So I have been talking to my mother in law, who is very active in her Church of God / non - denom church, and after talking to her over the years and giving her “The real presence” Catholic.com tract she randomly asks me, “So if I believe it is the real presence then what is keeping the communion my pastor gives from being the real presence?” I responded that usually protestant pastors dont teach that it is but she says her pastor said it was really Jesus. I told her the reason it would not be valid would be due to apostolic succession but I don’t quite now how to present this. Any advice?
Her question implies that if she believes, then her communion becomes Jesus. But of course, Jesus is present in the Eucharist not solely because of our belief (although that is needed), but it is also Jesus’ will to become present so that he can live in us. Jesus comes to us by his choice, not ours. The sacrament is a connection between him and us. We are his body, and he can live through us through the Eucharist. It takes both us and him.
None of us can say if Jesus is present in the Eucharist at your Mom’s church. Maybe he is. But your Mom and her pastor can’t make that happen. I hope that he is present. He wants to be present.
Luckily, we can have confidence that he is present in the Eucharist at mass. This makes me not want to attend a protestant church where I can’t be sure.
Because said pastor LACKS Sacramental Ordination
Because said pastor’s church lack Direct Apostolic Succession
I think we’d need more information to really know what is meant by “real presence”. There are Protestant groups that believe that, in some way, Christ is present during the Lord’s Supper. Lutherans believe He is “with” the bread and wine. Presbyterians believe in a spiritual presence. Some groups will say they are eating his body and blood but only doing so metaphorically, not literally as we are. Obviously, all of these still don’t offer the Eucharist as we understand it.
Unfortunately, the Church of God is really vague on their site about their beliefs. There is the Church of God International’s statement. They say that it is metaphorical, but I’m not sure if they’re a different group or not. (There’s a lot of “Church of God” denominations.) Really, it isn’t worth discussing whether or not their pastors can validly consecrate the bread and wine unless they actually believe in it the same way we do.
My question always is - what do you do with the leftovers even the crumbs? The answer to this question sure tells alot about the belief and teachings.
Our belief is not needed for Jesus to be present. The bread and wine become Our Lord’s flesh and blood when the priest says the words of Consecration. Jesus remains present (regardless of the faith of the recipient) “as long as the Eucharistic species subsist”. CCC 1377
A lack of faith, however, can affect the graces received.
Lo, the new King’s Table gracing,
This new Passover of blessing
Hath fulfilled the elder rite:
And, His word for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.
Since most protestant church leaders have not been ordained (put into their position) by the people who were ordained by those who were ordained by those who were ordained going all the way back to the apostles ordained by Jesus, they do not have the “King’s table” he instituted on which to “make our sacrifice of peace, taking His word for guidance” as St. Aquinas says, since he taught them this pattern of apostolic succession. For that reason they cannot hallow the Eucharist into Jesus’ body since they are separated from his body. A valid sacrament requires three things, a valid form (words having a similar meaning to those defined by the church), a matter, such as wheat bread and wine or natural grape juice and an apostolicly ordained minister, and a proper intention, which must be at least to do the outward action that the church does.
I believe the actual words of Consecration - “This is My Body” and “This is the Chalice of My Blood” (for Roman rite) - must be exact, and not something similar in meaning.
If I’m wrong would you let me know, & give your source.
Protestants, especially Lutheran and Anglican denominations will often claim to say Jesus is present, really, yet do not go so far as to say, “I am eating flesh and drinking blood in communion.” Instead they are eating bread and drinking wine and Jesus is there with them because they are following his instruction, they maintain.
Catholics are not eating the bread that was placed on the altar, nor drinking the wine placed there. Those were given over to the Father to do as he willed with them, and in their place he returns to us the body and blood of his Christ.
I can say the words of consecration perfectly, believing what I’m doing, then THAT changes bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Does that mean that happens just because I believe it?
The answer is NO!
Valid ordination in apostolic succession, is required to make that happen.
those who have invalid episcopal or priestly positions, don’t have valid holy orders, therefore, they can’t validly make the Eucharist happen.
I agree. I just don’t think it is worth going there unless they’re claiming to actually have the Eucharist as we understand it.
I would say she is correct over your understanding. Apostolic succession has nothing to do with the efficacy of the Lord’s Supper. Just as it doesn’t matter who performs a baptism for the baptism to be a valid sacrament, the efficacy of the Lord’s Supper is not dependent on the worthiness of the person ministering it.
It’s has absolutely everything to do with it! The eternal sacrifice of the Eternal High Priest is brought forth only through validly ordained priests. No valid priest, no sacrifice. Where do you think the Body and Blood of Christ comes from? Just any ol’ Joe off the block saying the words of institution?
It’s always possible that a loving and merciful God, seeing the sincere belief of a congregation without apostolic succession, might choose to grace them with his presence anyway.
Absoluelty! But not in the ‘Sacrament of the Eucharist’.
Yes. Actually I do. Where two or more come together in my name, there I am also.
Well, we might as well get rid of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Might as well tear down all the seminaries. Would you like to get together sometime, you and me, we can consecrate some bread and wine and have a great time?.
It’s interesing that only the Apostles were present at the Last Supper. Weird how Our Lord commanded only the Apostles to ‘Do this’ at the Last Supper.
Do you honestly think that you and anyone else ‘gathering in my name’ can make present the Body and Blood that was offered up on Calvary?
Well that wasn’t just totally taken out of context. /s
We have no reason to believe that Jesus would be present in the “eucharists” of those with no valid ordinations.