Set me straight about the Eucharist


#1

When I told a good Protestant friend that I was becoming Catholic she asked if I believed that it was the body & blood of Christ? I said yes. She said, “So when you receive the host you believe you will actually be eating the flesh of Jesus? And when you drink the wine you’ll be drinking blood?” And I said, “No… it will still look like and taste like bread & wine but it will actually be the body & blood.” She said, “Great… that’s the Lutheran way of looking at it.” She went on to say that Catholics claim that an actual host was taken to a lab and it was found to be “heart tissue” or something like that. She said Catholics believe it’s no longer bread & wine but actually flesh & blood. I said that’s gross and she said, “You’re never going to make it as a Catholic.” Help?? :confused:


#2

[quote=carol marie]And I said, “No… it will still look like and taste like bread & wine but it will actually be the body & blood.” She said, “Great… that’s the Lutheran way of looking at it.” . . .
She said Catholics believe it’s no longer bread & wine but actually flesh & blood. I said that’s gross and she said, “You’re never going to make it as a Catholic.” Help?? :confused:
[/quote]

There doesn’t seem to be any contradiction to the 2 statements above.

Yes, Catholics believe that the bread and wine are gone and the whole Christ is present. But Christ is hidden under the appearances of bread and wine, which remain, although they do not inhere in any substance.

If you take the consecrated host to the lab, it will test out as bread, because the appearances do remain, and the appearances include everything perceptible to the senses or to scientific instruments.

In receiving communion, you receive the entire Christ, in a sacramental manner. It is not “gross” because in chewing up the host, you do not chew up Christ, but only the appearances.

You can subdivide the consecrated host many times, but the entire Christ remains in even the smallest particle.


#3

P.S. When she was talking about the host testing out as heart tissue, she most likely was remembering one of the Eucharistic miracles–the one that occurred at Lanciano, I believe.

In that case, when the words of consecration were uttered, the host actually did change miraculously into human tissue.

But keep in mind that’s not what happens normally at the consecration, when the bread and wine are changed into the true body and blood of Christ–actually, the entire living Christ–but the appearances of bread and wine remain.


#4

OK, thanks… that’s what I thought. The whole conversation came up because we were talking about Celiac disease (people who cannot digest any wheat products) and I was saying that they could drink a sip of the wine for it is Christ also and she said even Catholics with Celiac disease would eat the host because they no longer believe it contains wheat - but rather it is totally 100% flesh? I say it’s also wheat and that’s when she said my thinking was Lutheran NOT Catholic.


#5

There have been miracles in which the appearance changed as well. Here’s a few:

therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/a3.html


#6

Another P.S.:

The only difference with Lutheran belief is that Lutherans believe that the bread and wine do remain. Not only their appearances, but the bread and wine itself; while Christ is present WITH the bread and wine. At least that’s my understanding.

Catholics on the other hand, believe that, while the *appearances * of the bread and wine remain, it is only the appearances, because their substance is gone, replaced by the body and blood of Christ.

But as mentioned before, you can’t tell by sensory experience or lab instruments, because the senses and the lab instruments are affected only by the appearances, not by the substance.

The appearances of bread–i.e.,for a celiac–have the same effect as would the substance of the wheaten bread itself. Our senses, our body, remains affected by the appearances of bread and wine which remain. even though the substance of the bread is gone.


#7

What changes is the “substance”, but the “appearance,” also called “accidents” are sustained by the power of God as bread and wine without their prior substance. In other words, it looks and tastes like bread and wine, but the only substance present, regardless of appearance, is Jesus Christ.

Lutherans hold to “consubstantiation” which assert that the “accidents” AND “substance” of bread and wine are present, as well as the “substance” of Jesus Christ.

In other words, Catholics believe the bread and wine substantially CHANGE but are accidentally SUSTAINED. Lutherans believe the bread and wine both substantially and accidentally remain the same, excepting after consecration the substance of Jesus Christ is added to it.

I haven’t found the Lutheran view being held by anybody prior to the reformation of the 16th century. On the contrary, St. Cyril of Jerusalem cleary taught the Bread and wine were not there, but only seemed to be present.

He once in Cana of Galilee, turned the water into wine, akin to blood, and is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood?" Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,XXII:4(c.A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:152

"Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual Hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ; for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed."
Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,XXIII:7(c.A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:154

Notice that St. Cyril speaks of a change, not the appearance of one substance along with another substance.

Likewise:

http://www.cin.org/users/jgallegos/res/dot_clr.gif
"Having learn these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ;
Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,XXII:8(c.A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:152

Your answer seems in accord with St. Cyril of Jerusalem from the 4th century, not Martin Luther’s novel theory from the 16th century. :wink:


#8

OK, so I had my Prot. friend on the phone today and I read her all the posts. She said it sounds like Lutherans & Catholics believe the EXACT same thing. I said, “No, they must not because Catholics make a pretty big deal about Lutherans changing the way it had been for 1600 years.” We re-read the posts and are more confused than ever. Could someone please explain the Catholic VS. Lutheran position IN VERY SIMPLE TERMS? She’s going to check back w/ me tomorrow to see what’s been said. thanks & God Bless, CM


#9

[quote=carol marie]Could someone please explain the Catholic VS. Lutheran position IN VERY SIMPLE TERMS?
[/quote]

Transubstantiation means that bread and wine are completely transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Mass. That is what they really are, they merely appear to the senses to be bread and wine. Consubstantiation says that the bread and wine remain real bread and wine and yet also are really the body and blood of Christ.

-Mark Shea


#10

Read Jn 6, 1Cor 10 and 1 Cor 11.

Perhaps it is unfortunate for your friend but Catholics do believe what Jesus said and taught. Perhaps someday she will too?

By the way, Catholics DO NOT belive the Eucharist is the same as the Lutheran communion ‘symbolic’ remembrance. Transubstantiation vs. Substantiation (sp?). Not the same belief at all.

When Catholics are done with communion, unlike the Lutherans, we do not just throw the extra in the garbage.


#11

[quote=carol marie]OK, so I had my Prot. friend on the phone today and I read her all the posts. She said it sounds like Lutherans & Catholics believe the EXACT same thing. I said, “No, they must not because Catholics make a pretty big deal about Lutherans changing the way it had been for 1600 years.” We re-read the posts and are more confused than ever. Could someone please explain the Catholic VS. Lutheran position IN VERY SIMPLE TERMS? She’s going to check back w/ me tomorrow to see what’s been said. thanks & God Bless, CM
[/quote]

Perhaps an analogy from the Bible will help. Remember in Genesis when Abram goes to Soddom & Gommorah (sp?)? He encountered angels on the way. However the angels LOOKED like men, TALKED like men and even ATE like men - but they WEREN’T MEN were they? They were still angels! Through a miracle God made them appear to be one thing while in reality they were something very different. Simply, what they APPEAR to be is called their APPEARANCE (the angels appeared to be men), but what they ACTUALLY ARE is called their SUBSTANCE (the angels were pure spirit - they had spirit substance, not man substance). Appearance and substance are what we call ACCIDENTS - not a great term but an old one.

So let’s apply that to the Eucharist. The bread and wine BEFORE consecration have the APPEARANCE of bread and the APPEARANCE of wine as well as the SUBSTANCE of bread and the SUBSTANCE of wine. Bby a MIRACLE Christ changes them at the consecration and NOW the bread/wine only have the APPEARANCE of bread/wine but their SUBSTANCE has been changed COMPLETELY to be that of Christ! Just as the angels in the above example LOOKED like men, there was no substance of flesh to them, and as such after the consecration the bread/wine has NO SUBSTANCE of bread/wine to it, it is COMPLETELY Christ.

Lutherans don’t believe this. Lutherans believe that the SUBSTANCE of bread/wine is STILL PRESENT, they just believe that it ALSO contains the SUBSTANCE of Christ.

Hope that makes sense, if not let me know and I’ll try to clarify

God Bless you on your journey and WELCOME HOME to Christ’s Church!


#12

Lutheran belief: Jesus is there, WITH the bread and wine.

Catholic belief: Jesus is there, WITHOUT the bread and wine, but only their appearances.

Jesus does not “take on” the appearances of bread and wine. The appearances of bread and wine remain, but do not inhere in any substance.

(“Substance” is to be taken in the philosophical sense of underlying reality, not in the material sense.)


#13

I admire your desire to fully understand the miracle of Transubstantiation, but it is a miracle and beyond full understanding by mere mortals.

However, you may not have a grasp of the meaning of substance. A person conceived by the union of a man and a woman is a human being. That is the essence, the substance of that being. It makes no difference if the person is only 5 seconds old after conception, or 92 years old after birth, or is deformed into unrecognizable forms of flesh and bone even beyond that of “elephant man.” The substance is a human being. It may be said said a mixture of grain and liquid which has been baked or dried is bread and has the substance of bread. You can add flavor, sweetner, bake it in many shapes and forms, but the essence, the substance is bread. Man can destroy the body of a human being and can destroy bread altogether, perhaps by fire, but man cannot change the substance of one created thing into another. The substance is the quality which makes it what it is.

The outward appearance that we detect with our senses are called the accidents. That appearance can vary greatly with the human substance and with the substance of bread, but the substance remains as long as one is human and the other is bread.

During the Transubstantiation, (trans, changing of substance) God performs a miracle by causing the substance of bread to become non-existant and replacing it with the real and true substance of the living Christ Jesus, which includes His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. However, God miraculously causes the accidental properties of bread to linger although the substance of bread no longer exists. This is a true miracle because God has suspended the normal laws of nature which are all His creations anyway.

The Lutherans believe that the substance of bread remains along with the added substance of Christ Jesus, evidently because they cannot believe that bread could appear to our senses without the substance of bread being present. God created everything that is not God. He created all of the rules by which His creations exist. How can one who believes in God’s Infinite Power doubt that He can do anything He wants to do with His created objects. He said, “This is My Body.” Therefore, it is His Body.

George Cooney
Peccator


#14

Another problem for Lutherans is that they lost the sacrament of Orders. This is the sacrament that confers on ordained Catholic priests the ability, by the Holy Spirit through the power of Jesus, to cause the Lord to change the bread and wine into his body and blood
The Eucharistic miracles mentioned in prior posts always caused the host to become true human flesh…heart muscle. Makes beautiful sense.
Just to try and clarify one more time:
Catholics believe there is no bread and wine remaining in the consecrated secies.
Lutherans believe both bread and wine and Christ’s body and blood exist together in their host and wine.


#15

[quote=carol marie]OK, so I had my Prot. friend on the phone today and I read her all the posts. She said it sounds like Lutherans & Catholics believe the EXACT same thing. I said, “No, they must not because Catholics make a pretty big deal about Lutherans changing the way it had been for 1600 years.” We re-read the posts and are more confused than ever. Could someone please explain the Catholic VS. Lutheran position IN VERY SIMPLE TERMS? She’s going to check back w/ me tomorrow to see what’s been said. thanks & God Bless, CM
[/quote]

WARNING!!! FELLOW GEN XERS AND COMPUTER GEEKS WILL MOST LIKELY UNDERSTAND THIS ONE…

This is going to be a far out (and loose) analogy that you can possible explain to your friend, but will only work if you saw “The Matrix”

In “The Matrix” there is a the real world and there is the Matrix - a computer simulated world. In the Matrix - people do exactly what we do on earth…eat, play, work, etc. However, this is only simulated, as people in the real world are actually enslaved and exist only to generate power for these advanced machines. The only reason that nobody fights back is because from the moment of their birth - humans in the real world are wired and experience only the simulated world of the Matrix. So everything, their apperances, their clothes, their car, is all simulated.

So, in this movie, people are percieved the way the Matrix wants you to be percieved. So, if a character named Carol Marie was in the movie “The Matrix”, the Carol Marie in the real world could be a blonde hair, blue eyed, Caucasian and the Carol Marie in the Matrix can be percieved as a brown hair, brown eyed, African. In *reality and in substance *you would be Caucasian Carol, but you would appear as African Carol to everybody (and to yourself) in the Matrix.

Now…what has this have to do with the Eucharist? Jesus Christ is God…He can do whatever He wants to whenever He wants to because there is nothing that He cannot achieve If he wants to change the substance of bread and wine into himself and still appear to be bread and wine to all of us, he can.

From what I know…this is still a mystery…I don’t think we will fully know this mystery until God reveals it to us at the end.


#16

“Doubting is an insult to Divinity.”–Padre Pio

Pio


#17

[quote=carol marie]She went on to say that Catholics claim that an actual host was taken to a lab and it was found to be “heart tissue” or something like that.
[/quote]

I believe that all of the normal “accidents” of appearance remain. Therefore, it would still retail the appearance of bread even under a microscope. There may have been some special case at sometime, but it is not the usual claim of the Church that the accidents of appearance change.


#18

[quote=JimG]Another P.S.:

The appearances of bread–i.e.,for a celiac–have the same effect as would the substance of the wheaten bread itself. Our senses, our body, remains affected by the appearances of bread and wine which remain. even though the substance of the bread is gone.

[/quote]

This is not necessarily true also, I was reading an article on Spirit Daily about a certain eucharistic Miracle. Unfortunately I can not find it in the Archives but will try to locate where I read it!

It was about this women as a young girl was found to have an extreme case of celiac. She deadly alergic to wheat, her father asked for any alternatives besides the blood. The Priest (God Bless him) ASked if they believe in the real presence they said they did. She received the host with no ill effects and to this day still recieves the host. This is a profound truth in the real presence of christ. Faith will conqure illness & death!

If anyone sles knows of this miracle and has read about it can you please help in distributing it. I was going to copy it out but lost track of it before I could. Procrastination kills!

God Bless!
hoa


#19

Lutherans believe that the Eucharist is true God and true bread.

Catholics believe “the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world” (John 6:33).


#20

P.s.

I believe someone else said it here that to fully understand this is almost impossible… I certainly don’t! But I do believe with all my heart and this is what is requested of us! There is no half way for a Catholic, you believe or you don’t!

God Bless
hoa


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