The temporal/corporal effects of not accepting the Real Presence


#1

Okay, this is probably something I’ll later delve into with a book, but I wanted to mentally spitball this out on the forum.

I can remember the very first time I heard about the idea of the bread and wine being the body and blood of Christ, it was on another forum a couple years ago when I was an undergraduate in college, long before I gave Catholicism any thought, and I remember my reaction being “So what?”.

Obviously from my religion title my views have changed since then and I believe everything the CC teaches now, but I think that initial reaction to the Eucharist from several years ago is still lingering in me somewhat.

In one sense, I can accept the fact that the Eucharist is vital simply because God said so, and obedience to God out of love is really the only essential. Still, it seems to be the case in the way the universe is created that in all things, obedience to God is not simply some arbitrary action that bears no good or ill fruit. As a person or a people stray from God’s holiness, they find ruin. As a person or people move towards it, they find joy and freedom. Because of that, I have the impression that there ought to be some kind of damaging, corporal effect for a person to believe that communion is simply a commemorative act, as opposed to a holy sacrament. This is something that I can readily envision when it comes to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There is a powerful therapeutic and cleansing nature to having to spill your guts out to the priest sitting in as Christ. So in addition to the sacramental forgiveness taking place, I can readily see how removing this from Christianity would also be damaging in the temporal world. So how would a shift in doctrine on the Eucharist severe a people’s relationship with God in a visible way?

I have a few thoughts on some of this, but I’ll just leave it open to responses.


#2

I absolutely do not know. I would think one effect might be that those who do not believe it is the actual presence might not treat it is an encounter with Holy God.They might also miss out on what I assume is a closer union with God. Just my thoughts as a candidate who longs for, but is unable to take communion yet.


#3

We believe in the Real Presence because Jesus, God the Son, told us so. This belief is part of the deposit of faith and cannot be changed. Refusing to believe in it is going into heresy.

It is a Mystery of Faith - we poor human beings are incapable of fully understanding how what appears to be bread and wine is no longer so, but the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. We may try to understand it, but we will constantly, inevitably, come up against “How?” None of this should trouble us. We believe because God Himself told us it is so. We accept it totally because we have faith in God and know that He cannot lie.

If we reject this we could be placing ourselves on the edge of a precipice leading to loss of Eternal Life. It all boils down to who we believe Jesus is, and if we believe that the Catholic Church is the Church He instituted.

Corporal damage - perhaps there can be, but not necessarily. At the same time, if we knowingly reject a matter of doctrine or dogma, it should weigh on our conscience. Being both body and soul, something weighing on our soul can result in bodily effects. These can be different in different people. As a small example, when I suffered from mental stress from a difficult job situation, in addition to the mind stresses I suffered from physical problems, such as stomach trouble, and also skin eruptions. A visit to the doctor resulted in a diagnosis of stress and depression. Similar things can happen when our conscience is accusing us of treachery!


#4

I think it would mostly result in lots of disunity, false doctrine, false prophets, and a lack of true forgiveness for sins committed. This is what we see in most Protestant denominations, and they do not have a valid Eucharist.


#5

The big thing I can think of is the lose of mysticism in Christian spirituality. As far as I am aware, the reason most protestant services are called ‘Church’ and the Catholic congregating is called ‘Mass’ is because a church service is based solely around worship, commemoration, and study. Although it is most certainly heavily religious, it is more cerebral than it is mystical. With the Mass, through the priest, a miracle is occurring. All of the songs, chanting, and homily is built up to the moment in which the congregation receives Christ. With the lose of the Eucharist, God goes from both intimate and immediate (existing in the Church at present), to being more aloof and academic. I believe it is for this reason that a good many historians attribute the Reformation as being the precursor of materialism and secularism.

This is one theorized explanation among many of the temporal damages of losing the Eucharist, but it is perhaps the most major one imo.


#6

The effect of the sacrament does not rely on your acceptance. When you take the body and the blood you are recieving Christ body, blood soul and divinity. your belief or non belief does not change what is and what happens.
I would recomend prayer to ask God to help you accept Him as He is giving Himself to you in the Eucharist, accepting this supernatural and mystical gift and not try to rationalize it on human terms.
Until you come to accept the Eucharist as the true body and blood of Christ, you should refrain from recieving.

Dcn Frank


#7

That isn’t what the topic is about. It’s about the corporal loses that come when a person / community believes in communion as a commemoration instead of as a sacrament, which would be the vast majority of protestantism.


#8

The Church teaches that all faiths have some part of the Holy spirit within them. They are simply missing part of the full truth of God, Instead of a pizza supreme with all the fixings, they may only have cheese pizza. It may still be filling in a certain way, but not as sully satifying.

They are missing the bess part, but by their choice.


#9

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