If, as Catholics contend the transubstantiation of the Eucharist is not symbolic, but rather the literal transformation of the host into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, why then can no physical difference be discerned before and after the Priest performs the necessary ritual?
If it is a physical alteration should not that physical alteration be measurable and quantifiable?
If you were able to take a skin cell from Jesus’ body and put it under a microscope next to a skin cell from another person, I don’t think you would be able to tell the difference. Yet we believe that the Body of Christ contained full divinity that other humans do not even though the difference would not be measurable and quantifiable.
Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Ro 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Ro 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,…etc
Sounds like a country I know.
The Bible says that you will be without excuse…repent - turn from sin and turn to Christ as Lord and Savior.
At the basis of every worldview is an unprovable statement. Surely there is no provable statement at the basis of atheism either. I can say with certainty that you cannot prove that the existence of the universe came about without God.
This is a critical point to understand. It is not a battle between the provable (atheism) and the unprovable (theism). It is a battle between different unprovables. “You can’t prove it” alone cannot possibly lead to atheism.
It is not “blessed” it is transformed. That is the crux of our belief in transubstantiation.
This is the most easily understood explaination I see so far:
It’s not a physical alteration. It is a substantial alteration, an alteration of the underlying substance (hence transubstantiation)
[quoteAnubistheJackal]What fascinates me if y’all take unproveable statement, and couple it with more unproveable statement, and so on ad finitum construct your faith. And perhaps that is why it is called faith?
But it can also be turned around and stated that since you cannot disprove it then those who do not believe are using their faith in the lack of proof of the existence of God. Faith is, after all, faith.
Transubstantiation is predicated upon the distinction between two sorts of change: accidental and substantial. Accidental change occurs when non-essential outward properties are transformed in some fashion. Thus, water can take on the properties of solidity (ice) and gas (steam), all the while remaining chemically the same. A substantial change, on the other hand, produces something else altogether. An example of this is the metabolism of food, which becomes part of our bodies as a result of chemical and biological processes initiated by digestion. In our everyday experience, a change of substance is always accompanied by a corresponding transition of accidents, or properties.
In the Eucharist—a supernatural transformation—a substantial change occurs without accidental alteration. Thus, the properties of bread and wine continue after consecration, but their essence and substance cease to exist, replaced by the substance of the true and actual Body and Blood of Christ. It is this disjunction from the natural laws of physics which causes many to stumble (see John 6:60-69). See chart below.
I am unaware of any examples which are limited to the physical world. There are some analogies which may or may not be useful. One would be the petrification of wood or bones, where at least some of the physical characteristics remain the same, though the substance has changed. But obviously this analogy breaks down rather quickly. Another analogy to consider is identical twins. They may be identical (undetectably different by any physical analysis) in every appearance, but in one sense their substances are different (they are different people).
The real question is, what is the fundamental substance of matter? Below molecules, below atoms, below atomic particles, below quarks. What is matter made of? That is its substance. We cannot get to it, we can only observe how it appears. If you replace that substance with another substance which interacts with the world in exactly the same way, you have a transubstantiation. This is not (as far as I know) possible with physical matter alone, but it is certainly possible with God. Even an atheist would have to admit that an omnipotent God could replace the fundamental substance of an object with himself.
Sadly, for the case of persuading you, I know of no other substantial change that does not also result in an accidental (physical) change.
But as food for thought: A similar question is that of substantial identity in the presence of accidental/physical change, a prime example being you yourself (or anyone else you might care to indicate). You are not physically the same as you were as an infant, nor ten years ago, nor ten days ago, nor ten seconds ago – You have ingested resources, expelled wastes, and grown and otherwise changed since all those benchmarks. You have also received sensations and perceptions and formed thoughts and memories. But you have never ceased being you, have you? (Or if you did, when did you cease to be the you of yore and become the you of now? How did you know?)
Not entirely satisfying, I know, but as I say: Food for thought.
If you want an example of what transubstantiation is, I can point you to two elements of science fiction. Take the show *Quantum Leap. *In that show, Dr. Sam Beckett travels through time and quantum leaps into another person in another time period. To everybody else that Dr. Beckett encounters, and even to himself (in a mirror) he appears as another person. But, in essence, who is that other person? It’s Dr. Beckett.
Another example can be seen in the Matrix. In the second Matrix film, Agent Smith does something to replicate himself and even replicates himself as one of the humans (Bane) that go in and out of the matrix. To everybody else in Zion, Bane appeared to be who he was, but in reality was Agent Smith.
Just because something is unreal to us, does not mean that it is untrue or impossible. Ask yourself what technology we have today that would have been unreal or impossible 100 years ago.