The Eucharist and transubstantiation


#1

I recently heard a Protestant mention that transubstantiation is false because, if the bread and wine literally turned into the Body and Blood of Christ, it would taste like blood and flesh. Their reasoning was that, when Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding, it no longer tasted like water. It was literally changed into wine, therefore it looked, smelled and tasted as such. They claimed that, if transubstantiation truly occurs, the Eucharist would do the same as the water changing into wine. I don't know how to respond to this.... Thoughts?


#2

While the Eucharist does turn into the actual Body and Blood of Christ, it still retain the accidents (i believe that's the word) of the bread and wine. The accidents being how the Body still looks and tastes like bread and the Blood still looks and tastes like wine. One priest explained it to me like this.

Imagine that i'm wearing a disguise. Although I may not look like my self, I, deep down, am actually myself.


#3

It is a non-sequitor. A transformation at the wedding feast does not forbid transubstantiation at the Eucharistic feast.


#4

Think of a person on a stage. A curtain comes down and the person gives their clothes to a perfect twin, identical in every way. The curtain raises.

Looking now, is that the same image as before? Is it the same substance?

So image and substance aren't correlated in relationship to something existing.


#5

[quote="105lynne, post:1, topic:310073"]
I recently heard a Protestant mention that transubstantiation is false because, if the bread and wine literally turned into the Body and Blood of Christ, it would taste like blood and flesh. Their reasoning was that, when Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding, it no longer tasted like water. It was literally changed into wine, therefore it looked, smelled and tasted as such. They claimed that, if transubstantiation truly occurs, the Eucharist would do the same as the water changing into wine. I don't know how to respond to this.... Thoughts?

[/quote]

Modern Catholic Dictionary (Transubstantiation) has:
With the Eastern Fathers before the sixth century, the favored expression was meta-ousiosis, "change of being"; the Latin tradition coined the word transubstantiatio, "change of substance," which was incorporated into the creed of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. The Council of Trent, in defining the "wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the wine into the blood" of Christ, added "which conversion the Catholic Church calls transubstantiation" (Denzinger 1652). 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.
catholicreference.net/index.cfm?id=36918


#6

[quote="105lynne, post:1, topic:310073"]
I recently heard a Protestant mention that transubstantiation is false because, if the bread and wine literally turned into the Body and Blood of Christ, it would taste like blood and flesh. Their reasoning was that, when Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding, it no longer tasted like water. It was literally changed into wine, therefore it looked, smelled and tasted as such. They claimed that, if transubstantiation truly occurs, the Eucharist would do the same as the water changing into wine. I don't know how to respond to this.... Thoughts?

[/quote]

If Jesus had wanted to speak metaphorically, He would have made it clear to His audience that such was the case. Also, the original text of the New Testament, which is in Greek is very clear that He was being literal.

Also, you could tell them about Eucharistic miracles.


#7

Next time you see your friend explain this scenario.

If we were somehow able to travel back in time with a licensed doctor to the time of Jesus. And the doctor was able to to give Jesus a thorough physical examination. What would the doctor discover? Would he find any sign of God, or would he just find a human?

I believe he would only find a human, and I believe the same is true with the Eucharist. We can inspect it all we want but we will not be able to find God inside it, but that doesn't mean that it isn't God.


#8

St. Thomas Aquinas explains (S. th. III:75:5) that the accidents of bread and wine remain the same after consecration because it would be horrible to eat human flesh, that the Sacrament may not be derided by unbelievers, and in order that Communion may redound to the merit of faith:

I answer that, It is evident to sense that all the accidents of the bread and wine remain after the consecration. And this is reasonably done by Divine providence. First of all, because it is not customary, but horrible, for men to eat human flesh, and to drink blood. And therefore Christ's flesh and blood are set before us to be partaken of under the species of those things which are the more commonly used by men, namely, bread and wine. Secondly, lest this sacrament might be derided by unbelievers, if we were to eat our Lord under His own species. Thirdly, that while we receive our Lord's body and blood invisibly, this may redound to the merit of faith.


#9

:thumbsup:

[quote="runningdude, post:3, topic:310073"]
It is a non-sequitor. A transformation at the wedding feast does not forbid transubstantiation at the Eucharistic feast.

[/quote]


#10

[quote="105lynne, post:1, topic:310073"]
I recently heard a Protestant mention that transubstantiation is false because, if the bread and wine literally turned into the Body and Blood of Christ, it would taste like blood and flesh. Their reasoning was that, when Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding, it no longer tasted like water. It was literally changed into wine, therefore it looked, smelled and tasted as such. They claimed that, if transubstantiation truly occurs, the Eucharist would do the same as the water changing into wine. I don't know how to respond to this.... Thoughts?

[/quote]

Firstly many Protestants ( loosely defined ) do believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the bread and wine though they explain it in different ways. This is evident in many posts by Protestants in various Forums on this site. So the position held by your Protestant is not universal.

Secondly, the objection of your Protestant places unwarented restrictions on the power of God. He created the world out of nothing and sustains it in existence and directs it to its final end by his power. He condenscended to take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin.
If he can do such wonderful things, why couldn't he be present beneath the appearances of bread and wine? Therefore, those who say he can't are placing unwaranted restrictions on his power and governance.

Thirdly, your Protestant is ignoring the clear words of Our Lord as expressed in the Gospel of St. John and the clear meaning of the other Evangelests and St. Paul in the New Testament. Was Christ a liar? Were the Evangelests and St. Paul lying?

These are a few points that come to mind at a moments reflection. :thumbsup:


#11

[quote="105lynne, post:1, topic:310073"]
I recently heard a Protestant mention that transubstantiation is false because, if the bread and wine literally turned into the Body and Blood of Christ, it would taste like blood and flesh. Their reasoning was that, when Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding, it no longer tasted like water. It was literally changed into wine, therefore it looked, smelled and tasted as such. They claimed that, if transubstantiation truly occurs, the Eucharist would do the same as the water changing into wine. I don't know how to respond to this.... Thoughts?

[/quote]

Jesus himself explained it.

**It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:63)

Your human senses of smell, taste, sight and touch are of no avail. Your human sense of reason cannot grasp it, nor can your intellect comprehend it. Your "flesh" is of no avail when trying to understand it. It is something divine, not human, and we cannot comprehend it, and would not know it had it not been revealed to us.

Jesus did turn water into wine. He turned the water of the law of the Old Testament into the wine of the law of love in the New Testament. He turned the 616 commandments of the old covenant into the freedom to be children of God and partakers of his divine nature under the new convenant.

The priest mixes water and wine before he changes it into the Blood of Christ. Both the water of the old covenant and the wine of the new convenant into which it was changed at the Cana Wedding, are changed into Christ's blood at the Mass.

-Tim-


#12

In the wedding at Cana, Jesus was not consecrating the water, and did not perform transubstantiation. The physical accidents of the water changed into wine at Cana. During the Mass, at the Conecration, the physical accidents remain and the substance (the what-it-is) of the bread and wine become Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.


#13

I'd like to add on to Tim's explanation above, with the piece of John 6 that is just before what he quoted:

62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?

Jesus was giving us a hint here that this would be his Resurrected Body that we would be consuming, which of course is neither bloody not under usual constraints.

I believe this is mentioned in the writing of Dr. Brant Pitre in one of his writings on "The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist."

Jim H.


#14

[quote="Glacies, post:8, topic:310073"]
St. Thomas Aquinas explains (S. th. III:75:5) that the accidents of bread and wine remain the same after consecration because it would be horrible to eat human flesh, that the Sacrament may not be derided by unbelievers, and in order that Communion may redound to the merit of faith:

[/quote]

Exactly - John 6 gives an example of the natural revulsion most people feel at the very thought of actual cannibalism. Our Lord in His goodness spares us the ordeal of going through such a thing.


#15

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