Soul and Divinity "in" the Eucharist?

I understand why we say that the soul and divinity of Christ are present in the Eucharist, under the appearances or species of bread and wine. Christ is fully man and fully God.

But what do we mean when we say soul and divinity are “in” or “under the appearances” of bread and wine? Soul is purely spiritual; it does not have physical dimensions. Divinity is abstract, also spiritual, referring to God’s nature as God. So when the wafer of bread moves from the priest’s hands to the Christian’s mouth, is it proper to say that soul and divinity moved from the priest’s hands to the mouth – from one location to another? If so, how, if spirit is not measured?

I don’t think anyone can answer that question with certainty. A priest might be your best bet for the correct answer, the one faithful to the Church.

Deep question! Lots of theology to unpack in its answer…

Soul is purely spiritual; it does not have physical dimensions.

Agreed. Yet, ‘soul’ is present in a person (human or divine). If Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, then His soul is likewise present (albeit not physically).

Divinity is abstract, also spiritual, referring to God’s nature as God.

I think that I would quibble – divinity isn’t ‘abstract’. More to the point, though, I think that the definition of the Eucharist – as Christ present “body, blood, soul, and divinity” – isn’t speaking to a ‘spiritual’ reality (as you suggest) but a ‘metaphysical’ one. In other words, it’s an affirmation that Christ isn’t present merely in His humanity, but in His divinity as well. That is, we can’t separate the two, as if only the ‘human’ Christ is present in the Eucharist but the ‘divine’ Christ is not.

So when the wafer of bread moves from the priest’s hands to the Christian’s mouth, is it proper to say that soul and divinity moved from the priest’s hands to the mouth – from one location to another?

I’m not quite sure what you’re getting at, here. Is this another way of asking whether Christ (body, blood, soul, and divinity) is present in the Eucharist, whether in the priest’s hands or in the communicant’s mouth? That question seems somewhat trivial on its face: when you give me a chicken nugget, it moves from your hands to my mouth. Is there more to your question? Are you asking whether ‘soul and divinity’ has the property of physical location? That’s not any different than asking whether, when you hand a baby from you to me, if his ‘soul and humanity’ move from you to me. There’s not really any philosophical question being asked here. (Unless, of course, you’re asking whether ‘soul’ has physical extension – which, as it were, isn’t a question whose answer changes when you’re talking about the Eucharist… right?)

If so, how, if spirit is not measured?

How does one ‘measure’ (empirically – that is, physically) something that is not physical?

All I know is that I receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Risen and Glorious Jesus!

So many wonderful types and figures in Sacred Scripture…Seven baskets left over (perfect number), twelve baskets left over, (perfect number) in the distribution of food for the crowd.(us).

Don’t forget there is only one God so you also receive the divinity of the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Umm… I’d have to disagree.

Yes, there is only one God, but there are three distinct persons. We receive the Second Person of the Trinity – Jesus, the Christ, the Logos, the Son – in the Eucharist. We don’t receive the Father or the Holy Spirit, per se.

It is just as what Gorgias said above. When someone hands you a baby, you receive and hold the baby whole and entire, body, soul, nature, personhood, humanity. The baby is a unitary entity. You receive him whole and entire, just as you do Christ in the Eucharist.

As for location, location itself is an ‘accident’ or ‘appearance.’ The accidents we perceive in the Eucharist are the accidents of bread and wine, not of Jesus.

Yes! Thank you.

But you cannot separate the divinity of God. One God. Three persons but One Divine nature.

I don’t think anyone can answer that question with certainty. A priest might be your best bet for the correct answer, the one faithful to the Church.

Lol, what? I thought we were doing theology here, not passing the buck to poor Father who was probably educated by the ra-ra boys of the 40’s or their prodigies who precipitated the “spirit of Vatican II” and bred a culture of clerical mediocrity. The forum here exists to answer these questions…

Soul and Divinity are united with the Body and Blood, just as they were/are in the “normal” (viz. “non-sacramental”) human body of Christ.

We say the soul moves with the body (in any living thing) because the soul is the principle of life in it… where the body goes, there the soul is too, in every part of the body that is alive.

The Divinity is basically the same. Christ is God, so where Christ goes, God goes.

It is not right to say that “the divinity of Christ” is the same as the divinity of the other two Persons. While they each are divine because they are each God, the very idea of ascribing “divinity” calls for separation.between those multiple “things” to which it is ascribed.

So, when Father distributes the Host (which is not bread, because Jesus is not a piece of bread) he is also distributing the immaterial “properties” that are inherent to it as well, including the Soul and Divinity of our Divine Redeemer.

Make sense?

Yes, it does. Sometimes I’m lazy, and not all priests are old. :slight_smile: Sorry.

Because the bread and wine are the vehicle (Divinity also being personal rather than abstract).

Good question with a good answer, one the Angelic Doctor himself has addressed, and which we can reasonably take as certain.

The soul and divinity do not move. For that matter, neither does the body and blood. When the Host or Chalice is moved, Christ’s Body and Blood do not move.

ST III, 76, 6.

The whole Christ is the Eucharist. A human is a rational soul and body, incomplete without both. The Trinity is divine and by the teaching of the perichorisis * (the Indwelling of Three Persons in One Another), must be the Eucharist.

  • Perichorisis was first used by Gregory Nazianzen in the fourth century. Also it was used by Maximus the Confessor and St. John of Damascus. The Council of Florence:
    Because of this unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Ghost, The Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son.

John 1:32 John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him.

John 10:38 … the Father is in me and I am in the Father.

John 14:10-11 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.

John 17:21 … as you, Father, are in me and I in you, …

The body, soul and divinity of Jesus are what HE wants to give you and instructed the church to be able to give you. For that reason he made it possible to do, for HIS benefit.

Jesus wants to live in you, to be his body, his arms, his legs, etc. For that reason he gives you his life, his body, his spirit. These are non-material things however and cannot be detected with material means, unless Jesus wills them to be.

The fact that he does not make himself physically knowable is itself worth contemplation. What would happen if you could measure him? Wouldn’t that leave the door wide open for evil?

Jesus makes himself available to the pure.

‘Blessed are the pure at heart, for they shall see God.’

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