Question about the Eucharist


#1

Hi everyone! Hope that this is the right place for this question. Alright here goes,

From what I read… they say that the Eucharist is the very body and blood of Christ. I believe it is so. However, I’m getting alittle confused… Does it mean physically or spritually? Or both? Because I read about cannibalism and the eucharist somewhere (maybe in the CCC, cant quite remember) and still dont quite get it. It says it is not cannibalism but it also says it is the very body and blood of Christ.

So I’m thinking they mean spirtually? Can someone please confirm this for me?

Thank you! :slight_smile:


#2

He is not physically or spiritually present, but rather sacramentally present. Sacramental presence is absolutely as real as physical presence. If His presence were merely physical and historical we would have only His body and blood. If His presence were merely spiritual it could include soul and divinity but not body and blood. His sacramental and substantial presence in each species contains His body, blood, soul and divinity.

From secondexodus.com/html/catholicdefinitions/sacramentalpresence.htm

It’s not cannablism because Jesus isn’t physically present in the sense that the Eucharist becomes his tissues and cells:
askacatholic.com/_WebPostings/Answers/2011_01JAN/2011JanDoYouPracticeCannibalism.cfm


#3

Thank you. But I still dont quite understand it fully. Hmm could you maybe put it in your own words and make it easier to understand?

Also, I’m going to be a cathecism teacher this year so if one of the kids asks I will need to offer a good workable explanation for a group of young teens :slight_smile:


#4

The bread and wine really become the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Miraculously they still appear like bread and wine. We believe this because of what was said in truth at the Mystical Supper.

Modern Catholic Dictionary has (Transubstantiation): “After transubstantiation, the accidents of bread and wine do not inhere in any subject or substance whatever. Yet they are not make-believe; they are sustained in existence by divine power.”

therealpresence.org/cgi-bin/getdefinition.pl

Note that Inhere means “Exist essentially or permanently in.” Also substance means “essential nature: essence” not matter, and subject means “that of which a quality, attribute, or relation may be affirmed or in which it may inhere”.


#5

[quote="James1990, post:3, topic:310011"]
Thank you. But I still dont quite understand it fully. Hmm could you maybe put it in your own words and make it easier to understand?

Also, I'm going to be a cathecism teacher this year so if one of the kids asks I will need to offer a good workable explanation for a group of young teens :)

[/quote]

This is how it was explained to me at school (back in gr 9). I'm paraphrasing from an assignment I did in class. Personally I found the explanation in the links better, but maybe (hopefully) you'll find this easier to understand. And hopefully someone else will reply too with a clearer answer. :o

The Eucharist is Jesus' body, blood, soul and divinity, but still looks, tastes, and feels like bread and wine, even though it's not bread and wine anymore.
Jesus isn't simply spiritually present in the Eucharist, because the Eucharist is not just his soul and divinity, but also his body and blood.
Just because it's his body and blood doesn't mean that the bread and wine just turn into cells, tissues, and organs and taste and look like flesh. That would be cannabalism. The Eucharist still appears to be bread and wine, but miraculously, really isn't anymore. It's kind of like a disguise. It looks like bread, but it's actually Jesus.
And each piece of the Eucharist, even when broken into small pieces, is still the whole body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus. He isn't any less present in a fragment of a Host compared to an entire host. If it was cannabalism, breaking the Eucharist would be like physically breaking Jesus into pieces, and chewing the Host would be like taking a bite from his arm.


#6

It is substantially the body blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. It isn’t cannibalism because the Eucharist is the glorified body of Christ, not his unglorified body.


#7

The Most Holy Eucharist is truly, really and substantially the whole Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ as the Council of Trent teaches (Session 13, Chapter 8, Canon 1):
*
“If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.”*

There are various arguments against the cannibalism claim such as that Christ is alive in the Eucharist, Christ is wholly in the Eucharist, the Eucharist contains the Soul and Divinity of Christ, and that Christ is in the Eucharist in His glorified state. Notable point is that Christ is in each particle of the Eucharist: No matter in how many parts the Host might be divided in our mouths every particle is still the whole Christ wherefore our eating does not reduce Him at all and in this sense corresponds more receiving Him than eating Him. Cf. [1] [2]


#8

[quote="James1990, post:1, topic:310011"]
Hi everyone! Hope that this is the right place for this question. Alright here goes,

From what I read.. they say that the Eucharist is the very body and blood of Christ. I believe it is so. However, I'm getting alittle confused.. Does it mean physically or spritually? Or both? Because I read about cannibalism and the eucharist somewhere (maybe in the CCC, cant quite remember) and still dont quite get it. It says it is not cannibalism but it also says it is the very body and blood of Christ.

So I'm thinking they mean spirtually? Can someone please confirm this for me?

Thank you! :)

[/quote]

It is Him, truly present under the appearances of bread and wine. We are not cannibals, though - we are much worse than cannibals, since we eat Jesus alive - Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. :)

Our communion with Christ in the Eucharist is both physical and spiritual - it is not only physical.


#9

Here is the answer from an apologetics website: Wouldn’t eating the body and blood of Jesus be cannibalism?

Not if you understand the matter correctly. Cannibalism involves eating a person’s body, yes, but it involves more than that. When you cannibalize someone you do physical damage to their body, but in the Eucharist Jesus’ body isn’t harmed, and the reason why is this: eating the Eucharistic host and drinking from the cup makes things happen to the physical properties of the Eucharistic elements, but the physical properties are all those of bread and wine and none of a person’s body. It’smissing a critical part of cannibalism in another way, too: the nutrients of a person’s body aren’t taken in and used by your own body. Instead, nutrients that really are ordinarily proper only to bread and wine are taken in and assimilated as they ordinarily would be, and the only difference is that these nutrients and their physical structure were adopted by God for His own substantial presence, and the “breadness” of them was replaced by the presence of Jesus Christ.


#10

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.