OUR Understanding of the Eucharist

Can you please confirm that I have got the following facts technically correct.

[LIST=1]
]Mass must be celebrated by a validly ordained priest;
*]If the priest has the right intention, the proper matter is used, the correct form is said - the priest confects the Eucharist and the mystery of transubstantiation occurs: the unleavened bread becomes the Sacred Body of Christ and the grape wine becomes the Precious Blood of Christ;
*]The Real Presence is the fact that Christ is present body, blood, soul, and divinity in both the consecrated hosts of unleavened bread on the paten, in a ciborium, in a mnonstrance, in a pyx, whether on the mensa of the altar or in the tabernacle, and Christ is present body, blood, soul, and divinity in the consecrated grape wine in the chalice or in any appropriate vessel in which it may be stored for reservation in a tabernacle.
[/LIST]
N.B. To anticipate any criticism of my terminology in No. 3 (above) I understand “the consecrated hosts of unleavened bread” are the Body of Christ and “the consecrated grape wine” is the Blood of Christ.

Thanks

Matt

*In saying “celebrated” I include concelebration; using the word ‘priest’ I include both priests (presbyters) and bishops.

Without delving into the exact terminology (the nitpickers might find something wrong :wink: ) I do not see anything wrong with what you have said. Although if you are explaining it to someone outside of the Catholic Church you may need to explain that is his glorified Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Not his actual body (i.e. the bread and wine does not change their accidents into actual flesh when then become his Body and Blood.) The Body will still appear to be bread and the blood will still appear to be wine, even under an electron microscope.

It is the nitpickers I’m hoping to avoid:D

Thank you!

Thank you for clarifying that. How did you guess my intent?:wink:

And yet, there have been many instances where the consecrated Bread and Wine on the Altar have turned into the actual Body and Blood of Christ. These are called Eucharistic miracles as I am sure that you are aware. If my memory serves me correctly there have been many times that the Host has appeared to bleed and when it has been placed under a microscope, the “Bread” had actually become cardiac or heart muscle. A case in point is the Miracle at Lanciano, Italy.

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/a3.html

I believe it was at the same time that the consecrated Wine became blood and has remained liquid only it gathered itself into Five separate globules, some larger than others but weighing the same. Here is the link for that:

Lanciano, Italy

In 8th Century Italy, in the village of what is now Lanciano, there was a monastery named St. Longinus. A monk who had begun to have real doubts about Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist was celebrating Mass at the monastery. As he spoke the words of the consecration the host changed into a circle of “flesh” surrounding the remaining Eucharist and the wine transformed into visible “blood”. The “flesh” remained intact but the “blood” subsequently divided into five separate globules. The monk was reinvigourated in his faith as he witnessed this transformation. He later decided to weigh the “blood” globules and found to his amazement that any combination of the globules was equal in weight to any other combination and that the smallest globule weighed exactly the same as the largest - clearly defying any natural explanation. The “flesh” and “blood” have been maintained in special containers housed in the monastery and its successors ever since. In a modern evaluation of this “flesh” and “blood” conducted by several Italian university professors in 1970 under rigorous conditions, they found the following:

the container that held the “flesh” was not hermetically sealed so that the Eucharistic host at the center of the “flesh” was no longer present. Further, the “blood” globules had hardened and no unusual weight differences were noted.
samples were taken of both the “flesh” and the “blood” and were sent to a number of laboratories for microscopic, biochemical and other scientific evaluation.
the “flesh” was found to be striated muscular tissue of the myocardium (the wall of the heart), of human origin and contained absolutely no trace of any substances that could have been used to preserve it. It was Flesh indeed!
the “blood” sample was found to be human blood, type AB. The flesh was found to be of the same type as well.It was truly Blood!
the proteins found in the blood sample were consistent with proteins found in fresh human blood.
Despite the fact that the container housing the flesh and blood from the Eucharist was not hermetically sealed, the samples were not at all damaged and could have been taken from a fresh cadaver. Thus, for more than 1200 years the physical reality of Jesus real presence in the Eucharist has been preserved for all to observe and renew their faith.

therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html

DesertSister62

perhaps, but belief in these alleged miracles is not required to accept Church teaching on the REal Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the paschal mystery or the nature of transubstantiation, which is OP’s question. These alleged miracles occured to strengthen the faith of those present, and are not essential to the Church’s doctrine on the subject.

puzzleannie, I was replying to what was said by “Marauder:”

Although if you are explaining it to someone outside of the Catholic Church you may need to explain that is his glorified Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Not his actual body (i.e. the bread and wine does not change their accidents into actual flesh when then become his Body and Blood.) The Body will still appear to be bread and the blood will still appear to be wine, even under an electron microscope.

It was not my intention to infer that this happened all the time, just that what he said was not necessarily true. It is my understanding, however, that what I said is true, miracle or not. That the miracle happened as witnessed by the doctors when they tested the Eucharist and Wine. Either that or they are lying. We can’t have it both ways.

DesertSister62

Yes DesertSister62 I know about those cases that appear to be miracles. I figured the OP was only asking about the “normal” cases and not those cases. Usually sticking to the normal cases first helps explain things like “Why are Catholics so concerned about the Eucharist?” and other questions asked by “outsiders”. I have found that for most people questioning things like this bringing the miracles only helps if the person believes in miracles to start with, those that stick to science end of things only start doubting more when you bring up those things.

Of course, the unlevened bread can be levened. (in the west that is illicit but not invalid; in the east it is licit and valid).

The consecrated wine is not licitly to be reserved. That may not be what you were saying, but it could be read that way. It depends if the phrases dealing with the reservation apply only to the first few items in your list.

=Matthew Holford;7225457]Can you please confirm that I have got the following facts technically correct.

[LIST=1]
]Mass must be celebrated by a validly ordained priest;
*]If the priest has the right intention, the proper matter is used, the correct form is said - the priest confects the Eucharist and the mystery of transubstantiation occurs: the unleavened bread becomes the Sacred Body of Christ and the grape wine becomes the Precious Blood of Christ;
*]The Real Presence is the fact that Christ is present body, blood, soul, and divinity in both the consecrated hosts of unleavened bread on the paten, in a ciborium, in a mnonstrance, in a pyx, whether on the mensa of the altar or in the tabernacle, and Christ is present body, blood, soul, and divinity in the consecrated grape wine in the chalice or in any appropriate vessel in which it may be stored for reservation in a tabernacle.
[/LIST]
N.B. To anticipate any criticism of my terminology in No. 3 (above) I understand “the consecrated hosts of unleavened bread” are the Body of Christ and “the consecrated grape wine” is the Blood of Christ.

Thanks

Matt

*In saying “celebrated” I include concelebration; using the word ‘priest’ I include both priests (presbyters) and bishops.

CORRECT: >>>> BUT

It is God Himself that Makes Christ Present THROUGH His priest.

“In Him, With Him, Through Him” are said at every Mass.

I believe Jesus has one body. In time it was actual, at a later time it was glorified. It is the same body:

St Augustine wrote:

"…For He received earth from earth; because flesh is from the earth, and He took flesh from the flesh of Mary. He walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless first he adores it; (writing on Psalms 98:9)

He does not have 2 bodies, just a body in states at two times. Presently, it’s state is glorified and that is the state in the eucharist, but this is the same body that suffered and died for us, which you call the ‘actual’ body.

Yes it is one in the same, but if you explain it as it becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ without using the word glorfied, the next question becomes “Well then am I eating flesh?”, “Why does it look like bread?”, etc. It is just as real to say the glorified Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ as it is to just say Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. To use the former you don’t have to get into the discussion about accidents, etc. unless it goes that way.

Yes DesertSister62 I know about those cases that appear to be miracles. I figured the OP was only asking about the “normal” cases and not those cases. Usually sticking to the normal cases first helps explain things like “Why are Catholics so concerned about the Eucharist?” and other questions asked by “outsiders”. I have found that for most people questioning things like this bringing the miracles only helps if the person believes in miracles to start with, those that stick to science end of things only start doubting more when you bring up those things.

*Point taken, Marauder! I can see where you are coming from, and understand what you are trying to say. However, to me it is a sad thing that something that has been researched by a Medical doctor is dismissed so easily.

DesertSister62*

Perhaps I should have been more explicit, but as I was posting in this particular forum I was implying these things in relation to the Latin Church.

I accept that would be the norm. What about people who cannot consume the Sacred Host. I know at Mass provision can be made for someone to receive the Precious Blood only because, for example, they cannot tolerate even the smallest amount of gluten or perhaps they are unable to swallow any solids. Surely, some provision is made for Communion of the Sick and Viaticum where the communicant could not consume a Host.

Yes it is permitted but it is usually only done in rare cases where permission is obtained in advance and as far as I know usually only by a priest. Don’t expect an EMHC or priest visiting a hospital to have the precious blood on them when visiting a hospital or the sick unless special arrangement had been made in advance.

nobody is asking you to have it both ways
no one is protesting or denying that Eucharistic miracles have occured
my point is they do nothing to enlighten OP’s understanding, nor is belief in them required of Catholics, nor by themselves do they prove Catholic doctrine on transubstantiation.

Canon Law only states the following about reservation of the Eucharist.
Can. 939 Consecrated hosts, in a quantity sufficient for the needs of the faithful, are to be kept in a pyx or ciborium, and are to be renewed frequently, the older hosts having been duly consumed.
It does not provide any provisions for the reservation of the Precious Blood.

Canon Law does not provide for it because it is the exception not the norm. If you have been following the Celiac cases they specifically talk about cases where the precious blood is given to the person, both at Mass and in Ministry for the Sick locations. The situations where it is used needs special approval, depending on the diocese all the way up to the Bishop.

The following came from the Vatican:
Eucharisticum Mysterium as a heading “Communion under the Species of Wine Alone”.

  1. In case of necessity and at the discretion of the bishop, it is permissible for the eucharist to be given under the form of wine alone to those who are unable to receive it under the form of bread.
    In this case the celebration of Mass in the presence of the sick person is permissible, at the discretion of the local Ordinary.
    If, however, Mass is not celebrated in the presence of the sick person, the blood of the Lord should be preserved in a properly covered chalice and placed in the tabernacle after Mass; it should not be carried to the sick person unless it is enclosed in a container that prevents any danger of spilling. In administering the sacrament, the method best suited to the individual case should be chosen from among those indicated in the rites for use in distributing communion under both kinds. If, after communion has been given, some of the precious blood remains, the minister is to consume it; he is also to see to the required ablutions.

“Well then am I eating flesh?” Answer: Yes [cf John 6]
“Why does it look like bread?” Answer: [cf Mt 26:26]

His glorified body, walked on the earth, it bore marks of nails and a sword. It is flesh and can appear under the guise of bread. If you understand this, you are a greater man than I.

Marauder,
Thanks! I figured it would be spelt out somewhere I just did not know in which document.

ANY validly ordained Priest, even one that has had his faculties removed, or even one that has been excommunicated, can consecrate the Eucharist. That power can never be removed, it can only be “prohibited”. Once a Priest, always a Priest.

A Priest that is prohibited from utilizing their faculties may be committing a mortal sin if they celebrate a Mass, but the Mass itself would be valid for anyone attending it that did not know that this Priest was not allowed to utilize their faculties. Of course, if you did know that the Priest was prohibited, then you would also be committing a grave sin…

If you did not know that this Priest was prohibited from celebrating the Mass, you would validly receive communion from him. The real body and blood of Jesus would be present, under the form of bread and wine. You would not commit a sin by receiving communion from him, the communion you received would be perfectly valid, but he would be committing a sin for celebrating the Mass when he is prohibited from doing so.

The teaching of the Church is that both the Bread AND the Wine, become the complete body and blood of Christ upon consecration. One is not just the body, and the other the blood, both are totally and completely both body AND blood.

As to reserving of the “Blood”, that has been addressed above. It is rare for this to be done, but it can happen for valid reasons.

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.