alive and united in the Second Person of the Trinity. It is the real living Christ just as you will see Him in Heaven.

How is this possible? First of all most of it is attributable to the Miracle itself. However a " glorified " body is not bound by the physical laws and limitations it had on earth. Firstly, it can apparantly assume any form desired and apparantly assume complete invisibility, and escape all detection, and can assume any size.

Several other Miracles occur along with the transubstantion. The Whole Christ is in every crumb of the host that is broken off, and every drop of the wine which might fall. So theoretically a hundred people or more could receive communion from one host or one thimble full of the wine.

Besides this Miracle, the Whole Christ is present in every host that has been consecrated anywhere in the world - at the same time!!!!

Another Miracle is that the Accidents of the bread and Wine adhere in no substance.** Nor do adhere in the Substance of Christ. Nor does he dwell in the substance of the bread and wine ( they no longer exist), only the accidents remain - he dwells " behind " them, so to speak. They provide a " veil " like the Veil of the Temple which hid the Holy of Holies.

  • When we speak of the Divine Nature, that is really by metaphore only, because, properly speaking, God ( including each of the three Persons ) has no nature. God is PURE EXISTENCE, PURE ACT, utterly Simple, utterly One, PURE INTELLECT. :thumbsup

** The substantial forms of the bread and wine have vanished, they are gone after the consecration because they cannot exist without their substances and the substances of the bread and wine have been changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. S.T. Part lll,Ques 75, art 6.
So the accidents remain without substances and without forms.


#8

[quote="Neithan, post:1, topic:313729"]
When the bread and wine are transubstantiated, so that their visible form remains ("accidentally"), but the physical substance is replaced by Christ — does their substantial form also change, invisibly?

I'm a bit confused — though I hope my confusion doesn't affect my ability to receive communion.

I believe the Eucharist is Christ physically and spiritually: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity (Christ cannot be divided); but is He present substantially without His form? Is that why we don't see Him? Is there even such a thing as a substance without a form?

:shrug:

[/quote]

Its a tran*substantiation, not a transformation; the *substance changes, but the original ***form* remains!


#9

[quote="Brendan, post:5, topic:313729"]
The forms of bread and wine remain, as Accidents too, have forms.

The Form is what defines the physical qualities of the essence. The essence of the Eucharist is Christ, but the Forms are of bread and wine.As Aquinas noted, in the human person, the soul is the Form of the Body. Our soul defines the boundaries of the body, so to speak. If it is 'outside' of the soul, it is not part of the body.

[quote]Likewise, the forms of bread and wine define the physical 'boundaries' of the Real Presence. Outside the form of bread, it is not the Eucharist.

[/quote]

Sorry Brenden, the accidents of the bread and wine remain without either substances or forms. ( Summa Theologiae, Part lll, Ques 75, art 6) Thomas' argument is this. Accidents have no forms of their own, they depend totally upon the substantial form of the substance for which they are accidents. Since these substances have been changed into the body and blood of Christ, their substantial forms have vanished, so there are no forms by which the accidents may exist. So, they not only have no substances in which to adhere, there are no substantial forms to give them existence. They are there by an absolute Miracle. :thumbsup:
[/quote]


#10

[quote="runningdude, post:8, topic:313729"]
Its a tran*substantiation, not a transformation; the *substance changes, but the original ***form* remains!

[/quote]

Wrong, see my post #9 ( Summa Theologiae, Part lll, Ques 75, Art 6 ) The accidents remain without either substances or forms. This is another Miracle worked by the Creator of us all. :thumbsup:

Thomas adds that the " form of the bread is changed into the form of the body of Christ precisely in so far as it is the principle of its being a body, and not in so far as it is the principle of its being alive in the precise way that it is. " The same would be said of the blood. :thumbsup:


#11

[quote="Linusthe2nd, post:9, topic:313729"]

Thomas adds that the " form of the bread is changed into the form of the body of Christ precisely in so far as it is the principle of its being a body, and not in so far as it is the principle of its being alive in the precise way that it is. " The same would be said of the blood. :thumbsup:
[/quote]


#12

[quote="Linusthe2nd, post:7, topic:313729"]
In Communion you receive the Whole Christ. Substance and form are philosophical terms. But here they are used in a special way we don't need to go into because you wouldn't understand them. In this instance the Substance of Christ includes his human form and his body and the Divine Nature ( in philosophy we would call "form, "substantial form). Now the form of the human person is the soul ( but in Christ there is no human person but a human nature composed of body and soul only). The human nature of Christ has been assumed by the Divine Person. So you receive the Second Person of the Trinity with His human and Divine natures. *

So you do receive the substance and form of Christ. You are also receiving the Whole Christ, that is with all his physical and psychological accidents, limbs, eyes, hair, measurements, etc, mind ( intellect and will ), all alive and united in the Second Person of the Trinity. It is the real living Christ just as you will see Him in Heaven.

How is this possible? First of all most of it is attributable to the Miracle itself. However a " glorified " body is not bound by the physical laws and limitations it had on earth. Firstly, it can apparantly assume any form desired and apparantly assume complete invisibility, and escape all detection, and can assume any size.

Several other Miracles occur along with the transubstantion. The Whole Christ is in every crumb of the host that is broken off, and every drop of the wine which might fall. So theoretically a hundred people or more could receive communion from one host or one thimble full of the wine.

Besides this Miracle, the Whole Christ is present in every host that has been consecrated anywhere in the world - at the same time!!!!

Another Miracle is that the Accidents of the bread and Wine adhere in no substance.** Nor do adhere in the Substance of Christ. Nor does he dwell in the substance of the bread and wine ( they no longer exist), only the accidents remain - he dwells " behind " them, so to speak. They provide a " veil " like the Veil of the Temple which hid the Holy of Holies.

  • When we speak of the Divine Nature, that is really by metaphore only, because, properly speaking, God ( including each of the three Persons ) has no nature. God is PURE EXISTENCE, PURE ACT, utterly Simple, utterly One, PURE INTELLECT. :thumbsup

** The substantial forms of the bread and wine have vanished, they are gone after the consecration because they cannot exist without their substances and the substances of the bread and wine have been changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. S.T. Part lll,Ques 75, art 6.
So the accidents remain without substances and without forms.

[/quote]

Thomas adds that the " form of the bread is changed into the form of the body of Christ precisely in so far as it is the principle of its being a body, and not in so far as it is the principle of its being alive in the precise way that it is. " The same would be said of the blood. :thumbsup:


#13

[quote="Neithan, post:3, topic:313729"]
Thank you. What then, is the form? Both Christ and bread or wine; or is only one form present?

[/quote]

The form is the essential nature rather than matter. It is a Mystery how God sustains bread and wine that no longer exist.

Pope Paul VI, in Credo of the People of GodAny theological explanation intent on arriving at some understanding of this Mystery, if it is to be in accordance with Catholic faith, must maintain, without ambiguity, that in the order of reality which exists independently of the human mind, the bread and wine cease to exist after the consecration.


#14

Thanks Linusthe2nd. So what we see are the “accidental forms” of bread and wine?


#15

[quote="Neithan, post:14, topic:313729"]
Thanks Linusthe2nd. So what we see are the "accidental forms" of bread and wine?

[/quote]

Yes. We are seeing an actual miracle before our very eyes. :thumbsup:
And the visible miracle is a sign of the greater Miracle of Christ's Real Presence under the the species of bread and wine which exist in nothing, which we see by the miraculous power of God. We should meditate on that. :thumbsup:


closed #16

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