I was originally baptised Presbyterian, and spent about nine years in a Presbyterian Church when I first became Christian in the real sense.
For a short while I then joined the Wesleyan Methodists (partly on the testimony of one of my old pastor’s sons, who left the Presbyterian Church after he died, due to the ratbag pastor who quickly manipulated his way into a takeover bid, and managed to drive most of the faithful right out of the Presbyterian church altogether).
My wife is Baptist (we were both Protestant when we married), so I’ve got some experience of her church as well.
And I did a few Sunday School sessions in an Anglican Church when I was younger.
So I’ve had a bit of experience around the place.
Since I am now a Catholic (and will remain one, since I believe the Catholic Church is closest to the truth), I take it by faith that Christ is somehow present in the Eucharist, and that we, at least in a spiritual sense, eat Christ’s body and drink His blood at every mass, fulfilling His request that we do this in remembrance of Him, whenever we meet.
Prove it? No? No more that you can prove the Bible is God’s word to an unbeliever, or that Christ is the Son of God.
I can also say that these days there always seems to be something missing from Protestant services when I attend them. They might have better music, better sermons (or homilies as we call them); they might be more welcoming, more evangelistic, more active within their parish demography, more enthusiastic, more mission minded, more willing to donate time and money - all things we Catholics could take to heart frankly.
But there’s something missing and it’s the Eucharist.
When I was in the Presbyterian Church, we only had communion every quarter. It was also quite solemn, taken very seriously, and the communion hymn was always beautifully sung. In my wife’s Baptist Church, it’s every month (I try to avoid attending her church on those days, as I just can’t be bothered grand standing on the issue of not taking communion in a Protestant Church, and generating tension at home).
But it’s not the same. And the reason, to put it bluntly, is that they short sell the importance of the reality of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. The sanctified bread and the wine are more than just symbols.
But until they are consecrated by the presence of the Holy Spirit during the Eucharist, they are purely bread and wine, no different from the secular products.
I remember the priest joking about an altar boy getting into the wine cupboard when I was doing RCIA. He said it would be the biggest mistake he could make, not because it was consecrated (it wasn’t), but because it was poor quality wine.
In closing, some of the Bible passage which underline the importance of the Eucharist are shown below -
•Matthew 26:26-29 "And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
•John 6:52-53, “The Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? Jesus therefore said to them,** ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.’” **
•1 Cor. 11:27, “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.”