No Eucharist=No life within us?


#1

If we Catholics interpret John 6 correctly, how is it that those who do not have a valid Eucharist still appear to have Christ alive in them? (And doesn’t the Church teach that they do, in Lumen Gentium?)

John 6:54 “Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.”


#2

The “you” here is not everybody, but those to whom the reality of the Eucharist has been revealed and who reject that reality. Otherwise, baptized babies, for example, couldn’t enter heaven.


#3

I don’t know about other denominations but the only difference between us and the RCC is that we believe that Jesus is present in the bread and juice Spiritually, (Spiritual flesh and spiritual blood) and you believe in the physical body and blood. To say that it’s just symbolic I believe is wrong.


#4

May I ask a question? When you say the reality of it–what exactly do you mean?

I ask because I totally understand what the Eucharist is to catholics–but I believe this to be a mis-intrepretation of that passage(Im not interested in debating BTW) So, where do I stand according to the RCC?

Would you just simply say the reality has not been revealed to me?

Thanks:D


#5

Only God can judge that, just like only God can judge those to whom the reality of Christ has been revealed and rejected, vs. those who may have some sort of intellectual understanding of who Christ is, but who have not had the reality revealed to them. Again, God knows what has been truly revealed to each person, but we don’t.

BTW, not debating you on the Eucharist, but you misunderstand the origin of Catholic doctrines if you think our teaching on the Eucharist (or anything else) originates from interpreting passages of Scripture.


#6

ABostonCatholic said:

If we Catholics interpret John 6 correctly, how is it that those who do not have a valid Eucharist still appear to have Christ alive in them?

Not sure i can answer this correctly, but the Catholic Church claims that God lives within everyone. I guess the position is that if you want the fullness of the experience, you need to recieve Christ in the blessed sacrament.

If i had to testify to my experience, i’d say that there isn’t a better way to experience the love of Christ than to experience the sacraments of reconciliation, and receiving the Eucharist.

Being a fallen away Catholic, i’d say that there is still love outside of the Church, but it’s nothing like it’d be if you were receiving the sacraments…

But, don’t look to me for answers… i’m still trying to discern how there was ever a foundation for it all. lol :slight_smile:


#7

Only God can judge that, just like only God can judge those to whom the reality of Christ has been revealed and rejected, vs. those who may have some sort of intellectual understanding of who Christ is, but who have not had the reality revealed to them. Again, God knows what has been truly revealed to each person, but we don’t.

I agree:D Thankfully God has revealed Christ to me and drew me to Him(as He did you). It is so humbling to have been chosen by God.:smiley:

BTW, not debating you on the Eucharist, but you misunderstand the origin of Catholic doctrines if you think our teaching on the Eucharist (or anything else) originates from interpreting passages of Scripture

LOL I know I know:p

I actually understandmore then you may think because I have been on catholic forums for 2 years know and have learned a substantial amount of info.(which I appreciate it and have been open to)
However, the Holy Spirit just hasnt been leading me in the CC direction. I do believe that doesnt make me any less saved.:wink:

But still, because God has revealed the truth of Christ to me and I do have the Holy Spirit living in me–would it be your position to say that the HS just hasnt revealed the truth of the eucharist to me yet? If that is the case–then Im still saved even though I do not partake of the CC Eucharist.

Maybe Im misunderstanding you. Do you equate salvation with the Eucharist? Because when I hear words like you can have no life in you–to me that means no salvation.


#8

LG says that the Holy Spirit can work outside the visible Catholic Church. Individual Christians have the Holy Spirit in them from their Baptism. We cannot judge if the Holy Spirit has remained with any specific individual after Baptism, because of sin. Do they have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them? Without reception of the Sacraments, specifically Reconciliation and the Eucharist, it’s difficult to say. Based on John 6, possibly not.


#9

So you are saying that Jesus only existed in Spirit, not in reality. Jesus did not have a real body and real blood, He did not really mean, My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink?


#10

Br. Rich SFO said:

Do they have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them? Without reception of the Sacraments, specifically Reconciliation and the Eucharist, it’s difficult to say. Based on John 6, possibly not.

As bizarre as it might sound, it’s very probably true. In other words, i’ve experienced a spiritual “love” even as a fallen away Catholic, but like i said, it’s nothing like what i’ve experienced while practicing Catholicism, and receiving the Sacraments.

It just makes me wonder what the real truth of life is. We believe that God is “love” itself, but this God has his rules that we are suppose to live by in order to receive this love and peace from him. If others outside the supposed true Church can receive love, and God himself is love, then are we dealing with other possible God’s, or is the one true God so merciful that he reaches out to everyone reguardless of beliefs?


#11

Since salvation is possible without the Eucharist (those baptized babies again), it is not a simple equating. It is more a matter, I imagine, of obedience and acceptance vs. disobedience and rejection. If God says “do this or you cannot be saved” and you say “no!” then you’ve got a problem.

Again, I cannot speak to your individual situation. I’m betting God will lead you into the Catholic Church in the not-so-distant future, in which case the problem will go away. (half-kidding here, but only half :)) In the meantime, while you’re waiting for the call, just continue to love and obey God, and be not afraid.


#12

I think the question is not, “What happens if I say ‘no!’?” But, “What happens if I say, ‘God did not say that!’?”


#13

And that’s where we cannot possibly judge. On the one hand, “he who rejects you (the Church) rejects me”, but on the other hand, the personal situation of an individual (family, background, experiences) may make it impossible for him to honestly hear the Church. Only God knows who has actually heard the Church and has rejected it.


#14

God reaches out to everyone with Actual Grace. We receive from God what we are capable of receiving.


#15

Perhaps it is not the Catholic Church that is incorrect but certain over-zealous apologists.

It’s pretty clear in Christian tradition that John 6:54 refers to a spiritual as well as physical/sacramental eating of Christ’s body. The problem is that some contemporary apologists have worked themselves up (thorugh a probably heretical over-interpretation of “trogo,” etc.) into a rhetorical position where they can’t admit this.

It was St. Augustine, not a Protestant, who said, “Believe, and you have eaten.”

But we Protestants bear the blame for this overreaction. Zwingli and other early Reformed theologians set the sacramental and spiritual “eatings” at odds with each other, which makes no Biblical or theological sense but served their own blinkered agenda.

The solution is simple: those who eat the flesh of Christ spiritually have Christ’s life within them, and those who don’t, don’t. But the normal means by which we receive Christ spiritually is through the sacrament of His Body and Blood, and those who turn up their noses at this through a false spirituality are putting their souls in danger.

In Christ,

Edwin


#16

That is interesting. In all the works of Augustine I have read, I have never seen anything like that. What work would that be in?


#17
  1. “They said therefore unto Him, What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” For He had said to them, “Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that which endures unto eternal life.” “What shall we do?” they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” This is then to eat the meat, not that which perishes, but that which endures unto eternal life. To what purpose do you make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and you have eaten already.-Augustine (Tractates on the Gospel of John, Tractate 25, Paragraph 12)
    newadvent.org/fathers/1701025.htm

#18

Yeah, but in Augustine’s next tract, where he actualy addresses the verse in question (Jn 6:53 no Eucharist = no life within) he says that the unity of the body and blood of Christ is prepared in the Sacrament on the Lord’s table.

Tractate 26 (John 6:41-59)
15. …He going on added, “Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life.” Wherefore, he that eats not this bread, nor drinks this blood, has not this life; for men can have temporal life without that, but they can noways have eternal life. He then that eats not His flesh, nor drinks His blood, has no life in him; and he that eats His flesh, and drinks His blood, has life. This epithet, eternal, which He used, answers to both. It is not so in the case of that food which we take for the purpose of sustaining this temporal life. For he who will not take it shall not live, nor yet shall he who will take it live. For very many, even who have taken it, die; it may be by old age, or by disease, or by some other casualty. But in this food and drink, that is, in the body and blood of the Lord, it is not so. For both he that does not take it has no life, and he that does take it has life, and that indeed eternal life. And thus **He would have this meat and drink to be understood as meaning the fellowship of His own body and members, which is the holy Church in his predestinated, and called, and justified, and glorified saints and believers. **Of these, the first is already effected, namely, predestination; the second and third, that is, the vocation and justification, have taken place, are taking place, and will take place; but the fourth, namely, the glorifying, is at present in hope; but a thing future in realization. The sacrament of this thing, namely, of the unity of the body and blood of Christ, is prepared on the Lord’s table in some places daily, in some places at certain intervals of days, and from the Lord’s table it is taken, by some to life, by some to destruction: but the thing itself, of which it is the sacrament, is for every man to life, for no man to destruction, whosoever shall have been a partaker thereof.

Which totaly sounds like a Catholic answer:
Q: What are you eating? Bread and wine?
A: I’m eating the unity of the body and blood of Christ: the holy Church, the saints, the believers that was prepared in a sacrament on the Lord’s table.

Q: You seriously believe this sacrament stuff?
A: If you eat the Eucharist unworthily – you will be destroyed!!


#19

Thanks Vocimike:D
This topic confuses me a little when I hear conflicting ideas about it.
I mean I am obediant to Christ(well most of the time–after all I am a sinner:o ) and I dont reject Christ at all. So, I guess that would leave me in a quandry over what the CC truly believes and teaches. I just dont think you can have it both ways.
There are MANY true and faithful christians outside the CC that really truly love the Lord Jesus Christ who do not believe in transsubstantiation and will be in heaven(maybe much to the surprise of catholics here:p )

I dont know, I think you guys(the CC) need to just make a stance and stick with it regardless of how harsh it may sound. At least then all of us NCC would know exactly where the CC stands:thumbsup:
My thought is that Vatican II was somehow trying to appease NCC and trying to be more ecumenical. I think it just made things more confusing and fuzzy for the general population like me.

Anyhow, just my own 2 cents.:wink:


#20

The Catechism is always the best place to look if you think there’s confusion on an issue.

I dont know, I think you guys(the CC) need to just make a stance and stick with it regardless of how harsh it may sound. At least then all of us NCC would know exactly where the CC stands:thumbsup:
My thought is that Vatican II was somehow trying to appease NCC and trying to be more ecumenical. I think it just made things more confusing and fuzzy for the general population like me.

Anyhow, just my own 2 cents.:wink:

Certainly some used Vatican II to try and make the teachings of the Church more “nicey-nicey”. We will be a long time repairing their damage. But we must never forget that to him whom much is given, from him much is expected. If you have been given faith then you are held to a higher standard (I’m assuming that you, like most Protestants, believe babies can enter heaven without apparent faith, right?). If you have been given the truth of the Eucharist then you are held to a higher standard. And so it goes.

The Church teaches the sure way to salvation. Anything less is iffy, and we can’t say more than that, because nothing more than that has been revealed to us. We can’t just start making stuff up.


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.