Psalm 115 + Quran Threats = Doubt in Eucharist


#1

NABRE Psalm 115 proclaims,

4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
5 They have mouths but do not speak, eyes but do not see.
6 They have ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell.
7 They have hands but do not feel, feet but do not walk; they produce no sound from their throats.
8 Their makers will be like them, and anyone who trusts in them.

I was struck from the first time I read this how it appeared to apply to the Blessed Sacrament, especially in the monstrance. I would like to have grounds to believe the Eucharistic Miracles I’ve heard about, e.g. the 2013 one in Poland, but so far evidence has been elusive. The most I’ve seen has been “a Department of Forensic Medicine confirmed it!” but simply being told that isn’t enough. (If it was a scientific investigation, I expect to see a scientific report. Where is their published work?)

Basically, from all my hours before the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration, and receiving the Eucharist at Mass, my experience appears described by this psalm. How “lifeless” the Eucharist appears to be is underscored by reports I hear of people stealing the consecrated Host, etc.

Of course I don’t know what Jesus is actually doing, but why would my Father and Brother leave me in such painful suspense, with no direct answer from the Holy Spirit? (I always seem to just have my own thoughts, or else fall asleep, or else get frustrated.) Why would God force us to reject our senses? This seems in contradiction to the Church’s own teaching that God expects us to use our reason, which is based on trusting the senses.

Then you have the Quran, threatening endless torture for all Christians for regarding Jesus as God, and these threats serve to magnify my discomfort from this psalm. The Quran even goes so far as to declare that ignorance is no excuse, and that Christians will be blaming each other for misleading each other when God throws them into hell.

Now I am inclined to disregard the Quran because of how brutish and unoriginal it appears to be, but like the argument that “the Catholic Church is arrogant in claiming to be the sole religion free of error”, it’s either that, or it’s true. I don’t see clear grounds for asserting that the Church’s version of history (i.e. the Resurrection, etc) is correct (I can only say “spend as much time as you can studying it and see”), and I haven’t yet encountered God in a way that isn’t explainable by atheism.

It leads me back – I’ve discussed this before – to NABRE 1 Corinthians 11:

[quote=verse 29]For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.
[/quote]

It sounds like Paul is saying we shouldn’t receive Communion unless we discern that it is Christ’s Body, which would be in agreement with the above. (The problem is that I try to tell myself it’s Christ’s Body, but it looks like a wafer and I experience it as a wafer.) The surrounding verses appear to be talking about scrutinizing one’s own conscience, but I can’t see how or why that language would be used for verse 29 if Paul’s not talking about Christ’s Body there – wouldn’t it be much more natural to say “without discerning one’s own body”?

I suppose I’m ultimately brought back to NABRE John 6:

[quote=verse 60]Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
[/quote]

Jesus answers,

63 It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

It looks like reception of the Eucharist is utterly a gift of faith, in complete opposition to reason. Perhaps I should say “natural reason”, but then I’m not sure what other sort there is. Logic about God (‘spiritual reason’?) basically becomes incoherent, e.g. the Hypostatic Union: “God doesn’t suffer, but Jesus suffered, and Jesus is God,” etc. /sigh

I would appreciate any help or clarity you could give me. I’ve spent like an hour on this post, perhaps more, including a bit of research on Eucharistic miracles. My pastor basically suggested I quit thinking about all my struggles with faith, if it’s frustrating me. (He said it’s a matter of the heart, not of the mind, that poor farmers don’t have the time to spend thinking about it, but they’re still Christian.) … but if I quit thinking about it, then I don’t see how I can continue being a Christian, or avoid turning into one of those “I do it because it’s what I’m supposed to do” lackluster “cultural Catholics”. I don’t see how I can stop seeking answers or an encounter with God, especially when Jesus appears to promise them! (‘seek and you will find’)


#2

If you continue on this path you risk losing your faith. For it is faith that Catholics have in the Real Presence of Jesus in the most precious thing on earth, the Holy Eucharist. Keep the faith.

The Real Presence is educational. therealpresence.org/eucharst/father/a5.html


#3

About the Quran, you should disregard it. It is the writing / life of a false prophet who actively rejected the Son of God. That’s all I’m going to say on the subject, because every time I start plainly stating my opinion on Islam I get an infraction. If you’d like to discuss it more, feel free to PM me.

As for the Psalm, it is very important to have a greater context of the pagan world at the time. It was common for Pagans to craft and then directly worship stone idols. They believed that the gods were in their stone idols. In short, they were gods that were created by men, the exact opposite of the True God. In contrast, the Eucharist is transformed by God into the Flesh of our Lord. With pagan idols, it is the work of human hands that craft the gods; with the Eucharist, it is the direct intervention of God that makes the Eucharist become Him.

I’ll admit, this is a fairly difficult distinction to understand. In the end, a lot of it comes down to if you believe in Jesus. If you do, then He made His presence in the Eucharist explicitly clear. The distinction is between the worship of dead, stone idols, and the worship of the living God.


#4

Hi!
…your first problem is not doubt but reason.

You want to approach God, Whom you can neither see nor hear, as a scientist: show me proof.

Yet, as many scientists, the proof that God offers you is rejected by you because it is not the proof (test) that you determined that He should demonstrate to you.

I will offer you proof:

The Shroud of Turin.

The final “scientific” evidence is that it was not created by any type of technology known and that it contains no paint/pigmentation/stain; that it holds a 3D image of a man, both front and back, that it cannot be reproduced with 21st century technology…

One of the scientists (or a few) have even gone to the length of stating that it a short emission of a powerful energy caused the image to be formed.

Science, still refuses to accept that Christ’s Resurrection caused the image!

Here’s what Scripture says about this and every issue that deals with God and man:

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Maran atha!

Angel


#5

Clearly you didn’t pay attention to what Psalm 115 says.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.

The Eucharist is not silver nor gold. We don’t worship the gold/silver monstrance (and are forbidden to do so!

The Eucharist is not the work of human hands - but the unconsecrated bread is. We don’t worship the unconsecrated bread (again, forbidden!) - but the consecrated bread is to be worshiped - because bread is transformed from Bread/Wine into Jesus THAT is the work of God!

5 They have mouths but do not speak, eyes but do not see.
6 They have ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell.
7 They have hands but do not feel, feet but do not walk; they produce no sound from their throats.

The Eucharist does not have mouth, ears, feet, hands nor throat, so these verses do not apply.

8 Their makers will be like them, and anyone who trusts in them.

Who made the Eucharist? God.

I want to be like him (Theosis - partaking of the Divine nature).

I want to trust in God.

So yes, let this verse apply then - as interpreted above! :slight_smile:


#6

Not to sound coy, but did you ever think that verse applies to gold statues that have an appearance of a human, animal or chimera? … it’s about people worship gold statues as gods, false gods to be exact.


#7

I like many responses here, but I hope to “tease out the issue” a bit more so I can “put it to rest”.

I think this gets to the heart of the controversy (or foolish disbelief): There are two things I want to say…

The difference between unconsecrated and consecrated host is, by all appearances*, something we tell ourselves. I heard this was even a test given to a mystic a long time ago, a child being shown one of each, repeatedly, to discern whether she were lying about her reports of seeing Jesus instead of the host. Clearly, the priest decided to do this experiment (or the storyteller chose to make up this story) because for most of us we can’t tell any difference. (Happy ending: The child could and apparently is a saint now, which is why I was told the story via EWTN.)

Likewise(!!!), those people worshipped those statues telling themselves they were divine, even being told so by others. Moses’ own brother Aaron told the Israelites that the Golden Calf was their god who led them from Egypt.

It is not clear that God – if the Catholic Church were wrong – would forgive us for mistakenly worshipping something that we told ourselves was divine, especially if we don’t see it doing any divine things, but just sitting there as if lifeless, and especially if we are doubting, praying for confirmation or an increase in faith from God, and not getting any, and then persisting in the practice despite our better judgment. God could justifiably say, “I didn’t do any miracles with it because I didn’t approve of it. Why did you continue in this way?” (Again, I haven’t been able to verify any miracles – it’s always been “take someone else’s word for it”.)

Sometimes I wonder if God’s waiting for me to quit arguing like this online before He reveals Himself more. After all, James says (NABRE 1):

5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it.
6 But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind.
7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,
8 since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.

Perhaps I’m standing in the boat when I need to be quiet and sit down, ‘cause if God shows up the boat’ll get rocked and I could fall out. (If someone is not properly disposed for a miracle to enter into one’s life, it seems to me one could react quite negatively, e.g. in reaction to self (pride) or to others (persecution from others’ disbelief).)


For this reason I hate that statement that has become popular in some churches at the end of Mass, “O sacrament most holy, oh sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine”: Semantically I find it incoherent because sacraments are things created and instituted by God. God is not His own creation, or pantheism would be true. I don’t see that we should call Jesus a sacrament. Literally (by appearances or by what words literally mean), they’re worshipping something instituted by God, not God, although their intended meaning may be different. Can you imagine being in heaven, holding up Jesus’ arm, pointing at His elbow and saying, “It’s Jesus!” or telling someone, “I was talking to the sacrament the other day …” No, you talk to a person, not to a sacrament – a sacrament is by definition a sign of an invisible reality. Jesus’ Body and Blood are signs; Jesus is a person. There is a distinction between body and the entire person, and I see a similar distinction between the sacrament and Jesus.

… Well, I suppose Jesus Himself refutes me when He says, “I am the Way …” (The same argument applies: If a sign is not a person, then a ‘way’ isn’t a person, either. But Jesus says He is the Way. Hence proof by contradiction, a sign can be a person – i.e. the semantic argument above is false.) … Still, why are they praising the sacrament instead of praying to the Persons of the Trinity directly?


The point these verses are poetically conveying is that the idol “can do nothing but sit there”, and that’s how the Blessed Sacrament appears to be. I agree though that the connection becomes tenuous if you focus on the literal details of the verses, since we generally use round pieces of bread rather than bread shaped like an animal.

Of course. It’s the image of a statue just sitting there not doing anything that reminded me of the monstrance / Blessed Sacrament “just sitting there” on the altar “not doing anything”, as I just said to Bob. I thought this connection would be obvious to everyone.

  • at least most of the time, though I haven’t been able to confirm any Eucharistic miracle, although the Internet has provocative photos of unknown origin and media reports.

About ten hours ago Steve Ray said on “Catholic Answers Live” that he had a thirty-minute talk “Defending the Eucharist” (I thought he said it was called) on his website, but I haven’t been able to find it. … I thought he said it was free, but apparently it’s at least $7.50.


#8

Hi, John!
…I would not limit the Commandment to only statues made by gold–though the golden calf was the first mentioned idol in Israel’s exodus experience.

Graven images are all images that take the place of God in our Worship. Images were made from all sorts of materials–some were covered in gold; today’s cultures worship everything and anything from people to pets to the occult. All these graven images are rebuked by the Commandment!

Maran atha!

Angel


#9

Hi!
…about your confusion…

I carry a crucifix with me… that crucifix fixes me to Christ’s Death on the Cross… it is not Christ. It is a vivid depiction of Who Died for me, and of Who made it possible for my Rescue, and of Who granted me the passage into the Kingdom by sharing His Divinity and His Inheritance… I never worship my or any crucifix. But when I bow down, genuflect or kneel before a crucifix I am considering Christ (the Third Person of the Holy Trinity) and not the object in front of me.

The Eucharist is not a symbol of the crucifix or of my redemption or of my salvation or of my inheritance… the Eucharist is what Christ told me it is:

50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (St. John 6:50-58)

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
(St. Matthew 26:26-28)

I either accept Christ at His Word or I nitpick what tenets of Faith I “feel” right with–sadly, the Kingdom is not a credocity (not a real word; my attempts to demonstrate that man wants to worship God according to his image and likeness (ego: personal credo) but not according to God’s Revelation.

Maran atha!

Angel


#10
  1. You are thinking of a Eucharistic miracle where a child repeatedly saw a priest who doubted that his ordination was valid holding the Christ child instead of a host. It’s a beautiful story, and there is no reason to think it’s not true.

  2. This should demonstrate to you, on the basis of testimony, that the host becomes Christ Himself.

  3. Sacraments are visible signs of invisible grace which confer what they signify. This applies equally to Christ as to the Eucharist, especially since they are the same. See #2. This Sacrament is distinct from the others because it is God Himself.

  4. If the Catholic Church is wrong about this then it is, in the words of Dr. Kreeft, “[not merely] a mistake… That’s horrible!!!” We would be total idolaters deserving of the deepest pains of Hell.

  5. We’re not wrong. See #2.

  6. Go to before the Tabernacle, confess that He is there, then go to confession. What you are doing here by entertaining this idea at length is rather serious.

  7. Move on.


#11

NABRE John 6

48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.

That helps (the part in blue you quoted grabbed my attention), thanks!

Well, that’s one seven-step program! :slight_smile:


#12

You say that the Blessed Eucharist appears to be lifeless.
In John Ch. 6 Jesus says “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you cannot have life in you.”
We live in the glorious scientific age, when people adore the ’ goddess of reason’
Jesus tells us that " unless you become as little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven."
If I tell a little child that big fat Santa is coming down the chimney on Christmas night, it would not be true, but he will believe me.
God does not expect us to be disingenuous , yet He says that we must become like little children . Similarly, God, Jesus tells us that He is truly present in the consecrated host. It may be hard to comprehend, but would God lie to His children ?
Faith informs reason - reason does not inform faith !
" My just one lives by faith "
Please, prayerfully read John Ch. 6 ( the discourse on the Eucharist)
Read the reference to Judas at the end of the chapter. Judas began to fall away, because it was becoming obvious to him that Jesus was speaking of spiritual mattersand he (Judas) had hoped for a more earthly king to follow.
Belief in the Blessed Eucharist is central to our Catholic faith. You should nourish your mind with Sacred Scripture and nourish your soul with the Bread of Life.
You ask " Why are they praising the Sacrament ?"
Because the Sacrament is Jesus - Second Person of the Blessed Trinity,
AKA God.:signofcross::blessyou:


#13

And this involved supernatural activity happening - that is the work of God.

Likewise(!!!), those people worshipped those statues telling themselves they were divine, even being told so by others. Moses’ own brother Aaron told the Israelites that the Golden Calf was their god who led them from Egypt.

Right. And they did wrong by saying that.

But Moses came back and made a correction and showed the calf to be false. How long was this? Definitely not 2,000 years!

It is not clear that God – if the Catholic Church were wrong – would forgive us for mistakenly worshipping something that we told ourselves was divine, especially if we don’t see it doing any divine things, but just sitting there as if lifeless, and especially if we are doubting, praying for confirmation or an increase in faith from God, and not getting any, and then persisting in the practice despite our better judgment. God could justifiably say, “I didn’t do any miracles with it because I didn’t approve of it. Why did you continue in this way?” (Again, I haven’t been able to verify any miracles – it’s always been “take someone else’s word for it”.)

God doesn’t let his people get misled for 2 millenia. Never happened before, won’t happen.

The cost of verifying miracles is very prohibitive. Do you have money to travel to Lanciano and view that Eucharistic miracle? Or the most recent one in Poland? Probably not. Costs a fortune.

Yes. Take someone else’s word for it - but make sure they’re trustworthy.

Sometimes I wonder if God’s waiting for me to quit arguing like this online before He reveals Himself more. After all, James says (NABRE 1):

I’m in the same boat. I’d love to sit down and have a face to face conversation with God, with him actually talking to me.

He doesn’t do things that way.

Perhaps I’m standing in the boat when I need to be quiet and sit down, ‘cause if God shows up the boat’ll get rocked and I could fall out. (If someone is not properly disposed for a miracle to enter into one’s life, it seems to me one could react quite negatively, e.g. in reaction to self (pride) or to others (persecution from others’ disbelief).)

Read about the Dark Night of the Senses. Sounds like what you’re going through (been there, done that, still stuck there).

For this reason I hate that statement that has become popular in some churches at the end of Mass, “O sacrament most holy, oh sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine”: Semantically I find it incoherent because sacraments are things created and instituted by God.

The context is important. The context is the Eucharist otherwise known as the Blessed Sacrament. The Blessed Sacrament is Jesus and is God, and is not his own creation - it is God himself!

No, you talk to a person, not to a sacrament – a sacrament is by definition a sign of an invisible reality. Jesus’ Body and Blood are signs; Jesus is a person. There is a distinction between body and the entire person, and I see a similar distinction between the sacrament and Jesus.

One of the cool things about the Catholic faith, is that it is not an “either/or” but a both/and. Continue reading:

a sacrament is by definition a sign of an invisible reality. Jesus’ Body and Blood are signs; Jesus is a person.

And both are present - both the sign and the person! There’s the both/and and not the “either/or”


#14

Hi!
…on my last post I forgot to include the following nugget:

…the Living Bread came to us (was born) at Bethlehem–the Hebrew word/term for house of bread. :extrahappy::extrahappy::extrahappy:

…yep, not a coincidence!

Maran atha!

Angel


#15

I found a striking similarity between this position regarding the Eucharistic miracle in Poland and the Pharisees’ in NABRE Mark 8:

1 In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, he summoned the disciples and said,
2 “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat.
3 If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.”
4 His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?”
5 Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied.
6 He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd.
7 They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also.
8 They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets.
9 There were about four thousand people. He dismissed them
10 and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
11 The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
12 He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
13 Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.

It seems like God just worked a miracle, and then the Pharisees are like, “We weren’t there for that one, so now do something again for us here,” whereas God wants them to simply believe the testimony given by others – because why would people lie about something like that? What reason is there to disbelieve?

So it seems likewise regarding trusting the bishop in Poland, who is a successor to the Twelve Apostles.

I think this is key:

One concern, though, is a difference between this Eucharistic miracle and the Feeding of the Four Thousand: There was no room for deception or error then, but regarding the case in Poland, there are many unknown variables: ensuring it was the same Host that was inspected; ensuring its inspection was done correctly; ensuring the honesty of the inspector … I suppose this is why it’s private revelation rather than public: Not necessary to believe, but laudable if you do.


#16

Hi!
I think that the most important thing that you should understand is that your Faith/Salvation does not hinges upon someone else’s experience… you should allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten you so that you do not test God (’…if you show me, I’ll believe…’) but rather listen and obey:

11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me. 15 As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep.

27 My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me. (St. John 10:11, 14-15, 27)

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. 24 God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth. (St. John 4:23-24)

42 And they said to the woman: We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard him, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world. (St. John 4:42)

29 Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. (St. John 20:29)

Maran atha!

Angel


#17

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