Good and blessed day to all, this is my first question here on CAF. I hope you’ll overlook my not so eloquent English and a bit of a lack of nuance. (English is not my first language )
I have been having discussions with my Catholic friend about the meaning of the Holy Eucharist in different churches. I am quite interdenominational, with some experience in the various churches in my country, and some visits in the Orthodox and Catholic ones.
What has always bothered me since my conversion is the disunity of our faith, but the most scandalous one for me is the disagreement about the Holy Sacrament of Communion. Not just that there are competing understandings of it, but also the fact that the thing that literally joins us to Our Lord is also the source of most poisonous words, hatred and the blind feeling of superiority.
So our last discussion include a little thought exercise: Could our understanding of the Eucharist be rethought, in humility and with caution, so that it is no longer the main factor dividing Christendom? When I see concepts like Transsubstantiation, Sacramental Union or the Orthodox mystery or even Reformed Spiritual presence, I see the need to explain, when I put it bluntly, that during the Communion, you consume the body and blood of Jesus, including his divinity, but the appearance of bread and wine remain. So that way we get the philosophical “models” of accidents, Consubstantiation or the simple refusal to try to fully explain it.
So I think. It’s the Most Holy Sacrament and it’s also the deepest mystery. I think no human explanation will suffice anyway, but the differing views may help us in the way we treat it in relation to other parts of our lives as Christians. We all also approach it with solemnity and faith, regardless of the understanding.
What are your thoughts? Could the different understandings actually be in a way compatible? And to what extent?